Iwill P4ES i845E Motherboard

The Iwill P4ES i845E Motherboard - Page 3

The IWILL P4ES Motherboard Review
Serial ATA is on the way!

By, Robert Maloney
October 10, 2002

Performance Comparisons with 3DMark 2001SE
Synthetic Gaming

MadOnion?s other "mad" creation, 3DMark 2001 SE, is a good comparison of the graphic capabilities of a system. However, since we are looking for more system related scores, and not looking to stress the video capabilities, we used lower resolutions than you would normally see in a graphics card review.  We ran two series of tests, once at 800x600 with 32-bit color and again at 1024x768x32, both times with all other settings left at their defaults.

It's a close race again between these two boards, with DFI coming out on top this time.  The difference in this test was barely 150 points, which only comes out to 1%, again.  Both scores were impressive, but not as much as the overclocked score of 13,976.  This was a great score for this test, and I was using a Ti4200 instead of a Ti4600.  We may have been able to break 15,000 had we been using such a card.

The same breakdown continues in this graph.  The DFI just beats out the IWILL board, this time by only 113 points.  Once we overclock the P4ES, however, we get a bonus 1100 points, almost a 10% increase from the stock score.  Either of these boards looks good for DirectX gaming.

Performance Comparisons with Quake 3 Arena v1.17
I have the need...the need for speed

We used the Quake 3 Timedemo with the display settings set to their minimums and the screen resolution at 640x480x16 for the Low Quality tests and then chose 1024x768 with 32-bit color for the High Quality tests.  This helped determine the CPU limitations of a motherboard by minimizing the impact the video card has on the performance of the game.  With the display settings calibrated in this manner, the ability of the game to tax the video card is virtually eliminated, allowing the benchmark to focus almost solely on the motherboard's CPU performance.


Watching the demo at speeds like this is nauseating, and luckily it was over in a flash.  The IWILL pushed out 363.8 frames per second, completely demolishing the 331.7 fps from the DFI board, and was the highest score we had obtained so far in a review, at least for the moment.  When we ran Quake again after overclocking, we got an ungodly 426.5fps, 7 times the amount of frames usually considered "playable". 

These scores were a little more realistic, I guess you could say, more comparable to ones normally found in a video card review.  The two boards were very close each producing 220+ frames per second, with the IWILL adding an extra .5 frames.  What you could do with that extra .5 frames? One can only wonder.  Overclocking gave us a 10% increase in performance, up to 243.8 fps.

"Real World" Performance with the Stones
Simulated Application Performance

Last, but not least, are two benchmarks from Ziff Davis ? Business Winstone 2001 and Content Creation Winstone 2002.

Business Winstone is an application-based benchmark, which runs through a series of scripts using business programs such as Microsoft Office 2000, Frontpage 2000, Lotus Notes and Netscape. It attempts to emulate a business system load, and then give a rating. We left the default setting so that these scripts were done five times and the final score given on the left.

Content Creation Winstone 2002 is another application-based benchmark, this time using popular content creation programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Premiere, Macromedia Director and Dreamweaver, and Microsoft Windows Media Encoder. It keeps these multiple applications open and switches among them while running scripts.

Both Winstones were indicative of two highly capable boards.  Each time, the nod went to the IWILL P4ES.  It outshined the DFI NB-76EA by 2 Winstones in the Business Winstone benchmark, but then only by 0.2 in the Content Creation Winstone.  What is really impressive are the scores obtained by the IWILL P4ES while it was overclocked.  We increased the Business Winstone score by over 9 points, and the Content Creation score by 5 and a half.  That equates to almost a 15% increase in each test.  Clearly, being able to run the CPU and memory at higher speeds is well worth the difference in performance one would receive. 


Overall, we were pleased with the stock performance of the board, and simply impressed by the way it overclocked.  One caveat, however, is that my experiences with overclocking might not hold true with others, as there are so many variables with components, cooling techniques, etc.  We used a Zalman fan type heatsink and 92mm fan, with two other case fans to cool down the CPU and system, and it's always recommended that you properly cool your system when overclocking, especially at the speeds we were obtaining.  Once obtaining these speeds, we saw performance increases that were terrific, and it really gives you that all important "bang for the buck".  Getting an extra 20% in performance is great, to say the least, and it was one of the better overclocking experiences we have had.

Overclocking aside, the board came with a number of features, making this a great value to the user.  There are plenty of drive choices.  You theoretically would be able to connect up to four devices on the ATA100 channels, another 4 on the ATA133 channels, and when they become available, two hard drives could be connected to the Serial ATA connectors, bringing the total to 10 drives.  I think the only feature missing from this board was the ability to create a RAID setup on the ATA133 channels.  While it could be said that users may opt to use the SATA connections instead, we will still have to wait for these drives, and IDE drives are still the mainstay of today.  It can't hurt to be prepared for the future, however.

Rounding out the features, the IWILL P4ES comes with 6-channel on-board audio, which may not sound as good as having a card like the Soundblaster Audigy, but it still does a pretty good job.  Unlike other boards where an extra bracket might be needed, there are center and rear audio jacks built onto the board, as well as a S/PDIF Toslink connection.  That's just good planning by IWILL, and the only thing being sacrificed here is an extra serial port, hardly used these days.  When you combine the great performance of the IWILL P4ES with the number of features, you get a solid choice for the Pentium 4 platform.  We'll give the IWILL P4ES a 8.5 on the HotHardware Heatmeter.

  • Great overclocker!
  • Serial ATA controller
  • 6-channel on-board audio
  • No RAID for IDE drives
  • No SATA hard drives available yet!
  • No DDR333 support

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Tags:  Motherboard, Will, P4, board, AR

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