MSI K7D Master Dual Socket A Motherboard

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The MSI K7D Master Dual Socket A Motherboard - Page 3

The MSI K7D Master Dual Socket A Motherboard
Athlon Power X 2!

By Marco Chiappetta
May 21, 2002



Sandra (the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information and diagnostic utility put out by the folks at SiSoftware. Besides benchmarking, it provides a host of other information about your hardware and software.


SiSoftware Sandra
Our Sandra Doing Her Thing!

We began our testing with four of the built-in sub-system tests that are part of SiSoftware's Sandra 2002 benchmarking suite (CPU, Multimedia, Memory and File System), running at the CPU's default clockspeed of 1666MHz. (12.5x133) and an overclocked speed of 1750MHz. (12.5x140).

CPU @ 1666MHz.              CPU @ 1750MHz.

If you're used to seeing Sandra CPU scores from single CPU machines, these numbers will surely make your jaw drop!  Even at default clockspeeds, ALU performance dominated every other reference system listed.  The dual 2GHz. Xeon machine took the FPU tests though.  When we overclocked the the K7D Master, we saw a significant jump in performance.  The Dual Athlon machine continued to pull away in the ALU test, while their FPU performance came within a hair of the Xeon machine.

MM @ 1666MHz.               MM @ 1750MHz.

The Sandra Multimedia tests belong the Athlon no matter which way you slice it.  At both the default and overclocked speeds, the Dual Athlons bested every other reference system listed.  In fact, we had to select an 8-Way Xeon rig from the reference list before anything in Sandra's database could beat our dual overclocked 2000+ CPUs!

Hard Drive

As you can see in the graph above, hard drive performance with AMD's Southbridge left a little to be desired.  The same IBM hard drive we used on this  consistently scores on the 20K+ range on other test machines.  17K+ is s decent score, but it is approximately 20% lower than what we expected from this drive.  Perhaps with a little driver tuning AMD can remedy this situation in the future.

Memory @ 1666MHz.       Memory @ 1750MHz.

The all (well, almost all) important memory bandwidth test shows AMD's 762 chipset performing nicely, but not quite on par with even the older AMD 760 chipset.  Even while overclocked to a 140MHz. FSB, with the memory set at the most aggressive timings available, the MSI K7D Master barely managed to catch the AMD 760 reference machine.  Systems using nForce or KT333 chipsets would have an even larger lead in this department.

MadOnion PC Mark 2002
Another Youngster...

MadOnion's new PCMark 2002 benchmarking suite, is rapidly gaining acceptance amongst on line PC Hardware Test Publications.  PCMark 2002 is very simple to run, and produces repeatable results.  We ran their "CPU" and "Memory" performance modules, which incorporate the following tests:

CPU Test:

  • JPEG decompression

  • Zlib compression & decompression

  • Text search

  • MP3 Audio Conversion

  • 3D Vector Calculation

Memory Test Technical details: (Quoted)

Raw read, write, and read-modify-write operations are performed starting from a 3072 kilobytes array decreasing in size to 1536 KB, 384 KB, 48 KB and finally 6 KB. Each size of block is tested two second and the amount of accessed data is given as result. In the STL container test a list of 116 byte elements is constructed and sorted by an integer pseudo-random key. The list is then iterated through as many times as possible for 2 seconds and the total size of the accessed elements is given as result. There are 6 runs of this test, with 24576 items in the largest run corresponding to a total data amount of 1536 KB, decreasing in size to 12288 items (768 KB), 6144 items (384 KB), 1536 items (96 KB), 768 items (48 KB) and 96 items in the smallest run corresponding to 6 KB of total data.

The CPU score is in line with a single Athlon XP 2000+ processor.  PCMark 2002 is obviously not multithreaded.  If it was, the CPU score would have been much higher.  The Memory score may be a little lower than you're accustomed to seeing if you've read recent reviews of VIA KT333 based systems.  Our Abit AT7 system that we'll be using for reference numbers from this point forward scored over 3400 in this same test.

For the remainder is this review, we'll be comparing the dual Athlon MP 2000+ equipped MSI K7D Master to the Abit AT7, Abit's "Legacy Free" motherboard based on VIA's KT333 chipset using an Athlon XP 2100+.

CliBench MK III SMP 0.7.15
New Edition

Finding benchmarks that accurately demonstrate the benefits of an SMP system is no easy task.  Thankfully the gurus at 2CPU have found a few gems, one of which is CliBench.  CliBench is a benchmark suite, portions of which were self developed by Daemonware, while others are slightly modified versions of industry standard benchmarks. The "simple" CPU intensive tests clearly show the differences between architectures. CliBench is a small download (it will actually fit on a floppy), try it out for yourself and see how your personal rig compares to ours.  Users can check their CPU, FPU, memory and hard drive performance, and it is fully multithreaded, so you can easily check SMP systems with up to 128 processors!

The CliBench scores clearly show the Dual-CPU rig almost doubling the performance of the single CPU system in every test, with the exception Memory throughput.  When used in conjunction with quality PC2700 DDR RAM, the VIA KT333 really shines in the memory bandwidth department.

Flask MPEG Encoding (DivX)
SMP Capable

Flask MPEG is a Digital Video Stream conversion utility that takes a video of a certain file type, and converts it to another format. We took a 19MB MPEG 2 video clip (that made it's debut in Davo's 533Mhz. BUS P4 review) and converted it to DIVX format using the DIVX Pro 5.01 Codec. Here are the results.

Looking at the graph, it's obvious that Flask MPEG is capable of using the power of the second CPU installed in the MSI K7D Master.  Having the extra horsepower of a second CPU in the system resulted in roughly a 63% performance advantage for the Dual-CPU system.  In fact, at 33.56 FPS, the K7D Master with dual Athlon MP 2000+ CPUs outperformed the fastest single processor system we have ever tested here on HotHardware, a 2.53GHz. P4 with PC1066 RDRAM, by 31%,

The Stones, Quake 3 and the Rating


Tags:  MSI, Motherboard, MS, dual, SoC, 7D, socket, board, AR, K

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