MSI P6N Diamond - NV680i with X-Fi Audio

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Gaming Benchmarks


For our first gaming test, we benchmarked the test systems using a custom single-player Quake 4 timedemo, then we set them loose on F.E.A.R. Normally, for motherboard reviews, we like to see how the boards run at very low resolutions with all the bells and whistles turned off, to make the game runs as CPU dependent as possible.

Performance Comparisons w ith Quake 4

Quake 4
id Software, in conjunction with developer Raven, recently released the latest addition to the wildly popular Quake franchise, Quake 4. Quake 4 is based upon an updated and slightly modified version of the Doom 3 engine, and as such performance characteristics between the two titles are very similar.  Like Doom 3, Quake 4 is also an OpenGL game that uses extremely high-detailed textures and a ton of dynamic lighting and shadows, but unlike Doom3, Quake 4 features some outdoor environments as well. 


It's in the gaming benchmarks that we saw the greatest variety in performance, typically with the MSI P6N Diamond leading the way, and then by a decent margin.  In Quake 4, for example, the fastest average frame rate was 155.1 frames per second, 4 frames faster than the P965 Platinum, and nearly 8 frames faster than the Asus P5B-E resulting in a 5% increase in gaming performance.

Performance Comparisons with F.E.A.R
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One of the most highly anticipated titles of 2005 was Monolith's paranormal thriller F.E.A.R. Taking a look at the minimum system requirements, we see that you will need at least a 1.7GHz Pentium 4 with 512MB of system memory and a 64MB graphics card, that is a Radeon 9000 or GeForce4 Ti-class or better, to adequately run the game. Using the full retail release of the game patched to v1.08, we put the graphics cards in this review through their paces to see how they fared with this popular title.


After the good showing in Quake 4, we anticipated another victory for the P6N Diamond in F.E.A.R. performance testing.  What we didn't expect, however, was that the difference would once again be as vast; again nearly posting a 5% delta over both the P965 boards.

Tags:  MSI, Audi, Audio, X-Fi, MS, diamond, 680, AM

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