NF4 Ultra Shoot-Out: Abit vs. MSI vs. ECS
PCMark04: CPU & Memory
For our next round of synthetic benchmarks, we ran the CPU and Memory performance modules built into Futuremark's PCMark04 (PCMark05 Pro will be incorporated into future articles). For those interested in more than just the graphs, we've got a couple of quotes directly from Futuremark that explain exactly what these tests do, and how they work.
"The CPU test suite is a collection of tests that are run to isolate the performance of the CPU. There are nine tests in all. Two pairs of tests are run multithreaded - each test in the pair is run in its own thread. The remaining five tests are run single threaded. These tests include such functions as file encryption, decryption, compression and decompression, grammar check, audio conversion, WMV and DivX video compression."
The Abit Fatal1ty scored slightly higher than either the MSI or the ECS motherboards in this test, but the performance delta separating the three boards in this round-up was just a shade over 50 points. That equated to less than a 2% differential, which is standard deviation for this test.
"The Memory test suite is a collection of tests that isolate the performance of the memory subsystem. The memory subsystem consists of various devices on the PC. This includes the main memory, the CPU internal cache (known as the L1 cache) and the external cache (known as the L2 cache). As it is difficult to find applications that only stress the memory, we explicitly developed a set of tests geared for this purpose. The tests are written in C++ and assembly. They include: Reading data blocks from memory, Writing data blocks to memory performing copy operations on data blocks, random access to data items and latency testing."
PCMark04's memory performance module reported results that mirrored the CPU test. The Abit Fatal1ty AN8 came in with the higher score of the three motherboards we're showcasing here, followed by the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum and then the ECS KN1 Extreme. The 43 points separating the three board, however, is very small and falls within the margin of error in this test.