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| Benchmarks and Comparisons Continued... |
| DirectX and The Winstones... |
Our next set of tests will focus more on real-world tests, stressing the systems capabilities to run business applications and multimedia intensive programs. First up, Business Winstone 2001.
Business Winstone 2001:
Below is the description from the etestinglabs website of how Business Winstone 2001 tests a systems performance.
"Business Winstone is a system-level, application-based benchmark that measures a PC's overall performance when running today's top-selling Windows-based 32-bit applications on Windows 98 SE, Windows NT 4.0 (SP6 or later), Windows 2000, Windows Me, or Windows XP. Business Winstone doesn't mimic what these packages do; it runs real applications through a series of scripted activities and uses the time a PC takes to complete those activities to produce its performance scores. The CD-ROM that contains Business Winstone includes all the files and application portions you need to run the benchmark."
The Shuttle AK35GT2/R did a fine job with Business Winstone 2001, handling the stress quite well. We were pleased to see how the Shuttle board was able to surge past the more expensive MSI system. Let's here it for the KT266A system though, it held its own pretty well against the two high profile motherboard.
Now let's take a look at Content Creation Winstone 2002.
Content Creation Winstone 2002:
Below is the description from the etestinglabs website of how Content Creation Winstone 2002 tests a systems performance.
"Content Creation Winstone is a system-level, application-based benchmark that measures a PC's overall performance when running top, Windows-based, 32-bit, content creation applications on Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows Me, or Windows XP. Content Creation Winstone 2002 uses the following applications:
Adobe Photoshop 6.0.1
Adobe Premiere 6.0
Macromedia Director 8.5
Macromedia Dreamweaver UltraDev 4
Microsoft Windows Media Encoder 7.01.00.3055
Netscape Navigator 6/6.01
Sonic Foundry Sound Forge 5.0c (build 184)
Following the lead of real users, Content Creation Winstone 2002 keeps multiple applications open at once and switches among those applications. Content Creation Winstone 2002 is a single large test that runs the above applications through a series of scripted activities and returns a single score. Those activities focus on what we call "hot spots," periods of activity that make your PC really work--the times where you're likely to see an hourglass or a progress bar."
With Content Creation 2002, it was a very close race between the two KT333 based systems, handing us a virtual dead heat. Once again, the KT266A test system surprised us with a solid performance, coming within less than a point of the Shuttle boards score.
Back when we reviewed the original version of this board, the AK35GTR, we were thoroughly impressed with its overall quality, performance and overclocking ability. This time around with the newer AK35GT2/R, we still have that same feeling. Essentially the same system with a newer chipset, the AK35GT2/R continued to show impressive scores throughout the testing of the board, often equaling or exceeding the performance of the more expensive MSI KT3 Ultra ARU.
If one thing is certain, the KT333 is a step in the right direction, but there is no reason to replace your KT266A based board just yet. While the performance shows a marked improvement, I doubt most people would feel the difference in everyday use. However, for those of you looking to make a major upgrade from something pre-KT266A, this motherboard would be a wise choice. The AK35GT2/R is a prime motherboard for those of you who more concerned with quality and performance rather than having the prettiest motherboard on the block. This is a motherboard that is all substance and nothing else, focusing on stability and performance. We've seen this board selling on the web for around $90, an excellent price for what you get. It is difficult to believe that anyone would be disappointed with the AK35GT2/R.
After completing the review of the AK35GT2/R, we see little reason why we shouldn't give it the same score as the original AK35GTR. Although we would've like to see the continued use of active cooling on the chipset, the system is well designed, offering the user exactly what they want, performance, stability and excellent overclockability.
We give the Shuttle AK35GT2/R motherboard a Hot Hardware Heat Meter Rating of a 9.
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