Socket 939 Motherboard Roundup: ABIT, MSI, Gigabyte
Business & Content Creation Winstones
Synthetic benchmarks and games only tell part of the performance story, so we took all four of these Socket 939 boards to task in some "real-world" scenarios, as well. For our first set of real-world tests, we did some benchmarking with Ziff Davis' Business Winstone 2004 suite, followed by the more demanding Content Creation Winstone 2004 suite.
The PC Magazine Business Winstone 2004 test utilizes the following applications in its benchmark.
- Microsoft Access 2002
- Microsoft Excel 2002
- Microsoft FrontPage 2002
- Microsoft Outlook 2002
- Microsoft PowerPoint 2002
- Microsoft Project 2002
- Microsoft Word 2002
- Norton Antivirus Professional Edition 2003
- WinZip 8.1
Unlike all of the other benchmarks we ran, Business Winstone 2004 indicates the nForce3-based motherboards are clearly faster than the K8T800 Pros. The Gigabyte K8NSNXP-939 and MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum finished within a fraction of a point of one another, followed by the K8T and ABIT AV8. In this test, the nForce3s were about 7.3% faster than K8T800 Pros.
The PC Magazine Content Creation Winstone 2004 test utilizes the following applications in its benchmark.
- Adobe Photoshop 7.0.1
- Adobe Premiere 6.50
- Macromedia Director MX 9.0
- Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 6.1
- Microsoft Windows Media Encoder 9 Version 9.00.00.2980
- NewTek's LightWave 3D 7.5b
- Steinberg WaveLab 4.0f
The Content Creation Winstone 2004 tests also show the nForce3-powered motherboards having a clear performance lead over the K8T800 Pro-based boards. In this benchmark, the MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum came out on top followed very closely by the Gigabyte K8NSNXP-939. Those two boards posted scores about 1.4 points higher than the K8T800 Pro-powered MSI K8T Neo2-FIR and ABIT AV8; about a 4.1% lead for the nForce3s.