VIA P4PB Ultra Motherboard Review

The VIA P4PB Ultra Motherboard Review - Page 3


The VIA P4PB Ultra Motherboard Review
Intent on Total System Performance for the P4

By Robert Maloney
March 19th, 2003


Benchmarks and Comparisons
Back to the Futuremark

Futuremark's 3DMark 2001:

To get another look at a synthetic score, we chose Futuremark's 3DMark 2001 SE.  It generates an overall score, after rendering scenes and measuring performance using the MaxFX game engine, found in Remedy's popular game Max Payne.  We ran two series of tests on each configuration, once at 800x600 with 32-bit color and again at 1024x768x32, both times with all other program settings left at their defaults. 


There's a lot to talk about here, so let's get to it.  At stock speed and using DDR333 settings, the VIA P4PB falls right in between the two Intel-based boards we used as reference.  It's better than the MSI board, yet not as good as the Gigabyte board, which was one of the best 845PE boards we have tested.  When we went to using DDR400, instead of the "overall performance increase" we mentioned earlier, the numbers actually took a nosedive, dropping 600 points or so, a 4% decrease in performance.  This score turned out to be the lowest out of any we obtained.  Going back to DDR333, and then overclocking the system to 150MHz for the front side bus, we pushed the 3DMark score up and over the 15,000 barrier.

At the higher resolution setting of 1024X768, the gaps were narrower, with the Gigabyte board just nudging past the VIA board, who in turn beat out the MSI board once again.  Unfortunately for the VIA P4PB, going up to DDR400 cost it some points again, and wound up with the lowest score on the chart.  Back to overclocking, the score jumped from 12,605 up to 13,341, a change of almost 6%.

Futuremark's PCMark2002:

Another test from Futuremark that we use here at HotHardware is PCMark 2002. This test performs a series of CPU tasks such as image compression, text searches, and audio conversion to give us three scores: CPU, Memory, and Hard Disk Drive (HDD).   It is a relatively quick process for comparing the performance of two or more systems.  We ran PCMark 2002 at 133MHz FSB with both memory timings, and then ran another set after getting a stable overclock at 150MHz.  Since there wasn't much to be garnered from the Hard drive module, we have only included the CPU and Memory tests.

The VIA P4PB Ultra put up another good showing in the CPU module, only taken by the Gigabyte 8PE667 by a mere 9 points, which is completely negligible.  Even this score suffers, although very slightly, when the memory speed is raised to 400MHz.  On a good note, the DDR400 score was still better than the MSI 845PE, which placed last overall.  Overclocking the system gave us the all-important performance boost that geeks like us love.

In the Memory module, the VIA board got beat pretty handily regardless of whether it was using DDR333 or DDR400.  The drop-off from switching between the two was 329 points, which was down between 5 and 6 percent from the original score.  This may be another case where running memory asynchronous to the CPU just doesn't add up to better performance.

Some gaming scores

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