We can't tell the whole
story with synthetic benchmarks alone. Next up,
we'll move on to some gaming and "real world" tests.
First, we ran time demos with Quake 3 Arena v1.17
(Demo001), set to the
"Fastest" video settings, at a low resolution
(640x480x16) to isolate
Some OpenGL Performance
This is the
Benchmark that never ends!
QUAKE 3 ARENA:
These results speak
for themselves. The P4X266A powered P4XB
simply dominated in the low-res Quake 3 tests with
a 30 FPS lead over the i845. VIA's advantage in this test
can be directly attributed to the increased memory
bandwidth and very efficient memory controller of the P4X266A.
More of the Good
We also ran ZD
Labs' Business Winstone and Content Creation Winstone
benchmarks on the P4XB. If your interested in
knowing exactly what this test consists of, I'll quote
ZD's eTestingLabs website:
"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."
In the Business Winstone
tests, the VIA P4XB holds only a slight performance
lead over the i845. The "office type"
applications used in this test don't necessarily tax a
powerful system though, which is why we don't see a
huge performance difference here from one
platform to the next. Let's move on to
something a little more intense, shall we?
test, we again see the i845 system bested by the VIA
P4XB, but this time by a considerable margin of about
The P4X266A coupled with a high-end Pentium 4 makes
for a very powerful system. Throughout our
battery of tests, the P4XB was a top-notch performer
and didn't exhibit any instability whatsoever during
VIA has long been a major player in the chipset game,
marketing and selling their own branded motherboards
is a new endeavor. If the stability, quality and
performance of the P4XB is indicative of the other
motherboards in VIA's lineup, they are off to a very
fine start. A little bird tells us that VIA
themselves may not be actually manufacturing these
boards, but rumor has it a very respected OEM has
taken on the responsibility. In every benchmark we threw at it,
the P4XB performed very well. Even when we
experimented with a variety of aggressive memory
timings and overclocked the system over the 2GHz.
mark, the VIA P4XB remained stable. We had to
max out the voltage and overclock our CPU higher than
it had ever been, before we had a single "crash".
VIA has done an excellent job with the P4XB and the
P4X266A chipset powering it. We
would recommend this board to anyone looking to build
a Pentium 4 powered system. Based on it's
excellent performance, stability and very affordable
price (around $90 USD as of this writing), we give the VIA P4XB a HotHardware Heat Meter
rating of 8.5...
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