abit AG8 - Page 7

..:: SiSoft SANDRA ::..

To start off today’s performance testing results, we’re going to cover SiSoftware’s SANDRA benchmarking suite. The first benchmark that we ran was to determine Arithmetic performance of the AG8 in comparison to Intel’s D925XCV and ABIT’s AA8-DuraMAX. For our Arithmetic results, we see that as far as ALU results go, the AG8 falls slightly behind both of our i925X motherboards. On the FPU end, Intel’s D925XCV is able to overtake the both the AG8 and AA8-DuraMAX, but surprisingly, the AG8 puts up a better FPU score than the AA8-DuraMAX, albeit a small margin. The next benchmark that we chose to run with was the Multimedia test. For our Multimedia results, we found the ABIT AG8 and AA8-DuraMAX besting Intel’s D925XCV for both ALU and FPU performance. Both the AG8 and AA8-DuraMAX put up identical scores for both ALU and FPU performance. Finally, we have the Memory benchmark which will give us a look at the system bandwidth offered by both motherboards. In this benchmark, the D925XCV has a pretty solid lead over the AA8-DuraMAX, and a stronger lead over the DDR-I powered AG8.

..:: MBReview PriBench ::..

Using our very own in-house benchmark, MBReview PriBench uses a computationally intensive algorithm to compute several hundred millions of prime integers. Unlike other synthetic benchmarks which rely on additional components within a computer system like the hard drive, PriBench does not rely on any of these exterior devices for the tests. PriBench is a system level benchmark, solely utilizing the performance of the processor and memory subsystem. It also focuses on comparing processor architectures and technologies and then seeing how much a core clock and/or FSB speed increase can be beneficial to the system. Our program is extremely accurate as we have witnessed time fluctuations of approximately .05 - .10 seconds.

On the PriBench front, we can see that both the ABIT AG8 and ABIT AA8-DuraMAX are able to outperform Intel’s D925XCV when it comes to heavy computations. This test resulted in a slightly surprising result. We found that the AG8 put up slightly better numbers than did the AA8-DuraMAX. Factoring in error, we see that as far as computation programs go, both the AA8-DuraMAX and AG8 are virtually equivalent boards. This result is surprising due to the AG8’s use of DDR-I, versus DDR-II for the AA8-DuraMAX which typically helps shave off a little time in PriBench. Solid performance is shown here by the AG8.

..:: ScienceMark 2.0 ::..

Next in line for our benchmarking results, we find ScienceMark 2.0. For this benchmarking suite, we decided to take a look at the performance results achieved with MemBench to analyze latency times as well as bandwidth. As we saw with the SANDRA results a little earlier, once again the Intel D925XCV is able to put up a better bandwidth score than both the ABIT AA8-DuraMAX and AG8. The AG8 falls behind by a similar margin that was found during our SANDRA testing, and was expected due to the use of DDR-I RAM. As far as the results we obtained for cycle and latency times, we found that the AA8-DuraMAX has ever so slight cycle lead over the D925XCV, though the AG8 falls behind both boards by a fair margin. The same can be said for the latency times, with the AG8 bringing up the rear.

..:: FutureMark 3DMark2003 ::..

The next benchmark that we’ll be covering from a gaming aspect is that of FutureMark’s 3DMark 2003. Much as I expected heading into this benchmark, we find the ABIT AA8-DuraMAX falling slightly behind the Intel D925XCV, with the AG8 putting up a score very close to that of the AA8-DuraMAX. With the advantage of more memory bandwidth, the Intel D925XCV and AA8-DuraMAX will put up slightly better numbers than the ABIT AG8 for all of the FPS oriented benchmarks. I was actually expecting to see the AG8 fall behind by a larger margin than what we experienced, which is certainly a good sign for things to come.

..:: AquaMark 3.0 ::..

To start off the gaming related synthetic benchmarks, we’re going to cover results that we attained from AquaMark 3.0. This is a gorgeous benchmark and can place some serious strain on any system. For our benchmarking purposes, we ran the default test at 1024 x 768 x 32 with no anti-aliasing or anisotropic filtering enabled. As far as these results go, much as we expected, the AA8-DuraMAX falls ever so slightly behind Intel’s D925XCV, and once again the AG8 brings up the rear. The D925XCV is able to put up a score roughly one frame per second better than the AA8-DuraMAX, and the AA8-DuraMAX have a 1.6 frame lead over the AG8. These measurements fall right in line with what I 3was expecting based on earlier results.

..:: Quake III Arena ::..

The next of our gaming oriented benchmarks is the famed Quake III Arena. In order to remove any sort of graphics bottleneck from our results, we chose to go with the standard 640 x 480 resolution for our tests. As far as QIIIA performance goes, the AG8 falls behind both the D925XCV and the AA8-DuraMAx by roughly 5%. This benchmark helps show the minor advantage of DDR-II, and of the improved memory bandwidth capabilities of the i925X chipset. When these two small enhancements are factored in, we get the typical 5% gain in performance versus an older memory type, or lower end chipset offering. These results are exactly what I expected to find with the AG8.

..:: Unreal Tournament 2003 ::..

The last benchmark for the day, Unreal Tournament 2003, shows us some very interesting results. For this test, we once again ran the benchmark in 640 x 480 mode in order take the graphics card out of the equation as far as results go. In both sets of results above, we once again see the Intel D925XCV overtake the ABIT AA8-DuraMAX and AG8. Once again, the performance difference between these boards is quite small, less than what we found with Quake III Arena which bodes well for the AG8. The AG8 only falls behind in these benchmarks by 2.8% - 3.2%. I was expecting to see the AG8 fall behind by a little more in UT2003, so seeing it keep up this well with the i925X boards impressed me.

In the end the ABIT AA8-AG8 is able to keep up nicely with both Intel’s D925XCV and ABIT’s own AA8-DuraMAX. Given the fact that the AG8 is based off of the i915P chipset which doesn’t utilize the memory bandwidth enhancements found in the i925X, and the fact it only uses DDR-I, I was quite impressed with the performance that ABIT has offered. In all of the benchmark’s the largest lead we saw the i925X motherboards put up over the AG8 was 5%, and that was in Quake III, a benchmark which is well known for it’s highly optimized support of Pentium 4 processors. Otherwise, we only saw a performance drop in the 3% range, a percentage that buyers should take note of. The i925X has failed to impress us, and once again we see that a cheaper motherboard using regular DDR-I and i915P will offer nearly identical performance. Why go out and buy an i925X motherboard, and purchase DDR-II for a whole 3%. It all comes down to the features, but on a performance level, you can’t really beat a solid i915P option as we have seen here today.