Test Setup: Intel 530, 1 Gigabyte of Mushkin PC-2 5300 DDR2, HIS X800 XL iTurbo, Western Digital 250 GB, 8 megs cache, 7200 RPM
The onboard audio and network connections were used during the review to give an accurate measure of the overall performance and capabilities of the board. Regrettably, I do not have any SATA hard drives to test the SATA performance of this motherboard.
Test software will be:
- Although a synthetic benchmark, it's a popular one, freely available if you wish to make comparison benchmarks. We will be testing the CPU, MMX, and memory speeds, using the 32-bit 2004 version.
- We used a computation of 10000000 digits of Pi, Chudnovsky method, 1024 K FFT, and no disk memory. Note that lower scores are better, and times are in seconds.
- We used an Animatrix file, titled The Second Renaissance Part 1, and a WAV created from VirtualDub. The movie was then converted it into a DVD compliant MPEG-2 file with a bitrate of 5000. Times are in minutes, seconds, and lower is better.
CDeX - CDex was used to convert a 414MB Wav file to a 320kbs MP3. Times are in minutes:seconds, and lower is better.
Unreal Tournament 2004 - run at 640x480 with minimal detail to test CPU/Subsystem performance.
SiSoft Sandra 2005
This is one of those synthetic benchmarks, and a lot of people don't like synthetic benchmarks because they don't show “real world” performance. However, Sandra does provide a really good baseline comparison between systems and components, and as such, it is still a useful benchmark to use and include in reviews.
Lower times are better, as this is the total time it took to compute the specified number of digits. I don't know about you, but I think that 45.52 seconds is a pretty good time to compute ten million digits of PI. In comparison to most other reviews that use the P4, this is on par or slightly better. I wish that I had another PCI-Express board that I could use to give a comparison, however, this is not the case.
While the file we use isn't a really large file, doing a complete encoding of a video in 3 minutes and 14 seconds isn't too bad. This obviously scales up with the size of the video, but there are few computers currently available that would allow you to do video encoding and use the machine at the same time, so it isn't like you will be sitting there watching the progress bar move across the screen while you video encodes. All things considered, I believe that this time is fairly consistant with other similar systems, so once again, the Foxconn 925XE is right up there with everything else.