Articles: Mainboards

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Mainboards based on the same chipsets usually perform equally, as well. If we compare systems with mainboards on different chipsets, the performance difference may be pretty dramatic. It is especially interesting in comparisons like that to ensure extreme working conditions during overclocking. In this case you can clearly see the advantages and drawbacks of the mainboard and chipset.

At first we were going to compare the performance of ASUS P5N-D mainboard against some mainboard on Intel P35 Express during maximum overclocking of Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 CPU to 4.05-4.1GHz. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do it because of unstable overclocking performance of our ASUS P5N-D mainboard. Luckily, the mainboard turned out capable of working normally during overclocking to 400MHz FSB. Do not be surprised that I said “luckily” here. MSI P7N SLI Platinum, for instance, refused to work stably in the same conditions although it could overclock the CPU to much higher speeds. Looks like each Nvidia nForce 750i SLI mainboard has its own peculiarities.

We couldn’t set Command rate to 1T because in this case the system would very quickly report errors. We couldn’t do it for abit IP35 Pro either (we used this mainboard for comparison), although for a different reason. The mainboard worked perfectly fine with 1T Command Rate setting, but none of the utilities except MemSet saw it. All other utilities reported Command Rate of 2T. It was very easy to find out, who was right here: the performance of abit IP35 Pro remained the same at 1T. It meant that the setting indeed remained at 2T no matter what was set in the mainboard BIOS. abit IP35 Pro mainboard is known to overclock processors brilliantly, but when it comes to working with memory it yields to many other solutions out there. And we have once again seen proof of that.

So, we overclocked our Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 to 3.6GHz on both mainboards. The memory divider as set at 1:1, so it worked as DDR2 800 with 4-4-4-12-2T timings. Here are the obtained results:

We can see significant advantage ASUS P5N-D demonstrates in read speed and latency, however in other tests there is no advantage to be noticed. Overall, both boards are equally fast taking turns in taking the lead. Of course, Nvidia nForce 750i SLI based board will lose to an Intel P35 Express based one that can work with memory a little better than abit IP35 Pro and can adjust Performance Level parameter that affects the performance a lot.

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