Articles: Mainboards

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Now we should compare the performance on mainboards built on two different chipsets. We are going to compare the performance of our Asus P5QL-E against that of Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6 mainboard. Of course, this is far not a standard Intel P45 Express based solution, but it overclocks processors very well, and works with DDR2 memory, too.

As far as we know, systems based on Intel P45 Express and Intel P43 Express and otherwise alike perform identically in nominal mode. However, we have come across situations when one of the equally performing systems would fall far behind the other during overclocking. We already know that Intel P43 Express based board is hopelessly behind the rival in processor and memory overclocking. But will it also be slower during identical overclocking?

Since we have to take the potential of Asus P5QL-E mainboard as a starting point, we overclocked our dual-core Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 processor to 415MHz FSB, i.e. to 3735MHz. The memory was working at 830MHz with 4-4-4-12 timings. Performance Level was set to 8. We tried synchronizing all other additional memory timings, however, some settings still differed and, surprisingly, not in Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6’s favor. Looks like this as well as numerous memory performance optimizations made in the mainboard BIOS were the reasons why Asus P5QL-E outperformed its competitor in almost all tests:

Of course, these results do not state that Intel P43 Express based boards are better than Intel P45 Express based ones in general, or that Asus P5QL-E is faster than Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6 in particular. Remember that Asus board showed all it got: maximum CPU overclocking, maximum stable memory frequency with minimal timings and enabled optimizations. At the same time, Gigabyte mainboard wasn’t allowed to overclock the processor or the memory to their maximum, it was limited to far not the most favorable conditions, so that we could call it a fair competition for Asus P5QL-E. These numbers are not the most important thing for us here. What is important, it is the fact that Intel P43 Express based mainboards do not really yield to Intel P45 Express based ones.

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