Performance in Archiving and Encoding Applications
The speed of data compression algorithms largely depends on the memory controller. That’s why we see the same results as in the tests of the memory subsystem.
Nothing changes in the video encoding test. The i865PE-based ASUS P4P800 is on top, followed by the PT880-based Soltek mainboard.
Performance in 3D Modeling Tasks
There is only one surprise here. When rendering lighting through the OpenGL driver, the mainboard on the VIA chipsets suddenly shows high performance. In other tests, all three platforms are nearly equal.
The main thing we’ve learned in this review is the fact that you shouldn’t shun alternative dual-channel chipsets. VIA and SiS are offering quite adequate products, which don’t excel Intel’s chipsets, but don’t look hopeless losers in comparison, either. VIA PT880 and SiS655FX have about the same set of characteristics as Intel 865PE, and only slightly lose to it in performance. In most cases, you’ll see a performance difference of 1-2% comparing the alternative chipsets to the i865PE. Meanwhile, mainboards on the Taiwanese chipsets come at lower prices than i865PE/i875P-based products. Thus, the new chipsets from VIA and SiS – the PT880 and SiS655FX – may suit well for a majority of mass users.
However, there are some problems with them, mostly related to overclocking. Although VIA and SiS implemented asynchronous and FSB-independent clocking of AGP and PCI buses in their new chipsets, something prevents mainboards on these chipsets from overclocking smoothly. The overclocking results we’ve got with ASUS P4S800D and Soltek SL-PT880Pro-FGR are much lower than those shown by i865PE/875P-based mainboards.
The particular products on those chipsets, will surely find their customer. The ASUS mainboard has a limited functionality, but an appealing price, even though ASUS mainboards are traditionally costly. Soltek endowed its SL-PT880Pro-FGR with numerous characteristics, still keeping the price low, but the PCB design of this mainboard is not quite user-friendly.
Overall, both these mainboards are worth taking a look at: their highs make up completely for their lows!