Now let’s find out how well the mainboards will cope with more up-to-date games, such as X2: The Threat and Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness. The peculiar thing about these games is that they transfer pretty big data packs along the AGP bus, and this is where we can actually see the advantages of the HyperTransport bus used in VIA K8T800 based mainboards.
As we have expected, faster HyperTransport bus used to connect the chipset and the CPU on VIA K8T800 based mainboards determines the performance results. You can easily notice that all NVIDIA nForce3 150 based mainboards are slower this time. Among the products based on VIA K8T800 the first prize was won by Gigabyte GA-K8VT800 and Soltek SL-K8AV2-RL.
Now let’s check the mainboards performance in office and content creation applications, which we will measure in the popular Winstone test package.
Here the situation changes and the best performance results now belong to NVIDIA nForce3 150 based products. The mainboards on NVIDIA chipset owe this great success to a faster IDE controller and a much better optimized driver, than the VIA’s one. At the same time, I have to draw once again your attention to the fact that these tests were all performed with an ATA/133 hard disk drive. SerialATA-150 RAID controller integrated into the VIA K8T800 chipset is much more efficient and if we had a SerialATA hard disk drive installed in our testbed, the results of VIA K8T800 based boards would undoubtedly be much higher. However, nForce3 150 doesn’t support SerialATA at all therefore, we had to use an ATA/133 HDD to make it a fair competition. As for the performance of individual products, the best results in Busineess Winstone 2002 and Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2003 were demonstrated by Chaintech and Gigabyte mainboards on nForce3 150.