Gaming Performance

Gaming Performance

Gaming Performance

Gaming Performance

Gaming Performance

Gaming Performance

Gaming Performance

Gaming Performance

We tested with our standard group of game tests, which includes Aquamark 3, Far Cry, Doom 3, and Wolfenstein-Enemy Territory. Only tests run with the 7800GTX with 81.8x drivers were included. In some cases, we retested with this card and the 81.8x drivers to make sure that our results could be reasonably compared. We did not test with Half-Life 2 since the recent updates to Steam have caused all the benchmarks we have available to stop working. We are looking for a new HL2 benchmark that is compatible with the latest Steam version.

We also ran benchmarks with three new games: Quake 4, Splinter Cell - Chaos Theory, and F.E.A.R. The Asus A8R-MVP was at or near the top in every game test, both our standard suite and the newest game tests. This was frankly a bit surprising, since we just recently found top gaming performance with the Asus A8N32-SLI, based on the new NVIDIA Dual x16 chipset.

Results with the ATI X1800XT on the Asus A8R-MVP were very intersting. THe X1800XT was either tops or matched results in all games not based on Open GL engines. In games base on Open GL, like Quake 4 and Doom 3, the new 5.11 driver has made up most, by not quite all, of the performance advantage perviously held by the nVidia 7800GTX. Keep in mind that these results are our standard tests, with AA and AF turned off if possible. We have found that as soon as AA and AF are turned on the X1800XT is tops even in Open GL compared to the 7800GTX.

Graphics Performance and Encoding Overclocking Comparisons
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  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - link

    Theoretically nVidia SLI can run on ATI crossfire without much trouble. We have tested hacked drivers that do just this and it appears to work fine. However, until nVidia allows Crossifire board operation in their video drivers it is officially not supported. The same goes for ATI Crossfire on nVidia - ATI has to support it in their drivers. Single video cards are supported on all platforms.

    As for avaialability of X1800XT, our video reviewer received a review sample about 6 weeks ago, but we have not seen another X1800XT from ATI. The X1800XT was to be available for sale November 5. ATI tells us daily there are none available for sampling, but we can expect a unit for motherboard testing "very soon".

    Reply
  • shabby - Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - link

    Geez if your having this much trouble getting a x1800xt i wonder when you'll recieve the crossfire ones. Reply
  • Schro - Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - link

    Has Asus stated the general availability date of the board? The only vendor that I can find with it listed is ZZF @ $199 for a pre-order, which is certainly not a mainstream price. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, November 24, 2005 - link

    I just did a search on Google's Froogle at http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=A8R-MVP+&b...">http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=A8R...;btnG=Se.... There are 4 listings for the A8R-MVP - buy.com for $104.99, Computer Brain for $108.21, PC & Stuff for $115.94, and PCSuperDeals for $119.15. These prices are very much in line with what Asus projected - in fact they are even better. A Crossfire motherboard with these features for $105 is a terrific value. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - link

    We confirmed final pricing with Asus yesterday. They told us the board should sell initially in the $115 to $125 range. Obviously a new board, a good review and limited availability drive up the price in capitalism. Asus confirmed last evening the boards have shipped from Taiwan to US e-tailers and should begin appearing for sale Friday or Monday (November 25th or 28th). Reply
  • Live - Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - link

    This board is listed for pre-order from several e-tailers here in Europe at just the price range ASUS is suggesting. Reply
  • Calin - Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - link

    it's nowhere near the $100-$125 suggested by the article... but the price will fall when availability increases Reply
  • OrSin - Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - link

    Poster before me hit it right on the head. My next motherboard will most likely be one of these ATI boards but it seems this was fluck to me. I guess we can wait for other sites to seee if they get similar results. Reply
  • poohbear - Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - link

    excuse me, great review, but when presuming that this board is not a fluke u state:

    "based on the Asus expectations being set very low for this board, and the genuine surprise that Asus expressed when we reported our results, I would venture to say that what we found is not a fluke."

    how are the 2 aforementioned reasons related to it NOT being a fluke? i was a bit confused reading that. if a mobo manufacturer's expectations are low, and then they're surprised, would'nt that mean that this mobo might on the contrary, be a fluke?
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - link

    I receive some emails complaining that I must receive "Cherry" motherboards for testing since my OC results are so high. Of course, part of my success is due to being a long-term overclocker, and overall my results have not noramlly been that different than what other experienced overclockers found on retail boards.

    In this case Asus positioned this as a mainstream board and advised us the board was not positioned as a top overclocker. The ATI Crossfire chipset is an outstanding overclocker and I believe this board, with the design efforts of a talented design team turned out to be a surprising overclocker and that retail boards will also. I really don't think Asus as a company considered that this might be a top overclocker, but certainly someone in Asus design did consider this with the BIOS options that are available.

    The first BIOS was not particularly good for overclocking, but version 2 and 3 are outstanding. We have seem many manufacturers, even tier 1, design boards for overclockers that were mediocre in performance. We have also seen boards that had a solid design but no great OC credentials rise to the top as a great overclocker. In fact, Asus has had a number of this type of "wolf in sheep's clothing" boards over the past few years.

    Reply

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