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  • tribbleva - Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - link

    Every single one of these MBs has a fan on the NB... where are the passively cooled mobos? The last thing I want is one or TWO more tiny fans just on the mobo to worry about failing... Reply
  • Zebo - Friday, July 22, 2005 - link

    "someof you take Anandtech's word as the word of GOD"

    It's as close as you can get without dying.:)
    Reply
  • Zebo - Friday, July 22, 2005 - link

    Viper - You should come inside the forums for specfic help.. Reply
  • dg3274 - Saturday, July 16, 2005 - link

    The article states that the Abit board has a problem with 1:1 overclocking. I disagree. I think the problem is that it does not provide enough ram voltage to run the RAM at high 1:1 FSB. 2.8 volts is not enough to run ANY ram much higher than 280 or so FSB. Reply
  • Viper4185 - Thursday, July 14, 2005 - link

    No one wants to help me with my n00b questions :( Reply
  • Marcel - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    #67 I must be a little a slow …

    In the test “Maximun CPU Clock ( Lower Multiplier )”

    For Chaintec, Abit, etc you use the multiplier in “11”, and only for Epox and DFI you use the multiplier in “9”, then you show a diagram with nothing more than the fsb.
    http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/nf4%20ultra%20r...

    The first question is WHY ?? there is no explanation for use different multiplier in the review. Not some guys, but ALL ones have better result in chaintec and abit with a lower multiplier.
    Reply
  • TheGlassman - Monday, July 11, 2005 - link

    Thanks Wesley, I did find you had checked HTT, and as I stated in my last post I don't understand what the problem was. But the deeper I looked into the review, the better job you seemed to have done, so sorry if I impied you didn't try very hard.
    DFI has a dual core (beta) bios available, dated 6-23-05
    Epox has a dual core (release) bios available, dated 6-29-05
    These were not used in testing.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, July 11, 2005 - link

    #59 and #60 - One of the first articles I did a couple of years ago about Athlon 64 was how to overclock by manipulating HTT frequencies. I ALWAYS test manual HTT dividers I know should work for certain 1:1 memory clocks as well as Auto HTT if it is an available option.

    #58 - I was very CLEAR in the review that I tested with the BIOS that would allow the X2 A64 to work. We did check each board with an X2. That is the ONLY reason we tested and used very recent Beta BIOS'. Also there are 2 other very recent Chaintech reviews at other websites who had test results almost equal to what I found on the Chaintech, so there are at least 2 other Chaintechs loose with less than stirring overclocking. In the end, as I stated in the review, the Chaintech is a decent board, but at about the same price as the Epox, with poorer overclocking results, it was hard to give it an Editor's Choice this time around. The results found in this roundup should remove anyone's concern that we get cherry boards from manufacturers. I am a good overclocker, and very experienced in air overclocking and memory overclocking. What I got from these boards on air is all they could do with the TCCD memory that is all but standard test memory for motherboards these days. The capabilities of the memory we used is also well known and I tweaked for TCCD if settings were available if the board was not doing well at stock memory settings and our normal test timings.

    I am really pleased some of you experienced better performance than I did with the Chaintech and Abit boards, but I can only report what I actually found in my tests. I don't think you come to AnandTech for a survey of what other websites or Forums found, because I find overclockers are notorious at exagerrating what they can reach with overclocks. We try to provide a consisten test environment for overclocking that will give repeatable overclocking results. Results, of course, always vary board to board, but having said that, OC results are usually pretty consistent on better boards from sample to sample.
    Reply
  • lefenzy - Saturday, July 09, 2005 - link

    Sorry, wrong link. that one was for the SLI version.

    http://www.foxconnchannel.com/productsDownload_mot...
    Reply
  • lefenzy - Saturday, July 09, 2005 - link

    Foxconn has a BIOS release that allow for multiplier adjustment.

    http://www.foxconnchannel.com/productsDownload_mot...

    Reply
  • ChineseDemocracyGNR - Saturday, July 09, 2005 - link

    "If you looking to save even more money, the 9NPA, based on the nForce4 x4 chipset, has a street price of around $90. You give up the SATA 2 support and 1000 bus, but most of the performance features are still available in the same basic motherboard. "

    I think you're talking about the 9NPAJ motherboard, which uses the nForce4 chipset and supports "2.0 GTs HT FSB".
    Reply
  • truteck - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    Regarding the post from ChineseDemocracyGNR on: Jul 9, 2005 3:19 PM
    Quoting statement from Anandtech's reviewer:
    "If you looking to save even more money, the 9NPA, based on the nForce4 x4 chipset, has a street price of around $90. You give up the SATA 2 support and 1000 bus, but most of the performance features are still available in the same basic motherboard. "
    -------------------

    ChineseDemocracyGNR:

    I think you're talking about the 9NPAJ motherboard, which uses the nForce4 chipset and supports "2.0 GTs HT FSB".

    -------------------
    I agree with ChineseDemocracyGNR! To AnandTech:
    No disrespect intended!
    "Sorry to say, but i believe your statement is wrong".
    The Epox Model # EP-9NPA+Ultra MoBo does support Sata-2 drives.
    I don't know where you got that incorrect info.
    Also, i'm not sure what you are refering too about your other statement about "giving up 1000 bus"? It supports 2000 bus.

    T_T
    Reply
  • TheGlassman - Saturday, July 09, 2005 - link

    HTT's multi's were listed in the review.
    I have confirmed that the Chaintech's 6-03 bios overclocks just fine with single core cpu's.
    Phiro, I understand your point, and it is a good one.
    For me Anandtech reviews are one of my primary tools for deciding what hardware to buy. I think it is the same for a lot of people. Anandtech has earned this trust. That is why this review is disturbing. The results do not match my experience. You might notice in my previous posts, that I have followed false trails trying to figure out why. I cannot explain why the Chaintech board (and others with experience with other boards) performed so poorly in overclocking.
    The reason this is imoportant is that the final ratings follow the philosophy stated in the beginning, that a better overclocker is a better board, because the actual performance at stock speeds is equal.The application testing bore this out.
    Us 'bleeding edge" guys are well aware of how very small changes can make a big difference in performance. The fact that the award winners were using bios's not available to the public ( I have just now rechecked) that are dated a few days after their most recent bios, (for dfi, a beta which carries no warrantee support, their last release bios (the one that will be on the board you buy) is dated in March), throws the final results into doubt. In other words they appear to be special bioses for this test.
    In the past, Anandtech has been very forthcoming when using a beta bios, explaining why, and stating that the board maker will make it available, or the included features available in a release bios. This was not done, they were not even labeled as beta's.
    When Anandtech labels a board as an award winner, it is giving it's seal of approval, that people such as your self and myself will factor in when making a buying decision. The truth is under your criteria, any of these boards will serve you very well. From the application tests, your decision should be based on a) a good match to your programs, b)features you need or think you may need, and c) price. Anandtech's recommendation is irrelevant.
    Anandtech's "forum-bleeding edge" audience is larger than you assume in your estimate. The fact that you are looking at an nVidia board at all says you are very involved in you purchasing decisions, other wise you would let some one else handle it for you. "gimme something that works" would be your involvement.
    Anand awards have been given to 2 boards that you cannot buy, or so far even upgrade, to "as tested".
    Speaking for myself, computer hardware is hard to keep up with, and losing a rock like Anandtech will be a great loss. I hope that will not happen, but excellent sites do fall by the wayside if they slip too far.
    Reply
  • Phiro - Friday, July 08, 2005 - link

    I think Anandtech has their audience nailed down about 80% of the time - their one flaw is listening to their forums a little too much IMO.

    Too many people have posted "oh what a dumb review we already bought our motherboards blah blah blah" - a GOOD example of not listening to the forums. If you're posting on the forums, you've probably been here for some time and you're in that 1% of computer users who qualify as "bleeding edge". Anandtech doesn't want to constantly address just the bleeding edge audience - as fun as you can be, you're 1% of the market, and for every right decision you make, you make wrong decisions.

    To rip on Anandtech a little bit though, they do listen too much to the forum overclockers. The vast majority of users have NO interest in overclocking. 4% higher framerates isn't worth goofing around with voltages and installing a water cooling system.
    Reply
  • arswihart - Friday, July 08, 2005 - link

    I think its funny that so many people are now like, "Epox is the best" "they OC the best" "I'm gonna get one of those Epox NF4 boards that Anandtech reviewed". I have told you for months that Epox is nice, and to get the 9npa+, and great reviews have been floating around for a long while now. someof you take Anandtech's word as the word of GOD. That is hilarious and I guess its to be expected out of the mainstream audience that reads Anandtech.

    About the 9npa+ and 9npa SLI, OFFICIAL dual-core BIOS's were just released today by Epox. Enjoy.
    Reply
  • TheGlassman - Friday, July 08, 2005 - link

    Good question. It could explain the problems experienced with most of the boards. The chipset will run well over 1000 with no problem, but 1200ish will cause the boards various problems, usually a reset to a safe mode.
    Reply
  • Peanya - Thursday, July 07, 2005 - link

    Hmm I wonder if they tried a 3x LDT multiplier on some of those boards. I'm thinking that's why the Abit wouldn't get past 250MHz. I've not only seen reviewers get well past there, but many users. Some brands automatically lower the LDT for you, whereas some do not. Was this taken into consideration? Reply
  • AtaStrumf - Thursday, July 07, 2005 - link

    MOBOs have always been messy things to test, debug etc. The thing I hate most is changing the MOBO, because there are so many possible problems associated with it.

    I do have one HUGE gripe with this roundup. You chose to test DFI's non SLI board as a control for SLI/Ultra boards, but that happens to be the worst possible choice. Why? Because, as you pointed out yourself, that is exactly THE SAME board, with just one pin on the chipset shorted/cut. For control you should have tested the worst case scenario, like a physically different board (just one PCIe 8x/different layout, feature set) possibly a newer revision. This brings us to the biggest problem with this kinds of assumptions and MOBO testing in general. Different versions, REVISIONS, bios', different memories, variable sample-to-sample MOBO quality, and now to top it off, different Athlon CPU revisions. I definately think you should not have made the assumptions that you did and should have tested ASUS, MSI and GIGABYTE NF4 Ultra boards. They are afterall one of the biggest enthusiast MOBO manufacturers.

    If you want to keep your reputation you should definately pay more attention to this sort of things. Don't rush so much! You don't have do a roundup, post individual board reviews and take more time with them. Like you did with the DFI! You should even get at least three samples of each MOBO from different sources and compare them in order to really be able to get reliable results. Forum posts from other people can be very misleading, because of all the variables and skills these people have. This would make you THE BEST ;-) As things stand now, you're pretty mediocre I'm afraid.

    One typo I found:

    Page 19:

    Our past tests have shown performance of the AGP-8x and PCIe **688** Ultra to be virtually identical

    Probably 6800 ;-)
    Reply
  • Viper4185 - Thursday, July 07, 2005 - link

    1) Wesley next time please can you post instructions of how to run memtest to determine the best tRAS rating for your memory. I emailed you in your last article and received no response. Yes, I am a n00b. Perhaps someone else can tell me :P

    2) I have the same memory as you, how do I check if it is TCCD or TCC5?

    3) You don't actually say which ethernet controller is better, the Marvell or the NVIDIA?

    4) I think it was a big mistake for you to leave out the Gigabyte boards. For those that are interested in the Gigabyte boards compared to some of the above check out this review.
    http://www.hardwarezone.com/articles/view.php?cid=...

    Otherwise good review, thanks Wes. Hopefully you can answer Q1-3 or someone else :)
    Reply
  • Jotequila - Thursday, July 07, 2005 - link

    Hum.... Chaintech VNF4-Ultra can reach 275+ FSb easily, there are so many users here that can say same thing as me....

    There is something strange on the results, i can bet that other mobos on the round-up can reach high mhz too....

    Look this:

    http://img55.imageshack.us/img55/2891/superpi17hi....

    Is with my chaintech, i think that you are cheating things here...

    Best Regards,

    Juan Edaurdo Donoso
    Reply
  • Andreos - Thursday, July 07, 2005 - link

    Wesley - That helps, thanks for educating me on this stuff. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, July 07, 2005 - link

    #51 - We reviewed the K8NXP-SLI in the SLI roundup and the Ultra counterpart is the K8NXP-9. If you will look closely at the Gigabyte website pictures of the K8N Ultra-9 you will see it is the same board with a passive heatsink and fewer features. For information on how your Gigabyte performs at stock speeds (which is all that interests you) then please refer to the single video benchmarks for the K8NXP-SLI in the SLI roundup. We report all benchmarks at stock speeds so you and other readers can compare performance. Overclocking is covered as a separate feature. If you do not choose to overclock that is your business, but the information you are asking for is fully covered in our reviews. ALL the nForce4 Ultra boards perform almost the same at stock speeds, which should not really come as a surprise since the memory controller is on the CPU. If you were expecting the Gigabyte K8N Ultra-9 would perform better at stock speeds that anything else then you are badly misinformed. The Gigabyte boards do very well at stock speeds, but all the nF4 boards are close in performance at stock speeds.

    #53 - The BFG VNF4 Ultra is a rebadged (relabeled) Chaintech VNF4 motherboard. We did review the Chaintech VNF4 Ultra in this roundup.
    Reply
  • VinnyS - Thursday, July 07, 2005 - link

    I would have liked to have seen the BFG NF4 Ultra board included in this round-up, it got high marks in a [H]ardOCP review. Any chance for an update to this review with this board included? Reply
  • TheGlassman - Thursday, July 07, 2005 - link

    Well I was tired, You were using the 6-3-05 bios, should have quit while I was ahead. So now I have no idea what the problem was.
    At any rate the 6-3-05 bios is a dual core bios, so no flashing to a beta is needed for dual core.
    Reply
  • Andreos - Thursday, July 07, 2005 - link

    I don't think you guys know your audience all that well. Not everybody is into overclocking to the hairy edge. Some of us wnat a fast and quiet board with dead-nuts solid reliability. For that reason, it is incomprehensible that the Gigabyte GA-K8N Ultra-9 was not included in this so-called "roundup". This board has no SLI counterpart, but it is of extreme interest to a lot of folks planning workstations based on X2 processors (and for which overclocking is of lower interest than reliable operation). Wake up dudes - the game is changing! Clock speed is no longer the Holy Grail. Other sites are savvy to this and will soon be eating your lunch! Reply
  • Palek - Thursday, July 07, 2005 - link

    #49, no worries. I don't work for Anandtech, by the way. :)

    By my "far more than a day" remark I intended to say that I figured a review like this would take more like a week at a minimum - quite possibly even longer - to put together, so by the time the article was released some BIOSes would be outdated, since BIOS updates seem to pop up every other day these days. That is all.
    Reply
  • TheGlassman - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    Sorry Palek, you didn't write the review, oops. My apologies to you and time for bed.
    Wesley, can you look into that?
    Thanks, and I'm sure glad the over a day remark wasn't yours.
    Reply
  • TheGlassman - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    Thanks for your comments Palek, especially the latest and greatest comment. I checked the bios you used for the chaintech, it is a dual core only beta, ANY release bios including the 6-03-05 official dual core support (a month older than either of the winning (because they over clock TCCD better?) boards, and older than any dated bios) will perform much better in overclocking and probably every other test.
    If Chaintech shipped you a board with that bios it wasn't a wise move for a single core test. I think it would be fair to retest the chaintech vnf4 with a release bios, and if the results are different to note that.
    As far as the time taken to prepare this round up, much less time could have been used running bench mark after benchmark that shows apprx the same performance, and I would expect it take more than a day to write up such a comprehensive review. To take a few days to do testing that can benefit people who will base their buying decisons on your results, I think would be worth while.
    I am happy that I could pinpoint the problem with the Chaintech VnF4 Ultra results, as you may have guessed I am quite familliar with it. In the past, Anandtech has always explained why a beta bios was being used, I guess that it wasn't noted this time because you felt rushed.
    PS I know the DFI's are excellent boards, but their site lists a march date for their most recent bios, so maybe you should have used that one instead of their latest and greatest TCCD overclocking beta bios, and since you were using a beta, you should, again, have listed why.
    I'm sorry, saying it took more than a day is not good enough for the anandtech standards that have been so high for so long.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    We have corrected the CPU and Memory voltage adjustments for the Abit AN8 Fatal1ty. This version only has voltage adjustments to 2.8V for memory, while the later Ultra and SLI versions do support memory voltages to 3.55V. Reply
  • Palek - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    Wesley, that would be "proofreading" - one word! ;) Is that a job offer? :)

    #41, TheGlassman, you shouldn't have unreasonable expectations. I'm sure this review took far more than a day to put together, so of course some of the BIOSes used will not be the latest and the greatest. Adding three different types of RAM to the mix would require even more time. Then if you want to test them with different divider etc. settings, suddenly you have over a hundred combinations, a benchmarking nightmare. You have to draw the line somewhere. This was not an article focused on overclocking, but a comparison of 7 motherboards. I would have liked to see the new Abit boards included as well, but I guess that review will come soon enough, too.
    Reply
  • Zebo - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    Does ECS build EPOX's boards? just curious because they look pretty cheap like ECS IMO.. Reply
  • Heidfirst - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    "[b]#19 and Others - I'm sure you must have noticed that some web sites have never posted a negative review of an Abit board. Also water cooling and asynchronous ram is hardly comparable to our air-cooled tests.

    The first thing I did was check other reviewers and users of the Abit board. The great majority are running into problems at about 250 FSB - although a few are getting better performance. Abit has had so many complaints about the OC performance of this board that I would fully expect a hardware revision on the horizon.[/b]"
    Well the Fatality AN8 SLi, AN8 SLi, AN8 Ultra, AN8 V2.0 & AN8-V are effectively the new revision as I pointed out. Why buy a Fatality AN8 when the AN8 Ultra has better Vcore, better sound & is cheaper?
    & people have had HTT395 & DDR660 out of them on air ...
    Reply
  • Heidfirst - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    #19 and Others - I'm sure you must have noticed that some web sites have never posted a negative review of an Abit board. Also water cooling and asynchronous ram is hardly comparable to our air-cooled tests.

    The first thing I did was check other reviewers and users of the Abit board. The great majority are running into problems at about 250 FSB - although a few are getting better performance. Abit has had so many complaints about the OC performance of this board that I would fully expect a hardware revision on the horizon.

    Abit set the expectation that the AN8 Fatal1ty was the best of the best with a price tag to match. It's an interesting board with many interesting features, but it's performance as it now stands is nowhere near the best.
    Reply
  • TheGlassman - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    I think that a round up such as this would serve the readers better if three types of memory were used and various dividers used.
    My Chaintech VnF4 is running at 256x11 quite happilly, so I know it will run well over 245 with a divider with my memory, and I'm sure most of the other boards as well. And yes, many people run it over 300 HTT with lower multi cpu's.
    This is not to say that 1:1 testing is not important, but since this is a round up, the various needs and budgets of your readers should be taken into account.
    Seeing bios's used that are dated during the testing, with a known single memory may if repeated cause readers to think that Anandtech doesn't deserve it's well earned reputation as a fair and complete tester of all things important to PC ethusiasts.
    Using memories with 3 different types of chips and using relevant dividers to find maximum HTT's and cpu speeds with each, while being more work, I think will be worth while to your readers, especially in a round up where boards are compared directly to each other.
    This current round up implies that most nF4 boards are not capable of high HTT's, but the truth is you have only shown that most do not run one type of memory at very high speeds. You have not exposed the limits of the boards, nor do we know if the situation is the same with any of the other commonly used memories.
    Reply
  • bldckstark - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    Xpose-
    Not too early. I don't have my board yet. I have been waiting on X2. Using your same logic that means that nobody has a board yet right? I mean, since I am the only person I know that is going to build a A64 system soon then I should assume that nobody has one.
    Geez
    Reply
  • xpose - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    This Editor's Recommendation for best motherboard is at least 3 months too late. We already have had all of our boards.

    Also, to say that the VN4F Ultra is a bad overclocking board is completely wrong. I have a 3000+ CPU running at 2.67gz now. That is about 49% OC and damn good reguardless of the MB.
    Reply
  • Son of a N00b - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    great article! you can clearly see the hours of hard work you put into it. Great Job, I enjoyed it and it was jam packed with info.

    one quuestion though where was the gugabyte board ultra board?? sure you may have reviewed it in the SLI roundup, but then did you not do the same with DFI? Plus you had great results with the reference gigabyte board, but not the revision 1 board...i'd like to see how ir fairs now...maybe i missed something why you reviewed the DFI board again becuase I am not familiar witha ll their variations and naming scheme, but to me it looked the same...why review that one and not the others? sure its great to rehash what a great board the DFi one is but....

    just wondering as I have always had great success with gigabyte boards...but i probably missed something even thought i read it back to front, sorry if i did as i know that you would never do something without a good reason behind it...

    anyway thanks, keep the awesome articles rolling...
    Reply
  • smn198 - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    Hi Wesley, thanks for the clarification on the HTT. do you know if it would have any more of an impact when dual core is brought into the equation?

    Thanks again. Good article BTW!
    Reply
  • BigandSlimey - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    #18 I really like that idea, would probably be a headache to make it and keep it updated though. Reply
  • yacoub - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    #33 - Wesley, that's awesome news. Can you post that somewhere more important so buyers know to be on the lookout for it? =) Reply
  • kyparrish - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    Good article!

    I'm seriously considering dumping my DFI S754/NC 3200+ setup for that Epox board and a cheap S939 A64 :)
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    #29 and #31 - UPDATE: I have talked with contacts in the Memory Industry and Samsung TCCD is now available again from Samsung. TCCD disappeared for a few months but production didn't really stop. TCC5 is DDR466 and TCCD is DDR500, but both chips come off the same line and are binned for speed grade. Samsung stopped binning for DDR500 grade until recently - and left this job to the memory makers.

    Recently Samsung has told memory makers they are binning once again for DDR500/TCCD and the TCCD chips are available again. It will take a few weeks for the pipelines to fill but TCCD is not dead. Some companies are staying with TCC5 at a lower cost and binning for the top performance unless the yields start to go down.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    #24 - The base nForce4 is sometimes called the nForce4 X4 and runs at 800 HTT, while the Ultra and SLI run at 1000HT. When 1000HT was first introduced we found no real difference in performance at 800HT and 1000HT. What the 1000HT did provide was quite a bit more overclocking headroom. A reader may have an example of where 1000HT outperforms 800HT but the real world difference is negligible.

    #28 - There are now more than 60 BIOS releases for the DFI nF4, many customized for particular memory types. Only 3 have been posted to their website. For the latest DFI nF4 BIOS a good place to check is www.xtremesystems.org or the BIOS Files Forum at www.bleedinedge.com. There is now a 7/04 BIOS that is reported to be more stable in upper memory ratios (433,466,500) with Rev. E chips.

    #29 - You are overstating the TCCD situation. Corsair still sells TCCD, as do several other memory vendors. There is no doubt TCCD is drying up everywhere but Corsair, and that will continue. New TCC5 dimms that are said to perform like TCCD are in process in at least one memory company. We have requested these new TCC5-based dimms and will share our findings as soon as we receive the memory. There are also some new BH5 dimms that we thought were gone forever. We have even seen the new BH5 binned and advertised as DDR500 2-2-2 at higher voltages around 3.3V.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    Well, while this review -has- convinced me to go with the DFI board over the Chaintech, that is purely due to the audio CPU usage issues of the onboard vs daughterboard. I'm shocked at how much difference that makes.

    That said, most of the memory testing (and thus most of the review) was meaningless to me (and everyone else who doesn't have access to TCCD memory anymore). =/
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    #17 - Thanks for pointing out the errors. They have been corrected. Do you want a job proof reading :-)

    Reply
  • yacoub - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    Regarding the tRAS recommendation:

    Can we petition Anandtech to stop using memory that the consumer can't get anymore? (Namely TCCD-based Plat Rev2.) Go pick up some TCC5 and do your tests with what the consumer is actually going to be receiving so your tests actually mean something.
    Reply
  • mongoosesRawesome - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    What BIOS version did you use with the DFI? It reads: "Award 7/01/2005 Release" in your list of features for the DFI, but I could not find that BIOS release on their website. Reply
  • AsiLuc - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    Sorry I meant: GA-K8NF9
    http://www.giga-byte.com/MotherBoard/Products/Prod...
    Reply
  • AsiLuc - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    I'd liked to see the Gigabyte GA-K8NP9 reviewed, because it has passive southbridge cooling (silence :) ) and is cheap. Reply
  • arfan - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    "So ECS, Foxconn, Biostar - we can only suggest that you need to add features and performance that will make an AMD user want to buy your boards. "

    Why u think's ECS is bad ???

    From your benchmark, ECS is not too bad, their ranking in the middle until top1.

    Sorry, if myenglish is so bad.
    Reply
  • smn198 - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    Page 1: "There are no performance differences in the SLI and Ultra chipsets, or even the base nForce4 for that matter. These chipsets differ only in which features are available to the buyer - but they beat with the same heart."

    I thought the base nForce4 had a 800MHz HT where as the Ultra and SLI have 1GHz. Is that not correct?
    Reply
  • Frallan - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    For PSU requirements read the mfg websites. Especially the DFI comes with explicit requirements.

    480W 24pin ATX 2.0+ PSU and from experiance Id have to say that U want a 1st tier PSU on top of that. Anecdotal advices that its possible to run a DFI SLI set up overclocked from a 350W PSU exists but fact remains that a good solid 500W+ ATX 2.0+ PSU will help U with stability.
    Reply
  • Calin - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    What I want to ask: does the processor works with four DS DIMMS at 1T command rate at lower frequency? By what you say (that 2T command rate is much slower than 1T command rate), then 1T command rate at 333MHz would be faster than 2T command rate at 400MHz. Reply
  • Vesperan - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    I love the look of that Epox board. Pity noone imports Epox products into New Zealand any more. Reply
  • GhostlyGhost - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    Ermm.. It's "Marvell". With two l's. Reply
  • Heidfirst - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    I think that you must have a bad example of the ABIT. A no. of other sites (HardOCP, Hexus etc.) have all been over 300 ref. clock with it.
    Not to mention that there is also now the non-Fatality AN8 Ultra which is cheaper & yet has better sound & 3.55Vdimm instead of 2.8V on the Fatality ...
    Reply
  • DLeRium - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    I think the Neo4 should've been included even though it was in the SLI test. Same with the Asus board. Those are really important boards. I'm sure if you add up the Asus and MSI users they would outnumber Biostar + Foxconn + Chaintech + ECS. Iono. just my 2 cents. I dont want to go look at the SLI review and then compare it to this review to see other boards and do a mental benchmark merge to get hte relative performance.

    You know what we should make? We should make the uber super chart system. Kinda like THG's CPU charts. Just make the interactive system comparation machine. Choose a CPU, a mobo, a gfx card etc. If you bench every component (not every combo), but just CPUs vs CPUs, mobos vs mobos, you can get the relative score and construct a relative table for combinations..... hmm just a thought.
    Reply
  • Palek - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    A few mistakes made it into the final article...

    -------------------------------------------------
    Page 7

    1. The following bit does not belong in this review. Cut and paste?

    "There are absolutely no PCIe slots at all on the Neo4/SLI except for the pair of x16 slots for SLI video. MSI tells us that the 2nd PCIe can function as a PCIe x1 slot if you're not using it for video, but that is it for PCIe. Does this really matter? Right now, it really isn't important, since we had a very hard time even finding a PCIe x1 LAN card for the new PCI Express. It may matter in the future, but by that time, you will likely have moved on to a newer version of whatever chipset is the latest wonder. This is particularly clear when you look at the feature set of the MSI, since it is definitely a cut above the other boards in this roundup."

    2. "SPDIG" should be SPDIF, or S/PDIF if you want to be really accurate.

    Page 11

    1. The title row of the table is incorrect. The motherboard name should read:
    "DFI LANParty UT nF4 Ultra"

    2. Link to next page is also incorrect, same as above.

    Page 12

    1. Title of the page is incorrect, same as above.

    2. Title row of the table is incorrect, same as above.

    Page 13

    1. "SPDIG" round two.
    --------------------------------------------------

    Also, do guys have any idea why placing the codec on a daughter card reduces CPU overhead? Obviously there is something more going on than just the physical relocation of the chips. Any theories or explanations?
    Reply
  • Xenoterranos - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    Just a word about the soundblaster Live on the MSI board...

    "That price tag [200$] may be a bit high for the average gamer who just spent most of his/her savings on a Pentium II / Voodoo2 setup, however if you're going to swallow the cost of an expensive sound card it might as well be the Creative Labs SB Live!"

    That was Anandtech back in '99. And you're getting this for free! (well, almost)
    Reply
  • vijay333 - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    oh...final system will have 4-5 HDs, standard DVD reader/writer along with (most likely) a 6800Ultra or a X800XL... Reply
  • Xenoterranos - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    Anandtech did toy with a listening test a while back (I really don't remember much about it, other than the fact that they should have used Klipsch proMedia Ultra 5.1 speakers...) Reply
  • vijay333 - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    Maybe I missed this info in the article somehow, but could you provide the minimum/recommended PSU wattages for the motherboards? esp the DFI and the Epox. I have a Antec 400W Smartpower PSU right now, but read a few posts on newegg that this might not be enough? Hope I don't need to upgrade this too along with the mobo, cpu and gpu... Reply
  • vijay333 - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • knitecrow - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    I have a comment about audio -- a topic that most sites ignore.

    Shouldn't there be a blind listening test?


    i mean cpu utilization is fairly useless. If i am listening to mp3s i care more about the quality than cpu utilization.
    Reply
  • flatblastard - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    I stopped reading on page 4 upon discovering the round-up. No explanation needed... Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    g33k -
    The DFI was more a control to demonstrate SLI and Ultra performance were the same other than SLI video. Drivers have updated and we retested everything on the DFI as a sanity check. We ran benchmarks and not a full review, but it was hard to ignore the excellent performance.

    There is also a comment in our Final Words that the MSI Ultra board should also be considered a winner, since the SLI version was a Gold Editors Choice in the SLI roundup, and the Ultra should perform the same.
    Reply
  • g33k - Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - link

    Along the same logic though, I'm curious as to why you chose to review the DFI Ultra-D when you reviewed the SLI version of this board earlier as well?. Reply
  • g33k - Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - link

    Jeez, read Wesley's comments, he just answered why he did not review, the MSI board. It was already reviewed in the SLI roundup.

    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - link

    "As you can see, none of the onboard audio solutions were quite as low in CPU utilization as the Creative SoundBlaster Live! Chip, which is used on the MSI K8N Neo4 SLI Platinum tested in the nForce4 SLI roundup."

    Since this is still nF4 we included components tested on all nForce4 boards. The Ultra version of the MSI, BTW, uses the Realtek ALC850 chipset and not the Sound Blaster Live!. The SB Live! is only used on the MSI SLI.
    Reply
  • lsman - Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - link

    yet, "As you can see, none of the onboard audio solutions were quite as low in CPU utilization as the Creative SoundBlaster Live! Chip, which is used on the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum."
    so creative on board is a reference? because you do not test the MSI K8N Neo4 platium.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - link

    #2 -
    As we said several times in the roundup, we reviewed the MSI and Asus in the SLI roundup. The SLI and Ultra chipsets are exactly the same chipset with SLI enabled on the SLI chipset. We did not see what new information we could bring you by reviewing the Ultra versions fo the same boards. As you can see in the benchmarks in this roundup the DFI perfoms in Ultra exactly as it did in SLI.

    The MSI was an Editor's Choice in the SLI roundup and is a similar good choice as an Ultra board. There have been some issues with the Venice and San Diego overclocking and MSI has finally released a new BIOS to address these problems.

    The Asus was not a particularly good overclocker in the SLI roundup, and not an Editors Choice, but it was a decent performer at stock speeds.


    Reply
  • Djinni - Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - link

    Very good work, but I too would of liked to see the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum in there since thats what I just bought yesterday :P Reply
  • MaxisOne - Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - link

    Nice .. but partially useless considering the Asus A8N-E and MSI offerings are missing from the lineup which is what im looking to compare to the DFI Ultra D Reply
  • ChrisSwede - Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - link

    Reply

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