Intel 925X Roundup: Creative Engineering 101by Wesley Fink on August 12, 2004 12:05 AM EST
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Intel launched the new Socket 775 processors and the 925X/915 chipsets to support them on June 19th. Since that time, motherboards based on the top 925X chipset have been hard to find, with very few offerings to choose from in the market. This was further compounded by the recall of some defective ICH6 chips shortly after the launch of the new chipsets.
Now, almost 2 months after launch, we have 5 new motherboards based on the latest 925X chipset. A quick check at online retailers found that 4 of the 5 new motherboards were now available. The only exception was the just-launched DFI LANParty 925X-T2.
As we discussed in the 925X/915 chipset launch, almost everything about the 925X and 915 are new. This extends from the new Socket T (775), to DDR2 memory, to the new PCI Express bus, to new PCIe video cards, to new Heatsinks, and so on. It's been a long time since so much is new, and you can read more about the new features in:
Intel's 925X & LGA-775: Are Prescott 3.6 and PCI Express Graphics any Faster?
Intel 925X/915: Chipset Performance & DDR2
The five motherboards in this roundup represent an interesting mix, with four manufacturers that you would expect to see producing a top-of-the-line 925X motherboard - Abit, Asus, DFI, and Gigabyte - and one company that may surprise you. Foxconn is a new name for many AnandTech readers, but they are a very large manufacturer in Taiwan, producing many motherboards for other manufacturers. Foxconn has been producing motherboards under their own brand recently, and we reviewed an entry-level Foxconn 755 board a few months ago. However, the 925X is the top of Intel's desktop line, and this is the first high-end Foxconn board that we have reviewed.
We have already done some testing of the Asus P5AD2 and Abit AA8 as we explored the Intel Overclock lock in the last few weeks. You can find more information on that concern and the response of manufacturers to this issue in:
Breaking Intel's Overclock Lock: The REAL Story
Intel 925X: Exploring the Overclock Lock
Information on each board's overclocking performance is included in the Overclocking and Stress Testing page for each board.
The 925X is Intel's premium chipset, and you will see that reflected in the motherboards in this roundup. These five motherboards represent a price range from $161 to $277, certainly a premium price range in today's market. As we run each of the 925X boards through our benchmark suite and stress testing, we will be determining which boards stand out from the crowd in either performance or features. Are these new 925X boards worth the expensive price tags that we find on these latest Intel creations?