Game Performance Comparison

While Sandra and Super Pi provided useful information on how memory performs without the influence of other components, our first round of real world tests has shown there is not a large difference in performance between DDR2 and DDR memory nor between DDR2-533 and DDR2-800. However, our next set of real-world benchmarks consists of gaming benchmarks. Due to the amount of information and the relative closeness of the scores we are not utilizing zero based charts as the line graphs would stack on each other. Although the data chart tells the story we felt like there should be some separation in the line graphs to accurately depict the information.

We utilize Far Cry, Half Life 2 and Quake 4 in our normal memory testing because they are sensitive to memory changes. We are adding Prey and Serious Sam II to our benchmark mix because they are typically very GPU dependent and we will see the effects of our memory choices on these games.

We originally tested at both 1024x768 and 1280x1024 resolutions at High Quality settings without anti-aliasing or antistrophic filtering enabled. However, we found at 1280x1024 that our results were basically GPU limited. We are only showing 1024x768 results as this resolution is not completely GPU limited with our 7600GS video card. We feel like our 1280x1024 and 1024x768 settings are representative of an i865/945P/VIA PT880 platform and believe most users at this price point would be utilizing a 17" or 19" monitor with this configuration. We will report 1280x1024 settings in our AGP versus PCI Express article.




Our three memory sensitive games show a pattern with the Biostar P965 board performing below average at DDR2-533 and then placing in the top section in the DRR2-667 and DDR2-800 results. The P965 results at DDR2-533 are opposite of our synthetic and application benchmarks. It appears the chipset timings are relaxed at this setting and this is affecting our game performance where memory sensitivity is important.

Our i865 based motherboard with the 7600GS AGP card is very competitive with the DDR2 board solutions and pulls away from the VIA PT880 Pro chipset in Quake 4 while performing equally at the VIA DDR2-533 settings. Although AGP is basically dead and the most powerful card available is based on the 7800GS chipset, we can see that it is still a very competitive solution in the mid-range market as is low latency DDR memory with the right chipset.

Application Performance More Gaming and Conclusion
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  • Kiijibari - Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - link

    Hi,

    first I have to say, that it is a nice review, I liked it. I only have one minor critic with the following piece of text:
    quote:

    The sweet spot for gaming with this particular video card seems to be at low latency DDR2-667 settings as DDR2-800 provides negligible benefits. We are sure with lower latencies at DDR2-800 and a more powerful GPU solution that we would see further scaling increases in performance.


    I strongly doubt, that you'll see any benefits with DDR2-800 modules, regardless of the GPU, because you forgot that the FSB1066 is limiting factor. Furthermore I assume, that the DDR2-667 scores are just better because of the better absolut memory latency.

    Well, as you stated, your scores may be better again with DDR2-800 RAMs @CL3, but I think that such expensive oc modules are out of question in the low cost context of the article.

    cheers

    Kiijibari
    Reply
  • giantpandaman2 - Monday, August 14, 2006 - link

    Is there any way that you guys not use red and orange on the same graph? It's difficult to discern between the two. I mean, it's definitely possible, but it's a pain. Reply
  • Paradox999 - Monday, August 14, 2006 - link

    You guys need to seriously have a deeper look at the ASRock 775i65G sisnce it obviously is extremely competitive. What I want to know is:

    what are the overclocking / voltage options and do they work with the Conroe?
    I was seriously considering buying the 775DUAL-VSTA ... but since I'm running an overclocked D820 / 2 gig Mushkin DDR500 / AGP Radeon x850 XTPE.

    Why bother with DDR2 as an upgrade path on the 775DUAL-VSTA when it doesn't make all that much difference and if I have to buy a new PCI card it'll have to be a very good one to best my overclocked x850 .... and that means I would want to stick it into a better motherboard than the 775DUAL-VSTA.

    All I would need is the ASRock 775i65G and the Conroe for an upgrade that seems the best deal around. Who's with me ????
    Reply
  • hibachirat - Monday, August 14, 2006 - link

    775i65G?
    Exactly what i've been trying to find for the last week! :-)
    But no luck getting any U.S. vendor too specify that they will ship me an R2 board.
    Try googling 775i65G R2 and you'll find as many as you want...in Australia, U.K., Europe, etc...what's the deal with U.S. resellers?
    I'm going to try emailing the article's author...
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Monday, August 14, 2006 - link

    http://www.mwave.com/mwave/skusearch.hmx?SCriteria...">http://www.mwave.com/mwave/skusearch.hmx?SCriteria...

    In stock at the above link, called them and they have a few of the rev. 2 boards in stock. The other board to have if you want the i865 chipset is the ConRoe865PE which should be released in a couple of weeks.
    Reply
  • Paradox999 - Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - link

    I would love if Anandtech would get Asrock to supply one of these ConRoe865PE boards for comparison testing. I saw that board at the Asrock site a while ago but couldn't find anyone in North America selling it.

    Asrock seems to slowly be creeping up from the back into the enthousiiast (on a buget) market. The first thing I would fix if I were them is add solid voltage control for the CPU and memory.

    I'm an enthusiast but I hate dropping tons of cash for top drawer hardware when I can have very respectable performance by carefully selecting less expensive hardware.

    Go Asrock!
    Reply
  • hibachirat - Monday, August 14, 2006 - link

    Thanks, i guess i should have called them. This was their email response:

    "Dear Valued Customer,
    Unfortuantely, we are unable to guarantee what version of this motherboard we have. We do apologize for the inconvenience.
    Mwave.com"
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Monday, August 14, 2006 - link

    quote:

    You guys need to seriously have a deeper look at the ASRock 775i65G sisnce it obviously is extremely competitive.


    We will have a comparison article with it and the other value boards in the near future.
    Reply
  • Optimummind - Monday, August 14, 2006 - link

    I'm thinking about purchasing this board along with a Conroe CPU until the prices come down on the higher-model mobos such as the Asus P5W-DH. My most pressing question is how much of a bottleneck in gaming performance will be introduced as a result of ASRock including only PCIe x4 for the GPU.

    I believe that in order to answer that question, a higher performing GPU needs to be used rather than a 7600GS. Could you guys also include an extra table/graph including a comparison between a 7800GS AGP 8x and 7800GS PCIe?

    The reason I want to know is because I want to whether or not putting a DX10 card in the ASRock PCIe x4 slot will bottleneck the GPU.

    Or, could you guys compare the performance of a 7900GT in the ASRock board with a 7900GT GPU in a P965, P975, or other mobos that has the full PCIe x16 connection? I don't to know what difference in performance there will be and to see if it's worth putting a 7900GT PCIe in the ASRock board.

    Reply
  • Paladin165 - Monday, August 14, 2006 - link

    Do you think adding better cooling on the chipset would improve FSB overclocking on this board? Reply

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