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?

Abit AA8: Features and Layout
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  • jdoor0 - Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - link

    This review has been reviewed:
  • Nige - Tuesday, October 12, 2004 - link

    Does the ASUS P5AD2 Deluxe motherboard have the same overclocking capability as the P5AD2 Premium?
  • skiboysteve - Friday, August 13, 2004 - link

    Wow nice catch. i guess my "(I know... toms sucks)" disclaimer came true.

    yaeh i understand.
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    #26 -
    There is now an apology to Asus up at THG. They measured the voltage wrong. We had also measured the voltage and found 1.5 to 1.55 which is well within spec, not 2.1 as they reported. They now acknowledge the correct voltage measurement for the P5AD2 is 1.53V.

    High Northbridge voltage is not the reason the Asus, or any other 925X/915 board, overclocks well. There are far too many simple and wrong explanations for the complex overclocking issues of the 925X/915 chipsets.
  • skiboysteve - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    Page 10
    "...Broadcom attached to the faster PCI Express bus..."

    there is no PCI Express bus, its a point to point protocal.

    Just nitpicking.

    Great review.

    Also, over at Toms (I know... toms sucks) they looked at 9x5 Boards over there and showed that the Asus P5AD2 was running at an astounding 2.1v on the northbridge (1.5v is the stock)

    Something might have to be mentioned about reliability of such out of spec behavior, and cooling concerns. You might want to conduct your own quick test on the voltage with a multimeter.
  • broberts - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    One of the problems with these arguments is that the FX-53 is almost 20% more expensive.

    I've been thinking for a while now that benchmarks should show some form of pricing index so that one can better judge the advantage/disadvantage of the various choices. Just quoting prices isn't ideal, for a host of reasons. I'd suggest, instead, a relative measure. And not just the cost of the particular component being benchmarked. Calculate the cost of the each system used in the benchmarks. Pick one, perhaps the lowest or highest cost one and calculate the relative difference in price. I suggest using the entire system because quite often the choice of one component dictates the available choices for other components. Ideally a relative measure for both the components and entire system would be calculated and published.
  • manno - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    Moo Moo MOO.
  • manno - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    why no Doom3?
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    #21 -
    We will definitely be including Doom 3 benches in future reviews. The only reason they are not included in this 925X roundup is because most of the testing was completed before we had a working copy of Doom 3. You can get a clear idea of how the 925X/Intel 560 performs in Doom 3 in Anand's Doom 3: CPU Battlegrounds review published August 4th at
  • kherman - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    Umm, Doom 3 benches?

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