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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  • JustAnAverageGuy - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    On the Gigabyte 8ANXP-D:

    Page 10

    Memory Slots Four 240-pin DDR2 Slots

    Gigabyte provides 6 DIMM slots, but the total memory and number of sides that can be used is the same as the other boards in the roundup.
  • JustAnAverageGuy - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    Typo page 5:

    "The memory stress test measures the ability of the Abit AA8 to"

    should read Asus P5AD2. :)

    only on page 5, may be more.
  • l3ored - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    allright, point taken. howabout testing lower lga775 cpus and combining the results with 939 scores?
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    #5 - You're welcome.

    We also ran and reported the rest of our standard motherboard tests, which included Business and Multimedia Content Creation Winstones and Media encoding (which Intel won by a small margin).

    As we stated in the review the only reason we did not include our standard SPECviewperf 7.1.1 benchmarks is because we have seen variations of up to 100% in SPECviewperf results with certain 925X boards. We don't believe these results are real, and we are trying to find answers for these variations in benchmark results. Until we find some answers, publishing the workstation benchmark results would not really reveal anything about the performance of the 925X boards we are testing.

    The FX53, Intel 925X, and Intel 915 results are included for reference and completeness. We are comparing five 925X motherboards in performance, and we do not mean to detract from that comparison with AMD Socket 939 benchmarks. Please consider the 939 results to be a frame of reference.
  • AnnoyedGrunt - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    From what I can see, the P4 560 is about $750, so that puts it right between the 3800+ (about $650) and the FX-53 (about $850) in price. It would be nice to add the 3800+ scores (if you have any) to that review just so we could see how the price/performance of the 560, 3800+, and FX-53 compare.

  • Shimmishim - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    #2 - Achieving a 4 ghz overclock on a pentium is nothing to sneeze at... i think 3.8 may be possible on air but 4.2 is really pushing.

    As much as a lot of us would love to see overclocked processor results, i think it's best that they only show stock clock results as they are easier to compare...

    #3 - Its hard to say how fair it is to use a FX-53 against the 3.6 ghz 775 chip... but if you think about it, they are comparing the top end pentium 775 skt (new pin count) vs. the top of the line A64 939 skt (new pin count)..

    Both are also 1 megs of L2 even though the extra cache doesn't help the A64 greatly.

    Maybe a 3800+ would have been better comparison but i think he was trying to make things as easy to compare as possible...

    Even if he had used a 3800+ or even a 3700+ i don't think the gaming results would have been that much different... we all know that the A64's dominate in gaming.

    maybe some more tests besides gaming would have been better...

    but all in all...

    thank you Wes for a good article!
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    #3 - The 3.6 is the fastest Intel processor. If you will check our launch reviews you will see the 3.6 outperformed the 3.4EE. We are indeed comparing the best performing Intel - the 3.6 - to the best performing AMD - FX53.

    Prior to the 3.6, the 3.4EE was the fastest Intel CPU.
  • l3ored - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    lately i've been noticing unfair comparisons between intel and amd, in this article, high end processors are being compared with the top of the line from amd. this isnt really helpful to anyone, so please go back to the old anandtech way.
  • Anemone - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    Nice article !

    If I could have had one extra wish it would have been to show a set of test charts with a moderate oc on them, think that would put the FX @ 2.6-2.7 and the P4 560's @ 4.2-4.3.

    If the boards can overclock, and the 939's can too, where does it all land for those using just normal or at most water oc'ing.

    No worry, these wishes do not detract from a very nice article.

    Thank you
  • stickybytes - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    Nice to see asus get a award but unfourtanetly the word "prescott" mentioned in any sentence will probably scare away 80% of AT'ers.

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