Performance Tests

DirectX 9 Gaming

Since Fatal1ty is targeted at gaming, we ran a much larger group of current DirectX 9 benchmarks than we would normally run in a First Look. The goal was to compare the Abit Fatal1ty performance on the most current games to 925X and nForce4.

Gaming Performance

Gaming Performance

Gaming Performance

Gaming Performance

Gaming Performance

Gaming Performance

The tweaks on the Fatal1ty board combined with the extra 2MB of L3 cache on the 3.46EE certainly allow the Abit to outperform the 925X with the faster 3.6GHz Prescott in most Direct X 9 games. The 1066FSB also contributes a very small amount to the increased performance as we found in the recent 925XE launch review. The Abit Fatal1ty is an outstanding performer compared to other Intel boards that we have tested. The improvement in Far Cry performance, in particular, is impressive.

However, all the outstanding tweaks and gaming enhancements just can't offset the gaming horsepower available with the FX55 and 4000+. In most DirectX 9 benchmarks at stock speed, the FX55 wipes the floor with the 3.46EE on the Fatal1ty.

Test Setup Performance Tests (Continued)
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  • T8000 - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    Altrough this board seems to be a good overclocker and lots of buyers will at least consider an overclock, there was not a single benchmark run with any overclock.

    The default clock was even lowered somewhat! Especially next to the (almost unoverclockable) AMD64 2,6 Ghz CPU's, this review seems more like a way to ask for an AMD version than to measure real gaming performance.

    I mean, if you only want stock speeds, why would you buy a high-end Abit mainboard?

    Also, an Abit mainboard of this performance class will likely be combined with a Prometia cooler or at least good water cooling, making the few air only overclock tests (and the remark that a big aircooler would not fit) a bit odd.

    Even more because OTES was designed to keep enough airflow without aircooling on the CPU.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    Abit has replied to our questions about an Athlon 64 version of Fatal1ty:

    "We don’t want readers to have the wrong impression that we are not coming out with an AMD version. We will have the AMD version of the Fatal1ty AN8 coming out around December. The AA8 Fatal1ty is only the BEGINNING of the Fatality line of products. The purpose of the AA8 is to show both gamers and enthusiasts ABIT’s dedication in the gaming community. The AN8 Fatal1ty is where we are hoping to ramp up the volume because the Ultimate Gaming Platform is definitely AMD based."
    Reply
  • dvinnen - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    People laugh at him alot. He's a game hopper picking up the next big thing, gets good at it for a while, then leaves when others surpase him. Just look at his failed CS expirment. Counter strike is pretty much the only game with any following in NA currently, he tried to start a team a while ago and got stomped.

    Other than the fact that this board has his name all over it, it's pretty cool. I like the OTES set up, could of used a better spokesman though.

    The Ksharp or Aimetti board anyone?
    Reply
  • TimTheEnchanter25 - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    In the picture that ABIT had in their forums, they also show a 2 fan cooler for the ram:
    http://forum.abit-usa.com/showthread.php?s=&th...

    I would like to see someone do some sound and thermal benchmarks for this mobo. It would be nice to know if the fans make enough difference on the temps to justify the massive sound I assume it makes.
    Reply
  • zyzzix - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    While it appears strange that Abit would choose Intel to launch a hot concept, it's very PC for them long term. It just makes us AMD'ers put off buying anything else until the other shoe drops (kicks). Reply
  • nastyemu25 - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    wow that picture makes fatal1ty look like a real bad-ass!

    and by bad-ass i mean asshat
    Reply
  • SLIM - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    "At stock settings, Fatal1ty is overclocked to 271 FSB. For a fairer comparison, the FSB was set to 267. Since most will want to see gaming benchmarks with this gaming board, the Game Accelerator was left to the default "Enabled" mode."

    What exactly is the "game accelerator"? The only reference that I could find was, " the AI7 also comes with Game Accelerator, a BIOS tweak that allows users to increase their performance up to 30%". That kind of sounds like marketing talk for dynamic overclocking to me. Anybody at anandtech have a better description of what exactly this game accelerator does? Point being, if you changed the FSB from 271 to 267 to make if "fair" and then enabled dynamic overclocking, that's one step forward and 5 steps back on the fairness scale.

    SLIM

    PS: I also checked the manual for the aa8 fatality and it was less than helpful as to the nature of this tweak:
    "Game Accelerator: This item enables or disables the Game Accelerator."
    Reply
  • Live - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    Great write up. Not much more needs to be said. While the chipset is crap Abit at least made some improvements over the reference design. Now bring on the new breed of AMD boards so we can game in style.

    Reply
  • bob661 - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    #11
    Own3d. :-)
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    #20 - there ARE on-board power and reset switches. They are on the bottom right edge of the board (or the upper right edge of the picture on p.2).

    #23 - There are 3 Firewire ports on the Fatal1ty AA8XE. This is detailed in the specs on p. 2 and mentioned in the article.

    #25 - One ATA port for 2 IDE devices is a 925X/XE limitation, not a choice by Abit. It was mentioned prominently in the 925X launch review. Abit could have added additional IDE ports with an added chip if they chose to do that.

    #4 and #22 - Anand's 925XE launch article tested with the ATI X800 XT so they are not directly comparable to the results here which were all nVidia 6800 Ultra as we have used in past motheboard reviews. The point of this First Look was to test Abit's claim that this was "the best of the best gaming board".

    If you will check the Anandtech data base you will see there has not been a 925XE review other than the launch article by Anand and me 9 days ago. This is the first 925XE to make it to the labs, but others are on their way. Anand also pointed out the performance of 925X and 925XE was trhe same - the XE adds 1066 but the chipset is otherwise identical. Anand also found the 1066 performance increase essentially negligible.

    I considered running benches with the 3.6 on the 925XE as we have database data to compare that configuration, but then there would have been an uproar that we didn't test with a 1066 gaming chip like the 3.46EE.

    We will include benches here in the future 925XE motherboard reviews. For now we ask that you try to see the points we were making in this review, and the data we used to examine those questions.
    Reply

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