Performance Test Design

With so many changes in the Intel desktop, there were a lot of burning questions to be answered. It seemed a little inadequate just to run a few benchmarks on the new chipsets, or quote performance figures supplied by Intel, so we tried to devise some comparisons that would answer the most common questions that we have heard regarding the new Intel architecture.

1. How do the 925X and 915 compare in performance? Is there a significant performance difference in the new chipsets? How does the top Intel system compare to a top AMD Athlon 64 System? 925X and 915 systems were identically configured with Intel 560 processors (3.6GHz) and performance compared with a full set of motherboard benchmarks. We included benchmarks using Dual-Channel DDR memory and the same video card in an AGP 8X flavor on an AMD Athlon 64 FX53 system for comparison. These tests begin on Page 8.

2. How does Intel's new top 925X with PCIe, DDR2, and SATA Matrix RAID compare in performance to a similarly equipped top 875P system? We compared performance of a top 875 with a 3.2 Northwood, GeForce 6800 Ultra AGP 8X, SATA RAID, and DDR 2-2-2-5 memory to the Intel 925X with a 3.2E (775) Prescott, GeForce 6800 Ultra PCIe, SATA Matrix RAID, and DDR2 memory. These tests begin on Page 12.

3. Is DDR2 really faster than DDR? We verified there was no memory performance degradation of the Gigabyte Dual-Memory board compared to Intel 915. Performance with DDR and DDR2 were then compared on the Gigabyte over our motherboard test suite. These tests begin on Page 16.

Gigabyte 8GPNXP Duo 925X vs. 915 vs. Athlon 64: Test Configuration


View All Comments

  • nserra - Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - link

    You guys are only evaluating the performance, I think it's not that important, the features yes, those are important. The P4 is crap even with hyper-x,y,z, so it wasn't a "chipset" that was going to make a miracle.

    I would like to see the new platform tested, IGP, Sound system, EMT64 (is it enable on LGA775 processors?), NX bit?, new power saving techniques, so new features up to test.

    At least the DDR vs DDR2 comparison is a good thing.
    I was hopping that DD2 would give a performance boast, since the P4 architecture relies on higher bandwidth and higher latency (the pros of RDRAM i850), but I guess not....
  • Bozo Galora - Monday, June 21, 2004 - link

    yes he's sure Reply
  • RyanVM - Monday, June 21, 2004 - link

    #54, Are you sure you aren't thinking of the S754/S939 dual socket mobo? Reply
  • tfranzese - Sunday, June 20, 2004 - link

    #53, yes, there's a board that was shown at Computex that had both sockets giving the option to use one or the other. Reply
  • RyanVM - Sunday, June 20, 2004 - link

    So, any chance that the 915 chipset can be tied to a socket 478 + Northwood? :D Reply
  • Marlin1975 - Sunday, June 20, 2004 - link

    AMD does not really need dual ch. memory. Look at the diff. between a socket 939 and 754, it is very little for most apps. Also Dual Ch memory is not new. It was used WAY back in the day.

    The only reason it is back is because intel can't design a decent CPU so they have to make up for it with pricey and unneeded tech.
  • tfranzese - Sunday, June 20, 2004 - link

    Anemone, there's really little reason you need dual-channel memory on the AMD64 platform with the memory controller being on the chip. Reply
  • Anemone - Sunday, June 20, 2004 - link

    Anti overclocking designs in the new chipsets? Very poor choice.

    I will reiterate Intel performance per $ over its previous generations is pathetic. More $ required per degree of performance and the increase over last year is poor.

    AMD is expensive until you get to the 754 - but perhaps I'm mistaken but I thought the industry had left single channel memory configurations behind 2 years ago. Oh wait, it's AMD, that's about their catchup period, sorry. So yes look at AMD in dual channel AMD64 chips and yes they are very pricey. So much for their argument that by providing competition they keep prices down.

    Add to all that the overclocking unfriendly stuff, and while AMD comes out as better overall, the performance per $ is still not markedly better than last year, imo.

  • Bozo Galora - Sunday, June 20, 2004 - link

    "My My We are in trouble now arent we..."

    Yeah, I guess we might have to offer AMD a few of our (cash in the bank) billions to buy them out. I wonder if the FTC will allow that? Hmmmmm. Let's investigate.
  • firtol88 - Saturday, June 19, 2004 - link

    My My we are in trouble now aren't we...

    Looks like AMD is the clear choice, unless you need a heater.

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