System Configuration

System Configuration
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 4000+ (San Diego)
CPU Voltage: 1.575V (1.400V default)
Memory: 2 x 512mb OCZ Technology PC4800 Platinum Edition
DDR-400 CL2-2-2-7, 1T base settings
Memory Voltage: 2.70V standard, up to 2.85V overclocked
HT Multiplier: 5x - 200HTT ~ 254HTT
4x - 255HTT ~ 350HTT
Cooling: Tuniq Tower 120
Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling 850 SSI
Hard Drive(s): 2 x Maxtor MaXLine III 7L300S0 300GB 7200 RPM SATA (16MB Buffer).
Video Cards: 1 x EVGA 7900GTX (PCI Express) for all tests.
Chipset Drivers: ULi 2.20 M1575
Video Card Drivers: NVIDIA nForce 84.21 WHQL
Operating System: Windows XP SP2, full updates


We did not utilize the original board in our review and instead opted to purchase a retail board from NewEgg. Our test unit sports revision 1.03G and arrived with BIOS 0201 flashed on the board. We promptly flashed the board to BIOS revision 0311 in order to run our base test numbers before loading BIOS revision 0404 for testing. Our drive image consists of our full test suite along with AVG anti-virus and QuickTime Pro 7.0 running in the background during testing. All operating system updates for Windows XP SP2 have been installed along with the Windows Firewall being activated during all tests runs.

Worth noting is that our board does emit the humming or whining noise associated with certain Infineon based memory modules from varying suppliers. While the 0311 BIOS and subsequently the 0404 BIOS have reduced this sound, it has not been eliminated. New board replacements have solved this issue for the majority of users, so we can only assume that a substandard lot of boards was initially shipped to retailers. We will be returning our board for replacement shortly.

Our goal is to ensure the software load mirrors that of a typical user system during testing. Our test results utilize current game engines that are balanced between CPU and GPU operations except for F.E.A.R. which is GPU constrained. Our hardware choices consist of high-end components that certainly assist us in reaching the reported results but should be seriously considered when purchasing an enthusiast level board. Our recommendation is to not skimp on the power supply, memory, or video card choices when building this level of system.

Index Test Setup
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  • SLI - Monday, July 10, 2006 - link

    New BIOS v502. Available here:

    ftp://ftp.asus.com.tw/pub/ASUS/mb/so...-MVP%20DELU...">ftp://ftp.asus.com.tw/pub/ASUS/mb/so...-MVP%20DELU...
    Reply
  • abakshi - Thursday, April 20, 2006 - link

    Anything new for the A8R-MVP?

    I'm having some performance issues with my system (A64-X2 4400+, A8R-MVP, 2 GB OCZ EL Platinum DDR400, 250GB WD 7200/16/SATA2, ATI X1800XT 512, Enermax 450W, Win XP SP2).

    Specifically, it multitasks very poorly in Windows -- e.g. whenever I insert a CD in the drive, the system basically freezes until the autoplay is done reading. Despite the dual-core A64 setup, it's actually worse at multitasking than my older P4 2.8C / 865PE (P4P800-D) machine. I've tried formatting and reinstalling Win XP, swapping out RAM sticks, different HDDs, etc.

    Games are generally fine, but I do have some stuttering issues, and benches are lower than they should be. I set the RAM timings manually to spec at stock clock (no OC until this is fixed) and made sure everything else was set up right -- no effect.

    The board's been disappointing, and I've seen a lot of other people have issues with it. I've had so many solid Asus Intel-based boards (P4P800-D, P4C800-D, P4T533-C, etc.), and I saw AT and others' reviews of this, so I figured it would be a halfway decent board. It's only faster than my old P4 system in games -- and that too, probably from the video card boost more than anything (X1800XT vs 9800 Pro).
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, April 21, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Anything new for the A8R-MVP?


    We have discovered stuttering issues in games and internet applets when utilizing the ADI on-board audio along with the latest version of JAVA 1.5 being loaded on the system. It has been tracked down to the ADI audio driver. Asus is working with ADI on a fix.

    Are you using the AMD X2 driver or Microsoft Dual-Core patch? If not, you will get stuttering and lower than normal performance in certain games and applications.

    Please email us and we can work on your issues with you directly.
    Reply
  • goinginstyle - Thursday, May 4, 2006 - link

    Any updates? Reply
  • XrayDoc - Thursday, April 20, 2006 - link

    Are you sure your tested revision number was 1.3G? I just bought the same board from Newegg. It is a revision 1.03G. Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, April 20, 2006 - link

    Sorry about that, 1.03G, article corrected. :) Reply
  • mino - Thursday, April 20, 2006 - link

    AFAIK K8 memory controler operates in synchronous mode all the time - there is no such a thing as an asynchronous mode in this architecture.

    What you referred to was ratio between clock generator frequency and memory frequency. However memory freq. depends only on the CPU freq. and memory divider employed, clockgen(also called FSB in BIOS-es) freq is irrelevant here as far as memory performance is concerned.

    I hope you consider this in the future when you refer to various memory speed ratios tested.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, April 20, 2006 - link

    quote:

    AFAIK K8 memory controler operates in synchronous mode all the time - there is no such a thing as an asynchronous mode in this architecture.


    I appreciate the comments. We fully understand the technicalities of the K8 memory architecture and would have utilized the "correct" terminology. In doing so our sentence structures would have turned into small paragraphs. ;-) We knew our terminology would be an issue with certain readers. However, we decided to go with synchronous or 1:1 as the majority of people are extremely familiar with this terminology when discussing memory settings, right or wrong. I will see about adding an additional statement clarifying the architecture design and setup.
    Reply
  • FireTech - Thursday, April 20, 2006 - link

    Gary, I know you're busy but what's the rough timeframe for the All Crossfire MB Round-up appearing? Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, April 20, 2006 - link

    Hi,

    The lab is backed up right now. ;-) The DFI article will be out next week, Abit following in about a week we hope (board delay). If you want Intel CrossFire we also have the little Yonah that could article coming up shortly.

    Thanks....
    Reply

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