General Performance

The PCMark05 benchmark, developed by Futuremark, was designed for determining overall system performance for the typical home computing user. This tool provides both system and component level benchmarking results utilizing subsets of real world applications or programs. This benchmark is useful for providing comparative results across a broad array of graphics cards, CPUs, hard disks, and memory configurations and it also includes some multithreading results.

General Performance

PCMark 2005 results for our test group are fairly close between the Intel chipset boards with the NVIDIA based ASUS P5N32-SLI SE taking a solid lead here due to excellent hard drive performance and multi-tasking scores within the benchmark. Looking specifically at the Abit board, it places second overall but is currently the fastest Intel chipset offering for Core 2 Duo.

Rendering Performance

Rendering Performance

Moving on to the Cinebench results, realistically we have to declare a tie between most of the motherboards. While there are slight differences in score, it is not uncommon to see variations of a few points between benchmark runs. 3D rendering also places most of the burden on the CPU, so minor variations in CPU clock speed (i.e. a motherboard manufacturer running the front side bus at 267 MHz instead of 266 MHz) can easily account for the 1% performance spread.

Graphics Performance

Rounding out our general performance results, the Abit board also has a strong showing in 3DMark06, placing third overall. Of course, the spread among the Intel chipset boards is a whopping 0.7%, so for all intents and purposes all of the boards are equal (except the budget oriented ASRock, which still packs a lot of performance into a $55 motherboard).

Overclocking Comparison

The overclocking capabilities we have measured thus far are with our standard E6700 CPU using a 10X multiplier. While this will not show the true FSB potential of some boards, it does show a board's capability with the second highest performing Core 2 Duo and what can be expected with the fixed multiplier CPUs on average. At present, the only board in our testing that has exceeded a 400FSB is the ASUS P5W-DH. It reached 400 MHz using this E6700 CPU, so any board that fails to reach that level with this CPU is at least being partially limited by the motherboard.

Overclocking Performance

The Abit AB9-Pro comes up with average overclocking results, and as can be seen all of the P965 boards are currently topping out at 360-380 MHz FSB. If you are serious about overclocking, the best board we've currently tested is clearly the ASUS P5W-DH Deluxe. We managed to reach 445 MHz FSB with our amazing little at E6600 before running out of MCH voltage on that board. Of course, the extra $100+ it would cost to upgrade from the Abit to the ASUS board might be more than and people are willing to pay, especially among the budget overclocking crowd.

Overclocking and Test Setup Standard Gaming Performance
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  • Zebo - Monday, July 31, 2006 - link

    I do not understand not finding the MAX FSB of these Conroe Boards by lowering multiplier to say 6-7. Many of us want to buy a Yugo(E6300) and make a Mercedes (3000Mhz +) and with these crappy sub 400Mhz bus speeds shown here: http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/abitab9proupdat...">http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/abitab9proupdat...

    We will be unable to do so. The very best board there can crank a E6300 up to 2800Mhz? Yes or No? No probably but we will never know based on your limited info.
    Reply
  • Tujan - Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - link

    What is the least wattage power supply that would be used with these boards. For examples sake,the Abit board just reviewed ?

    700 watts is fairly large wattage. I would like to use a 450 watt high efficiency unit. Or 500 watt at the most.

    Whats the 'least' wattage power supply that you might use.? Considering you wouldn't be doing any of the tweaks,that is running the board at factory stats. [1]?

    This board is going to cost how much ? [2] Is this board in the same range as the 975s from Intel ? Or within the same range as the 945 MBs wich run the Pentium,Pentium Ds (Prescotts)?

    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    quote:

    What is the least wattage power supply that would be used with these boards. For examples sake,the Abit board just reviewed ?


    What CPU? Conroe/Pentium D and a X1900XT would still justify 500w range if you expect to upgrade to the next generation video card and also overclock. Conroe and a 7800GT as an example would be fine with a high quality 400~450w power supply and still allow decent headroom for overclocking.

    quote:

    Whats the 'least' wattage power supply that you might use.? Considering you wouldn't be doing any of the tweaks,that is running the board at factory stats. [1]?


    A high quality 400w power supply would be fine, depending on the 12V rails a 350w might suffice with zero overclocking and a 7600 / X1600 level video card, all of this depends on the number of drives, cooling, and cards you add-on.

    quote:

    This board is going to cost how much ?


    At this point, $140, probably come down $125 as more boards are introduced in this price range.
    Reply
  • Tujan - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    Thanks for reply. Yes probably an Antech power supply. True Power,or Smart Power HE unit. Most of my regards in builds doesn't dismiss the overclocker market. Still it is good to know what the normal configuration will require.

    7600GT,or 1600XT, Maybe a single large Sata,or two high-end Sata 3s in Raid 0. USBs in use,keyboard etc. 2 gigs of Ram. Core Duo 6300 . Creative latest sound card. DVD /DVD writer.

    144$,.. not bad for sure.
    Reply
  • xsilver - Monday, July 24, 2006 - link

    does this uguru bios allow on the fly overclocking without reboot? (in windows)

    actually do all motherboards pretty much allow that these days?
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    It normally does, testing a new version now that works with the latest bios and P965. Hopefully, I can report on it before the 965 roundup. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Monday, July 24, 2006 - link

    7 slot motherboards? First it dropped to 6 slots, and now it's down to 5! With dual slot GPU coolers becoming commonplace, we need all the slots we can get. Reply
  • monsoon - Monday, July 24, 2006 - link

    I know you CONROE overclocking dedicated article is still on the way; I just wanted to mention I'm one among those who would rather see the E6600 results rather than the E6700 or other, if we have to choose one CPU only.

    ...Also, do you think an overclocking comparison between MEROM and CONROE ( and YONAH ) is coming in the future ?

    Thanks for another great article; I'll be drooling until one of those chips is in my hands...

    ;)
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, July 24, 2006 - link

    Right now, E6600 chips would top out at the same spot on most motherboards. The boards are holding back the E6700, not the CPU - except for the ASUS P5WDH, of course. So until the companies can get better OC'ing BIOS versions out, you're limited to 9x367 (roughly) with this Abit board.

    As far as comparing Merom and Conroe overclocking, that will be a bit difficult since Merom is going to fit in a different socket and won't be available for a few months more. The most we got out of Yonah on the AOpen motherboard was about 2.8 GHz, Conroe is clearly the better choice for overall performance since high end cooling is allowing people to reach 4.0 GHz and beyond. Merom could be interesting in that it will have higher multipliers so you won't need the high FSB speed support, but the inability to run Merom chips in socket 775 boards means you'll have to go for something like the AOpen board we reviewed, which is very expensive, though granted it's about the same price as most of the 975X Conroe motherboards.
    Reply
  • dugbug - Monday, July 24, 2006 - link

    Do you really think it will be two+ months before we see a merom laptop? What about sneek-preview laptops for review sites? Info on merom can't get here fast enough :) Reply

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