Benchmark Setup

Our Foxconn motherboard fully supports the current range of socket 775 Intel processors. We chose an E6300 for testing as we feel this will be a very popular Core 2 Duo CPU choice with the P965 motherboards, and particularly with budget priced offerings like this Foxconn board.

Standard Test Bed
Performance Test Configuration
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6300
Dual Core, 1.86GHz, 2MB Unified Cache
1066FSB, 7x Multiplier
RAM: Geil PC2-6400 800MHz Plus (2x1GB- GX22GB6400PDC)
(Micron Memory Chips)
Hard Drive: Seagate 320GB 7200RPM SATA2 16MB Buffer
System Platform Drivers: Intel - 8.1.1.1010
Video Cards: 1 x MSI X1950XTX
Video Drivers: ATI Catalyst 6.11
CPU Cooling: Scythe Infinity
Power Supply: OCZ GameXstream 700W
Optical Drive: Sony 18X AW-Q170A-B2
Case: Cooler Master CM Stacker 830
Motherboards: Asus P5B-E (Intel P965 C2, 1.01G) - BIOS 0601 - Memory at 2.10V
Asus P5B-E (Intel P965 C2, 1.02G) - BIOS 0601
Asus P5NSLI (NVIDIA 570SLI) - BIOS 0601
Asus P5W-Deluxe (Intel 975X) - BIOS 1407
Abit AB9-Pro (Intel P965 C1) - BIOS 1.5
BioStar T-Force 965 Deluxe (Intel P965 C1) - BIOS
IP96a803
BioStar T-Force 965PT (Intel P965 C1) - BIOS P96CA914BS
FOXCONN P9657AA-8KS2H (Intel P965 C2) - BIOS P32
Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 (Intel P965 C2) - BIOS F7
Gigabyte GA-965P-S3 (Intel P965 C2) - BIOS F6
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2
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A 2GB memory configuration is now standard in the AT test bed as most enthusiasts are currently purchasing this amount of memory. Our choice of DDR2-800 memory from GEIL offered a very wide range of memory settings during our stock and overclocked test runs. Our memory timings are set based upon determining the best memory bandwidth via our test application results.

We are utilizing the MSI X1950XTX video card to ensure our 1280x1024 resolutions are not completely GPU bound for our motherboard test results. We did find in testing that applying a 4xAA/8xAF setting in most of today's latest games created a situation where the performance of the system starts becoming GPU limited. Our video tests are run at 1280x1024 resolution for this article at standard settings.

Synthetic Graphics Performance

The 3DMark series of benchmarks developed and provided by Futuremark are among the most widely used tools for benchmark reporting and comparisons. Although the benchmarks are very useful for providing apple to apple comparisons across a broad array of GPU and CPU configurations they are not a substitute for actual application and gaming benchmarks. In this sense we consider the 3DMark benchmarks to be purely synthetic in nature but still valuable for providing consistent measurements of performance.

General Graphics Performance

In our first tests, each P965 platform score is so close that there is no real winner here. However, we can see the overall performance of the Foxconn board is very good and scores in the upper third of the boards tested to date. The Foxconn board had no issues looping this benchmark for four hours at stock or overclocked settings.

System Performance

The PCMark05 benchmark developed and provided 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. The benchmark is useful for providing comparative results across a broad array of Graphics, CPU, Hard Disk, and Memory configurations along with multithreading results. In this sense we consider the PCMark benchmark to be both synthetic and real world in nature while providing consistency in our benchmark results.

General System Performance

The Intel P965 based ASUS boards typically score significantly better than our other P965 boards in PCMark05 due to the final test which consists of multitasking three different applications. The ASUS P965 boards score up to 58% better in the File Encryption and HDD Virus section of the test with the File Compression result being around 16% better when compared to the Gigabyte and ECS boards. However, we find our Foxconn motherboard scoring slightly better than the Gigabyte, ECS, abit, and Biostar P965 Deluxe boards. We tried the new F8 final BIOS on the Gigabyte DS3 and it scored a 5934. It seems there are a few BIOS optimizations that can help improve the PCMark05 scores; whether these optimizations truly improve overall system performance or are merely to help with a few specific benchmarks is not yet known.

Overclocking and Memory General System Performance
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  • atlr - Friday, April 6, 2007 - link

    A P9657AA-8EKRS2H / P9657AA-8KS2H BIOS dated April 5, 2007 has been released.
    No description about what's different though.
    http://www.foxconnchannel.com/EN-US/service/downlo...">http://www.foxconnchannel.com/EN-US/ser...9657AA-8...
    Reply
  • Sh0ckwave - Sunday, December 31, 2006 - link

    343fsb is crap. no one will buy this for overclocking. Reply
  • ssiu - Thursday, January 11, 2007 - link

    Seems like this could be a good option for ultra-budget E4300 overclocking. 9x343FSB = 3.087Ghz is pretty good. Save $30 on motherboard, use stock heatsink and save $$, save some more with cheaper DDR2-667 memory, etc. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, December 28, 2006 - link

    Wouldnt it be nice is manufactures started making mother boards with loads of features, but without all the unnecessary stuff like SLI, dual GbE etc ?

    Personally, Id like to see a board like the Asus Striker, or ABIT IN9 32x-MAX, that didn't have SLI, and dual GbE. SO in other words, Something along the lines of these types of boards, but with the latest chip sets, eSATA (maybe), loads of disk ports, etc.
    Reply
  • BladeVenom - Thursday, December 28, 2006 - link

    I'd like to see at least one company make a motherboard with no legacy ports, and no built in audio. Who needs it, and why pay for it if you don't. Reply
  • Beachspree - Friday, December 29, 2006 - link

    I'll keep repeating this with each review in the hope of getting a reply. ;-)

    I was wondering why the Firewire performance is so poor in these reviews:

    Firewire 400 gets a best throughput of 230.6Mb/s

    It is known that Macs have poor USB 2 performance but look at the Firewire results by Barefeats:

    http://www.barefeats.com/usb2.html">http://www.barefeats.com/usb2.html
    http://www.barefeats.com/hard70.html">http://www.barefeats.com/hard70.html

    Without the perfect conditions of a RAM disk, and without cacheing turned off, they get real world performance of up to:

    Firewire 400: 304 Mb/s (31% faster than PC)
    Firewire 800: 464 Mb/s (41% faster than PC)

    For comparison, Macs are getting lousy USB 2 performance. Intel Macs have improved it but that takes it from around 136Mb/s to 168Mb/s. That's 75% slower.

    Given the importance of Firewire in multimedia applications, for which it can be critical, does this poor performance not warrant a mention?

    To be clearer:

    Can we please have some real world figures for USB 2.0, eSATA and Firewire 400/800 transfers under default settings and off an internal 7200 HDD you standardize on. That's what most people actually do when the backup, so that's what we need to see in order to make informed choices. I suspect these data rates you keep publishing are ones we will actually never see.

    I suggest, also, that poor Firewire performance in Windows is more important than poor USB on Macs. They always have Firewire built in and tend to it on peripherals, while Windows users often make do with USB until they get into music or video editing when they then find the need for Firewire and hit this poor performance just when they start needing mission critical performance. I'm talking about dropped frames and music latency.

    Why is that ignored in all your motherboard reviews?

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • SonicIce - Thursday, December 28, 2006 - link

    What speakers or headphones do you use to test audio? Reply
  • Orbs - Thursday, December 28, 2006 - link

    I have this board in a machine I'm using as a personal server. I paired it with G.Skill F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ (2 x 1GB of DDR2 800) and it would crash randomly with that ram. After talking to G.Skill, it seems like there is an issue with that ram and all reference-based P965 boards including this board.

    Memtest86 also failed test #5 consistently with this ram on this board.

    G.Skill is sending me replacement ram (their F2-6400PHU2-2GBNR) which should be here next week. Hopefully it's more stable.
    Reply
  • Orbs - Thursday, December 28, 2006 - link

    Just to be clear, I'm not saying this board or Foxconn is at fault for the compatibility issues, I'm just noting my experience so others don't run into the same problem. Reply

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