Test Setup

Standard Test Bed
Performance Test Configuration
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
(2.4GHz, 4MB Unified Cache)
RAM OCZ Flex XLC PC2-6400 CAS 3 (2x1GB), 2.10V
Hard Drive Western Digital 150GB 10,000RPM SATA 16MB Buffer
System Platform Drivers Intel - 8.1.1.1010
NVIDIA - 9.35, 8.43
ATI - 7.6
Video Cards 1 x MSI 8600GTS
Video Drivers NVIDIA 158.22
CPU Cooling Tuniq 120
Power Supply OCZ GameXstream 750W
Optical Drive Plextor PX-760A
Case Cooler Master CM Stacker 830
Motherboards ASRock 4CoreDual-SATA2 - BIOS 1.10
ASRock 4CoreDual-VSTA - BIOS 1.80
ASUS P5B-E (Intel P965)
DFI LANParty UT ICFX3200-T2R/G (AMD RD600)
EVGA 650i Ultra (NVIDIA 650i Ultra)
EVGA 680i LT SLI (680i LT)
GIGABYTE GA-N680SLI-DQ6
Intel D975XBX2 (Intel 975X)
MSI P6N SLI Platinum (650i SLI)
Operating System Windows XP Professional SP2
.

A 2GB memory configuration is standard in our XP test beds as most enthusiasts are currently purchasing this amount of memory. Our choice of midrange OCZ Flex XLC PC-6400 memory represents an excellent balance of price and performance that offers a very wide range of memory settings during our stock and overclocked test runs.

We are currently completing testing several other memory modules from Transcend, Super Talent, and WINTEC at DDR2-667. We will show full compatibility and performance results in our next article along with DDR/AGP results. Our memory timings are set based upon determining the best memory bandwidth via MemTest86 and test application results for each board. We optimize the four main memory settings with sub-timings remaining at Auto settings.

We are utilizing the MSI 8600GTS video card to limit GPU bound situations at our 1280x1024 resolution for our motherboard test results. The main purpose for using this particular video card is the fact that our budget board roundup will utilize the same card. 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 changed somewhat due to our video card choice. Our video tests are therefore run at 1280x1024 resolutions without AA/AF.

All of our tests are run in an enclosed case with a standard optical/hard drive setup to reflect a moderately loaded system platform. Windows XP SP2 is fully updated and we load a clean drive image for each system to ensure driver conflicts are kept to a minimum. We were able to run our memory test modules at 3-3-3-9 1T at DDR2-533 for our benchmark results on the ASRock boards.

Index Memory Performance
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  • kings121 - Sunday, November 30, 2008 - link

    hello can anyone tell me why the above mention grafic card cant work with the above mention motherboard?? or if it can....can someone tell me how to install the grafics card.........thanks

    waintin for a speedy reply
    Reply
  • moobaaa - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - link

    hello anyone home still waitin to see the updated article thxs maybe Reply
  • ppppp - Wednesday, January 9, 2008 - link

    Hey guys,
    where is the updated review with the latest bios and Intel q6600 fsb you promised me some months ago?
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Sunday, July 1, 2007 - link

    I recently upgraded one of my systems to an As-Rock board with an E4400. Overclocking wasn't too bad - it could easily run the E4400 at 2.8 Ghz. However the boartd had weird quirks. It would not read my SATA HDD, which was the biggest issue. It also has trouble cold-booting, and the computer must be booted twice to start. Also, there are random trouble with a few old games (such as Red Alert 2) which will often crash, but run fine on my other systems. It's OK for a spare computer, but I wouldn't use it for my main rig. Also, the automatic speed control for the cpu fan has never worked right on my motherboard. Reply
  • ssiu - Friday, July 6, 2007 - link

    Is your board 4CoreDual-VSTA, or other ASRock boards? (I am planning to get the E4400 and 4CoreDual-VSTA and overclock too.) Does it have the same problems at stock speed and/or 266FSB (that's the first thing I'd want to check, to see if the problem is related to overclocking)? Reply
  • vailr - Friday, June 29, 2007 - link

    Re: "System Platform Drivers Intel - 8.1.1.1010".
    Shouldn't that be: VIA chipset drivers, instead of Intel?
    Might also mention whether Win98SE can be installed and run, when testing with DDR/AGP? For those gamers dual-booting into the older Windows version. Can Win98SE utilize all 4 cores of a Quad-core CPU? Or even both cores of a dual-core CPU?
    Reply
  • mongo lloyd - Friday, June 29, 2007 - link

    Win9x has absolutely NO support for any kind of multiprocessor solution, neither dual/quad core, nor SMP. Reply
  • vailr - Friday, June 29, 2007 - link

    Also, WinRar is currently at version 3.70:
    http://www.rarlabs.com/download.htm">http://www.rarlabs.com/download.htm
    Reply
  • SunAngel - Friday, June 29, 2007 - link

    ASRock has to joking. What tech person in their right mind is going to buy something half in the past and half in the future? The two SATA ports alone is enough to realize this thing will be outdated very quickly and you'll be buying another motherboard. I've seen some illogical products in my time. This may not be the worse concept of a motherboard for those not wanting to upgrade all their components, but there has definitely been some off-the-wall, fill-in-marketing-gap products out there (first thing comes to mind is the Intel Pentium D 805). Kudos to ASRock for taking advantage is cheapskates. Remember, it costs more in the long run doing the wrong thing (not upgrading) than doing the right thing (upgrading and moving forward with technology). Reply
  • ssiu - Friday, July 6, 2007 - link

    This may not be the worse concept of a motherboard for those not wanting to upgrade all their components

    Exactly; this board is good for those who want to carry over their DDR memory and AGP adapter from their old system. And it (at least its predecessor) can overclock a E2140/E2160/E4300/E4400 about 50%. If one has no need to reuse the memory and AGP adapter then I agree there are better choices (e.g. ASRock 1333FSB motherboards if one still wants to go cheap).
    Reply

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