USB, Networking and Storage Performance

Our USB transfer speed tests were conducted with an OCZ Rally 2 Turbo 4GB Flash Drive and USB 2.0/FireWire based Maxtor OneTouch II external hard drive. In our first test, we transfer a 602MB file folder containing 444 files of various sizes. In our second test, we transfer a 1.90GB file folder containing 17 different files.

USB Performance

USB Performance - HDD

NVIDIA chipsets have always performed well in our USB tests and once again hold a slight edge over the Intel and AMD offerings. The improved USB performance from the AMD SB700/750 Southbridges almost close the gap with the NVIDIA and Intel offerings.

Ethernet Performance

The current motherboard test suite includes LAN performance measurements. All of these boards utilize PCI or PCI Express based Gigabit controllers with the only difference being the supplier of the core logic. The Windows 2000 Driver Development Kit (DDK) includes a useful LAN testing utility called NTttcp. We used the NTttcp tool to test Ethernet throughput and the CPU utilization of the various Ethernet Controllers used on the Intel motherboards.

We set up one machine as the server; in this test, an Intel system with an Intel CSA Gigabit LAN connection. Intel CSA has a reputation for providing fast throughput and is a logical choice for our Gigabit LAN server.

On the server side, we used the following Command Line as suggested by the VIA whitepaper on LAN testing:

Ntttcpr -m 4,0,‹server IP› -a 4 -l 256000 -n 30000

On the client side (the motherboard under test), we used the following Command Line:

Ntttcps -m 4,0,‹client IP› -a 4 -l 256000 -n 30000

At the conclusion of the test, we captured the throughput and CPU utilization figures from the client screen.

Network Performance

Our network throughput test indicates how well a particular controller design from Realtek, Marvell, NVIDIA, or Intel performs instead of being indicative of true chipset performance. This also holds true for the CPU utilization results, though this test can also be influenced to certain degree by the BIOS code and chipset interconnect design.

PCMark Vantage

PCMark Vantage is the latest benchmark available from Futuremark, and it is only for use with Windows Vista. Similar to the venerable PCMark05 in its makeup, Vantage modernizes the criteria and test methodology to reflect what users may encounter when running the new Windows OS and current applications. The total benchmark is roughly 87% reads and 13% writes in nature. We run each test five times per drive, producing a median score that we use for comparison in our charts.  We utilize AHCI settings for each board.

NVIDIA chipsets generally provide excellent performance, albeit at the cost of stability at times, and our tests reveal a controller that is slightly better in performance than the Intel ICH10R. Really, it is a toss-up between the two controllers. The AMD SB750 trails slightly due to an AHCI implementation that is not as robust as the current NVIDIA or Intel offerings. However, it would be very difficult to discern any performance differences between these controllers in actual application work.

As we noted earlier, we had a few issues with AHCI settings and our Sony BDU-X10S BD drive along with some random slowdowns when transferring large amounts of data (Update- Latest BIOS/Firmware/Drives solved this problem). We have not and do not expect to notice any data corruption problems that crept up during the 780i/790i launch, which were eventually fixed by NVIDIA. Our Intel G45 board also had difficulties with the same Sony BD drive but the AMD SB700/750 have not been affected.

General Performance Power Consumption
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  • Geforce9300 - Friday, January 23, 2009 - link

    Hi guys;

    Personally, I think Apple is buying all of these chipsets NVidia can make for the moment...
    Where I live, in Belgium, only 3 mobos are available with this chipset: The Asus, the Gigabyte, and now there's a new one from DFI: I'ts called the DFI LANPARTY Junior GF9400-T2RS .
    So only 3 mobo's... it's what makes me think Apple is eating most of these chipsets right now.
    Steve, leave one for me please if you will...
    And take care of your health.

    Has anyone seen another mobo?

    Mr. Anand, any update since the test? Is there a revision 2 which solves the latency problem and so on?
    I would like to buy one... I have a low power Pentium 4 631 'Cedar Mill' lying here, and I have everything except a mobo.
    So I am kind of waiting to see the stated issues resolved in a certain mobo before buying one.
    I was dissapointed by the G45's GPU, so I would prefer to buy an NVidia chipset...
    I like to see NVidia being the leader in INtel-mainstream chipsets again!
    Thumbs up for NVidia!

    Cheers;
    Carl
    Reply
  • lordbob99 - Thursday, January 29, 2009 - link

    I'm currently seeing 7 available Nvidia GeForce 9x00 based motherboards available over at Newegg.com - XFX, Asus, Zotac, MSI, DFI, Gigabyte, and EVGA.

    Link's not working here for me, but you can paste in: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Sub...">http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi...=&Sp...

    I've been thinking about picking one of these up for a while, but was hoping for an update from anandtech on whether the problems/kinks they mentioned have been worked out yet.

    Reply
  • sergev - Friday, January 2, 2009 - link

    You say that you tried to keep every part of the system the same as much as possible. Why is it then that you choose a 140 Watt AMD processor and a 95 Watt Intel processor and say that the nvidia 9300/9400 is using less energy than the AMD chipsets?
    You should have gone with something more the same like a 65 watt core 2 duo and a 65 watt athlon 64x2. That way you could be sure that you have honest results. And performance wise it is ofcourse obvious that the intel systems should perform better because of the ridiculously high end processor. Now there is no way of telling wich one is using less energy!
    Reply
  • sidewinderx2 - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link

    The Asus N10J netbook already has an atom paired with a 9300M GS... Reply
  • dragones - Wednesday, October 29, 2008 - link

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...">http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8... Reply
  • XavierJohn - Monday, October 27, 2008 - link

    What is the ship date?
    Noone seems to be carrying the 9200 or the 9300 motherboards.
    Reply
  • aapocketz - Monday, October 27, 2008 - link

    I would be interested to know when these motherboards are available, noone is selling them. I am particularly interested in the MSI board.

    When will more detailed review of these boards be available?
    Reply
  • JonnyDough - Monday, October 20, 2008 - link

    What we could use is this in a 939/478 form factor with support for both DDR and DDR2 ram. There are a lot of Athlons and P4s out there still with motherboards that have died. With few choices on the market, an powerful and cheap integrated solution would be a great option for old systems. I would still build an HTPC out of my older X2s. Reply
  • XavierJohn - Thursday, October 16, 2008 - link

    It is interesting in this article one person has the DTC 9.8 and the other Pioneer Elite.

    I currently have Pioneer Elite and was thinking about DTC 9.8. For an HTPC use is the upgrade worth it?

    Is it also worth upgrading from 8200 AMD to 9400 Intel for an HTPC? From my understanding, it is not.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, October 16, 2008 - link

    I would upgrade from the VSX-94THX to the DTC 9.8 if I could. ;) From a HTPC perspective, no real reason to upgrade from the 8200 to the 9300. Reply

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