Now here are some results that are impressive, albeit rather surprising. After seeing the rather average results obtained in our review of the Seagate SATA drive, my expectations of the Serial ATA performance were rather low. What we see instead is that the new DiamondMax Plus 9 160GB SATA drive by maxtor, mixed with the NF7-S Rev 1.2's on board SATA controller provided by Silicon Image is more than impressive! While still not rivaling a RAID configuration, it's not too damn far away.
Serial ATA is rapidly making it's way main stream, and as drivers develop I can only assume that will accelerate even more. The SATA drive was easy to install, and the smaller cable was certainly a nice change! I'll save my in-depth opinions of this for the Maxtor SATA drive coming up soon, but let's just say that I'll let the numbers posted above tell the story.
PiFast Pi Calculation:
This benchmark actually requires a little bit of explanation. Pifast measures basically the CPU's raw performance. Pifast does exactly what it says it does, it calculates Pi. Obviously, the lower the time the better the score. What I was interested in seeing here was if the motherboard chipset would make a difference, and then if the memory configuration in the nForce board would change anything. We used the options as laid out below:
Program : PiFast version 4.2, by Xavier Gourdon Computation of 10000000 digits of Pi Method used : Chudnovsky Size of FFT : 1024 K Physical memory used : ~ 61355 K Disk memory used : ~ 0.00 Meg
Here are the results:
Wow, that's actually a pretty sizeable jump in the grand scheme of things. For the same memory and same CPU, a full 5 second jump is pretty significant. I reran these numbers several times to ensure accuracy, but give or take a few tenths here or there, the numbers were as shown above every time. I cannot explain to you WHY the nForce chipset performed better, but only that it did. That, is a good thing!
We see the nForce flex just a wee bit of muscle here. Nothing substantial but a noticeable jump all the same. The one result that left me baffled was the HDD score on the KD7 board. In all other hard drive benchmarks the KD7 performed on par with the NF7, but for whatever reason in PCMark 2002 there was a distinctive edge for the NF7. That said, these are synthetic benchmarks and obviously should be taken as such.
3DMark 2001 (Build 330):
We realize that this is now outdated with the recent release of 3DMark2003, but with it's standings in the industry wanted to include is all the same. The numbers pretty clearly tell the story. While there is a SLIGHT increase with the nForce board, nothing earth shaking here.
Before any of you write in to say it, yes, we are aware of the controversy that is floating around about this application. That said, considering we are comparing identical processors and video cards, changing really only the motherboard chipset, we felt it may be a value add to this review..
As we suspected, no real difference here. The Ti4200 (utilizing the 41.09's by the way) is not exactly designed to crunch this application. All the same, we ran it on curiosity alone and figured we'd show you the numbers since we took the time to gather the data.
Let's head to page 6 to talk about what I KNOW you're wanting to hear, OVERCLOCKING!! Then we'll wrap this up..
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