Posted:2006-10-29 By motherboard review Number of View:133397
CONROE MOTHERBOARD P965 CHART
REVIEW ASUS ASUS MSI GIGABYTE
ABIT BIOSTAR ECS FOXCONN
By :motherboard review
xtreview is your : Video card - cpu - memory - Hard drive - power supply unit source
The new desktop processor INTEL, called Core 2 Duo, is already known as fastest processor. Core 2 Duo is now available a little everywhere and the important thing in all that is INTEL finally made a success ! Forgotten the poor services of Pentium D, the new INTEL microprocessor attracted with high performance low clock and low power requirement vs its rival from AMD. It should be said that platform AM2 launched last April by AMD did not really convince its world, the profit of performances
vs platforms Socket 939 being null.
Combining performances and reduced electric consumption, Core 2 Duo has great chances to get in the update of your system. It Still necessary to find the ideal motherboard to accompany it! INTEL almost simultaneously launched with Core 2 Duo new chipset in name P965. for the moment the i975X, occupay the high -end range chipset of INTEL, P965 generally is equiped is motheboard more accessible
in price terms.
INTEL P965: new southbridge!
The northbridge is probably the most traditional element of this new chipset with a controller that support DDR2 dual channel, bus management PCI-Express 16x and the presence of system bus frequency (or FSB) of 1066 MHz which remains compatible with processors with FSB533 MHz and 800 MHz. Question memory, the controller of the northbridge manages DDR2-800 for a maximum band-width of 12,8 G/s. Naturally there remains possible to use DDR2-533 or 667 and INTEL
proposes its technology Fast Memory Access to reduce the latency times and to optimize the band-width memory . Flex Memory makes possible to preserve an operation in dual channel while using memories of different size.
Side southbridge, INTEL couples its P965 with a component ICH8. The bond used between the two chips is a connection DMI with flow of 2G/s. Question functionalities, the ICH8 has some innovations. Managing a maximum of six ports PCI-Express 1x, the
southbridge integrates a controller USB 2.0 which can control up to 10 ports as well as an additional dedicated to the additional network controller. This south bridge is Compatible with INTEL High Audio Definition, it naturally manages Serial-ATA and more precisely the Serial-ATA 3 Gb/s while being NCQ compatible . If the precedents INTEL southbridge managed a maximum of 4 ports Serial-ATA, the ICH8 manages a total of six . Function INTEL Matrix Storage also come as a part,
but only if the southbridge is of type ICH8R. In this case, chipset INTEL supports the modes RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10. On the other hand, support IDE disappears completely from the southbridge!
In the chapter of the additional functionalities, P965 is the first INTEL chipset capable to manage using BIOS of the flash memory rather than the EEPROM via bus LPC or SPI. INTEL proposes new cooling algorithms control for a quieter operation .
Diagram illustrating the interconnections of P965 and southbridge ICH8
INTEL P965 and CrossFire
Although initially the chipset INTEL P965 was not conceived to deal with the technology made for multiprocessor graphic from ATI, in other words CrossFire, this one is finally compatible. It was necessary for that, that motherboad manufacturers develop updates for their BIOS and also ATI modified its driver CATALYST to support the operating mode, on CrossFire P965.
Whereas usually CrossFire requires the presence of two slots PCI-Express cabled
each one in 8x, even better in 16x, the Canadian engineers from ATI had to adapt their driver so that CrossFire is operational with a port PCI-Express 16x and second port in 4x. .
Activation of CrossFire on motherboard P965, here ECS PX1 Extreme
There is a difference in performances with the level of CrossFire implementation between chipset i975X and chipset P965 from INTEL. For that we have recourse to F.E.A.R., in its version 1.07 with two Radeon X1950 XTX and drivers 6.10 Beta from ATI. The results appearing in the graph below are obtained in 2560x1600, and u can note the difference
in performances between our P5W-DH Deluxe and the P5B Deluxe is not so far.
Abit AB9 Pro review
Since many months, the taïwanais manufacturer Abit passed through a serious financial crisis which was solved by its repurchase.
With format ATX, the motherboard adopts chipset P965 INTEL and its southbridge ICH8R to accomodate processors INTEL Core 2 Duo, Pentium D and other Pentium Extreme Edition. we finds the celebrates orange PCB from Abit ,this last support DDR2 and Socket LGA775. the AB9 Pro is Quiet, does not comprise
any fan since the southbridge was cooled with a simple metal radiator, just like the northbridge. This last however is connected by a heat-pipe to an imposing radiator located at the place of the usual parallel and series ports . Silent-OTES, the system is supposed to extract heat towards outside the machine and this without ventilation there is also two radiators which cover the MOSFET present at the top Socket LGA775.
With five phases power, This motherboard
offers the connector ATX 24 pins and a connector ATX 12 volts (4 pins only).
Motherboard Abit AB9 Pro
Exploiting the functionalities of the ICH8R, the motherboard is equipped with six connectors Serial-ATA 3 G/s managed directly by INTEL chip . By examining the board more closely, we observes the presence of three additional ports Serial-ATA and of fourth port eSATA located at the back, that is to say a total of ten ports Serial-ATA 3 G/s. The component JMicron JMB363 which only manages single channel IDE 100 of the motherboard also takes charges of the two ports Serial-ATA
, whereas port Serial-ATA located near the northbridge and the external connector eSATA depend on a chip Silicon Image 3132. For the network, the AB9 Pro has two connectors Ethernet Ethernet gigabit managed by Realtek components: two chips RTL8111B. Using BIOS , the board deals with FireWire 400 via chip Texas Instruments whereas the audio part is reserved for codec Realtek ALC882D with audio out Dolby DIGITAL Live. the AB9 Pro integrates the component µGuru developed by Abit which
offers various functions : intelligent fan control and their operation as well as many overclocking functions .
Concerning the connector industry, the board is provided with a port PCI-Express 16x, two ports PCI-Express 1x and two connectors PCI. As we Said above, we finds nine connectors Serial-ATA disseminated a little anywhere on the motherboard, a connector IDE as well as a connector for the disk drive. . in the board, we finds also two ports
PS/2, four connectors USB 2.0, our famous connector eSATA,six audio connectors, two Ethernet RJ45 as well as an optical exit and an optical entry.
Side bundle, the board is accompanied by several handbooks, driver CD , but also, and it is very well seen on Abit, four diskettes comprising each one the RAID driver of various storage controllers ! Abit does not forget wiring and delivers its AB9 Pro with a cable IDE and a cable for the disk drive, nine cables
Serial-ATA 3Gb/s, as well as a square gathering two ports USB 2.0 and two FireWire connectors.
Details of the AB9 Pro
For some time already, Abit proposes the µGuru in its motherboard. Behind this generic name is hiding place a dedicated chip with especially various functions to manage the advanced parameters of this board. Thus, the µGuru make regulation in the temperatures via fan speed and also propose overclocking options . The BIOS has besides a page µGuru, recapitulating all the functions of overclocking.
The adjustments µGuru
make possible to modify the FSB up to 600 MHz, adjust the multiplying coefficient, change the frequency of bus PCI-Express from 100 to 200 MHz, adjust the ratios report or to modify supply the voltage of the DDR2 (up to 2,5v) or that the processor. Attention, it is not possible here to choose a ratio report lower than that of the FSB. The management of profiles a function of BIOS recovery when making overclocking adjustments are bad,
the board offers a statistical function with information like the total duration of operation or the hour of last startup. The memory latency are naturally adjustable, .
Remain a problem : the BIOS seems particularly unstable woth certain modifications like the changes of memory voltage. After having fixed the memory voltage at 2,4 volts then restart the bios rest the voltage to 2 volts. This problem was identified by Abit and should be corrected in a next update.
Asus P5B Deluxe WiFi AP review
Second motherboard of this comparative, the P5B Deluxe represents the top-end-range offer as regards for motherboard P965 from asus. Deluxe model has black PCB with the ends rounded, here in revision 1.03G, which is provided with technology Stack cool 2. Let us recall that Stack cool makes possible to dissipate the heat generated by the processor on all the PCB of the motherboard, thanks to a chemical compound slipped between the layers of PCB. PCB of which the lower part we find
the presence of Asus logo in transparency with a retro lighting of red color.
Adopting Socket LGA775, the motherboard has a power supply on eight phases and has a connector ATX 24 pins and connector ATX 2x12 volts. With four slot DDR2, the P5B Deluxe is animated by a chipset INTEL P965 accompanied by southbridge ICH8R. The motherboard supports not only processors INTEL Pentium 4, INTEL Pentium D, but also Pentium Extreme Edition and other Core 2 Duo .Asus also announced
the support of Kentsfield, the next processor quad-core of INTEL.
Quiet, the last production from Asus is provided with a simple coppers radiator on the southbridge and coppers radiator more imposing on the northbridge. This one is connected by a heat-pipe to a radiator covering the MOSFET. Provided with only three ports PCI, the P5B Deluxe accomodates two ports PCI-Express 16x and a port PCI-Express 1x. the origin two ports PCI-Express 16x of the motherboard
are compatible with technologies multi-VPU . Attention however, because of the limitations of chipset P965 on the level of its controller PCI-Express , CrossFire functions in a software first graphics card operates in PCI-Express 16x whereas the second is satisfied with an interface PCI-Express 4x. the activation of CrossFire on the P5B Deluxe is a delicate task since we have fifteen minutes of work arround for finally having CrossFire functional . It seems that
it is necessary to leave mode PEG Link on automatic when the function Asus cgi is active.
motherboard Asus P5B Deluxe
Asus has recourse to a chip JMicron JMB363 managing not only one channel IDE but also two ports Serial-ATA 3Gb/s. we thus finds on the motherboard six ports Serial-ATA managed directly by chipset INTEL, a port Serial ATA managed by the JMicron chip and a second port eSATA present at the low side of the motherboard and always depending on the JMicron chip.
FireWire 400 has got here some charges by component Texas Instruments whereas, surprised, side network, Asus do
not use the controller native gigabit INTEL. The manufacturer taïwanais indeed prefers to use two distinct Marvell chips. . The two chips are obviously compatible gigabit. The audio part rests on a component ADI1988B coming from Analog Devices and with its Deluxe model, Asus delivers a WiFi board containing chip Realtek RTL8187L. This one is interfaced in USB 2.0 and is connected directly to the motherboard . It will be noted however that the choices of Asus deprive the P5B Deluxe of certification
Viiv whereas the board does not have chip TPM (Trusted Platform Module).
Details of the P5B Deluxe
Question connector , the P5B Deluxe offers two ports PS2, a port series, a FireWire port, a connector eSATA, four ports USB 2.0, two connectors RJ45, six audio connectors, and two audio out numerical, one in optics, the other into coaxial. With same the board, we finds two connectors of extension USB, a connector for FireWire , and nearly seven connectors for fan including one reserved with the CPU . Asus thus draws the feature of parallel port!
regard to the bundle, Asus delivers various elements and in addition to the handbook and essential driver CD , we finds in the box six electric cables Serial-ATA with three adapters Molex towards Serial-ATA, a IO Shield, a cable IDE and a cable floppy, an antenna for WiFi, a square with FireWire port and a square with two ports USB 2.0. Asus delivers a bidirectional microphone signed Andreas, a fan fitting on the radiator of MOSFET as well as an accessory Q-Connector aiming to
facilite the connection of cables in the case .
Among the various functions suggested by Asus BIOS , we will note two of them . Most important is surely the EZ flash 2, a module integrated into the system BIOS and allowing to flash the latter via diskette, CD, a hard disk or, and it is most interesting, since a USB! ... The second comes from the possibility to disconnect the WiFi controller installed without having to disconnect it.
With regard to the
functions related on the overclocking and system optimization , Asus proposes many options. Thus the ratios report are five and not three as on the majority of the motherboard of this comparative. The more traditional ratios are 533, 667 and 800, Asus proposes ratios 889 and 1067 MHz. The FSB can be set as high as 650 MHz whereas the memory voltage can reach 2,45 volts against 1,7 volts as maximum for the processor. It is possible besides to modify the voltage for
the northbridge and the southbridge. The various functions of INTEL processors which it acts of Execute Disable Bit, INTEL SpeedStep or technology VT, are desabled and Asus makes possible to regulate manually the frequency of the bus PCI-Express .
Asus P5B-E review
As u already understood , the P5B Deluxe from Asus is probably one of the most powerful motherboards of this comparative. Alas it is also one of most expensive. Also we retained the P5B-E, another signed mother motherboard P965 Asus whose price is definitely more accessible. Forming part of family P5B, the P5B-E, is motherboard with format ATX. . When the P5B Deluxe is provided with a 8 phases power, the P5B-E is satisfied with only three phases.
The motherboard adopts a ATX in addition 12 volts traditional connector ATX 24 pins. Provided with a socket LGA-775 and four slot DDR2-800, the motherboard has recourse to chipset INTEL P965 assisted by a southbridge ICH8R. The cooling system of this board is pretty modest . The asus board contain three ports PCI, only one and single port PCI-Express 16x and three connectors PCI-Express 1x, the P5B-E is provided with traditional connectors IDE and floppy. we finds
six ports Serial-ATA 3 Gb/s managed by chipset INTEL, as well as a seventh port, well curiously positioned on the left lower end of the board, and managed by the chip JMicron JMB363.
far from the Deluxe model which good future and lower cost
With regard to the other additional components, the P5B-E has a FireWire controller, in fact chip VIA VT6307. The audio part is entrusted with codec ADI1988A into 7.1, whereas the network is managed by an obscure chip Attansic L1, which is compatible gigabit Ethernet . the P5B-E is equipped with four fan connectors and have three connectors for additional ports USB 2.0, a connector
for a second FireWire port as well as a connector for an optional port series. the motherboard offers two ports PS/2, a parallel port, four ports USB 2.0, a connector RJ45, a FireWire , as well as six audio at the format mini-jack and two digital displays optics and coaxial connectors.
Level bundle and in addition to the handbook and driver CD , we finds in the box a four electric cables Serial-ATA, two adapters Molex towards SATA, a cable IDE, a cable for the disk drive, as well as
two additional ports USB 2.0 and... it is all!
Details of the P5B-E
With regard to the BIOS, this one is inevitably less than that of P5B-Deluxe. we finds the module of flash which always functions since USB. On the other hand, it will be necessary to make a cross on PEG-Link, the traditional PCI-Express bus overclocking function proposed by Asus. Side advanced adjustments, it is possible to change the bus frequency up to 650 MHz and to adjust the multiplying coefficient of processor. The memory latency are of course adjustable and we
have adjustments pushed like Write Recovery Time or the TRFC or the TRRD. The mmeory ratios are as on the P5B Deluxe 5 (533, 667, 800, 889 & 1067) whereas the memory voltage can be increased up to 2,45 volts. For the processor u will be able to reach the 1,7 volts whereas the supply voltages of the northbridge and southbridge are also adjustable
Biostar TForce P965 Deluxe review
We retained here the motherboard TForce P965, in its Deluxe version which uses the last chipset from INTEL, P965, accompanied by southbridge ICH8R. . If the presentation is overall good then the components used for the power " three-phase " are relatively low-end-range...
Equipped with Socket LGA775, the motherboard with format ATX is equipped with four slots DDR2 and adopts a passive cooling. Northbridge and southbridge are thus covered with simple metal radiators
Curiously the motherboard, if it comprises a connector ATX 24 pins, is has also a simple connector ATX 12 volts (only one line thus). With a port PCI-Express 16x, three slots PCI, two connectors PCI-Express 1x, the motherboard is also seen equipped with a port PCI-Express 4x. Managing
the IDE, via a relatively low-end-range controller, in fact this is VIA VT6410, the motherboard has a connector IDE, a connector for the disk drive and six connectors Serial-ATA 3 Gb/s.
motherboard Biostar TForce P965 Deluxe
Side network, Biostar use a circuit Realtek, a RTL811OSC thus interfaced in PCI when all its small brother adopt chips PCI-Express . Deprived of support FireWire, the motherboard adopts an audio circuit signed Realtek: ALC883.
The motherboard has only three fan connectors, of which is reserved one for the processor, this last contain two connectors for additional USB. Practical, we finds two small switches, not far from connectors
ATX for the diodes and other buttons of the case, in order to start the system and reset it. Always with an aim of facilitating the use of its motherboard, Biostar laid out two diodes near the switches in order to allow a fast diagnosis of the system state . The external connector offered by this Biostar is composed of two connectors PS/2, a port series, six ports USB 2.0, a connector RJ45 and six audio connectors.
If the motherboard does not contain any parallel port and any digital display, Biostar delivers however a connector to the mother motherboard proposing a coaxial exit and a digital display.
The reading of these lines will probably allowed you to understand that TForce 965 Deluxe Biostar is clearly in low positions with regard to its competitors Asus, Gigabyte or MSI. The manufacturer tries however to catch up with the functional limitations of their motherboard
while being generous on the bundle. Thus in the box we finds about all and anything. Biostar had the curious idea to deliver its TForce with a telegraphic auricle with microphone. Biostar also proposes in a kind of double sack, a handbook, driver disk, and various cables and connectors. we thus finds four electric connectors Serial-ATA, four adapters Molex/SATA, a cable IDE, a connector for the disk drive ...
Biostar TForce P965 Deluxe
Simple and effective, here two characteristics to qualify the BIOS of this TForce. The manufacturer indeed gives access to a maximum of adjustments with a panel of OC Navigator Engine. from this last it will be possible to play with the various parameters of the motherboard: the vcore of processor can be adjusted up to 1,8 volts just like the v memory which can reach a maximum of 2,2 v (not more). The multiplying coefficient of the CPU is also adjustable just like the FSB frequency
. With ratios report identical to the other motherboards, TForce however did not manage to correctly read the SPD of our Corsair memory. It was necessary to manually modify the latency via BIOS setup. There is also possibility to regulate the advanced parameters report like TWR, TWTR, TRRD and TRTP. the BIOS manages profiles, automatically restores overclocking parameters if they does not pass and integrates a module of update. Alas this last does not function
with USB. A large regret however: the horrible green screen which appears with the starting of the motherboard
ECS PX1 Extreme Viiv Edition review
At ECS also P965 is with the honor of PX1 Extreme, a motherboard adopting the last chipset INTEL and benefitting from certification Viiv. Remenber that this board is the only one certified ViiV in our comparative. Like other moterboard there is support for socket LGA775 and four slot DDR2.
With its black PCB and its ends rounded, the PX1 is coloured enough, the manufacturer taïwanais having retained connectors orange, purple, yellow and blue without forgetting a little red . Supplied with a quad stage power, the motherboard contain connector ATX 24 pins as well as a double connector ATX 12 volts and complete ECS Molex, to stabilize the power supply of the PCI-Express bus.
Using the ICH8-DH, ViiV obliges, the motherboard to adopts a cooling system completely
quiet which is the same as the one used by Abit except that ECS it is not OTES but QoolTech. Northbridge and southbridge are covered with copper radiators and are connected between them by a heat-pipe, This last is connected to the copper radiator which covers the MOSFET. With three ports PCI, and two connectors PCI-Express 1x, the motherboard offers two ports PCI-Express 16x in order to authorize the use of CrossFire technology from ATI, the second port being logically
cabledin 4x. Propre and well arranged , the PX1 offers six ports Serial-ATA 3 Gb/s, a connector for the disk drive and a connector IDE. This last on the other hand is rather badly placed since it is located on the lower right end of the motherboard.
Mother motherboard ECS PX1 Extreme: heat in front!
Making also call with a chip JMicron JMB363 for the management of IDE, the motherboard offers two additional ports Serial-ATA being added to the six already managed by the chipset. two of them are present not far from the chip JMicron, the other is proposed as an external connector. Dealing with FireWire, the PX1 Extreme makes confidence for that with chip VIA VT6308P. The audio, almost logically, is managed by a codec Realtek ALC885, whereas the network part is
entrusted by two different controllers. The first is a controller PCI-Express i82566DC signed INTEL, a choice imposed by ViiV certification, whereas the second is a controller Realtek RTL8110SC. The two chips take of course charges of connections gigabit.
Internal level connector , the motherboard have five fan connetor, including one for the CPU, three connectors USB . ECS did not forget to place a connector for a possible optional parallel port. At outside, the motherboard there
is two ports PS/2, port series, four ports USB 2.0, two connectors RJ45 dedicated to the network, a port eSATA as well as a six audio connectors in the format mini-jack.
Question bundle, the PX1 Extreme is delivered with a guide of user, in English, as well as all other cable for the principal characteristics of this motherboard. The box contains , a cable eSATA, a transforming port Serial-ATA managed by the JMicron chip into a second connector
eSATA, two ports USB 2.0 and one FireWire port as well as the usual driver discs . But it is not all! ECS also delivers a parallel port , two cable IDE and a cable for the disk drive, five cables Serial-ATA, a sticker ECS to be affixed on your case :-), a cable network RJ45 as well as an electric adapter Molex SATA. ECS also delivers an adapter 3 ½ inches making possible to have two connectors USB and FireWire port in frontage as well as a very useful adapter transforming a
disc IDE into a peripheral Serial-ATA.
Details of PX1 Extreme
Side BIOS, at ECS it will have been necessary for us to wait for the third update to be able to start to use the mother motherboard under good conditions. The first BIOS indeed fixed the FSB which could not execed the value of 310 MHz. The second BIOS generated probably some probleme with our GeForce 7900 GTX . And the third BIOS reconsiders all these problems, but using it the motherboard refuse to boot using our corsair memory :-) . so we still waiting for the fourth update!
addition to these considerations, the BIOS makes possible of course to regulate the memory latencies, the frequency of the system bus (with a maximum of 400 MHz, which is low!) or to select the ratio of the memory between values 533, 667 and 800 MHz. The multiplying coefficient of the processor is adjustable whereas the advanced functions of processors INTEL (Execute Disable Bit, VT and Enhanced SpeedStep) are activables (or not) ??.
Side of voltage, it is not possible to increase
voltage in CPU more than 0,15 volts and on memory by 0,35 volts: That would seriously slow down the overclocking! Moreover, we will regret the absence of BIOS module update . ...So for overclocking there is nothings good... :-(
Foxconn P9657AA review
Enough popular in certain European countries like Germany. the manufacturer proposes about all types of motherboards of which several models based on famous P965 from INTEL. We retained for this test the model P9657AA which is at Foxconn teh leader in terms of functionalities. Equipped with Socket
LGA 775, the motherboard with format ATX and the dark blue PCB, has four DDR2 slot. The stage power is in three-phase and the motherboard has connector ATX 24 pins and a double connector ATX 12 volts. The cooling of chipset is ensured here by two metal radiators .
With three ports PCI, a port PCI-Express 16x, a connector PCI-Express 1x and a last connector PCI-Express 4x, the motherboard of Foxconn posts a relatively good components. Admittedly the insertion of
a graphics card doubles stage of type Radeon X1950 or GeForce 7900 GTX will kill one of ports PCI, but ports Serial-ATA are easily accessible just like the connector IDE and the port for the disk drive.
motherboard Foxconn P9657AA
Equipped with six connectors Serial-ATA 3 Gb/s, the P9657AA proposes various additional functionalities like the IDE, ensured here by JMicron chip of type JMB361 and different from the JMB363 massively used on the other motherboards. FireWire 400 is not forgotten and Foxconn has with this intention retained a component VIA VT6308P. The network on its part was built on chip Marvell 88E8056, interfaced in the PCI-Express and managing gigabit connections whereas the
audio part depends on codec Realtek ALC883. we regret the absence on this model of a second network controller or the fact that Foxconn does not go beyond six connectors Serial-ATA.
With only three fan connectors , including one dedicated to the processor, the motherboard offers three additional ports USB as well as a connector for FireWire . note the presence of Molex connector aiming to stabilize the power supply of the PCI-Express bus as well as the use
by Foxconn of a EEPROM for the BIOS. the P9657AA offers two ports PS/2, a port series and a parallel port, four ports USB 2.0, connector eSATA, FireWire connector, network RJ45 and an optical exit.
Question bundle, The manufacturer is satisfied with the minimum and the bundle of its P9657AA is probably the worst of this comparative. we finds in the thin box,Driver CD and a handbook which a cable IDE and a cable floppy , only one cable Serial-ATA.
Details of motherboard Foxconn P9657AA
One finishes our review by some words on the BIOS. This one lack from many function . it is impossible to flash the bios without diskette! impossibility to adjust the frequency of the PCI-Express bus , a considerable detail when one some overclocking. the BIOS allows to choose the ratio (DDR2-533, DDR2-667, DDR2-800), to adjust the multiplying coefficient of the processor or to define the frequency of the FSB manually (maximum 600 MHz!). The adjustments
of the memory latency are summarized the essential to know: CASE Latency, SHORT-NAP CLOTH to CASE, CLOSE-CROPPED Precharge and tRAS.
Side voltage bad news, it is possible to modify the relating to the processor or the memory .it is necessary to be satisfied with step of 0,0125 volts for the processor and 0,050 volts for the memory. The screen not indicating the current voltage ... It should be noted that Foxconn using a chip of little spread monitoring, the programs as CPU-Z are unable to
read the adjustments of the memory.
Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 review
At Gigabyte, the arrival of chipset P965 was the occasion to make very high-end-range motherboard. It should be said that the manufacturer does not propose motherboard on i975X for processors Core 2 Duo. In fact the GA-965P-DQ6 held our attention here, but it should be known that the manufacturer proposes
also a whole family of motherboards P965 financially more accessible with his series S3 and S4.
We will not return on the traditional blue PCB and the ATX format , to concentrate on the cooling system which is True clone of the coolings suggested by Asus on its A8N32 (in particular), the system CrazyCool Gigabyte consists of a true copper piping which circulates on the mother motherboard: southbridge with the northbridge while passing by the various MOSFET . the back of the motherboard
is equipped with a kind of extra-flat copper radiator which takes seat under the processor socket; the idea being to facilitate the dissipation of the heat generated by this last. Remain that if the device can be useful with Pentium D, it is not so with the case of Core 2 Duo The more so as the whole of the cooling system developped by Gigabyte makes the motherboard particularly heavy whereas the back plate can pose problem with the ThermalRight and Noctua in particular: a total disassembling of
the latter is essential then. Provided with the chipset P965, the GA-965P-DQ6 adopts socket LGA775 and four slots DDR2. It accepts the whole range of INTEL processors Socket LGA775, as well as next Kentsfield, the first processor quad-core from INTEL.
The power is entrusted by connector ATX 24 pins and connector ATX 2x12 volts. In Gigabyte was placed a Molex connector to stabilize the power of the ports PCI-Express , if CrossFire is used. Since we speak about the power we
cannot make the economy detail the power circuit of the motherboard. Gigabyte announces that its mother motherboard uses solid condensers, with the difference of the condensers usual electrolytes, whereas its motherboard use a stage of 12 phases via four stage of three phases each one. Actually Gigabyte duplicates each phase and the motherboard offers a power twice 6 phases, which is not completely similar and it is especially lower than the 8 phases power of the P5B Deluxe from Asus.
two ports PCI, two connectors PCI-Express 16x and three ports PCI-Express 1x, the fitting of the motherboard seems good. the installation of the first graphics card, if this one is long, it will prevent from opening the memory broch. The graphics insertion of one second card will condemn certain ports Serial-ATA, as well as port PCI this last has double stage cooling. Compatible with the CrossFire configurations since ATI made the modifications necessary to its driver, GA-965P
DQ6 offers to the principal card a bus PCI-Express 16x, whereas the second card is satisfied with an operation in the PCI-Express 4x.
A mother motherboard Gigabyte which imposes some!
With a port IDE, a connector for the disk drive, the motherboard proposes two connectors of extension for the possible FireWire and three connectors for optional USB. Gigabyte propose a connector TPM, connector absent in the P5B Deluxe from
Asus. As regards hard with disks, the motherboard proposes a total of eight connectors Serial-ATA. Six are managed directly by INTEL southbridge : ICH8R, whereas the two others, always in Serial-ATA 3 Gb/s, depend on the integrated JMicron controller who also manages the IDE. INTEL decided to remove IDE controller support from its last southbridge :-(, obliging the board manufacturers to add an additional chip. Supporting FireWire, the motherboard calls upon a controller
Texas Instruments whereas the audio part is managed by codec ALC888DD signed Realtek offering the Dolby digital and SDR.
Provided with only three fan connectors (including one for the CPU!), the motherboard has for the network of only one controller gigabit type, in fact a component Marvell 88E8053. External level connector , the GA-965P-DQ6 offers two ports PS/2, a parallel port, a port series, four ports USB 2.0, a port FireWire, a connector RJ45, a six audio connectors to the format
mini-jack without forgetting the two digital displays coaxial and optical.
In comparison with the bundle, Gigabyte delivers in addition to the handbook and Driver CD , a cable IDE, a cable for the disk drive, four cables Serial-ATA . Gigabyte delivers two two external connectors Serial-ATA.
Some details of the GA-965P-DQ6
As usual at Gigabyte, the BIOS is posted in two times, since it is necessary to use the CTRL+F1 to get in the advanced configuration options . All the interesting adjustments are gathered in the page MIT or Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker. Here, it will be possible to regulate the frequency of the FSB (with a maximum of 700 MHz!) and also to adjust the multiplying coefficient of the processor. Note, that like Asus, Gigabyte allows to choose coefficient lower than origin INTEL coefficient
. Concerning the adjustments memory fsb cpu, Gigabyte proposes a total of six different ratios (533, 667, 800, 709, 888, 1067).
The adjustment of the latency is particularly rich, a little as on the P5B Deluxe from Asus with the possibility of adjusting values like the RWTR, the WTPD or the RT Precharge. various options like the CIA for the automatic overclocking or Graphics Robust Booster which overclock the PCI-Express bus, the BIOS makes on the other hand the dead end on
the management of profiles. Level overclocking our experiment was far from being perfect, Will know finally that, Gigabyte store the BIOS on two memory chips history to have a copy in case of problem.
MSI P965 Platinum review
At MSI, the last chipset from INTEL, P965, is logically with the program of editions Neo and Platinum.we have reviewed today the platinum version. With format ATX, the motherboard adopts socket LGA775 and has four slots DDR2 . The power is ensured by connector ATX 24 pins assisted
with double ATX 12 volts, extremely curiously positioned besides. Provided with a power circuit quad phase, the motherboard adopts an entirely passive cooling system. The northbridge is thus covered with an aluminium radiator, just like the southbridge. With the difference in this last, the radiator of the northbridge is definitely larger.
Equipped with two connectors PCI-Express 16x, the motherboard supports CrossFire technology from ATI and has a Molex connector to stabilize
the power of the second port PCI-Express 16x. As at Asus and Gigabyte, P965 Platinum MSI offers, in mode CrossFire, a bond PCI-Express 16x for Master the graphics card whereas the secondary one is satisfied with a bond 4x. with two ports PCI, and two ports PCI-Express 1x, the motherboard from MSI contain a connector IDE,six connectors Serial-ATA 3 Gb/s and a connector for the disk drive. we finds with the bottom of the motherboard a seventh port Serial-ATA3
Gb/s which depends either on chipset INTEL but on the JMicron chip, which also allows to manage the IDE.
Mother motherboard MSI P965 Platinum
MSI naturally supplements the functions managed by INTEL chipset with additional different components. Already mentioned above, the chip JMicron JMB361 makes possible to manage an additional port Serial-ATA as well as a channel IDE whereas the manufacturer taïwanais retained an audio codec Realtek of type ALC 883. If MSI does not forget FireWire, the manufacturer passes by a circuit VIA VT6307 when the great majority of its competitors use chips Texas Instruments henceforth.
The network depends here on only one and single controller Realtek RTL8111B from gigabit type, interfaced in the PCI-Express . this motherboard as the luxurious options of type doubles network gigabit, integrated WiFi , controllers Serial-ATA to manage for example ten hard disks (or more!). Not, MSI prefers to remain reasonable history to not explode the tariff of its motherboard. the motherboard offers four ports USB 2.0, only one and single connector RJ45, a parallel port, a port series,
a FireWire connector and two ports PS/2.The audio is of course part with a five connectors to the format mini-jack, an optical exit and a digital display. As regards with fan connector , the motherboard is provided with a total of five connectors, including one for the processor.
Side bundle, MSI delivers its P965 Platinum with various accessories of which inevitable guides of installation and other driver CD .Are added to that, four cables Serial-ATA,two adapters electric Molex towards SATA,
a cable IDE and a cable for the disk drive. MSI supplements the whole with two FireWire connectors (one with the normal format, the other in mini), and two additional ports USB 2.0 .
Details of the motherboard MSI P965 Platinum
we had many issue with msi motherboard using our 7900 gtx we tried 3 motherboard and finaly the last one worked correctly .
the BIOS of the MSI proves to be rather correct with the number of options available. The most interssing options can be found in the Cell Menu page where we will be able to modify the system bus of the processor to reach a maximum of 500 MHz or to change the memory ratio . MSI proposes a total of six ratios ,one more from the traditional 533, 667 and 800 there is right to the ratios 709, 886 and 1067!
Side voltage, it will be possible to set the memory voltage up to
2,45 volts and to increase the northbridge voltage also. The processor vcore could not be increased more than 0,7875 volts. As much to sayanything! The management of the memory latency is done in a different menu at the Advanced Chipset Features. Naturally, the multiplying coefficient of the processor can be adjusted with the frequency of the PCI-Express bus. Let us finish by that MSI as always proposes its function of dynamic overclocking which will allow
to overclock the CPU, or the PCI-Express bus, or both at the same time. To test the performances of our various motherboards, we had recourse to common components. Those are listed below:
Processor INTEL Core 2 Extreme X6800,
2x1 G Corsair Twin2X 6400C3,
Graphics card NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTX,
Hard disk Western DIGITAL Raptor 36 G Serial-ATA 150
All our configurations turned under Windows XP Professionnel Service Pack 2 with the lastest driver. in particular the one for chipsets INTEL 220.127.116.111 and ForceWare 91.47. Note that we systematically used the last BIOS available to the moment of the tests. We will compare through these motherboard in some tests to see the performances of our various motherboards P965 all while systematically opposing them to
our motherboard of reference, the P5W-DH Deluxe from asus containing chipset i975X.
In order to put all our motherboards on an equal situation we make sure that the frequency of the FSB is well 266 MHz whereas we enter systematically the same adjustments for the memory. Only notable exception, the motherboard ECS which does not post with our DDR2 in CAS3, we was forced to use the CAS4 in this motherboard.
3DMark 06 - Test processor
we starts our benchmarks with the processor test from 3DMark 06. our various motherboards show about identical performances the difference between fastest and slowest not exceeding the 2,4%!
PCMark 05 - Test processor
The test PCMark 05 does not show any significant difference between our various motherboards. All show about the same result.
PCMark 05 - Test memory
The test report gives a little more contrast to the previously observed. Thus the P9657AA from Foxconn seems with to be weak , just like the PX1 from ECS, whereas all the other motherboards are with equality. In the case of ECS it should be recalled that we use latency (4) higher than on the other motherboards, the fault with the BIOS which does not post with CASE 3. Note the memory performances of the P5W-DH from Asus which is 3% higher than those of P5B-Deluxe.
Sandra 2007 - SP1 - Test processor
Like 3DMark 06, Sandra really does not make possible to see any clear deference between our various motherboards. All deliver identical performances except for the P5W-DH Deluxe from Asus which seems to have a very light advantage.
Sandra 2007 - SP1 - Test memory
The test Sandra report gives an other reading for the performance between our motherboards. Here the P5W-DH and its chipset i975X take the lead when the motherboard Foxconn posts again a low performances. Between the P5W-DH Deluxe and the P9657AA the variation of the bus report reaches 11%! It is considerable but after the checks of memory frequency under CPU-Z and latency , it seems that the BIOS of Foxconn is not optimized... we distinguishes
then two groups of motherboards under this test, the best being Biostar, Gigabyte and Abit, whereas the two Asus motherboards and the MSI show medium result.
Windows Media Encoder 9.0
Nothings special here all the motherboard are about fast.
Far Cry - v1.4 - 1280*1024
We did not forget the gaming test with a small performances under Far Cry. This one being particularlys ensitive to the memory performances . The P5W-DH logically shows the fastest, whereas all other motherboards P965 post similar performances, except...P9657AA of Foxconn which finished last. Vs the P9657AA from Foxconn, the P5B Deluxe from Asus is 7% faster! But vs the P5B Deluxe, the P5W-DH has 8% superior frame rate.
Doom 3 - 1280*1024
we finishes with Doom 3 which seems particularly limited by the processor. all our mother motherboards post here performances identical .
here come the most interssing part :-).
Core 2 Duo from INTEL being a particularly famous processor for its capabilit of high overclocking, we could then push our P965 motherboards to their limits! And surprised, if the results of our various benchmarks are very often similar from one motherboard to another, it does mean that we will get the same result in their overclocking potential . For these tests we showed a relatively reasonable with the use of an air cooling system,
boxed intel cooler. Side memory we used DDR2 PC8500 Corsair whereas we set a fixed multiplying coefficient for the processor of 8x. We could use higher multiplier for sure, but the objective was to reproduce the max bus overclocking and not the extreme overclocking.
First motherboard of our comparative, the AB9-Pro of Abit enabled us to reach the 425 MHz of system bus, that is to say a frequency of 3,4 GHz. It is well but it is low in comparaison with other motherboards as the P5B Deluxe from Asus which reached the 475 MHz of FSB for the CPU operating with 3,8 GHz. Of course it was necessary for us in both cases to increase the memory voltage and the processor vCore , with in general 2,45 volts for the memory and
1,525 volt for the vCore. The other motherboard Asus, the P5B-E shows with brilliance that the interest of the power circuits equipping the high-end-range motherboards is about null. We indeed reached and in a stable way the 460 MHz of FSB on the P5B-E, this is the frequency of 3,7 GHz. Tforce from Biostar is one of the good surprises of this test since we could make climb the FSB with 450 MHz for a rated frequency of 3,6 GHz. Alas, the 475 MHz remained inaccessible. on the other hand at ECS where
the BIOS does not make possible to exceed the 400 MHz of FSB and where practice did not enable us to exceed the 375 MHz is... 3 GHz. The P9657AA of Foxconn does not make any particularly, the maximum FSB which we could make was 390 MHz is 3,12 GHz for our Core 2 Duo .Gigabyte Side, the overclocking was a true test considering the unknown behavior of the BIOS, and this same with the last F6 version. We all the same could reach the 450 MHz of FSB and if the system were functional and stable,
the raised performances were curiously lower than with other motherboards working at the same frequencies. we finishes by P965 Platinum from MSI which did not even want to start Windows without a restarting after small FSB of 350 MHz.
Far Cry v1.4 - 1280*1024
We raised on each overclocked motherboard the performances obtained under Far Cry in 1280x1024 and high quality, always with our GeForce 7900 GTX. we can note that the P5B Deluxe get some honors but not with the P5B-E ! It will be noted that curiously the GA-965P-DQ6 from Gigabyte posts performances lower than these from its overclocked competitors at the same frequency whereas the motherboard of Foxconn remains penalized by its bad memory management .
Review of the characteristics of our motherboards
here is a picture recapitulating the various characteristics of each one of our motherboards. The goal is to clarify the things and to allow you to see the deference, or almost, the differences between each model:-)
Arrived at the end of this review. First of all the chipset P965 from INTEL is almost as powerful as its brother, the i975X. It should be said that the board manufacturers must optimize their BIOS since this last is one of the most indisputable advantage of the i975X . As regards overclocking, P965 is particularly interesting . the memory ratio available on P965 is low "1:1" what prevents you from using slower frequency memory , in other word if u
look for massive overclocking with a P965 motherboard is worthto get high quality memory .
With regard to the various motherboards which we tested, their performances are shown overall identical with a margin of 2 %. we will thus not have to be based on this only to decide between them: the design of the motherboard, its functionalities, the quality of its BIOS or its overclocking capability play the most important roles in the user choose. Thus we will reproach the AB9 Pro
its poor design! If the motherboard show good performances with rather pleasant functions, in particular on the level of the multiplicity of ports Serial-ATA, the connectors are dispersed anywhere on the PCB. As for the BIOS, it has certain adjustments... In short the AB9-Pro did not convince us.
The motherboard of ECS is delivered with beautiful bundle, by far richest of our test, but those accessories could not make forget certain probelme! First of all the BIOS still does not manage normal work with conroe cpu,after three updates we can\'t get Corsair memory to work in CAS3 !!!, also the overclocking: not more than 400 MHz for the maximum FSB and only +0,15 volt for the vcore ! In short, if the design of the motherboard is rather correct, the BIOS must be entirely
At Biostar, TForce 965 Deluxe look to be limited options of motherboard and, however,it is one of the very good surprises of this test! Admittedly the bundle accompanying the motherboard is poor, but the design of TForce is completely correct whereas the BIOS is relatively good. Result: good performances and with completely appreciable overclocking! Remain a detail, the quality of certain components, in particular on the level of the power could be re-examined .
The motherboard of Foxconn was presented a little in the form of that from Biostar: a simple motherboard and without any particularity. Not question of CrossFire or dual network gigabit here. Alas for Foxconn, the performances of its motherboard was weakest of this comparative, look like the engineers has forgotten the installation of certain optimizations in the BIOS.
Let us pass now to the GA-965P-DQ6, a rather impressive motherboard by its box size in
which is delivered more than one kilogramme of copper which covers it :-). although the DQ6 is a top-end-range motherboard, Gigabyte makes a hardly believable error count. The design of the motherboard is largely perfectible whereas the CrazyCool system causes more problems than plus. The bundle accompanying the motherboard is particularly disappointing, just like the absence of the second network controller . we will note on the other hand the richness of the memory ratios
proposed by the BIOS or the assumption of responsibility of CrossFire technology . Remain that the BIOS has an strange behavior since it is a question of overclocking: we needs sometimes several restartings to validate and make accept overclocking with the motherboard.
At MSI, P965 Platinum wants to be more accessible than the DQ6 and its design is overall satisfactory with the support of CrossFire technology . The performances are good and the motherboard proposes sufficient
options for the common run . Alas for MSI, the BIOS is not perfect, being unable to start with our GeForce 7900 GTX, whereas the practice of overclocking seems impossible on this motherboard. We could not reach the 350 MHz of FSB.
Let us finish by the case Asus. The manufacturer proposes with his P5B-Deluxe one of the best motherboards, if it is not the best of this comparative. Supporting overclocking as a charm, P5B-Deluxe posts good performances and its BIOS particularly optimazed .
Side functionalities it does not have there large-thing which we can reproach Asus, except can beWi-fi . we would have preferred to see Asus choosing signed controllers network INTEL. Only problem to be underlined: the activation of CrossFire which poses large probleme even with the last BIOS. The P5B-E positions in a way quite different from the P5B Deluxe, since the motherboard is more accessible.
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