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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [01.08.04]
Manufactured by: Abit

Est. Street Price: $115
Avg. 865PE Price: $90-100

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The Test

Testing was done under Windows XP with SP1 installed. All the latest drivers and chipset installation software were used. Test hardware was as follows:

CPU: P4 3.2 GHz with HyperThreading enabled (800 FSB)
Memory: 512MB OCZ PC4000 Gold Dual Channel (3-4-4-8 @ DDR400)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon 9800 Pro 256MB (Catalyst 3.10)
HDD: 80GB Seagate Barracuda V ATA100

We tested the AI7 in "Auto" mode, which is with stock i865PE settings. We were also able to test in "Street Racer" mode, which sped things up considerably. Turbo mode would have been somewhere between "Auto" and "Street Racer". F1 mode is the fastest of all, but only in a few tests is it faster than Street Racer. This info is based on our previous Abit 865 review, the IS7-G.

For comparison purposes, we benched it against Intel's own D875PBZ. It is about as 'stock' as you will find, and is actually quite a fast and stable board. I wish I could recommend it to people, but OC and tweaking options are few and far between on this board (which probably explains its stability ;))

Memory Performance

As always, we'll start our review with some theoretical memory performance tests. This shows us exactly where the performance differences will be coming from.

As you can see, in "Auto" mode, the AI7 falls behind the Intel 875 board by quite a bit. But with "Street Racer" enabled, it pulls ahead, making this 865 board even faster than an 875 board.

Aida32's numbers only cement that fact. Memory bandwidth soars with Street Racer mode enabled. Let's see if that translates to increased performance in Windows!

PCMark runs various tests to target different subsets of everyday computing performance. The Memory tests once again confirm what we saw with the theoretical benchmarks, but have a look at the System score! It's great to see that GAT truly increases performance, even in real system tests.

The PCMark 04 system tests include:

  • File compression
  • File decompression
  • File encryption
  • File decryption
  • Virus scanning
  • Grammar check
  • Audio conversion
  • Image processing
  • Web page rendering
  • WMV video compression
  • DivX video compression
  • Physics calculation and 3D

Most of the things we use our systems for every day.

Gaming matters most, so we'll finish up with some gaming benchmarks.

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