RSS Feed

HCW Tech Blog

For the latest info on computer hardware, tech, news, video games, software tips, and Linux, check out our new improved front page: HCW Tech Blog

Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [03.07.05]
Manufactured by: Soltek

Lowest Price Finder $122

Discuss this article in the forum


Ethernet Performance

The SL-K890 Pro939 uses a Realtek RTL8169 gigabit ethernet controller, which is PCI based. Since the PCI bus cannot provide gigabit ethernet with the full amount of bandwidth it can potentially use, this will make a slight bottleneck. More importantly, the PCI bus is shared across all devices, so problems could arise during full peak loads.

We tested Ethernet performance with NTTCP. This measures peak bandwidth, and CPU utilization.

Here you can see the bottleneck caused by the PCI bus, compared to the NF4 controller, which resides on the PCI-E bus of the Gigabyte board. It's nothing too major though.

NF4 Ultra's GigaE CPU performance is always going to be low, thanks to its interface. Although it is improved immensely due to ActiveArmor's hardware acceleration, it is still a lot higher than PCI based GigaE. So on one hand, you have lower peak bandwidth, but on the other you benefit from lower CPU usage.

USB & FireWire Performance

To test USB and FireWire performance, we connected an external USB2.0/FireWire Hard Drive Controller to each device, and ran HDTach.

Unfortunately, we ran into problems with each motherboard. We always did have issues with the FireWire on this Gigabyte board, as mentioned in our review. It's a beta board, so problems like these are inevitible.

Likewise, for some reason the SL-K890 Pro939 would only run in USB1.1 mode. We're sure this is a hardware issue, and hope it gets resolved in final shipping boards.

CPU utilization was tested, and all controllers performed well, using no more than 1% CPU usage on each test run.

Next Page: (Audio Performance & Quality)