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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [04.07.05]
Manufactured by: Shuttle

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Ethernet Performance

We used NTTCP to test Ethernet throughput and CPU usage performance. The host system was an Intel 925X motherboard, with a Marvell PCI-E adapter.

The Ethernet is the one area where the NF4 differentiates itself from the NF4 Ultra. Thankfully, throughput is not at all affected.

However one thing that is affected is the lack of "ActiveArmor" or hardware acceleration. Let's see how the CPU usage looks:

Say what? Well as we've noted in previous reviews, ActiveArmor doesn't seem to be working the way it should. If anything, it should be lower than the 12.1% usage the SN25P scores. Once AA is working the way it should, expect it to be 8% or lower. This is the case with every single NF4 Ultra board we've reviewed, so it's a driver issue and not related to hardware.

USB & FireWire Performance

To test USB2.0 and FireWire performance, we connected an external USB 2.0 hard drive to the bus, and ran HDTach's Quick 8MB test. Average Read and Write speeds are given, as well as a CPU usage test, which has a margin of error of +/- 2%

Both USB2.0 and FireWire perform as they should.

Since FireWire is controlled by the device itself, CPU usage testing is useless. Here are the USB2.0 CPU usage results:

Unfortunately, the SN25P scored higher than the rest in USB2.0. However keep that +/- 2% margin of error, and it looks like it performs right in line with other NF4 boards.

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