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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [07.18.05]
Manufactured by: ECS


Ethernet Performance

We used NTTCP to determine the peak throughput of each Ethernet controller. The host system was another NF4 Ultra board, with Firewall disabled.

Nothing surprizing here; the Soltek uses a PCI based Gigabit Ethernet solution, so is handicapped in that regard. The RTL8139 simply shows its age here. It has no business being on a motherboard released in mid-2005.

NVIDIA has yet to fix the CPU usage problems with their NFORCE4 Ethernet drivers. Even more surprizing however is the high CPU usage on that RTL8139 chip. For a 100 mb/s controller, it sure uses a lot of resources.

USB & FireWire Performance

In an attempt to simplify our reviews a bit, I changed our USB2.0 and FireWire tests to a single chart, based on burst transfer rate. This gives us an idea of how fast each controller can run at peak throughput:

The TI TSB43AB22A chip has had nothing but problems since SP2 was released. A hotfix has been released, but performance is not up to par with other controllers.

SATA Performance

HDTach was used to give a basic idea on how each SATA controller performs:

Surprizingly, the SiS 180 controller outperforms the NF4 Ultra by a bit. Still, the NF4 cannot be beaten when it comes to simplicity.

Next Page: (Worldbench 5)