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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [08.30.06]
Manufactured by: Gigabyte



For many people, the most important thing is gaming performance. But how does the motherboard affect performance? Let's find out, using 3 recent video games. In all tests, we used Medium quality settings, and a resolution of 1024x768. In F.E.A.R., the game was set to Medium video quality and Maximum CPU.

Beginning to see a trend here? Although the 945P is using a slower DDR2-667 memory setting, it has no problems keeping up with the 975X and P965 chipsets.

Video Encoding

Another very popular function of desktop PC's is video encoding. Whether you're making "backups" of "your" DVD movies, or encoding your own videos, encoding performance can really range depending on hardware (although it's mostly CPU based, of course). For this test, we used DivX 6.2.5, which supports SMP processing:

For the first time, we are seeing the handicap of the 945P chipset come into play. In this case, it is taking about an extra 10 seconds to encode a 45 minute movie clip.

Video Rendering

Finally, we're looking at video rendering. Although professionals will almost certainly be using specialized hardware, more and more hobbyists are getting into 3D art on their desktop systems. For this, we use CineBench 9.5, which is based on Maxon's popular Cinema4D rendering engine. All tests are CPU based here:

We're back to seeing totally even performance between each motherboard and chipset.

So I guess it can be said that by going with an older 945P chipset, you aren't really losing much performance at all. You might lose the odd 1-2 FPS in a game, or 10-20 seconds encoding an entire movie, but nothing significant.

Now we can find out how the components on each board perform:

Next Page: (Audio Quality)