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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [02.27.08]
Manufactured by: Universal Abit


The Test

The P35 Express chipset is Intel's current top-of-the-middle-line chipset, if that makes any sense. Basically, it's the one below the X38, which adds ECC memory support, and PCI-E 2.0. Both chipsets support DDR3 memory, but the IP35 Pro opts for DDR2 in this case. After all, DDR3 is still up there in price, and performance benefits aren't really starting to show up just yet.

The P35 Express replaces the P965/975X chipsets before it, adding official support for a 1333 MHz Frontside Memory Bus. Therefore, I've decided to make this review doubly useful, by comparing performance of two different processors on two different motherboards, where the only difference is the FSB speed.

The IP35 Pro will be using an Intel Core 2 Duo E6750, which runs at 2.66 GHz, on a 1333 MHz FSB. We will be comparing it to an Intel D975XBX2, with a Core 2 Duo E6700 installed. The E6700 also runs at 2.66 GHz, but on a 1066 MHz FSB. This should tell us exactly how much of a performance increase to expect by simply increasing the FSB rate and nothing else. The rest of the system setup specs are as follows:

Memory: 2GB A-Data DDR2-800 5-5-5-16
Video Card: GeForce 7950 GT 512MB
Hard Drive: WD Raptor 36 GB 10K RPM SATA
OS:  Windows Vista x86 with SP1 installed

Memory Performance

As with all motherboard reviews, we'll start off with some memory bandwidth performance. Considering that the memory is the same, and the chipsets are similar, this is probably the most profound difference we'll see with the higher FSB:

As expected, the IP35 Pro, with its P35 Express chipset running at 1333 MHz FSB instead of 1066 MHz, has an overall memory bandwidth advantage. What we want to find out is whether this translates to real-world performance, and by how much.

Next Page: (System Performance: PCMark Vantage)