PC gaming certainly has changed a lot over the last few years. At first, there were PCs on which people could play games when they weren't using the machines for office work, email or other more-mundane applications . Now there is a bevy of dedicated gaming PCs on offer and a growing variety of components designed just for the gamer enthusiast. Gaming clearly has turned into a sport, and there is plenty of excitement that goes along with it. The components used for gaming systems have to satisfy both technical and emotional expectations, because you want your gaming rig to perform well and you want it to be special; at the end of the day, the system is a reflection of its owner.
We've spent some time looking at the latest components such as Intel's brand new X38 PCI Express 2.0 chipset, high-performance DDR3-1800 memory, state-of-the-art P35 motherboards with DDR3 support and more socket 775 based motherboards using Nvidia's nForce 650i entry-level SLI chipset. The X38 and fast DDR3 clearly are the best options money can buy in the respective chipset and memory retail markets at this time. Yet, the performance difference compared to what the P35 (or other comparable platforms) and DDR2 memory offer is negligible, while the cost savings P35 and DDR2 offer versus what you must pay for X38 and DDR3 are steep Compare Prices on X38 Motherboards, indeed. Unless you insist on a dual-graphics setup, we recommend a decent Intel P35 platform and high-performance DDR2 memory, which comes at an unbeatable price/performance ratio these days.
Several motherboard makers have had gaming products for quite a while. Think of DFI's LANParty product family as an ideal example, which probably was the first of its kind. These products were designed with the gamer in mind, and the first product generations were paired 5.25" front panel modules and had carrying straps for your computer, called PC Transpo. Asus has released various products within its gaming series with such names such as Blitz, Crosshair or Commando. Companies such as EVGA didn't have to position their products in the gaming segment, because they had offered 3D graphics wares from the beginning. Foxconn, which is battling Asus for the number one position measured by unit volumes sold, also has released a product for the dedicated gamer.
We thus decided to have a close look at the gaming motherboards Asus, DFI and Foxconn now have on offer.
- Three Gaming Motherboards With Intel's P35 Chipset
- The P35 Express Chipset
- ... And Its Competition
- Asus Blitz Formula
- Blitz Formula slide show And Details
- DFI LanParty UT P35-T2R
- LANParty UT P35-T2R slide show And Details
- Foxconn Mars
- Mars slide show And Details
- Test Setup
- Benchmark Results
- Synthetic And Audio Benchmarks
- Feature Comparison Table