Conclusion: MSI Is Balanced, Siemens Is Very Solid
The MSI MS-6337 showed the most balanced features among the boards tested: The board based on the Solano 2 chipset delivers a very good performance in connection with high system stability. In addition, it offers numerous features for overclocking that are especially interesting for users who like to tweak the performance.
The Fujitsu-Siemens D1184 also achieves a very high performance, but is more suited as a basis for system integrators and OEMs. The nifty thermal management increases system reliability independently from the operating system platform and does not drain any system resources. In comparison with the other test boards, the product quality of the D1184 is unequalled.
The benchmark results display it quite clearly: Only in two OpenGL disciplines is the Intel 815 chipset faster than the older 440BX. In all other test categories its predecessor delivers a marginally better performance. Generally, it is not easy to argue for the Intel 815(E): In a direct comparison with its predecessor 440BX, the new chipset offers all the modern features (AGP 4x, 133 MHz Front Side Bus, Ultra-DMA/66/100, etc.), but does not deliver any visible advantage considering the most important criterion, performance.
Keep in mind that all this is true under the assumption that the 440BX is operated at a (FSB) memory clock of 133 MHz and an AGP clock of 89 MHz, which does not comply with the specification. However, it was the only way to directly compare it with the Intel 815 (E).
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