Intel Stakes Its Vision of the PC Future with 775 Launch

Obstacles And Hurdles

The GeForce 6800 Ultra PCIe is one of the best graphics cards to go. While the AGP version runs at 400 MHz, the PCIe model we received ran at 435 MHz. We underclocked it to 400 MHz in order to receive results that allow for a comparison between the old and the new platform.

As we had to ship our only GeForce 6800 Ultra PCIe card from one lab to the other, we wanted to start benchmarking by overclocking the 6800 GT cards. These run at 350 MHz core and 475 MHz memory clock speeds, while the Ultra clocks at 400/550 MHz. An overclocking tab can be forced to show up in all recent ForceWare graphics driver versions by adding a few modifications to the Windows registry.

NVIDIA's driver is kind enough to check the desired settings before applying them. Strangely, the driver did not allow for the memory clock to be set to the Ultra's 550 MHz with none of our three GT boards. On the other hand, 545 MHz could be easily selected. Is this a coincidence?

We had been willing to live with the 5 MHz memory clock speed difference, but a couple of benchmark showed that the overclocked GTs' results were too far away from the numbers a 6800 Ultra was able to produce.

We wanted to use the idle time as good as possible, so we unwrapped some synthetic benchmarks to start with. We found SiSoft's Sandra 2004 to be useless for the DDR2 platforms, as it declared the Pentium 4 560 to have 150 MB/s less memory throughput than the slower clocked versions. That is hardly possible and does not reflect the real-life benchmark results either. Well, the makers of Sandra know about the problem and are ready to release a SP2. As you can imagine, our attempts to receive that update in advance failed. As a replacement, we introduced Wstream into our benchmark suite.

More obstacles were caused by the ICH6 Southbridge, as Intel upgraded the Serial ATA controller to an AHCI model (Advanced Host Controller Interface). That was required in order to support command queuing, by the way.

As a result, compatibility to the ICH5 is gone now. Upgrading a 845/865/875 Windows installation to run with 915/925 is possible for systems running a single UltraATA system drive by simply selecting Microsoft's default storage driver before exchanging the motherboard. If you're running an ICH5 RAID setup there is no way to get around Windows complaining about an 'inaccessible boot device' after installing an ICH6 platform. Your only option here is to reinstall Windows.

  1. Intel's 775 Launch Mixes Ambition With A Strong Aftertaste
  2. First Contact
  3. Obstacles And Hurdles
  4. More Findings
  5. New Socket: LGA 775
  6. LGA 775 Processor Installation
  7. LGA 775 Processor Installation, Continued
  8. LGA 775 Processor Installation, Continued
  9. MSI's CPU Installation Tool
  10. Transitional Products
  11. Poor Thing: Intel Reference Cooler
  12. New Processors: P4 Prescott Up To 3.6 GHz
  13. Specification Overview
  14. Model And Pricing Information
  15. Processor Overview
  16. New Chipsets: 925X, 915G, 915P, 915GV
  17. New Chipsets: 925X, 915G, 915P, 915GV, Continued
  18. 925X Express Chipset
  19. 915G Express Chipset
  20. 915G Express Chipset, Continued
  21. 915G Express Chipset, Continued
  22. 915P Express Chipset
  23. Chipset Devices
  24. Intel Puts The Lock On Overclocking
  25. How To Unlock The Overclocking Lock
  26. New Memory: DDR2-533, Continued
  27. DDR2 Memory Vendors
  28. Intel Flex Memory Technology
  29. New Interlink: PCI Express
  30. More SATA, More RAID, More Ports
  31. Matrix RAID
  32. Creating A RAID Array
  33. More HD Performance For Free: Command Queuing
  34. More Networking: Intel Wireless Connect Technology
  35. New Audio: High Definition Audio
  36. Asus P5AD2 Premium
  37. Foxconn 925A01
  38. Test Setup
  39. Benchmarks And Settings
  40. Platform Benchmarks
  41. DirectX 8 Benchmarks
  42. DirectX 8 Benchmarks, Continued
  43. DirectX 9 Benchmarks, Continued
  44. Video Benchmarks
  45. Video Benchmarks, Continued
  46. Application Benchmarks
  47. Application Benchmarks, Continued
  48. Synthetic Benchmarks
  49. Synthetic Benchmarks, Continued
  50. Processor Power Consumption
  51. Integrated Graphics Benchmarks
  52. Game Benchmarks
  53. Halo
  54. Far Cry
  55. Video Performance
  56. Networking Benchmarks
  57. Storage Subsystem Benchmarks
  58. Conclusion
  59. A Final Note
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  • So how do you unlock it?