Intel Stakes Its Vision of the PC Future with 775 Launch

More Findings

Intel's Hardware Monitor, part of the version 2.0 Desktop Utilities, complained about the Pentium 4 560's temperature after installing the test system (Intel D925XCV) into a Chieftech CS601 case. We had even used two 80 mm fans at a medium rotation speed.

The Asus P5AD2 didn't want to work with our GeForce 6800 Ultra PCIe reference board and also demounted our SATA RAID array once in a while. MSI is obviously not adhering to the design specifications, as the capacitors used come in conflict with certain CPU coolers. Gigabyte's 8ANXP Duo was unbelievably accurate when it comes to shutting down the system as this exceeds the CPU temperature threshold under a high CPU load. The threshold temperature is 72.8° C for the 3.4 GHz and 3.6 GHz versions, and believe me, using the Intel boxed cooler will lead you straight to that limit. As a result of that, we decided to include a full scope of power consumption tests as well (see benchmark section).

Using more efficient coolers will reduce tcase to ~60 °C under high CPU loads, but one thing is for sure: Forget about overclocking the 560; while the aqazs effort is tremendous, its result rather pathetic. In addition, Intel's chipset overclocking limitation will foil your intentions. And there is another fact which we could hardly believe: While the P4 560 broils at 60 °C, the P4 Extreme Edition at 3.4 GHz runs at only 35 °C tcase.

Airflow is another issue with the new platforms. Intel's design guidelines arrange for round coolers with star like fins. The reason for doing this is not only the vast heat sink surface and heat dissipation, but also the side effect of simultaneous voltage regulator and Northbridge cooling. In accordance to that, many motherboard makers finally abandoned their Northbridge fans and switched to passive component cooling solutions.

Finally we had some problems with two older Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 80 GB SATA drives and Intel's D925XCV, as they were running as slow as an ancient CD ROM drive. Both companies know about this problem and we don't expect to see any SATA compatibility problems with final product revisions.

The Gigabyte motherboards will cause trouble if you need to attach a floppy drive. According to Gigabyte that does only happen with reference board. In this case, we couldn't install the GeForce 6800 Ultra PCIe reference board completely - at least we were able to operate the test system.