SOLANO Preview - Once Intel Makes Sense ...

The Test Platform

Before you get too enthusiastic about the benchmark results I have to let you know that our platform is not the final product. We received our i815-motherboard from a company that does not want to be named, as you can imagine. This motherboard came with Socket370, 3 DIMM slots, 1 AGP slot, 5 PCI slots and one AMR slot. The board was using the new 'ICH2' chip as 'south bridge', giving us two USB-hubs or four USB-ports, but ATA100 was not enabled. The chipset stepping of this motherboard was 'A1'. All steppings with 'A' in it are pre-production or beta samples, which normally don't come with all the performance features enabled. Therefore I suggest that the final i815 will perform better. However, the performance as well as the stability of our test platform was already very good. Equipped with new Intel INF-files we could install Windows98 without a problem and the board never failed even once.

Here you can see the Win98 system manager with all the funky i815 devices.

Due to time constraints we decided against testing of the integrated 3D graphic of i815. Firstly the drivers are early stage, secondly nobody expects great performance and finally only minorities of you will even consider using it. We will supply you with test results of i815's integrated 3D-solution at a later stage.

We ran the tests in the same configuration as we used for 'The Giga Battle - Part 2 '. This way we were able to compare our i815 results with the scores of BX, i820, i840 and VIA Apollo Pro 133A without having to re-run the whole batch of benchmarks. Therefore we used the driver release 5.08 for the GeForce graphics card. I still checked if there's a significant difference to the scores under the latest rev. 5.22 drivers and could only find that the Q3-results dropped from 5.08 to 5.22. Anyway, there are no reasons to worry about the test setup that we used for our i815 testing.

Platform Information
Graphics card for all tests NVIDIA GeForce 256
120 MHz Core, 300 MHz DDR-RAM 32 MB
Hard Drive for all tests Seagate Barracuda ATA ST320430A
CPU for all tests Intel Pentium III 1 GHz, 133 MHz FSB
Intel i815 Chipset Pre-Release Stepping A1
Motherboard No Information.
Memory 128 MB, Wichmann WorkX MXM128 PC133 SDRAM CAS2
IDE Interface onboard
Network 3Com 3C905B-TX
VIA Apollo Pro 133A Chipset
Motherboard Asus P3V4X, ACPI BIOS 1002 final, March 2000
Memory 128 MB, Enhanced Memory Systems PC133 HSDRAM CAS2
IDE Interface Promise Ultra66 PCI card
Network 3Com 3C905B-TX
Intel 440 BX Chipset
Motherboard Asus P3B-F, ACPI BIOS 1005 beta 01, March 2000
Memory 128 MB, Enhanced Memory Systems PC133 HSDRAM CAS2
IDE Interface Promise Ultra66 PCI card
Network 3Com 3C905B-TX
Intel 820 Chipset
Motherboard Asus P3C-L, ACPI BIOS 1020 beta 05, March 2000
Memory 128 MB, Samsung PC800 RDRAM, RDRAM clock adjusted in BIOS
IDE Interface onboard
Network Onboard i82559
Intel 840 Chipset
Motherboard OR840, special unreleased BIOS
Memory 128 MB, Samsung PC800 RDRAM
128 MB, Samsung PC700 RDRAM, running as PC600 RDRAM
IDE Interface onboard
Network Onboard i82559
Driver Information
Graphics Driver NVIDIA
viagart.vxd for VIA Chipsets 4in1 4.17 (download here! )
AGP-driver 3.56
ATA Driver Promise Ultra66 driver rev. 1.43
Intel Ultra ATA BM driver v5.00.038
Environment Settings
OS Versions Windows 98 SE 4.10.2222 A
Screen Resolution 1024x768x16x85
Screen Resolution 1280x1024x32x85 for SPECviewperf
DirectX Version 7.0
Quake 2 Version 3.20
command line = +set cd_nocd 1 +set s_initsound 0
Crusher demo, 640x480x16
Quake 3 Arena Retail Version
command line = +set cd_nocd 1 +set s_initsound 0
Graphics detail set to 'Normal', 640x480x16
Benchmark using 'Q3DEMO1'
Expendable Downloadable Demo Version
command line = -timedemo
Unreal Tournament Ver. 4.05b
high quality textures, medium quality skins, no tweaks
Benchmark using 'UTBench'.

Office Application Performance Under Windows98SE

From the Giga Battle or the Showdown at 133 MHz FSB you might remember the astonishing performance that BX133 is able to produce in Sysmark2000. Pre-release Solano is already able to leave everything except of BX133 and i840 w/Pc800 RDRAM behind it. You can see that i820 has already lost and I wouldn't be surprised if i815 would smoke i840 as well once it is in full operation mode.

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