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Budget And Premium Motherboards At The Crossroads

Analysis

Let us summarize what we have discovered from this comparison project:

  • The low-budget and the premium motherboard provide exactly the same performance when using comparable components.
    Although the P4N Diamond runs DDR2-667, it only manages to outperform the 915PL Neo-V by an average of 0.25% with a Pentium 4 Processor 560. However, when it comes to overclocking and fine-tuning, the P4N Diamond not only has the better hardware, it also comes with much more elaborate features.
  • The P4N Diamond comes with a generous feature set that enables this platform to support almost all application types.
    This includes basic audio editing, high-end gaming or professional 3D, entry-level server systems thanks to the flexible storage subsystems.
  • Spending $150 more for the premium motherboard is only worth it if you are definitely interested in more than one of the features offered by the P4N Diamond.

Conclusion

The benchmark results are more than interesting: they are shocking. They show that the latest state-of-the-art chipset with state-of-the-art memory is not able to outperform a mainstream product running mainstream memory. Of course there are scenarios that will benefit from the high-end hardware, but the purpose of this project was to determine whether the average user will notice a difference.

And it is clear that if you do not require dual core support or the option of upgrading to SLI dual graphics, performance is absolutely no reason to replace an existing 915 system by one of the latest products.

But let's not forget about the features offered by the premium motherboard. We can make it quite simple here, again: If you just read the evaluations of both motherboards and considered most of the additional features worthwhile, you are probably an enthusiast user and the P4N Diamond might be your preferred choice. If you don't know what these are good for or sure you don't need most of these capabilities, there is no point spending three times the money on your motherboard. The 915PL Neo-V is the better bang for your buck.