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Mega Test: 14 Boards with KT266A and nForce 420D

Test Setup: Comparing 14 Motherboards

ProcessorAMD Athlon XP 1900+ (1600/266 MHz DDR FSB)
Memory 1256 MB, PC2100, 266 MHz DDR, CL2.0, Micron
Memory 22 x 128 MB, PC2100, 266 MHz DDR, CL2.0, Micron
Hard disk40 GB, ATA100, 7200 U/min, Maxtor 5T040H4
Graphics card:GeForce 3Memory: 64 MB DDR SDRAMMemory clock: 200 MHz DDRChip clock: 250 MHz
Drivers & Software
IDE/AGP DriverVIA 4 in 1 V4.35 Final
Graphics card driverDetonator 4 Series V21.88
DirectX Version8.1 (English)
Operating SystemsWindows 2000 (Service Pack 2)
Benchmarks and Settings
Quake III ArenaRetail Versioncommand line = +set cd_nocd 1 +set s_initsound 0Graphics detail set to 'Normal', 640 x 480 x 16Benchmark using 'Q3DEMO1'
SPECViewPerfVersion 6.1.21280 x 1024 x 16 x 85
MPEG-4 EncodingFlask Mpeg 0.6DivX Codec 4.02.01bCompression: 100Data Rate: 1500 kBit720 x 480 Pixel, 25 fpsno Audio
Sysmark 2000Patch 5
LameLame 3.89 MMX, SSE, SSE 2
WinACEV2.04, 178 MB Wave file, best compression,Dictonary 4096 kB
Suse Linux 7.3Kernel 2.4.13 Compilation
Unreal TournamentVersion 4.36Timedemo 1Demoplay utbench

Benchmarks Under Windows 2000

OpenGL performance:Quake 3 Arena "Demo 1" and "NV15 Demo"
Direct3D performance:Unreal Tournament UTBench
3D rendering:SPECviewperf
Audio Encoding MP3:Lame MP3 encoder
Video Encoding MPEG-4:Flask Mpeg 0.6 and Divx 4.02
Office apps performance:Sysmark 2000
Archiving of files:WinACE 2.04
Linux kernel compilation:Suse Linux 7.3 (kernel 2.4.13)

We performed a total of 17 different benchmark tests in order to get as clear a picture as possible of how the motherboards would hold up in the field.

Our testing basis was the AMD Athlon XP 1900+, clocked at 1600 MHz. We ran four different Quake 3 tests to determine OpenGL performance. Direct3D performance from the DirectX package is determined using Unreal Tournament UTBench (based on DirectX 7). The different MPEG-encoding benchmarks portray a comprehensive testing scenario - the Lame MP3 Encoder was used to encode a 178 MB WAV file (Michael J.) into "MPEG-1 Layer 3 Format." Still a classic, our MPEG-4 test converts a file from a commercial DVD-ROM (a current movie) into MPEG-4 format using Flask Mpeg and the Divx codec. We determined office performance using Sysmark 2000. We deliberately chose not to use the newer benchmark suite "Sysmark 2001", because, in our experience, the values can fluctuate up to 5 percent under Windows XP. Archiving a 178 MB file (Michael J.) using WinACE determines the time taken in practice.