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Motherboard Comparison Epox EP-7KXA vs. Asus K7V

Test Setup

I thought it would be best to use the Giga-Athlon for the test, since its power hunger would stress the boards particularly hard. I tried two different PC133 DIMMs, one 128 MB CL2 DIMM from Crucial Technologies (Micron) and one 128 MB CL2 HSDRAM DIMM from Enhanced Memory Systems. Both DIMMs are excellent performers in terms of reliability.

For the benchmarks I still used Sysmark 2000, although I've got my doubts that this benchmark is particularly useful for a motherboard evaluation. The office applications used in this benchmark are hardly able to stress the memory, and they leave the AGP completely alone. Therefore you can hardly spot performance differences between boards with Sysmark and you still don't know if your memory and AGP performs stable. I added Quake 3 Arena, Expendable and SPECviewperf 6.1.1 to the benchmark suite, because those applications make heavy usage of the memory and the AGP. Especially SPECviewperf will easily crash a system with instable memory. It can also point out performance deltas of the memory system and the AGP very well.

Hardware Setup
Processor for all testsAMD Athlon Processor 1000 MHzL2-Cache running at 1/3 core clock = 333 MHz
Memory for all testsEnhanced Memory Systems 128 MB HSDRAM CL2and/orCrucial Technologies (Micron) 128 MB SDRAM CL2
MotherboardsAsus K7MAMD750 'Irongate' Chipset, Rev. 1.4, Chipset Rev. C stepping 6, BIOS KM130.bin, SuperBypass Enabled
Asus K7VVIA Apollo Pro KX133 Chipset, Rev. 1.01, BIOS 1004.02A
Epox EP-7KXAVIA Apollo Pro KX133 Chipset, Rev.?, BIOS K7000324.exe
VIA VT5249B1 KX133 Reference BoardRev. ?, BIOS Jan 2000
Other Hardware
Graphics Card for all testsNVIDIA GeForce 256 DDR Reference Card120 MHz Core, 300 MHz DDR-RAM 32 MB
Network Card for all testsNETGEAR FA310-TX
Hard Drive for all systemsSeagate Barracuda ATA ST320430A
Driver Information
VIA Drivers Windows 984in1 4.20
GeForce Driver Windows 98NVIDIA Reference Driver Rev. 5.08
GeForce Driver Windows NT4NVIDIA Reference Driver Rev. 5.13
GeForce Driver Windows 2000t SettingsNVIDIA Reference Driver Rev. 5.13
Environment Settings
OS VersionsWindows 98 SE 4.10.2222 AWindows NT4 Sevice Pack 6a 4.00.1381Windows 2000 Professional 5.00.2195
Screen Resolutions640x480x16x85 for 3D Games1024x768x16x85 for Sysmark20001280x1024x32x85 for SPECviewperf
DirectX Version7.0
Quake 2Version 3.20command line = +set cd_nocd 1 +set s_initsound 0Crusher demo, 640x480x16
Quake 3 ArenaRetail Versioncommand line = +set cd_nocd 1 +set s_initsound 0Graphics detail set to 'Normal', 640x480x16Benchmark using 'Q3DEMO1'
ExpendableDownloadable Demo Versioncommand line = -timedemo640x480x16
Unreal TournamentVer. 4.05bhigh quality textures, medium quality skins, no tweaks640x480x16Benchmark using 'UTBench'.