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    Product Info
    Name: VP6
    Company: Abit
    Price: Click To Find Lowest
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    SLCentralHardwareReviewsMotherboards Jul 11th, 2020 - 2:14 PM EST
    Abit VP6
    Author: Tom Solinap
    Date Posted: October 16th, 2001
    Rating: 8.5/10 SystemLogistics


    Test System

    • 2 Pentium III 1Ghz w/ 2 Alpha Heatsinks and 2 Delta 38 CFM fans - HSFs from 2CoolTek
    • Abit VP6 Motherboard
    • 512 MB RAM
    • 2 128 MB Muskin Basic PC-133 - From Mushkin
    • 2 128 MB OCZ PC-166 - From The Overclockerz Store
    • Antec SX1030B
    • 2 30GB IBM 75GXP Drives in RAID 0
    • Plextor PlexWriter 16/10/40A
    • Mitsumi 48X CDROM
    • Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live! Value
    • VisionTek GeForce2 GTS 32 MB
    • Diamond SupraMax Modem
    • Windows 2000 SP2

    SiSoft Sandra Standard 2001

    Stock Speed - Pentium III Dual 1GHz (CAS 2/2/2)

    CPU Benchmark

    CPU Multimedia Benchmark

    Memory Benchmarks

    As you can see above, the test system I used pretty much makes full use of this motherboard's capabilities. The 2 PIII 1 GHz CPUs are the fastest regular PIIIs this motherboard supports. I'm no where near maxing out the memory but I did manage to fill all the banks. The 2 IBM drives are using RAID 0 for increased HD performance, and I've got your usual GeForce2 GTS and SB Live! combo for the multimedia side. Windows 2000 is the OS of choice since it can handle the 2 CPUs, and is fairly stable compared to the other OSes from MS. I could have used Linux or some other SMP capable OS, but for everyday work, I hate to admit it but I get the most use out of Windows. I'm using SP2 for Windows 2000, which has support for the VIA chipset so I don't need the 4in1s. Actually, I'm not sure which has better performance at the moment, but I've heard the SP2 drivers have proper support. Since this is a VP6 review I would rather not get into that. My next article should have that information, as well as some other interesting things. I'm using SiSoft Sandra to benchmark the system. I haven't gotten the CD of standard benchmarks Dave has created, so this is it for now. Sandra does have a tendency to have weird scores sometimes so please do take that into account when passing judgment. I ran the tests a few times to weed out any potential flukes in the scores. Let's see how everything runs at stock speeds first. I set the memory to the fastest possible settings, turbo everything and CAS Latency 2. Here's what I got from SiSoft Sandra:

    The scores I received here are similar to those taken from the first VP6 I had. So it appears no noticeable problems existed with that board. The CPU benchmarks are normal for the system, but the memory benchmark tells another tale. From the reference results that Sandra has, you'll notice that the scores are above the normal Pro133A in the charts. The DDR Pro266 chipset still beats it though, as well as the ServerWorks and i840, which should be the case anyway. Although the memory scores are decent, for applications that require a large amount of memory bandwidth, the VIA chipset isn't suited for that. Abit did a real good job of getting the most out of it despite what they had to work with. After a few minutes of testing at stock speeds, I tried the old overclock to 150 MHz FSB with CAS 2/2/2 settings. Low and behold it works. I didn't bother starting out small and leading to 150 MHz because I figure that's what I want to run it at all the time anyway. I ran a torture test of 4 instances (2 per CPU) of prime95 for a few hours to make sure it was stable. Below is a shot of the system running at CAS 2/2/2 at 150 MHz FSB. I would show you some Sandra scores of the overclocked system but I'll save that for another article :)... rest assured I got the highest memory score in Sandra that I've seen with the VP6. I also have an Iwill DVD266 here in the labs that I'll be reviewing so comparative scores will definitely be posted.

    CAS 2 150 MHz FSB

    Quake III Arena 1.29h

    Quake 3 Arena is also a good benchmark, so I've got scores up for that too. I'm using the latest Detonator3 drivers, v12.41, and the display settings are all at default. The FSAA is set to automatically use game settings. This is the version 1.29h of Quake III Arena and all the settings are at default. I'm using the demo that comes with the 1.29h patch which is four.dm_66. Although I don't really have a reference to compare to for that, you can compare it to your own scores with the same settings. That will give you an idea of how your system compares and how this system performs in reference to that. If you're thinking about upgrading to a dual GHz PIII machine with a GeForce2 GTS, it'll show you if your Q3 Arena FPS will get a boost or not. However, to maximize your performance increase you'll probably want to just get a better video card, as that is the bottleneck at higher resolutions. More processors will just lessen the lag when you have programs running in the background. I know the GeForce2 GTS is not the top of the line now, but hey it's all I have at the moment, and most normal people will have a card equivalent to that anyway. Also, this isn't a video card review so as long as the card runs Quake III Arena at a decent speed, it's acceptable. Remember, these scores are done with the CPUs at stock speeds. My next article will contain all the scores at overclocked speeds so you can see how much of an improvement it gives.

    As you can see my GeForce2 GTS quickly gets bogged down after 1024x768. The lower resolutions are where the CPU and system really come into play. The performance is good and definitely more than enough for me, but after seeing GeForce2 Ultra and GeForce3 scores, I find myself longing for those cards. Even though Quake III has support for SMP, when I turn it on the game always crashes on me, so I don't have scores up for that. The scores here are definitely nothing to laugh at, and I personally play at 1024x768 on high quality. Keep in mind these scores were taken with Prime95 in the background, but the performance is still pretty much the same even without anything running. That's the beauty of the multiprocessor system. You can run pretty much anything else in the background and still be able to play a game like Quake III Arena without much slowdown in gameplay. Having a dual system doesn't necessarily give you better performance in terms of maximum framerate, but it'll help your average framerate out buy distributing the load. So you don't have to worry about any lag when you have 20 explorer windows up, which I know a lot of us do. I often take for granted the fact that I have a dual system and when I try to do the same on a regular system, it slows to a crawl. Once you go dual, you never go back baby! :)

    >> RAID

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    Article Navigation

    1. Introduction/Specifications And Features
    2. First Impressions & Installation
    3. Layout/2 Processors Are Better Than One
    4. Tweaking Memory
    5. Performance
    6. RAID
    7. Stability/Value
    8. Pros & Cons/Conclusion

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