Our testing methods
As ever, we did our best to deliver clean benchmark numbers. Tests were run at least twice, and the results were averaged.
Our test systems were configured like so:
|Processor||Athlon XP 3200+ 2.2GHz|
|Front-side bus||400MHz (2 x 200MHz)|
|Motherboard||DFI Lanparty NFII Ultra||VIA reference|
|North bridge||nForce2 Ultra 400 SPP||KT880|
|South bridge||nForce2 MCP-T||VT8237|
|Chipset drivers||NVIDIA ForceWare 3.13||VIA Hyperion 4.51|
|Memory size||512MB (2 DIMMs)|
|Memory type||Corsair XMS3200C2 DDR SDRAM at 400MHz|
Western Digital Raptor WD360GD Serial ATA hard drive
|Graphics||ATI Radeon 9800 XT with Catalyst 4.3 drivers|
|OS||Microsoft Windows XP Professional|
|OS updates||Service Pack 1, DirectX 9.0b|
Thanks to Corsair for providing us with memory for our testing. If you're looking to tweak out your system to the max and maybe overclock it a little, Corsair's RAM is definitely worth considering.
We ran all the systems with 2-6-3-2 memory timings. Our KT880 system ran with a 1T command rate, but no such setting was available in the NFII Ultra 400's BIOS.
Unfortunately, the audio and networking components of our VIA reference board were not functional, so we won't be looking at the KT880's audio or Ethernet performance. The VT8237 isn't a new chip, anyway. We've already seen its performance with VIA's PT800, PT880, KT600, and K8T800 chipsets.
The test systems' Windows desktops were set at 1280x1024 in 32-bit color at a 75Hz screen refresh rate. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests.
We used the following versions of our test applications:
- Cachemem 2.65MMX
- SiSoft Sandra 2004
- Compiled binary of C Linpack port from Ace's Hardware
- Cinebench 2003
- PICCOLOR v4.0 build 451
- SPECviewperf 7.1
- ScienceMark 2.0 beta (06SEP03-A build)
- Sphinx 3.3
- LAME 3.93.1 (build from mitiok.cjb.net)
- Xmpeg 5.0.1 with DivX Video 5.05
- FutureMark 3DMark03 build 330
- Comanche 4 demo
- Quake III Arena v1.32
- Serious Sam SE v1.07
- Unreal Tournament 2003 demo
- HDTach v2.61
Our tests and methods are generally publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.