High Definition Content Playback: System Load Test
definition content is on the verge of mass release and you might as well find
out if the new parts are up to snuff so to say. With both Intel and AMD pushing
the idea of the 'digital home' like no tomorrow, it's time to find out whether
the systems of today, like the Foxconn G9657MA-8KS2H motherboard, are ready for
the high definition content of tomorrow.
following ATi and nVIDIA's lead when it comes to integrating high definition
video accelerators onto its graphics chipsets, but at least it is making an
effort. These accelerators dramatically reduce CPU usage when high definition
content is being played, and enable the computer to do other tasks. From Up and
Down Scaling of video content to High Definition Content Decode, Intel's
"Stunning Video Playback" suite of technologies looks like it may rival ATi's
'AVIVO' and nVIDIA's 'PureVideo' in terms of high definition content
CPU Load with Intel's 'Stunning Video Playback'
the high definition video playing capabilities on the Foxconn G9657MA-8KS2H
motherboard, and specifically its Intel X3000 onboard videocard via the Intel
965G Express chipset, we'll playback a video downloaded from Microsoft's WMV HD Content Showcase
through Windows Media Player 10. "The Discoverers" (IMAX) video is available
in both 720P and 1080P formats. The Core 2 Duo E6600 processor utilization
during playback will be monitored via Task Manager.
When running the 720P version of the Discoverers video, CPU
usage jumps between 20-25%. These values are the same as what nVIDIA's PureVideo
and ATi AVIVO accelerators achieve, Intel has done a good job here.
Running the 1080P version of the Discoverers video, we
find that CPU usage is actually lower than with the 720P version of the video.
We've noticed this quirk with several integrated motherboards recently tested.
In any case, CPU usage ranges between 18-23% on average, which leaves a lot of
system resources for everything else.
Overclocking the little Foxconn Motherboard
chipsets generally overclock well, so we certainly had good expectations for the
Foxconn G9657MA-8KS2H motherboard once the clock speed tweaking began in
with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor and a 2GB set of Corsair's Twin2X2048-6400C4 memory, the CPU and memory definitely
won't bottleneck this platform! As usual, before overclocking we set the memory
to run in DDR2-533 MHz mode. This way it won't hold the motherboard
at 266 MHz, we overclocked the Foxconn G9657MA-8KS2H slowly, in 5 MHz
increments. The little Micro ATX motherboard easily cracked 300 MHz before
maxing out at the BIOS' top speed setting of 333 MHz FSB. There was no need to
even increase the chipset voltage. By these results you'll understand that the
G9657MA-8KS2H is not the best overclocking board out there, but you can have a
little bit of fun boosting CPU speed with it.
The Foxconn BIOS:
In the Advanced Chipset Features section there several
onboard video options, useful if you rely on the Intel X3000 integrated GPU.
Probably the most significant is the onboard frame buffer size, that's
adjustable between 1MB and 8MB.
DRAM configuration section Foxconn gives you rather basic memory tweaking
options. There are CAS Latency, to RAS-to-CAS, RAS Precharge and System memory
frequency options.... or you can just leave everything on Auto.
Central" Control Unit is where all the overclocking magic happens. You can
adjust the FSB between 266-333 MHz in 1 MHz increments. PCI Express frequency is
also adjustable, although that's best left alone. The CPU voltage goes 0.25V
above stock, memory voltage 0.35V above stock (sorry for showing 0.05V). Chipset
voltages can be increased by 0.1V.
Prelude to Benchmarks
details of how the Foxconn G9657MA-8KS2H motherboard test system was configured
for benchmarking, including the specific hardware, software drivers, operating
system and benchmark versions are indicated below. In the second column are the
general specs for the reference platforms this Intel G965 Express based system
is to be compared against. Please take a moment to look over PCSTATS test system
configurations before moving on to the individual benchmark results.
case, because videocard driver versions unlock new features we tested the
motherboard with the GMA 14.21 drivers that came on the CD and with the latest
available on Intel's website, version 14.25.
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