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Foxconn G9657MA-8KS2H G965 Express Motherboard Review

Foxconn G9657MA-8KS2H G965 Express Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The 965 Express series chipsets gives Intel something that it has been lacking for a couple of years; a versatile chipset that offers excellent performance for a low price.
 82% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Foxconn Jan 29 2007   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Foxconn G9657MA-8KS2H

High Definition Content Playback: System Load Test

High 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.

Intel is 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 acceleration.

CPU Load with Intel's 'Stunning Video Playback'

To test 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

Overclocking Results:
Stock Max. OC
Motherboard Speed: 266 MHz

333 MHz

If you're new to Overclocking and not sure what to do, check out these two excellent Guides for some pointers:
Overclocking the CPU and Memory
Overclocking the Videocard

Intel chipsets generally overclock well, so we certainly had good expectations for the Foxconn G9657MA-8KS2H motherboard once the clock speed tweaking began in earnest. :-)

Equipped 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 back.

Starting 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.

In the 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.

The "Fox 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

The 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.

In this 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.

PCSTATS Test System Configurations
Test System Reference System #1 Reference System #2 Reference System #3
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (775) AMD Athlon64 X2 5000+ (AM2)

Intel Pentium D 840 (775)

Clock Speed: 9 x 266 MHz = 2.4 GHz 13 x 200 MHz = 2.6 GHz

16 x 200 MHz = 3.2 GHz

Motherboard: Foxconn G9657MA-8KS2H (G965 Express)

Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H (975X)
Asus P5B Deluxe (P965 Express)
Biostar TForce P965 DLX (P965 Express)
Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 (P965 Express)
Foxconn P9657AA-8KS2H (P965 Express)
Gigabyte GA-945GM-S2 (945G)

ASRock AM2V890-VSTA (VIA K8T890)
Albatron KM51PV-AM2 (GF6150)
MSI K9N SLI Platinum (NF 570 SLI)
Asus M2-CROSSHAIR (NF 590 SLI)

Foxconn 975X7AA-8EKRS2H (975X)
Foxconn 955X7AA-8EKRS2 (955X)
Foxconn 945P7AA-8EKRS2 (945P)
MSI P4N Diamond (NF4 SLI)
Biostar TForce P965 DLX(P965)

Videocard: MSI NX7800GTX-VT2D256E
Memory:

2x 1024MB Corsair Twin2X2048-6400C4

Hard Drive: 74GB Western Digital Raptor WD740
CDROM: AOpen Combo 52x
PowerSupply: PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 510 SLI
Heatsink: Intel EE6600 Refernece AMD Athlon64 FX-62 Refernece Thermaltake Jungle 512
Software Setup:

Microsoft WindowsXP SP2
Intel INF 7.22
nVIDIA Forceware 91.47
GMA Driver 14.21
GMA Driver 14.25

Microsoft WindowsXP SP2
nVIDIA Forceware 9.35
nVIDIA Forceware 91.47

Microsoft WindowsXP SP2
Intel INF 7.22
nVIDIA Forceware 7.22
nVIDIA Forceware 91.47

Benchmarks:

SYSMark 2004
PC WorldBench 5.0
Business Winstone 2004
Content Creation 2004
Super Pi
SiSoft Sandra 2005
PCMark05
3DMark05
3DMark06
FarCry
Doom 3
Quake 4

< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: Foxconn G9657MA-8KS2H
 Pg 1.  Foxconn G9657MA-8KS2H G965 Express Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Intel G965 Express Chipset Overview
 Pg 3.  Foxconn Motherboard Highlights
 Pg 4.  — High Definition Content Playback: System Load Test
 Pg 5.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SYSMark2004
 Pg 6.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PC WorldBench 5.0
 Pg 7.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Office Productivity, SiSoft Sandra
 Pg 8.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SuperPi, PCMark05
 Pg 9.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark05, 3DMark06
 Pg 10.  Motherboard Benchmarks: FarCry, Doom 3, Quake 4
 Pg 11.  GMA X3000 Good for Office Use

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