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DFI CS65 SC i815 Motherboard Review

DFI CS65 SC i815 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The Intel i815 chipset can be considered as the true successor of the renowned Intel 440BX chipset. Starting from the 810, Intel has shifted its position from the standard north/south bridge design in favour of what they like to call Accelerated Hub Architecture, or AHA for short. Under this particular design, there are 3 individual hubs: the Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (GMCH), the I/O Controller Hub (ICH) and the Firmware Hub (FWH). The GMCH and the ICH are connected through an internal bus, which offers a bandwidth of 266MB/sec (twice as fast as the PCI).
 90% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: DFI Jan 03 2001   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > DFI CS65 SC

Gaming Performance




By taking a look at the Quake III performance chart we can see that the tested board also offers top notch gaming performance. All in all we can conclude that the CS65 SC is definitely a very fast board, mainly due to the good design of the chipset.

Integrated Graphics Performance

As we previously mentioned, the i815 has an integrated graphics accelerator based on the Intel i752 graphics controller. Essentially, the i752 is a newer revision of the older i740 accelerator. In the case of the i815 chipset, the integrated accelerator is based on a unified memory architecture (UMA), meaning that it shares the system's main memory with the graphics subsystem. Of course memory bandwidth is also shared which definitely decreases both system & 3D performance.

Business Performance degradation when using the integrated accelerator instead of a standard accelerator is quite small at low resolutions on low end processors (like our reference Celeron 566mhz). But if we use a faster processor (a PIII 700 or better), then the 2D acceleration weakness of the integrated accelerator becomes more obvious. Nevertheless the integrated 2D is more than enough for casual business applications.

As for the 3D performance, the following chart clearly indicates that even a low end processor is held back by the i752. For this test we were able to get Soyo 7VMA scores with a 100MHz memory bus without any stability problems. Both DFI and Soyo scores are in the following chart without sound. We have to note that the Soyo SY 7VMA is equipped with the VIA PM 133 chipset, which has a much better integrated accelerator based on Savage4 3D engine and Savage 2000 2D core.

A faster processor cannot help the i752 even at very low resolutions because it has a very poor triangle setup throughput (it doesn't scale well with faster processors, and since it doesn't support texture compression, low system memory bandwidth is a another big bottleneck). On the other hand the PM 133 with it's Savage4 integrated engine is by far a more well rounded integrated solution (supports much higher triangle setup, texture compression etc), specially with faster processors.

The CS65 SC offers adequate 2D acceleration but rather poor 3D performance. It is a viable solution only for people working with business applications. Any serious gamer knows that he/she has to pay for a real video card to get some good frame rates. Of course you can go back to playing Quake I or other older games...without any glitches.

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Contents of Article: DFI CS65 SC
 Pg 1.  DFI CS65 SC i815 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Installation and Testing
 Pg 3.  — Gaming Performance
 Pg 4.  Sound Quality

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