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VIA P4XB-RA P4X266A Motherboard Review

VIA P4XB-RA P4X266A Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Apollo P4X266A chipset maker VIA, had to do something rather drastic for a chipset manufacturer - they had to start selling their own motherboards.
 83% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: VIA Feb 21 2002   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > VIA P4XB-RA

Gaming Benchmarks and Conclusions

3DMark2001 SE Source: MadOnion

3DMark2001 SE is the latest installment in the 3DMark series by MadOnion. By combining DirectX8 support with completely new graphics, it continues to provide good overall system benchmarks. 3DMark2001 SE has been created in cooperation with the major 3D accelerator and processor manufacturers to provide a reliable set of diagnostic tools. The suite demonstrates 3D gaming performance by using real-world gaming technology to test a system's true performance abilities. Tests include: DirectX8 Vertex Shaders, Pixel Shaders and Point Sprites, DOT3 and Environment Mapped Bump Mapping, support for Full Scene Anti-aliasing and Texture Compression and two game tests using Ipion real-time physics. Higher 3DMark scores denote better performance.

3DMark 2001 SE Benchmark Results
VIA P4XB-RA 3DMarks Ranking
1. 100 MHz FSB 7578
2. 110 MHz FSB 8005

The VIA P4XB-RA does pretty well in 3DMark2001 SE, but then again, combined with a Pentium 4 2 GHz and a GeForce3 Ti500 always produces respectable scores!

Quake III Arena

Source: ID Software

Quake III Arena is a First Person Shooter (FPS) that revolutionized gaming as we know it. Using multiple light sources and having graphics textures that can fill videocards, even after 3 years it's still able to bring a cutting edge system to its knees.

Quake III Arena Fastest demo001
FSB FPS Ranking
1. 100 MHz 257.4
2. 110 MHz 280.5

Quake III Arena Fastest nv15demo
FSB FPS Ranking
1. 100 MHz 69.6
2. 110 MHz 76.3

DDR, P4XB-RA and the P4 2 GHz produce some very nice numbers here. The resolution is turned down so the videocard won't have any effects on the scores. You'll see once the resolution is turned higher, the videocard is a much bigger limiting factor.

Quake III Arena MAX 1024x768 demo001
FSB FPS Ranking
1. 100 MHz 183.1
2. 110 MHz 190.9

Quake III Arena MAX 1024x768 nv15demo
FSB FPS Ranking
1. 100 MHz 47.9
2. 108 MHz 52.9

And we were right. As the resolution is cranked up, the scores are much closer together. Perhaps a GeForce4 Ti4600 would help out here.

Serious Sam 2

Source: CroTeam

Serious Sam 2 is a game that uses OpenGL and is a little more advanced than the now retired Quake III Arena.Higher numbers denote faster frames per second (FPS), and hence, better performance.

Serious Sam 2 (Normal 640x480 Little Trouble) Benchmark Results
VIA P4XB-RA (FPS) Ranking
1. 100 MHz 120.4
2. 110 MHz 136.1

Serious Sam 2 (Normal 640x480 Valley of the Jaguar) Benchmark Results
VIA P4XB-RA (FPS) Ranking
1. 100 MHz 64.9
2. 110 MHz 72.5

Serious Sam 2 (Quality 1024x768 Little Trouble) Benchmark Results
VIA P4XB-RA (FPS) Ranking
1. 100 MHz 60.5
2. 110 MHz 60.7

Serious Sam 2 (Quality 1024x768 Valley of the Jaguar) Benchmark Results
VIA P4XB-RA (FPS) Ranking
1. 100 MHz 47.9
2. 110 MHz 52.9

At the lower resolutions, the P4XB-RA does pretty well, the gameplay is silky smooth, however we find as the resolution is turned up even a little from 640x480 to 1024x768, the frame rate is unacceptable. Our GeForce3 Ti500 fast becomes the bottleneck.

Conclusions:

VIA's P4XB-RA socket 478 motherboard gives you all the features you'd expect from a high end motherboard for a relatively low ($150 CDN) price. With a ton of room for expansion (five PCI slots), onboard hardware 5.1 audio using C-Media's chipset and onboard IDE RAID there really isn't much lacking feature wise as far as the average user would be concerned.

It would have been nice if the Promise IDE RAID controller could be used as a stand alone IDE controller as well, but heck, you can't win them all!

In terms of performance, the VIA P4XB-RA is on par with other DDR based P4 boards we've tested in the last month, however the stability of the board we tested wasn't the best it should have been, and was lower when compared to Intel-based boards.

Even at stock speeds we did experience the odd random crash or lock up. Overclocking didn't make this any worse so chances are that it may have been freak hardware compatibility issue.

On the plus side, even though this board is priced economically, it isn't lacking in the number of tweaks it supports. This allows users to take full control of their system with many memory options and a full set of overclocking tools.

The best feature of VIA's P4XB-RA is the price. Like we mentioned above, a P4 motherboard for $150CDN is really good. The next closest P4/DDR motherboard is about $30-40 more!

< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Motherboards News»

 

Contents of Article: VIA P4XB-RA
 Pg 1.  VIA P4XB-RA P4X266A Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  BIOS and Adventures in Overclocking
 Pg 3.  Benchmarks and Test System
 Pg 4.  — Gaming Benchmarks and Conclusions

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