Doom 3 is
the most advanced game to date. it takes advantage of the latest videocard
technology and pushes the processing power of the CPU to its absolute limit. At
its highest setting, Ultra quality, texture sizes pass the 500MB mark which
means even tomorrow's videocards will have a hard time running everything. The
frame rates in the game itself are locked at 60 fps so anything above that point
is wasted. Each test is run three times with the third run being
|Foxconn 955X7AA-8EKRS2 (955X 200/667)
|Foxconn 945P7AA-8EKRS2 (945P 200/667)
|MSI P4N Diamond (NF4 SLI 200/800)
|Epox 5NVA+ SLI (NF4 SLI 200/800)
|Foxconn NF4SLI7AA-8EKRS2 (NF4 SLI 200/800)
|Albatron PX915SLI (915PL 200/400 7800GTX
|Albatron PX915SLI (915PL 200/400 6600GT SLI)
Doom 3 numbers are also very impressive and the Albatron
PX915SLI does very well when teamed up with a high end videocard like the
Geforce 7800GTX. Unfortunately we could not get this benchmark to run with the
two GeForce 6600GTs running in SLI. Every time we ran the game, a grey
screen would greet us.
Great choice if you're on a
It certainly took a while for nVidia's dual videocard
Scalable Link Interface (SLI) to migrate onto the Intel platform,
but it's now reality. Unfortunately, adopting this technology comes at
pretty steep price... nVIDIA nForce4 SLI Intel Edition based motherboards cost a
pretty penny, and that doesn't even count the cost of two videocards!
Albatron has proven itself to be an innovative
manufacturer, and its new PX915SLI motherboard illustrates clearly what the
company is capable of creating. By default the Intel 915PL chipset does not
support SLI, but with a bit of creative engineering, Albatron has made it happen
with an augmented 16 and 4 PCI Express lane configuration. With the board's
retail price hovering at just $105 CDN ($90 US) bucks, the Albatron
PX915SLI also fulfills its objective of affordability too. Onboard
extras are slim; users get integrated 10/100 LAN, four
SATA channels, 7.1-channel audio and that's about it.
Please note that the PX915SLI only supports single core
Pentium 4 processors running on a 533/800 MHz FSB because it is based on
the Intel 915PL chipset, so if you want dual core compatibility look
to a more current chipset. As we can see from the benchmarks however, dual core
processors do little for workstation style applications that are not SMP
compatible (which are mainly user limited) and essentially zilch for
|Athough the Albatron PX915SLI is pictured here with SLI Geforce 7800GTX videocards, the current Albatron supplied drivers are limited in their support of up to Geforce 6600GT level videocards only.
itself is very easy to use and experienced users should have no problems finding
their way around the board. The users manual could have been more detailed.
Obviously though, the biggest feature of the Albatron PX915SLI
motherboard is its dual videocard SLI compatibility. As I mentioned earlier, it
is not true SLI like with the nForce4 SLI chipsets (8 + 8 lanes). The
PX915SLI gives sixteen PCI Express lanes to the first videocard and four to the
second (16 + 4 lanes). Another thing to consider is that the 915PL
chipset does not officially have SLI support, so in order to run two nVIDIA
videocards in SLI users must rely on Albatron modified Forceware drivers.
If Albatron can get drivers out quickly after release from nVIDIA, it can have a
real winner with the PX915SLI!
Performance of the Albatron PX915SLI was very good, in
office applications the board trailed the more expensive motherboards by a bit
due to the processor differences, but in the gaming benchmarks things were
generally quite close. Performance with a single 7800GTX would often match
nForce4 Intel edition and 955X powered motherboards, that's pretty impressive
considering boards like the MSI P4N Diamond and Foxconn 955X7AA-8EKRS2 are about
twice the price.
Albatron and overclocking go well together and the
PX915SLI did not disappoint. I was able to push this budget board to 255 MHz FSB
and I have a feeling that the processor was holding the board back. If you wan
to build a budget SLI gaming machine, the Albatron PX915SLI is certainly both an
innovative and affordable choice!
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3. Foxconn 945P7AA-8EKRS2 Motherboard Review
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