MSI P965 Neo-F For Core 2 Duo - Test Setup and Early Benchmarks

Article Index
MSI P965 Neo-F For Core 2 Duo
Board Layout - Up Close
Very Standard BIOS - Lean on Tweaking
Test Setup and Early Benchmarks
Application Benchmarks - Continued...
Game Performance and Benchmarking
Game Benchmarking - Continued...
Overclocking the P965 Neo-F
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Test Setup & Info:

To compare performance with this board and its CPU prowess, we compared directly to the Intel DG965WH motherboard we had on hand.  The Intel board is a pre-production board, so performance may not be as good as a final version.  We used the board regardless so we had something to compare to MSI P965 Neo-F.

We ran a series of real world tests to see how the MSI P965 Neo-F compares to the Intel DG965WH.  We ran some application and timed them using a stopwatch and when it came to gaming - we lowered the resolution to see how well the motherboard handles CPU intensive tasks while gaming.  We played through actual game levels using FRAPS to log our framerates.  These game runs were performed many times to get a good average run through a particular sequence in the game.  We charted the FPS using OpenOffice and have a frame-by-frame comparison.

Some of the results in the application benchmarks puzzled us, but we made sure that they were correct as we ran through the benchmarks a minimum of 3 times.  We believe the results following to be complete and accurate.  Let's take a look.

Network & Audio:

As we will be taking a look at more motherboards in the future, we will continue to evolve our testing methods.  One thing that we will be taking a look at is network performance and audio quality.  We use iperf for testing network bandwidth and monitor CPU load while performing these transfers.  We test both 100Mbit and 1000Mbit (1Gb) throughput.  Below are the iperf results.

Net Speed
Throughput
Efficiency
CPU Load
100Mb/Sec
94.5
94.5%
13%
1000Mb/Sec
450.3
45%
31%

As you can see a Gb network does not transfer data anywhere near 1000Mbits/sec.  In reality you get less than half and at the expense of 31% CPU load on an Intel Core 2 Duo E6600.  That is pretty hefty CPU requirements for the Realtek GB ethernet.

Audio quality was measured with RightMark Audio Analyzer and these results will be compared to other motherboard results as we take a look at more motherboards.

RightMark Audio Analyzer
RightMark Audio Analyzer

You can see that the "High Definition" audio is not as high quality as an Audigy 2 ZS or X-Fi, but the sound quality will be as good as a $100 pair of 5.1 speakers for sure.

Application Benchmarks:

First up is some Audio Conversion compliments of dbPowerAMP.  We converted WAV to OGG and then OGG to MP3.  Finally we converted the MP3 files back to WAV.

dbPowerAMP Conversion
dbPowerAMP Conversion


 

DivX is a very popular codec and many people convert video into DivX for distribution across the web or playback on a DivX certified DVD Player.  We used DivX 6.2.0 and used the included DivX encoder tool to encode our test video.  The video sample is a 2:01 second WMV file that we converted using the Home Theatre Profile.  This test doesn't use any fancy optimizations or adjustments.  This was a simple drag and drop conversion that didn't require any setup or tweaking.  This test shows raw performance on both machines.

DivX Encoding
DivX Encoding

We used QuickTime Pro and fired up a similar test using a different video clip.  This clip is a short AVI clip that is 16,491KB and 1:19 long.  It was taken from a digital camera and then dropped into QuickTime Pro for a little high compression H.264 encoding.  This is a very bandwidth friendly format that uses a lot of CPU power to compress quickly.

QuickTime Pro Encoding
QuickTime Pro Encoding

For some reason the MSI P965 Neo-F scores much lower on the QuickTime Pro encoding benchmark.  We re-ran the test using the same file and compression settings, but the Intel board finished the test much quicker.

We'll continue the application benchmarks on the next page.