955X-based mobo shoot-out

We test the top LGA755 motherboards

We'll be looking at the performance of these three high-end Intel boards against Intel's very own, supposedly slower i945G chipset. Further comparisons will be made against an Nvidia nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition motherboard and, as usual, a Socket 939 motherboard with an AMD Athlon 64 4000+ in the socket. This time it's ABIT's Fatal1ty AN8.

There were zero stability problems to report during installation and testing. The i955X chipset is a proven design with an impressive memory controller.

Benchmark differences between motherboards sporting identical chipsets is often down to the exact FSB speed of motherboard in question. That being so, the running speed of the boards was as follows:

3611.3MHz - Gigabyte 8I955X Royal - Intel i955X - Intel Pentium 4 660
3600.2MHz - Intel i955XBK - Intel i955X - Intel Pentium 4 660
3600.2MHz - Intel D945GTP - Intel i945G - Intel Pentium 4 660
3599.4MHz - MSI P4N Diamond - nForce4 SLI I.E. - Intel Pentium 4 660
3591.3MHz - ABIT AW8-MAX - Intel i955X - Intel Pentium 4 660
2411.2MHz - ABIT Fatal1ty AN8 - nForce4 Ultra - AMD Athlon 64 4000+

Memory Bandwidth

The three black-coloured lines represent the performance of our i955X trio on test. It's of no real surprise that memory bandwidth performance, according to ScienceMark 2.0, is nearly identical in all three cases, and it's just above the figure for the i945G chipset, which lacks the MCH optimisations present in the i955X.

Memory Latency

Memory access latency is also just about where we'd expect fine-tuned i955Xs to be, which is around 8ns better than an i945G's