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ASROCK K7S8XE+ BIOS COMPARISON

"In this article we test the ASROCK K7S8XE+ with the official and unofficial bios to find the fastest! Software used was:- Aida32, Sisoftware Sandra2004, 3dmark 2001 SE, 3dmark 2003, Quake 3 and UT 2004."
ASROCK K7S8XE+

In this article we test the ASROCK K7S8XE+ with the v1.60 bios and the v1.44 bios. The v1.60 bios is the latest official bios from Asrock and the v1.44 bios is the most recent unofficial bios with performance options. Although both the official and unofficial bios are released by Asrock only the performance bios has options to tweak memory settings for better performance. The bios found on the Asrock website uses very safe (ie slow) memory settings which should mean that the official bios is much more stable than the unofficial performance bios. We tested the v1.44 bios using the normal and performance memory settings, the v1.60 bios has no memory settings.


GENERAL SYSTEM INFORMATION

PROCESSOR AMD ATHLON XP 3000
VIDEO CARD MSI GEFORCE 5900 XT
NVIDIA DRIVER FORCEWARE v53.03
MOTHERBOARD ASROCK K7S8XE+
MEMORY 512MB CRUCIAL PC3200 DDR
OPERATING SYSTEM WINDOWS XP
DIRECTX VERSION v9.0b
BIOS v1.60 (NORMAL SETTINGS), v1.44 (NORMAL SETTINGS) & v1.44P (PERFORMANCE SETTINGS)

AIDA32

MEMORY BANDWIDTH READ

BIOS v1.602349
BIOS v1.442488
BIOS v1.44P2662

MEMORY BANDWIDTH WRITE

BIOS v1.60624
BIOS v1.44777
BIOS v1.44P845

BIOS v1.60 BIOS v1.44 BIOS v1.44P

COMMENT "Using the "read" memory benchmark the v1.44 bios was 12% faster than the v1.60 bios using the performance setting and using the normal settings it was 6% faster. Using the "write" memory benchmark the v1.44 bios was 27% faster and using the normal setting it was 20% faster."

SISOFTWARE SANDRA 2004

MEMORY BANDWIDTH INTEGER

BIOS v1.602386
BIOS v1.442673
BIOS v1.44P2821

MEMORY BANDWIDTH FLOATING POINT

BIOS v1.602226
BIOS v1.442476
BIOS v1.44P2599

BIOS v1.60 BIOS v1.44 BIOS v1.44P

COMMENT "Using the "integer" memory benchmark the v1.44 bios was 16% faster than the v1.60 bios using the performance setting and using the normal settings it was 11% faster. Using the "floating buffer" benchmark the v1.44 bios was 15% faster and using the normal setting it was 11% faster."

3DMARK 2001 SE

BIOS v1.6012833
BIOS v1.4413250
BIOS v1.44P13790

BIOS v1.60 BIOS v1.44 BIOS v1.44P

COMMENT " The v1.44 bios was 7% faster than the v1.60 bios using the performance setting and using the normal settings it was 4% faster. This is a good start for the v1.44 performance bios, an extra 7% or 957 points is a very nice increase in performance."

BENCHMARK SETTINGS

1024x768 Resolution
32Bit color
D3D Hardware T&L
Antialiasing Disabled
Double Frame Buffer
Compressed Texture Format
24Bit Z-Buffer Depth

3DMARK 2003

BIOS v1.604685
BIOS v1.444888
BIOS v1.44P4945

BIOS v1.60 BIOS v1.44 BIOS v1.44P

COMMENT "The v1.44 bios was 2% faster than the v1.60 bios using the performance setting and using the normal settings it was 1% faster. After the good result with 3dmark 2001 the 2% increase in performance which is only an extra 89points was a bit disappointing."

BENCHMARK SETTINGS

1024x768 Resolution
No Pixel Processing
Optimal Texture Filtering
4x Max Anisotropy
Optimal Vertex Shaders
No Repeat Tests
No Fixed Framerate

QUAKE 3

BIOS v1.60251
BIOS v1.44260
BIOS v1.44P278

BIOS v1.60 BIOS v1.44 BIOS v1.44P

COMMENT "The v1.44 bios was 10% faster than the v1.60 bios using the performance setting and using the normal settings it was 2% faster. This game loves bandwidth and the 10% increase in performance delivered an extra 21fps!"

BENCHMARK SETTINGS

Default GLdriver
GL Extensions on
1024x768 Video Mode
32Bit Colour Depth
Fullscreen on
Lightmap Lighting
32Bit Texture Quality
Demo four.dm_66

HIGH QUALITY

Geometic Detail Medium
75% Texture Detail
Trilinear Texture Filtering

UT 2004

RANKIN

BIOS v1.6070
BIOS v1.4472
BIOS v1.44P76

TORLAN

BIOS v1.6066
BIOS v1.4469
BIOS v1.44P72

BRIDGE OF FATE

BIOS v1.6094
BIOS v1.4497
BIOS v1.44P103

BIOS v1.60 BIOS v1.44 BIOS v1.44P

COMMENT "The v1.44 bios was 9% faster than the v1.60 bios using the performance setting and using the normal settings it was 5% faster."

BENCHMARK SETTINGS

Direct3D Render Device
1024x768 Resolution
32Bit Colour Depth
Texture Detail Normal
Character Detail Normal
World Detail High
Physics Detail High
Decal Stay High
Full Character Shadows
Full Fog Distance
Decals Enabled
Dynamic Lighting Enabled
Detail Textures Enabled
Coronas Enabled
Trilinear Filtering Enabled
Projectors Enabled
Foliage Enabled
Weather Effects Enabled

CONCLUSION "After seeing the large increase in performance with programs like Aida and SiSoftware Sandra we expected similar increases with games. However we had to settle for a 10% increase in performance which considering it's free performance isn't so bad after all!"

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