Valour wrote:Likewise the new E7205 "Granite Bay" boards get incredible memory bandwidth scores but their 3DMark scores are no higher than any other modern motherboard, meaning that they are great for business uses and any CPU and memory intensive applications but a poor choice for gaming.
What if you are planning on getting a high end AGP card to go with it (like an nVidia GF FX)? As I figure, it no longer matters what kind of 3DMark scores you'd get off the MB itself, since you have a graphics card to handle that. Plus you're getting better performance from the memory than you would with the 845PE/GE MBs. So you would end up with the best of both worlds, right?
High-end ATI cards have lockup issues with the E7205 chipset, so you'd have to use an Nvidia card. That's not a problem, but the thing is why would you spend $250 on a motherboard that isn't going to give you better game performance than one half that price? If you've got a $350 video card already, that's 50% of your game performance right there -- the other 50% being your CPU speed and memory bandwidth, which go hand-in-hand.
Let's imagine that there's a store a mile from your house. There is a 90mph speed limit on the road to the store -- so you can get there pretty quickly. So you get what you need and come back, but the road on the way back has a 45mph speed limit. The road on the way to the store is the CPU speed and the road back is the memory bandwidth. So increasing your CPU speed doesn't get you much -- it gets you to the store faster but it doesn't get you back any quicker.
Some chipsets are just good for gaming... the nForce2 gets exceptional 3D performance. The 845GE seems to do slightly better than the 845PE. And the SiS648 with DDR400 is phenomenal. Going back to our analogy, the efficiency of the chipset is like the length and complexity of the road to the store. Ideally the RAM would be integrated into the CPU; this is sort of what cache memory is, but there isn't nearly enough of it to take the place of RAM. So the better the chipset, the faster you can get to the store. Put the same CPU and RAM into a KT400-based board and an nForce2-based board and you'll see how much of a difference a chipset can make. The E7205 chipset may get great memory bandwidth, but the chipset just isn't anything far and above its predecessors. It's just a little bt better, but it costs a lot more. That makes it a poor value, and value is one of the major deciding factors in designing a game system.
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