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Abit AT7-MAX2 Motherboard Review

Former staff writer    -   January 14, 2003


Testing (Cont.)



Benchmarks

Graphics Benchmarks





NBench is a program, made by AMD, that measures the ability of a CPU to render complex 3D scenes. Since NBench is created by AMD, it has been optimized for AMD setups such as ours. The AT7-MAX2 won in this test by a small margin. In the 3DMark2001 SE benchmark we see that the A7V8X won by almost 200 points! I would have thought that the AT7-MAX2 would have won since it beat the A7V8X in the NBench test, but this was not the case. Comanche is a great game for benchmarking and we have recently added it to our benchmarking. The A7V8X had a better average FPS than the AT7-MAX2 by about 1.5 FPS, which noticeable. During the Unreal Tournament 2003 Fly-by benchmark the Asus A7V8X again proves that it is the superior board when it comes to graphics and use of memory.

Overall Benchmark Average




This is something new we are starting to do with our benchmarks. We take the average from all of the tests performed and get the two numbers in the graphic. This shows which board is the best "all-around" board in graphics, memory, and CPU performance. Because these boards were so close in the tests, this average doesn't show a large margin between the two, but in future tests we plan on testing more than two motherboard for comparisons. The average shows that the AT7-MAX2 is the better all-around board when it comes to performance, despite the fact that it almost lost every benchmark to the Asus A7V8X. I think the hard drive benchmark helped the AT7-MAX2 in our Overall benchmark.

Conclusion:

The AT7-MAX2 wasn't everything that I expected because of the performance factor. I really thought that this board would have out preformed the Asus board by a long shot, but it did not. On the other hand, maybe if I was to adjust all of the settings and tweak the BIOS on both boards, the Abit would stand to be the better board by a larger margin. However, that's just me speculating and I won't know until I have done that. What we do know is that the Asus A7V8X is very comparable in performance to the AT7-MAX2. Since both of these boards are so close in comparison by performance you'll have to look at other reasons as to why you would be one over the other. The three things that come to my mind are; cost, features, and personal preference. I did a quick search on pricewatch.com and found that the Asus A7V8X w/ RAID costs $121 & the Abit AT7-MAX2 costs $145. This is likely due to the fact that the AT7-MAX2 is a little newer than the A7V8X. I think features would have to go to the AT7-MAX2 because of the wide range of vcore, fsb ratio, and multiplier settings in the bios. Also, because of the number of USB 2.0 ports on this board. I have been a very big Abit motherboard fan ever since I can remember, so my personal preference definitely goes to the AT7-MAX2. If you're an overclocker you'll definitely want to buy the Abit board. If you're looking to save $20 bucks, by all means look in to buying the A7V8X board.

Pros:

  • Excellent BIOS Features
  • Serial ATA
  • Lots of USB 2.0 Ports!
  • KT400 chipset
  • AGP8X Support

Cons:
  • Don't particularly like the CPU layout



  1. Installation & Specifications
  2. Closer Look
  3. Configuration
  4. Testing
  5. Testing & Conclusion
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