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Asus P2-M3A3200 HTPC Review

Zertz    -   November 6, 2008
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Testing:

Finally, the time has come to see what this bundle from Asus is capable of and, to achieve that, it will be taken through a series of both synthetic and real life scientific and gaming benchmarks. The board and its integrated graphics will be compared to another AMD board, but this one based on the nForce 570 Ultra chipset - the Asus M2N-E. Scientific applications will be done on stock integrated graphics for the 780G board while game benchmarks will be completed on both stock and overclocked integrated graphics with the HD4850 on the other system in order to compare a modern IGP solution to the a higher end discrete graphic card. Beside the overclocked IGP, everything will be run at stock settings. However, before going through the myriad of benchmarks, I will start by comparing the temperatures between this Asus case and a mid-tower from Antec, the Sonata III, which is marketed to be a silent case.


Testing System

  • Case: Asus P-Series
  • Processor: AMD Athlon X2 4200+
  • Motherboard: Asus M3R78L
  • Memory: OCZ Platinum PC2-6400 5-5-5-15 2 x 1GB
  • Video Card: Integrated ATI Radeon 3200 w/ Catalyst 8.9
  • Power Supply: Delta Electronics 200W
  • Hard Drive: Western Digital 160GB PATA
  • OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition

Comparison system:

  • Case: Antec Sonata III
  • Processor: AMD Athlon X2 4200+
  • Motherboard: Asus M2N-E
  • Memory: OCZ Platinum PC2-6400 5-5-5-15 2 x 1GB
  • Video Card: ATI Radeon HD4850 w/ Catalyst 8.9
  • Power supply: Antec EarthWatts 500W
  • Hard Drive: Western Digital 160GB PATA
  • OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition

 

Overclocking:

 

Overclocked settings:

  • Processor: AMD Athlon X2 4200+ @ 2.20GHz (200x11)
  • System Memory: OCZ Platinum PC2-6400 2x1GB @ 800MHz 5-5-5-15
  • ATI 3200 Integrated Graphic Processor @ 695MHz

This board offers no processor overclocking options at all, so I was forced to leave the processor to stock settings, but the IGP can be overclocked through the BIOS, the AMD Overdrive tool or even RivaTuner. All three gave not only similar, but identical results. It clocked up to a healthy 695 MHz which is quite impressive considering the stock speed is just 500 MHz. Although the 780G chip could boot and perform a few benchmarks at a higher clock, anything above 695 MHz made one game or another crash. However, it got relatively warm, so active cooling is absolutely necessary to keep temperatures manageable especially if running at this speed for extended periods. This is something that should not be forgotten if you were to overclock it since running hardware too hot will damage it over time and sooner than later.

Benchmarks:

 

  • Scientific & Data:

1. Apophysis
2. WinRAR
3. SpecviewPerf 10
4. PCMark Vantage
5. Sandra XII Professional
6. ScienceMark 2.02 Final
7. Cinebench 10
8. HD Tune 2.54

  • Video:

1. Crysis
2. Knights of the Sea
3. Bioshock
4. Call of Duty 4
5. World in Conflict
6. Call of Juarez
7. Company of Heroes Opposing Fronts
8. 3DMark 06 Professional




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