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Express : Core 2 Duo and P965 vs i975x
by Marc Prieur
Published on July 26, 2006

What about performances ?
If motherboards are starting to be available in stores, it seems that the bios could deserve some improvement. That of the i975X, however, is already functional as the chipset is available since the end of 2005. What about performances beside these problematic points? Here are the performances obtained with the P5B Deluxe compared to the P5W DH Deluxe. We’ve included those of memory, bandwidth, latency, compression under WinRAR and the game Far Cry. In 1066 MHz FSB with the 975X, the HyperPath function in the Asus bios was activated and deactivated in 1370 MHz FSB because of the impossibility to boot with its activation.


As you can see, the relatively lesser figures of the i975X are obtained when the FSB and DDR work synchronously. It is mainly in latency that the biggest gaps are measured. With applicative tests, under WinRAR in the worst case the 975X is 5.4% faster and 2.5% in the best case. Under Far Cry, the 975x is 0.1% to 2.4% faster.
Conclusion ...
For now, the P965 Express, as it is implemented on the ASUSTeK motherboard at least, is a little slower than the 975X with a Core 2 Duo.

Of course, performances aren´t frozen and a future bios will maybe bring them closer. Anyway, the performance gap between the two chipsets and the P965 isn´t huge and the P965 has a slightly more functional ICH8. However, manufacturers could also combine i975x and ICH8. Also, unlike the 975x which is condemned to be restricted to very high end motherboards from 200 – 250 €, the P965 Express is intended for compromises between 150 – 200 €, or even 100 – 150 € for the least functional.

The performance gap, if it isn´t filled, could however be in NVIDIA´s interest, who has SLI support as a selling point. Indeed, unlike Intel, there won´t be performance gaps between the high end chipset memory controller, the nForce 590 SLI, and the middle line the nForce 570 SLI. The only problem is that chipsets are delayed for now and the nForce 4 will be initially released on Core 2 Duo motherboards. The nForce 5 Intel version will hit stores before September.

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