With this being our first Albatron motherboard presented at Phoronix, we were peculiar to see precisely how it would fair in the world of overclocking, and surprisingly, we were not too disappointed with its abilities. Increasing the supplied CPU voltage by 10% and upping the DDR voltage to +3.00V, we had no problems running the AMD Athlon 64 with 2 x 1GB of OCZ RAM at DDR-520MHz speeds with 2.5-4-4-8 timings meanwhile the CPU ran at 2340MHz (260MHz x 9). When we attempted to push the CPU further, no matter the voltages, the system would fail to properly boot. However, we had used a stock cooler through the duration of the testing process. Although this overclock is not anything record breaking, it is a moderate boost and beyond the abilities of some ASRock and Tyan motherboards we had tested with the same components.
Although there will be a difference of Chipsets in testing, we could not resist but to run our Albatron K8SLI tests along side the Tyan Tomcat K8E-SLI S2866 motherboard. Both motherboards offer SLI support at x8 speeds, as well as other similar features, and Socket 939 support, however, the Tyan is designed for server usage and is based upon NVIDIA's nForce Professional 2200 Chipset. In addition to the showdown between the enthusiast and server contenders, we had also run the Albatron K8SLI motherboard at the above-mentioned voltage and frequency values. To reiterate, the maximum overclock we achieved with the particular system was at 2.34GHz (260MHz x 9) with the system memory running at DDR-520 at 2.5-4-4-8. Below are the complete hardware and software specifications for the components used throughout the entire testing process.
|Processor:||AMD Athlon 64 3000+ (Winchester)|
|Motherboard:||Albatron K8SLI (nForce4 SLI)
Tyan K8E-SLI (nForce Professional 2200)
|Memory:||2 x 1GB OCZ EB PC-4000|
|Graphics Card:||2 x NVIDIA GeForce 6600GT 128MB|
|Hard Drives:||Seagate 200GB SATA NCQ|
|Optical Drives:||16x DVD-ROM|
|Power Supply:||SinTek 500SLI 500W|
|Operating System:||Fedora Core 4|
|GCC (GNU Compiler):||4.0.0|
|Graphics Driver:||NVIDIA 1.0-8178|
With the K8SLI being the first Albatron motherboard making an appearance at Phoronix, we had paid close attention to its Linux compatibility. As we have seen lately with numerous motherboards at Phoronix, the product offered remarkable compatibility with Linux except for of course when it came to LM_Sensors and monitoring the various thermal, fan-speed, and voltages. We hope soon that the next LM_Sensors release will offer improved detection with the latest Intel and AMD systems; however, for many Linux users this is not a significant matter. When it came to the NVIDIA Scalable Link Interface support, we had no troubles enabling the technology using the latest 1.0-8178 display drivers. With both the Tyan K8E-SLI and Albatron K8SLI, we tested the card in single and dual SLI configuration modes. During overclocking, the system was also run in the NVIDIA 6600GT SLI configuration. When running in SLI mode, it was enabled as Automatic through nvidia-xconfig. During the single-card testing, we had installed the secondary card to allow the main graphics card to run at PCI Express x16 speeds. Of course, keep in mind that Linux SLI is still very much in its infancy (as it was introduced back in December of 2005) and that the results attained are quite different from the Microsoft Windows counterpart, and eventually the alternative OS NVIDIA drivers will mature to be further comparable with the ForceWare version. Onto the benchmarks, our latest motherboard set consists of Enemy Territory, Doom 3, Quake 4, SPECViewPerf, HDparm, Gzip Compression, LAME Compilation, LAME Encoding, BlueSailSoftware Opstone Sparse-Vector Scalar Product, BlueSailSoftware Opstone Singular Value Decomposition, and FreeBench. Without further ado, on the following pages are our official results.