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ECS PF5 Extreme

Michael Larabel

Published on 24 February 2006
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 5 of 11 - Comment On This Article

Overclocking:

When it came to overclocking the ECS Elitegroup PF5 Extreme, our experience was quite dismal. The Lakeport overclocking lock does indeed effect the motherboard's overclocking abilities, and in order to push the motherboard even marginally faster we had to enable the PCI Express clock synchronization from the BIOS. However, this does proportionally increase the PCI Express frequency upon upping the FSB. Pushing the overclock too far, we were unsuccessful in detecting the SATA drives as well as the video card initializing. The maximum point where we were able to run the motherboard stable inside of Linux was a mere 230MHz. No matter how much we increased the voltages, and configured the remainder options, the motherboard would refuse to properly boot above this frequency. Thus, the overclocking variables at which the motherboard ran were 3.45GHz (230MHz x 15) and DDR2-767MHz @ 5-5-5-13. Although the overclocking abilities were fairly poor, the board did boast LM_Sensors detection with v2.9.2. Using LM_Sensors, the w83627thf-isa-0290, eeprom-i2c-0-53, and eeprom-i2c-0-51 modules were loaded. Of the reported voltages, fan speeds, and temperatures, the values reporting inaccurate results were +12V, -12V, and temp3. Although the LM_Sensors detection was not perfect, it was much more satisfactory than other current LGA-775 motherboards we have experienced and their flakey compatibility.

Performance:

With the ECS PF5 Extreme boasting an Intel 945P Chipset, for comparison purposes we benchmarked this motherboard against the ASRock 775XFire-eSATA2 and Abit AW8. The 775XFire-eSATA2 is a new motherboard out from the folks at ASRock, and it comes similarly equipped with the i945PL + ICH7R. On the other hand, the i955X + ICH7R Chipset power the Abit AW8. In addition to these direct comparisons, we also ran the PF5 Extreme motherboard when it was overclocked at 3.45GHz and DDR2-767MHz.

Hardware Components
Processor: Intel Pentium 4 530 (3.00GHz)
Motherboard: ECS PF5 Extreme (i945P)
ASRock 775XFire-eSATA2 (i945PL)
Abit AW8 (i955X)
Memory: 2 x 512MB Kingmax Mars DDR2-667
Graphics Card: eVGA GeForce 6800GT 256MB
Hard Drives: Western Digital 160GB SATA
Optical Drives: Lite-On 16x DVD-ROM
Cooling: CoolJag JAC16EC
Power Supply: SilverStone Strider ST405 400W
Software Components
Operating System: Fedora Core 4
Linux Kernel: 2.6.15-1.1831_FC4 (i686)
GCC - GNU Compiler: 4.0.0
Graphics Driver: NVIDIA 1.0-8178
X.Org: 6.8.2


As always, prior to the actual benchmarking we first looked over the fresh Fedora Core installation for any signs of incompatibilities or components not operating accordingly. With our installation, we had noticed no major problematic areas under Linux with the motherboard. As mentioned in the overclocking section, the LM_Sensors detection was satisfactory for the temperatures, fan speeds, and voltages. For testing the ECS Elitegroup PF5 Extreme motherboard, as well as the ASRock 775XFire-eSATA2 and Abit AW8, we used Enemy Territory, Doom 3, Quake 4, SPECViewPerf, HDparm, diskWriggler, Gzip Compression, LAME Compilation, LAME Encoding, BlueSailSoftware Opstone Sparse-Vector Scalar Product, BlueSailSoftware Opstone Singular Value Decomposition, and FreeBench.

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