To see how well the budget ECS C19-A SLI motherboard could fair against a motherboard about twice its cost, we fired it up against the Intel i955X. This should also prove to be interesting for the NVIDIA versus Intel Chipset differences under Linux with the i955X and C19XE. The motherboard used was the Abit AW8.
|Processor:||Intel Pentium D 820 (2.80GHz)|
|Motherboard:||ECS Elitegroup C19-A SLI (C19XE + MCP51)
Abit AW8 (i955X + ICH7R)
|Memory:||2 x 512MB Corsair XMS2-5400UL|
|Graphics Card:||2 x NVIDIA GeForce 6600GT 128MB|
|Hard Drives:||Seagate 200GB SATA2|
|Optical Drives:||Lite-On 16x DVD-ROM|
|Power Supply:||SilverStone Zeus ST75ZF 750W|
|Operating System:||Fedora Core 5|
|Linux Kernel:||2.6.16-1.2111_FC5 SMP (x86_64)|
|GCC - GNU Compiler:||4.1.0 (20060304)|
|Graphics Driver:||NVIDIA 1.0-8756|
When it came to overclocking, while ECS is generally not known for being a brand that is capable of whooping some ass while overclocking, we had no problems pushing the Intel Pentium D 820 up to 3.01GHz with complete ease -- beyond that there were some stability problems to note. The memory was supplied with 2.10V, CPU 1.450V, and the memory frequency was DDR2-716MHz @ 4-4-4-15.
With this being our first Linux stab with using NVIDIA's C19XE + MCP51 Chipset, we were very peculiar to spot any compatibility problems. Both the integrated audio and networking had worked out-of-the-box with Fedora Core 5. We also had not faced the same problems that were present when testing the GeForce 6100 + nForce 410 with the cdrom_pc_intr issues on boot.
LM_Sensors had detected the it8712-isa-0290 module that had accurately contained the various voltages, temperatures, and fan-speeds for the motherboard. This is not a common occurrence having accurate LM_Sensors hardware information from a brand new motherboard, but as ECS had implemented the ITE IT8712F-A ASIC; it was smooth sailing for the sensor detection.
Overall, we were very pleased with the Linux compatibility of the ECS C19-A SLI, and primarily the NVIDIA C19XE Chipset itself. The benchmarks used were Enemy Territory, Doom 3, HDparm, Gzip Compression, LAME Compilation, LAME Encoding, BlueSailSoftware Opstone Sparse-Vector Scalar Product, BlueSailSoftware Opstone Singular Value Decomposition, and FreeBench. As Linux SLI had only made its premiere in December of last year, and the quality of the alternative OS SLI support continues to be quite poor, for our hardware setup we had simply used a pair of GeForce 6600GT's each with 128MB of video memory. For SLI mode, the two NVIDIA GeForce 6600GT parts were used with Linux SLI being enabled from nvidia-xconfig, and the mode used was automatic.