Back in September we had featured previews of the ASRock 775Dual-VSTA and AM2V890-VSTA. However, at that time the Linux support with both of the motherboards were poor and prone to problems. However, now that Fedora Core 6 is out the outlook for the 775Dual-VSTA on Linux is much greater. In this article we will be sharing benchmarks and our thoughts on this budget Intel motherboard. Below are the software and hardware components we had used during testing.
|Processor:||Intel Pentium D 820 (2.80GHz)|
Abit AW8-MAX i955X
|Memory:||2 x 1GB OCZ DDR2-800|
|Graphics Card:||ATI Radeon X1800XT 256MB|
|Hard Drives:||Seagate 160GB SATA2|
|Optical Drives:||Lite-On 16x DVD-ROM|
|Power Supply:||Sytrin Nextherm PSU460 460W|
|Operating System:||Fedora Core 6|
|Linux Kernel:||2.6.18-1.2849.fc6 (x86_64)|
|Graphics Driver:||ATI fglrx 8.32.5|
ASRock uses an American Megatrends Inc BIOS on the 775Dual-VSTA. Like past ASRock motherboards we have reviewed, inside the BIOS is a limited selection of options that computer enthusiasts/tweakers would like. However, the AMI BIOS does contain the basic options that a standard user would look for. In ASRock's overclock mode the CPU frequency can be adjusted from 90MHz to 340MHz; though with the limited voltage options for this motherboard a large overclock is out of the question. The hardware health monitoring page reports the CPU and motherboard temperatures as well as the CPU and chassis fan speed. The voltages monitored are Vcore, +3.30V, +5.00V, and +12.00V.
With previous releases of Fedora and older distributions, the 775Dual-VSTA would face issues with the disk controller, which was fortunately resolved in the Linux 2.6.18 kernel and Fedora Core 6. Once starting Anaconda, the graphical installer would not initialize but we were forced to do a text-based installation. The installation process had gone smoothly, but after rebooting X11R71 still was not able to start either with the proprietary fglrx display drivers or with the generic VESA drivers. We had also experienced other erratic problems with Fedora Core 6 and the motherboard that resulted in erroneous performance problems and other issues. Outside of these problems, to see how the motherboard compared to the Abit AW8-MAX i955X we had used hdparm, gzip, LAME, and RAMspeed tests. On the following pages are our results.