Paired with this ASRock motherboard was an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400, 2GB of OCZ DDR3-1333MHz memory, 160GB Seagate ST3160812AS HDD, and a SilverStone Zeus ST75ZF power supply. For the graphics we had used the integrated GMA X4500. On the software side was Ubuntu 8.10 with the Linux 2.6.27 kernel, X Server 1.5.2, and Mesa 7.2 with the xf86-video-intel 2.4.0 driver.
The motherboard exhibited no compatibility problems with Ubuntu 8.10 and the Linux 2.6.27 kernel. With using the LM_Sensors w83627dhg-isa-0290 we also had reliable readouts on the CPU voltage, +3.33V, +12.00V, case fans, system temperature, and CPU temperatures. When it came time to test the G43 X4500 graphics though, it wasn't exactly pleasurable. We had tested out the Intel GMA X4500HD back in July with the Super Micro C2SEA and it had worked out quite well. However, the open-source Intel graphics driver is currently going through some major renovations.
For months now they have been working on the Graphics Execution Manager for their memory management needs along with kernel mode-setting and other major components. This invasive work has caused a few regressions and other issues. With Ubuntu 8.10 and the Intel GMA X4500 found on the ASRock motherboard, the performance was terrible and the system would lock-up in games like Nexuiz. After these problems using the Intel 2.4 driver, we decided to try Fedora 10 Snapshot 3 since it ships with the newest Intel 2.5 driver and has integrated the latest GEM bits and other X.Org changes. When it came time to starting the X Server on this motherboard with the Intel X4500 graphics, we would experience a segmentation fault due to memory issues. The GMA X4500HD though hadn't generated a segmentation fault when using the same configuration.
Reverting back to Ubuntu, we then built the xf86-video-intel, Mesa, and DRM from git source, but still there were serious performance issues. The ASRock G43Twins-FullHD isn't to be blamed but it's squarely Intel with the major changes they have going on right now within their Linux driver.
For running some non-graphics tests we used Phoronix Test Suite 1.4.0 Beta 2. The tests we ran included timed PHP compilation, timed Apache compilation, timed Gzip compression, LAME MP3 encoding, GnuPG, OpenSSL, RAMspeed, and Sunflow. We had compared the Linux performance of the ASRock G43Twins-FullHD to the Super Micro C2SEA G45.
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