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The complicated case of the memory Rambus

Presentation, manuals, overclocking...

Some tests


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Juan Herrerías Rey

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DFI WT70-EC: the Pentium 4 is done for the RDRAM

His publicity in CsH


Some tests

Since this is an article about a motherboard, the most important thing that we must evaluate it is his correct functioning... and since we are to verify if the binomial Pentium 4 + RDRAM is capable of developing a suitable yield.

For the tests we have used the following material:

  • Microprocessors: Pentium 4 to 1,4 GHz, Athlon to 1 GHz and 1,2 GHz (bus 266 MHz)
  • Basic badges: DFI WT70-EC (chipset Intel 850), DFI AK76-SN (chipset AMD 760)
  • Memory: 256 MB RDRAM PC800 (Samsung), 256 MB DDR-SDRAM PC266 (Crucial)
  • Graphic card: GeForce2 MX400 (200/183 MHz)
  • Others: Windows 98, drivers NVIDIA Detonator

The Pentium 4 that we have used was to 1,4 GHz, a speed that right now has a worse relation yield / price than the mikes AMD; if he decides on the technology Pentium 4, it is very preferable that 1,7 GHz buys a mike to 1,5 ó. But the mike was a loan, and it is already known: on horseback given...

In the first test we observe the principal strong point of the Pentium 4: his highest band. His system bus of 64 bits to 400 MHz ("equivalents", physically there are 100) provides 3,2 GB/s (400 x 64 / 8 x 1000), exactly the same quantity theoretically available using two channels of RDRAM PC800; according to Sandra 2001, in practice we remain with approximately 1,3 GB/s (with the mike to 1,4 GHz), which is great:

Comparative of the memory yield in SiSoft Sandra 2001

... Since it is logical, to have a high memory band is not sufficient to shine in all kinds of applications as Intel I would like (if also the latency of the RDRAM was minor...), but undoubtedly it is a good motive for being proud. Some cynics would say that it is the only motive for it being, but it would be to exaggerate (and we are not cynical at all, of course).

In any case, I observed the impressive yield bassoon if there is used RDRAM PC600 instead of PC800: 27 % less band: even with a mike 100 MHz more rapid!! One be imagined what it will happen with the yield of the Pentium 4 when the new chipset comes for the very old SDRAM PC133...

And now, for what they all wait: how does behave our system Pentium 4 in the games? Well, we are not going to show the typical graph of Quake3 in which the Pentium 4 pulverizes all the rest teams. But...: why? For two motives:

  1. the graphic engine of Quake3 is strangely favorable for the Pentium 4 (more that for any other mike... and more than any other game);
  2. these graphs represent ridiculously unreal situations, generally a resolution of 640x480 with 16 color bits: in a GeForce2 Ultra!! Undoubtedly thus it becomes possible to isolate the "micro factor"... but if NOBODY plays with this configuration: do they serve as a little this information to the final users?
We have looked for something more realistic, using the "test of simulation of games" 3DMark2000 to 1024x768 (something accessible for any modern team) and, of course, to 16 color bits so that the graphic card does not represent a bottle neck:

Comparative of the yield in 3DMark2000 to 1024x768 and 16 color bits

Very well, it is not badly at all, the 3,2 notice GB / century The numbers will change very much of one game to other, and with a very good graphic card the differences will be always minimal (even lower than 1 %), but in any case it is possible to be said that the Pentium 4 is a respectable platform to play in 3D... especially from 1,5 GHz.



Well, the first thing is to indicate the public whom we believe that this badge is destined: the market OEM, the integrators of teams, as well as to whom they use software already optimized for the new instructions SSE2 (there is not greatly but it exists, especially in the field of the graphic edition and video... and the difference is evident). Photo of the system of subjection of the spendthrift - fan in the DFI WT70-EC

The fans of the overclocking/cacharreo probably should not even raise buying not already this one, but any badge for Pentium 4, because to squeeze the team to the maximum without being able to play with the multiplier is not by no means the same (a multiplier 14x, 15x ó 17x fixed does not offer many options).

As motherboard, the DFI WT70-EC is correct, stable and not "excessively expensive (faces the son ALL the badges for Pentium 4, but the DFI it is usually something less). One of the most agreeable things of her is the system of subjection of the spendthrift, who allows to release it and there have not to do balances with one or several screwdrivers (installing is usually easy, but give always to install it is another history).

One of the "snags" of this badge is that soon the first Pentium 4 will appear in format of 478 pines (at first it will be a mere external change, for months later turn reduced to 0,13 microns, which yes will be an interesting change). But good, it is practically sure that Pentium 4 will go out of up to 2 GHz in format of 423 pines and there are always the people who does not have intention of changing mike. Also: who guarantees to us that a badge will serve for mikes that still do not exist? I not, certainly.

In any case, the badges for Pentium 4 of 478 pines will be almost identical (or completely identical) to the current ones, except in the socket; we will take little in seeing a "WT70-478". The badges will be the principal innovation with support of memory SDRAM (PC100/PC133), which we do not recommend to anybody.

The Pentium 4 is done to use a very high memory band; while they do not appear chipsets for DDR-SDRAM (and to be able to be with double channel, that 2,1 GB/s it is not great for this mike), his is to use memory Rambus. And if for it it goes out slightly more expensive... since or pays it or does not buy a Pentium 4. Or perhaps he prefers to save 10 % in exchange for 25 % of yield?

And to end, a rumor that is already not such: in the next weeks, the prices of the Pentium 4 are going to collapse. It is possible that soon it is the moment to raise again the "option Intel"...

For more information about the DFI WT70-EC, consult:


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