by Anand Lal Shimpi on June 9, 1997 7:08 PM EST
The Test

In recent times, choosing a motherboard cannot be completely determined by a Winstone score. Now, many boards come within one Winstone point of each other and therefore the need to benchmark boards against each other falls. Therefore you shouldn't base your decision entirely on the benchmarks you see here, but also on the technical features and advantages of this particular board, seeing as that will probably make the greatest difference in your overall experience.


Test Configuration

Processor(s): AMD K6/233 ANR & Intel Pentium MMX 233 & Cyrix 6x86MX-PR2/200
Board Revision: 2.2
RAM: 2 - 32MB Advanced Megatrends SDRAM 2 - 32MB SmarTech SDRAM 2 - 32MB Corsair SDRAM
2 - 32MB Micron 50ns EDO
Hard Drive(s): Western Digital Caviar AC21600H
Video Card: Matrox Millennium (2MB WRAM)
Busmaster EIDE Drivers: Intel v2.85
Video Card Drivers: MGA Millennium
OS: Windows 95 Service Release 2


Windows 95 Performance of the ABIT AX5

CPU Business Winstone
AMD K6/200 54.1
AMD K6/208 58.3
AMD K6/225 57.5
AMD K6/233 56.8
Cyrix 6x86MX-PR2/166 (150/75) 54.0
Cyrix 6x86MX-PR2/200 (166/66) 57.0
Intel Pentium MMX 200 52.6
Intel Pentium MMX 208 56.0
Intel Pentium MMX 225 55.1
Intel Pentium MMX 233 54.0
Intel Pentium MMX 262.5 56.1
Intel Pentium MMX 290.5 57.6

I reran all of the ABIT AX5 tests with some 50ns Micron Turbo EDO to get reliable scores at the 83MHz bus speed setting since I was one of the unlucky few to test the Revision 2.2 AX5 instead of the Revision 2.21 or 2.22 which don't feature the 'wonderful' SDRAM compatibility problems I experienced. In order to even the playing field I used a wonderful utility known as TweakBIOS which allowed me to really max out my memory timings with the EDO, using that utility I got the performance decrease when using EDO instead of SDRAM down to an amazing 0.4 Winstone points at most!!! The scores are truly amazing, looks like the Shuttle HOT-569 finally has some competition for that best Socket-7 motherboard based on the Intel TX chipset award...


The Final Decision

Should you buy this board? YES!!! I am very impressed with the improvements ABIT has made since the original revision of this board, and ABIT continues to amaze me with the improvements they can make to an already near-perfect design. The AX5 features speed, reliability, and compatibility that all power users disserve, as well as that wonderful SoftMenu CPU Setup and the world famous "ABIT Manual" that cannot be rivaled by any other piece of documentation I have seen.

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