by July 1, 2005 0 comments

This mainboard belongs to the Medusa Series of PowerColor. It’s based on ATI Radeon 9000 Pro IGP chipset and has two serial ports, two IDE connectors, one VGA port, one parallel port, one LAN port and six USB 2.0 ports. The board also provides three PCI slots and one AGP 4x/8x slot, thereby, having ample scope for expansion. On the features front, the mainboard supports a maximum RAM of up to 2 GB. There is onboard LAN support of 10/100 fast Ethernet. The board has 6-channel surround sound. Other features include overclocking support, integrated temperature monitoring and auto power failure recovery. There are only two RAM slots, which might turn out to be inadequate. The mainboard, however, doesn’t have dual channel DDR support, with provision for only single channel DDR 266/333/400. 

We used a P4 3.2 GHz processor, 7200 rpm HDD, 512 MB RAM and an 8x AGP graphics card from Gainward to test the board. The board performed well in all the benchmarks and in fact, much better than the ASRock board that’s also been covered in this issue. We ran Multimedia Content Creation Winstone, 3DMark 2001, and Quake3 Arena and it gave scores of 48.5 Winstone units, 5394 3DMarks and 298 fps respectively. It scored 32.3 Winstone units in the Business Winstone benchmark. 

The results with onboard graphics dropped to 56.6 fps in Quake3 and 393 3DMarks in 3DMark 2001 benchmarks respectively, but were nevertheless higher than the ASRock board’s score. 

Bottom line: Though this mainboard is a very basic mainboard in terms of its feature support, its excellent performance compared to the ASRock board make it a great buy.

Rupin Vij

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