Battle of the Boards
NForce4 Setups Perform Best in Multitasking
WorldBench 5 does a great job of measuring the performance of an entire PC system--not just a single component--on a wide range of common computing tasks. For this story, we kept all of the peripheral components the same, in order to isolate the motherboard's performance. We saw fairly uniform results on most sections of the test, except in the multitasking section, which features simultaneous Mozilla Web browsing and Windows Media Encoding. There we found more-significant differences, including an 8 percent spread between the first- and last-place Athlon boards, MSI's K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI and Asus's A8V-E Deluxe. The Asus has a Via chip set, while the top finishers all have one of NVidia's NForce4 chip sets.
The Intel Pentium 4 boards also registered a 7 percent spread between the top-dog Asus P5AD2-E Premium and the tail-end Intel D915PBL in the multitasking section. Some 925XE-based boards ended up near the bottom of the pack as well.