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X48 Roundup: ASUS, ECS & Intel
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by Rob Williams on July 7, 2008 in Intel Motherboards

With so much X48 selection on the market, choosing the right board can be tough. To help make the choice easier, we are taking a look at three such boards all at once, ASUS’ DDR2 Rampage Formula and also the DDR3 ECS X48T-A and Intel’s DX48BT2.

Gaming: Half-Life 2: Episode Two & Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Half-Life 2: Episode Two

If there is one game in our line-up that most everyone has played at some point, it would be Half-Life 2. The most recent release is Episode Two, a game that took far too long to see the light of day. But despite that, it proved to be worth the wait as it delivered more of what fans loved.

We are using a portion of the “Our Mutual Friend” level for our testing, which is a level most people who haven’t even played the game know about, thanks to Valves inclusion of it in their Episode Two trailers during the year before its release. During our gameplay, we shoot down a total of three Striders (their locations are identical with each run, since we are running a saved game file) and a barn is blown to smithereens.

 

 

Overall it’s a great level, but the Strider’s minions can prove a pain in the rear at times – most notably when they headbutt you. Nothing a little flying log won’t solve, however! This levels graphics consist mostly of open fields and trees, although there is a few explosions in the process as well, such as when you blow the Striders apart with the help of the Magnusson Device.

Settings: High graphic settings are used throughout all three resolutions, with 4x AA and 8xAF.

 

 

As with most of our other real-world tests, gaming doesn’t prove to be much different between any of our boards.

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

3DMark Vantage is the latest benchmarking tool released from Futuremark, effectively making most computers cry. It doesn’t matter how high-end your machine is, this is one test that will not run smoothly, and it might be a while before we come together with components that can storm through the test like many machines are doing with 3DMark 06 now.

 

 

Yet again, there are no major differences between any of our boards here, which is to be expected. What can vary heavily is overclocking and power consumption, which we’ll take on next.