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Motherboards & Chipsets
I875P to nForce4: A Performance Comparison

Introduction

Ever since its introduction in the fall of 2003 the Asus P4C800-E Deluxe motherboard with its i875P chipset has been one of the predominant choices for all computer enthusiasts be they casual builder or hard core over-clocker. As the go-to platform for reviewers its popularity remains unprecedented. It is used as a watermark to judge other motherboard's performance and to benchmark graphics cards or the latest DDR memory and as such the P4C800-E has been the platform for countless hardware reviews and guides.

Indeed many owners first experience with this motherboard was tweaking the over-clocker friendly Northwood 2.4C chip to 275FSB and beyond. We all enjoyed upgrading to the SL6Z3 2.4C and 2.8C CPUs and on to 3.0 Northwoods and beyond if you were fortunate to get your hands on one of the scarce 3.4C Northwoods. All along the P4C800-E displayed cutting edge performance while happily running anything from a basic Celeron to Intel's flagship Extreme Edition CPUs.

Many enthusiasts finally hit a wall however with the introduction of the Prescott core CPUs. Often performance lacked when compared to its older Northwood brethren and the Prescott's tendency to turn your computer case into a space heater combined with loyal Northwood disciples caused many to return to the Northwood core or to look elsewhere to satisfy their performance needs. As Intel no longer produces the Northwood CPU often that choice was AMD.

So now we get to the point of this review and look for answers to the question if now may be the right time to retire your favorite horse to pasture. A frequent topic in many forum threads these days is whether upgrading from ones current i875P/Northwwod platform to AMD’s latest Socket 939, 90nm Winchester core CPU coupled with nVidia’s newest nForce 4 chipset makes sense. We'll run a variety of benchmarks and games you might test your own system with and try to get a handle on exactly what performance can be expected with this platform change.

The Platforms

First up the Intel based i875P chipset Asus P4C800-E platform.

Asus P4C800-E DeluxeP4 Processors