Performance and the 865PE
We built a system around the Intel D865PERL motherboard, Intels premium 865PE mainboard. The D865PERL has full 5.1 channel audio support, stereo microphone input, four USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire port, and the usual array of legacy keyboard, mouse, printer, and serial ports. We supplied the system with a 3.0-GHz Pentium 4, an ATI Radeon 9700 Pro graphics card and a pair of Seagate Serial ATA drives configured as a RAID 0 array using the soft RAID controller built into the ICH5 I/O controller hub, part of the 865PE chip set.
We compared the results from that system to those from two similarly configured systems, one with the 875P chip set and one using the 850E. We also compared results from an Athlon XP system; that used the nVidia nForce2 graphics chip set. The 875P and Athlon XP systems used RAID 0 arrays. Because the 850E-based PC, a Dell 8250 had a different storage configurationa 200GB Western Digital ATA drivewe did not use that system in tests where disk performance was a factor.
Loyd Case came to computing by way of physical chemistry. He began modestly on a DEC PDP-11 by learning the intricacies of the TROFF text formatter while working on his master's thesis. After a brief, painful stint as an analytical chemist, he took over a laboratory network at Lockheed in the early 80's and never looked back. His first 'real' computer was an HP 1000 RTE-6/VM system.
In 1988, he figured out that building his own PC was vastly more interesting than buying off-the-shelf systems ad he ditched his aging Compaq portable. The Sony 3.5-inch floppy drive from his first homebrew rig is still running today. Since then, he's done some programming, been a systems engineer for Hewlett-Packard, worked in technical marketing in the workstation biz, and even dabbled in 3-D modeling and Web design during the Web's early years.
Loyd was also bitten by the writing bug at a very early age, and even has dim memories of reading his creative efforts to his third grade class. Later, he wrote for various user group magazines, culminating in a near-career ending incident at his employer when a humor-impaired senior manager took exception at one of his more flippant efforts. In 1994, Loyd took on the task of writing the first roundup of PC graphics cards for Computer Gaming World -- the first ever written specifically for computer gamers. A year later, Mike Weksler, then tech editor at Computer Gaming World, twisted his arm and forced him to start writing CGW's tech column. The gaming world -- and Loyd -- has never quite recovered despite repeated efforts to find a normal job. Now he's busy with the whole fatherhood thing, working hard to turn his two daughters into avid gamers. When he doesn't have his head buried inside a PC, he dabbles in downhill skiing, military history and home theater.