Articles: Mainboards

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Performance Comparison

As usual, we are going to compare the mainboards speeds in two different modes: in nominal mode and during overclocking of all system components: processor, integrated graphics core, memory. The first mode is interesting because it shows how well the mainboards work with their default settings. It is a known fact that most users do not fine-tune their systems, they simply choose the optimal BIOS settings and do nothing else. That is why we run a round of tests almost without interfering in any way with the default mainboard settings. The results on the diagrams are sorted out in performance descending order.

Nominal Mode

We used Cinebench 11.5. All tests were run five times and the average result of the five runs was taken for the performance charts.

We have been using Fritz Chess Benchmark utility for a long time already and it proved very illustrative. It generated repeated results, the performance in it is scales perfectly depending on the number of involved computational threads.

x264 FHD Benchmark v1.0.1 (64bit) test allows to compare the system performance against an existing database of results.  The average of five consecutive passes is presented on the diagram below:

We measured the performance in Adobe Photoshop CS6 using our own benchmark made from Retouch Artists Photoshop Speed Test that has been creatively modified. It includes typical editing of four 24-megapixel images from a digital photo camera.

In the archiving test a 1 GB file is compressed using LZMA2 algorithms, while other compression settings remain at defaults.

Like in the data compression test, the faster 8 million of Pi digits are calculated, the better. This is the only benchmark where the number of processor cores doesn’t really matter, because it creates single-threaded load.

The next diagram shows the results of 3DMark11 CPU tests – Physics Score. This score is obtained in a special physics test that emulates the behavior of a complex gaming system working with numerous objects:

The benchmark integrated into the Hitman Absolution game turned out very convenient. It can be launched directly from the game, from the game launcher utility and even from the command prompt. In order to get the minimal acceptable results, we had to use the lowest image settings and use one of the lower resolutions.

Batman: Arkham City game also reacts eagerly to any changes in the CPU clock frequency, but it uses DirectX 11. We ran game’s integrated benchmark five times with high image quality settings and then take the average of the five runs for the diagrams.

As we noted in our previous reviews, when the memory frequency is set at 1333 MHz, the ASUS F2A85-V PRO and Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4 use 9-9-9-24 timings instead of 9-9-10-24 which is written in the memory modules’ SPD. The ASRock FM2A85X Extreme6 sets the memory timings correctly, but this difference doesn’t show up in the benchmark results. Depending on the particular test, one or another mainboard goes ahead, yet we can hardly spot it in the diagrams. It is a well-known fact that similar mainboards working under the same conditions will deliver the same performance, so that’s what we see here. It is only in Batman: Arkham City that the difference is more or less visible, but only in the diagram: the gap between the fastest and the slowest mainboard is only 1 frame per second. You just can’t feel it while actually playing the game.

Overclocked Mode

In our overclocking tests we reached the same CPU, integrated graphics core and memory clock rates with each mainboard, so we can expect them to deliver similar performance again.

Indeed, the overall performance level is the same with each of these mainboards, but we can note a few peculiarities. The Gigabyte is almost always the last one, the gap being quite noticeable in such applications as 7-Zip, 3DMark11 and games. The ASUS is almost always ahead whereas the ASRock takes an in-between position, but manages to win in Batman: Arkham City yet again.

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