In the Introduction we brought up the number of Z77-based mainboards we had tested but we can’t use the data from our earlier reviews for comparison purposes due to the changes in our testbed configuration. That’s why we run all the benchmarks again, using an ASUS P8Z77-V Premium as an opponent to the ASRock Z77 Extreme11. It is equipped with a PLX PEX 8747 bridge, so its performance and power consumption should be comparable to those of the ASRock board. However, these two are unique products, that is why we also included MSI Z77 MPOWER mainboard, which will represent the regular kind in this test session.
As usual, we are going to compare the mainboards speeds in two different modes: in nominal mode and during CPU and memory overclocking. 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. Although this time we did make a few changes. For example, we enforced the nominal CPU mode for all three mainboards, and made sure that MSI had all power-saving technologies up and running. The results in the diagrams were sorted out in descending order.
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 (64 bit) allows us to compare the system performance against the results in the database. The average results of the five test runs are displayed on the following diagram:
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 16 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 only CPU tests from the 3DMark11 suite – 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.
We have pointed out multiple times in our reviews that related mainboards working in identical testing conditions demonstrate about the same performance. Overall, the same is true this time, too. Although we have to point out that ASRock Z77 Extreme11 does fall slightly behind in Fritz Chess Benchmark and games, and though this lag is insignificant, it is yet somewhat higher than we had anticipated.