Articles: Mainboards

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Nominal Mode

We usually benchmark mainboards in two test modes: at the default settings and with the CPU and memory overclocked. 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 standard BIOS settings and do nothing else. So here is the performance you can expect from the mainboards if you don’t tweak their settings:

We run the CPU test of the 3D rendering suite Cinebench 15 five times and calculate the average result.

We have been using Fritz Chess Benchmark for a long time already and it proves very illustrative. It generates repeatable results and its performance scales perfectly depending on the number of computing threads.

x264 FHD Benchmark v1.0.1 (64-bit) helps us test video transcoding performance. The original version of the benchmark uses a version r2106 coder but we have updated it to version r2334. The results are the average of five runs of the benchmark.

We benchmark performance in Adobe Photoshop CC using our custom test that is based on the Retouch Artists Photoshop Speed Test and consists of typical processing of four 24-megapixel images captured with a digital camera.

We use the integrated performance test of WinRAR 5.10 Beta 3 to benchmark the speed of file archiving.

Metro: Last Light is a very beautiful video game but its frame rate depends heavily on the graphics subsystem. So we had to use the Low Quality settings to maintain playability at a screen resolution of 1366x768 pixels. The diagram shows the averaged results of five runs of the integrated benchmark.

F1 2013 is less demanding on the graphics subsystem than the previous game. At a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels we choose near-maximum settings by enabling High Quality but have to disable additional image-enhancing options. The diagram shows the averaged results of five runs of the integrated benchmark.

The new version of Thief is not acclaimed by critics, yet its visuals are top-notch. It’s got an integrated performance benchmark and lets you enable AMD’s Mantle technology. Besides lowering the display resolution, we had to choose Very Low Quality settings, yet the frame rate is still far from good.

The ASUS A88XM-Plus is always ahead of its opponent, the gap varying from small to considerable. This difference must be due to the Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3H not increasing its clock rate much. To ensure that the CPU clock rate is increased from 3.7 to 4.0 GHz more often using the Core Performance Boost technology, you must enable the Turbo Performance Boost Ratio option which is off by default.

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