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. 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 simple choose the optimal BIOS settings and do nothing else. That is why we also run a round of tests without interfering in any way with the default mainboard settings.  Since we are now using a slightly different testbed, we have also updated the list of benchmarks and revised our test settings. Our goal was to cover different aspects of computer usage without adding too many new benchmarks and tests into the suite.

Since today we are testing the first mainboard on the new Intel chipset series, we needed to find a certain reference point for our comparison. We decided to take one of the mainboards based on the previous generation Intel P55 Express chipset and picked Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD4. There are two reasons for this choice: first, we have already checked that it overclocks new processors nicely. Second, it is a microATX mainboard, like most other H57/H55 solutions and it will not stand out among them too much. The mainboards are listed on the diagrams according to their performance (from high to low). The results of Asus P7H57D-V EVO mainboard are marked with a darker color for your convenience.

We started using the recently released Cinebench 11.5 program version. 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.

A small video in x264 HD Benchmark 3.0 is encoded in two passes and then the entire process is repeated four times. The average results of the second pass are displayed on the following diagram:

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.

There are good and bad things about complex performance tests. However, 3D Mark Vantage has become extremely popular. The diagram below shows the results after three test runs:

Since we do not overclock graphics in our mainboard reviews, the next diagram shows only CPU test from the 3D Mark Vantage suite.

We use FC2 Benchmark Tool to go over Ranch Small map ten times in 1280x1024 resolution with medium and high image quality settings in DirectX 10.

Resident Evil 5 game also has a built-in performance test. Its peculiarity is that it can really take advantage of multi-core processor architecture. The tests were run in DirectX 10 in 1280x1024 resolution with medium image quality settings. The average of five test runs was taken for further analysis:

You can clearly see that Asus P7H57D-V EVO and Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD4 mainboards demonstrate almost identical results. Looks like it doesn’t really matter which mainboard you use, what chipset it is based on and how different the two boards are if the system is running in nominal mode with the default settings.

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