Articles: Mainboards

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Performance Tests

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. In this case, however, we did enable “Intel Turbo Boost”. For comparison purposes we are going to use the results of Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD5 (rev. 2.0) mainboard and Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R (rev.2.0) tested earlier. The results for Asus Sabertooth X58 are marked with darker color on the diagrams.

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.

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:

 It is a well-known fact that similar systems working at similar settings will deliver similar performance. This time around the difference between the mainboards is small indeed but the Sabertooth X58 is suspiciously slower than its Gigabyte opponents in any test. However, we must recall here that the Gigabyte mainboards set their base clock rate a little higher by default (at almost 135 instead of 133 MHz), also raising the rest of the related system frequencies, whereas the Sabertooth X58 doesn’t do that. The difference in frequency is about 1%, and the mainboards differ in performance by about 1%, too (the difference in performance is smaller in those applications that depend not only on the CPU or system memory but also on the graphics card). So, we shouldn’t worry about that. The ASUS Sabertooth X58 delivers good performance in its default mode.

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