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 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. For comparison purposes we also included the results from the recently tested flagship Bulldozer mainboards from Asus, Gigabyte and MSI, as well as Asus Sabertooth 990FX. I would only like to remind you that Asus Crosshair V Formula mainboard by default set the memory timings at 9-9-9-24-1T, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 – at 7-7-7-20-2T and only on Asus Sabertooth 990FX, Biostar TA990FXE and MSI 990FXA-GD80 mainboards we saw the correct timings from the memory modules SPD – 7-7-7-20-1T.

The results are sorted out in descending order on the diagrams and Biostar TA990FXE results are marked with darker color for your convenience.

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 4.0 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:

We measured the performance in Adobe Photoshop using our own benchmark made from Retouch Artists Photoshop Speed Test that has been creatively modified. It includes typical editing of four 10-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.

Since we do not overclock graphics in our mainboard reviews, the next diagram shows only CPU tests from the 3DMark11 – Physics Score. This score is obtained in a special physics test that emulates the behavior of a complex gaming system working with numerous objects:

We use FC2 Benchmark Tool to go over Ranch Small map ten times in 1920x1080 resolution with 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 1920x1080 resolution with high image quality settings. The average of five test runs was taken for further analysis:

Biostar TA990FXE mainboard didn’t demonstrate anything remarkable in nominal mode. Since most of the time it fell into the lower portion of the diagram rarely making it to the middle, we even checked again to make sure that the settings didn’t differ from the nominal ones. Everything was in order: memory frequency and timings, North Bridge frequency and HyperTransport bus frequency. Turbo technology also worked fine increasing the CPU clock frequency when necessary. The explanation is that Biostar TA990FXE is simply not very fast. However, it is not that much slower than the competitors. In most cases it is about 1-1.5% behind one of the fastest products, Asus Sabertooth 990FX, and only in games this difference exceeds 2%. As for the overclocking tests, we had to give them up this time, because Biostar TA990FXE doesn’t overclock Bulldozer processors.

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