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 are going to also include the results of Asus P8Z68 Deluxe, P8Z68-V Pro and Asus P8Z68-V as well as Asus Maximus IV Extreme, Gigabyte G1.Sniper 2 and Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD mainboard. The results are sorted out in descending order on the diagrams. Biostar TZ68K+ is marked with a 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 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.

There are good and bad things about complex performance tests. However, Futuremark benchmarking software has become extremely popular and is used for comparisons a lot. To estimate the average performance of our test platform PCMark 7 quite measures the performance in common algorithms that are frequently used on an everyday basis. The diagram shows the average of three test runs:

3DMark11 suite measures the graphics sub-system performance in the first place. The diagram below shows the average results after three test runs in 3DMark11 Performance mode with default settings:

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:

Considering the high memory timings the Biostar TZ68K+ selects by default, it is no wonder that it nearly always finds itself lagging behind in our performance tests. There are a few exceptions, though. With its power-saving technologies turned off by default and Intel Turbo Boost not working to its full extent, the Gigabyte G1.Sniper2 turns out to be even slower in single-threaded applications such as Adobe Photoshop and, especially, SuperPi.

There is one more exception which is hard to explain. The Biostar is too fast in 3DMark11. We guess this synthetic benchmark should give us a general evaluation of the system performance in gaming applications. But after doing rather badly in each test due to its lower memory subsystem performance, the Biostar TZ68K+ is second in 3DMark11, right after the Gigabyte G1.Sniper2 (which doesn’t work quite normally either, by the way). So, we guess after we’ve done with our current tests of LGA1155 mainboards we will change our testing applications and exclude 3DMark11 from it.

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