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 of Asus Crosshair V Formula, Asus M5A990X EVO ? Asus M5A970 EVO, Asus Sabertooth 990FX, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7, Biostar TA990FXE and MSI 990FXA-GD80. The mainboards worked in identical conditions and only three of them had different memory timings: Asus Crosshair V Formula mainboard by default set the memory timings at 9-9-9-24-1T, and Gigabyte mainboards – at 7-7-7-20-2T. All other mainboards displayed the correct timings from the memory modules SPD – 7-7-7-20-1T.

The results on the diagrams are sorted out in descending order and the numbers for Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 are marked with a 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:

As you see, increased memory timings do not prevent Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 from taking an occasional lead in nominal mode. Note that in most cases the results of two Gigabyte mainboards are so close that they appear right next to one another on the diagrams. Even if they are sometimes apart, the actual difference between them and other mainboards is usually minimal. We see clearly that there is hardly any performance difference between related mainboards working in identical conditions.

 
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