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 from our reviews of Asus Sabertooth P67, Foxconn P67A-S, GigabyteGA-P67A-UD4-B3 and Intel DP67BG. The results are sorted out in descending order with the numbers for MSI P67A-GD80 (B3) 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:

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. 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.

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 we have expected, there is hardly any difference in performance between the boards, it doesn’t even exceed 1%. All mainboards work at about the same speed and MSI P67A-GD80 (B3) is just as fast as the others. There is only one significant difference: Micro-Star mainboard is 3% faster than the competitors in 3DMark 11 test. We repeated the tests, but the resulting scores remained practically identical: 5500, 5501, 5499. We could suspect that there was some kind of an automatic overclocking system kicking in, because both: the mainboard and graphics card in our system were from MSI. However, in this case we would expect higher results in games, too, as this type of performance depends a lot on the graphics card. However, the gaming performance of our mainboard remained within usual limits. Then we could recall that Micro-Star Company was one of the major sponsors of the 3DMark 11 testing suite, but we do not want to suspect Futuremark in being unfair, especially since there are a lot of other issues with their tests already. So, let’s leave this unexpected victory an inexplicable success of the new MSI P67A-GD80 (B3) mainboard :)

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