Choosing the Best H55/H57 Motherboard, Part 2by Rajinder Gill on February 22, 2010 2:00 AM EST
- Posted in
Test Bed Setup
Overclocking / Benchmark Testbed
|Processor||Intel Core i5 661 ES CPU
3.33GHz, 2 Cores, 4 Threads, 4MB Cache
Intel Core i3 540 CPU
3.07GHz, 2 Cores, 4 Threads, 4MB Cache
|Cooling||Intel air cooler
Heatkiller 3.0 Waterblock
DDC Ultra pump (with Petra top)
1/2 ID tubing
|Power Supply||Corsair HX950|
|Memory||Corsair Dominator CMD8GX3M4A1600C8 1600MHz 8GB kit. Rev 3.1
Corsair Dominator CMD8GX3M4A1600C8 1600MHz 8GB kit. Rev 7.1
Corsair XMS3 CMX8GX3M4A1333C9 1333MHz CAS 9 8GB kit. Rev 2.3
G.Skill Perfect Storm 8-8-8-24 2200MHz 4GB kit
Corsair Dominator GT 8-8-8-24 2200MHz 4GB kit (two for 8GB) Rev 2.1
|Video Cards||MSI 275 Lightning (stock clocks)|
|Video Drivers||nVidia 195.62 WHQL|
|Hard Drive||Western Digital 7200RPM 1TB SATA 3Gbps 32MB
OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD
|Optical Drives||Pioneer DVR-215DBK|
|Case||Dimastech Benching Station (open)
Lian-Li V2110 (closed)
|Operating System||Windows 7 64-bit|
We utilized memory kits from Corsair and G.Skill to verify memory compatibility on our test boards. Our OS and primary applications are loaded on the OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD drive and our games operate off the WD Caviar Black 1TB drive. We did a clean install of the OS and applications for each motherboard. We used Intel's stock cooler for the stock comparison testing, while water-cooling via the superlative Heat Killer 3.0 water block was utilized for overclocking. For graphics duty, we used MSI's GTX 275 Lighting GPU to provide performance comparisons between boards during gaming benchmarks.
For our test results we set up each board as closely as possible in regards to memory timings. Otherwise all other settings are left on auto. The P55 utilized 8GB of DDR3 (apart from DFI's MI-T36 which is limited to 4GB), while the X58 platform contained 6GB. The P55 and X58 DDR3 timings were set to 7-7-7-20 1T at DDR3-1600 for the i7-920 and i7-870 processors at both stock and overclocked CPU settings.
We used DDR3-1333 6-6-6-18 1T timings for the i5-750 stock setup for all system benchmarks (non-gaming tests) as DDR3-1600 is not natively supported at a stock BCLK setting of 133. For our Clarkdale i5 661 CPU, we used 7-7-7-20 1N timings at DDR3-1333MHz with 8GB of memory. We would have preferred to use CAS 6 timings to match our Lynnfield setup, but it seems 8GB of memory at CAS 6 on Clarkdale is not possible right now. The 4GHz gaming results used 8GB of memory at DDR3-1280MHz with CAS 6-6-6-18 1N timings to allow a BCLK of 200MHz.
Our power consumption testing utilizes the same batch of components under similar circumstances in a bid to monitor variances between idle and CPU load conditions using an AC wall meter for power consumption measurements. We install the vendor supplied power saving utilities on each board and enable power saving modes that don't involve any kind of underclocking or CPU core frequency modulation in order to run an apples to apples comparison. Assuming a maximum 150w load in the worst case scenario, actual motherboard power consumption is around 15%~20% lower than the shown figures if you factor out switching losses at the PSU.
Best overall power consumption figures belong to MSI, while boards laden with USB 3.0 features and SATA 6G trail in both idle and load situations.