Dirt 2

Dirt 2 came to the PC in December 2009, developed by Codemasters with the EGO Engine. Resulting in favorable reviews, we use Dirt 2’s built-in benchmark under DirectX 11 to test the hardware. We test two different resolutions at two different quality settings using a discrete GPU, and an appropriate integrated GPU setting. (Since the game only runs in DX9 or DX11 modes and the HD 3000 lacks support for DX11, we test in DX9 mode on the iGPU.)

Dirt 2, Integrated GPU, 1024x768, Medium Quality

Dirt II—1680x1050; Single GPU

Dirt II—1680x1050; Dual GPU

Dirt II—1680x1050; Triple GPU

Dirt II—1920x1080; Single GPU

Dirt II—1920x1080; Dual GPU

Dirt II—1920x1080; Triple GPU

Our ASUS board does better in the 1680x1050 results than the 1920x1080, topping out the single and dual GPU results.

Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is the Crysis of the DirectX 11 world (at least until Crysis 2 is updated to DX11 support), challenging every system that tries to run it at any high-end settings. Developed by 4A Games and released in March 2010, we use the built-in DirectX 11 Frontline benchmark to test the hardware. For the iGPU, we run in DX10 mode.

Metro 2033, Integrated GPU, 1024x768, Medium Quality

Metro 2033—1920x1080; Single GPU

Metro 2033—1920x1080; Dual GPU

Metro 2033—1920x1080; Triple GPU

Metro 2033—1680x1050; Single GPU

Metro 2033—1680x1050; Dual GPU

Metro 2033—1680x1050; Triple GPU

Computation Benchmarks Final Words
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  • AnnihilatorX - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    I wonder when will MB makers start to support onboard multichannel LPCM HDMI audio ? Reply
  • NeBlackCat - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    Would Anandech please remember that some of us care more about running our systems as energy sparingly as possible, and pay as much attention to underclocking/volting as you do to overclocking/volting.

    It's becoming quite the thing to do, you know. In mid 2011 I really shouldn't have to ask.
    Reply
  • NeBlackCat - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    Oops I accidentally posted that as a reply.

    But since I'm back - any chance you would do a follow up review of the board from an energy saving viewpoint, and incorporate this IMPORTANT aspect into all further board/system reviews, Anandtech?
    Reply
  • Dreamwalker - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    Seriusly, if you are after a low power consumption system go look elswhere (Atom, AMD E series, ITX boards...).

    This segment is made to get the maximum out of your rig and not vice versa.
    Reply
  • xinaes - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    Surely these things needn't be polarized. It is not unreasonable to want to know what kind of balance of performance and power can be achieved with any given level of hardware. Also, why should someone interested in economising power not be interested in something like QuickSync, for example? Reply
  • aegisofrime - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    I agree with NeBlackCat. Low power consumption doesn't necessary mean low performance. I for one, undervolt my Phenom II 955. It's a nice balance between performance and power consumption.

    That said, I have researched undervolting Sandy Bridges before and they seem to do that quite well.
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    I'd also like to know for HTPCs, but I feel if I went that route, I'd stick to an H67 and Core i3/i5 for the cost savings.

    Still, this is obviously not a complete review, but undervol7ing is something to keep in mind. :)
    Reply
  • L. - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    2011
    HTPC
    H67 / Z68 / Intel in general

    The above three elements are incompatible.

    Today, HTPC = E350
    Tomorrow, HTPC = E350-likes

    For a technical sidenote, undervolting and underclocking are two practices that have been promoted by the lack of chips at every consumption level.

    However, again, this is 2011 and you have chips ranging from 1Watt to 125 Watts with steps of maximum 5Watts along the way.

    The important fact there is that a chip designed to run @ 18Watts (like an E350) will beat any chip running at that TDP but not designed for it (like an OC'd lower chip or a DC'd higher chip).

    As a summary, undervolting is a little fine-tuning you can apply in the end, but it is secondary to picking the correct chip to begin with.

    Sandy Bridge can undervolt decently, but seriously WTF.. if you don't need the power, don't pay for it ?

    If you're going to undervolt then there's a fairly high chance you're buying the wrong chip.
    Reply
  • NeBlackCat - Friday, May 13, 2011 - link

    I completely disagree with that.

    The whole point is that Z68/Sandy Bridge is getting close to giving us the full spectrum of power/performance possibilities in one box (I suspect Ivy Bridge will finish the job), so you DONT have to pick one CPU with one particular profile, and then be restricted in what you can do.

    For example:

    I may want my HTPC to run at minimal power/noise when watching a movie, but there'll also be times when I want it to rip through an encode as quickly as possible, and don't care if it sounds like a helicopter and glows like hot coal in the process. How nice if i can have both at whim, just with a clock/volt change from a GUI.

    I may want my home server to run frugally when just firewalling and media streaming but, when I want to compile that Linux distro...

    ... and so on.

    Z68/Sandy Bridge is perfect for either of the above scenarios. But where hardware/BIOS/tool vendors give us ability to absolutely minimise power/thermals, reviewers don't cover it. Not even a mention of the specs (how low can that vcore go, etc).

    They should.
    Reply
  • rmoan1 - Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - link

    This is silly to me.

    If you are not using the power then let it auto adjust down at the CPU level. Its like asking if you can fill a Ferrari with regular gas?

    Thou I understand why, there is no reason to spend time finding out, none that I can see anyway. If you want to run a media server, along with a browsing PC, etc etc... you can boot into the BIOS OS that comes with all ASUS Boards. You can get a media center ULV PC, etc.. etc... for $300. Or better yet get a tablet when you dont need the full power of your PC.

    At the end of the day, you arent getting WD Greens, low power cards, low power RAM, or a smaller PSU or the Green version of the motherboard.

    This a performance board that is used for OCing and will be used for OCing.

    If you are looking to save energy then stick to a Prius not a Ferrari.
    Reply

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