Left4Dead2

Left4Dead2 is a classic Steam FPS DirectX 9 shooter.  It changes very quickly from GPU to CPU bound over a certain limit - our test is a timedemo taken from a run through of the first level.

Left4Dead2 Single 5850

Left4Dead2 Dual 5850

As L4D2 hasn't been in our bench suite long, we can only compare it to our Z68 results. At every level apart from 1920x1080 on a single GPU, the benchmark is essentially CPU or memory limited - however the ECS board only outperforms at 1920x1080 on a single GPU but is behind in every other result.

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 inbuilt 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.

Dirt II Single 5850

Dirt II Dual 5850

Oddly, in single GPU mode, Dirt II gives a much worse result than any other board tested.  I went back and retested these numbers, and got the same result.  In contrast, in the dual GPU settings, at 1920x1080, the P67H2-A takes a clear lead by 4.5 FPS, possibly due to the x16/x16 PCIe layout.

Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is the Crysis of the DirectX 11 world (and it's even more demanding than Crysis 2), 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 inbuilt DirectX 11 Frontline benchmark to test the hardware.

Metro 2033 Single 5850

Metro 2033 Dual 5850

No surprises here - all results are within a reasonable margin of error.

Computation Benchmarks Another Look at Hydra
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  • anandtech pirate - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    that last photo on the first page makes the board look crooked.

    also, where's the evo3d review?
    Reply
  • Gigantopithecus - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    Agreed - some board flexing is to be expected, especially after mounting a massive aftermarket hsf and installation into the case, but that looks a bit ominous for a brand new board straight outta the box! I know it's not terribly reasonable to think less of a board for such a thing, but I can't help but raise an eyebrow as to why a premium board looks like that.

    ...Otherwise, thanks for the very thorough review, thanks Ian!
    Reply
  • connor4312 - Monday, October 17, 2011 - link

    Likely (hopefully) just some lens distortion that wasn't fixed in PS. Reply
  • Hargak - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    The word ECS still gives me nightmares. I'm sure things have changed.. I still twitch from flashbacks of early MSI boards.. Reply
  • randinspace - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    I can't believe you actually ran that many combinations in that many programs for Hydra! It made for quite the fascinating read so great job. Reply
  • ckryan - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    are very hit and miss lately.

    First, if you're a in the business of designing, building, and selling mainbords, why would you try to kick your customers in the [insert place to kick here] with such a prickly, useless UEFI? Further, some of the engineers presumably have sight, so that it left the facory with that kind of graphical uefi is unbelivable. Just looking at the color pictures of the uefi made my eyes hurt with it's yellowish-green and greenish-yellow text on a schizophrenic background. Asus clearly has the (far and away) best graphical UEFI, but the graphical part isn't neccessary if you design the text part is a half way decent fashion. The BIOS and UEFI make or break a board. For instance, Zotac has some good boards with not so great BIOSs, either with dubious or broken or missing functions. Biostar has improved in this area, but was using a text UEFI, then released a grapical upgrade for their 1155's (I have not tried it yet, but have seen some pictures) company that makes boards that should have no excuse for bad BIOS/UEFI designs is Intel (though you could make the case that everything they do should be better). To their credit, they've improved over the last decade substantially. Their DP67BG mainboard had a less than savory UEFI back in January, but has since improved to an almost excellent system. But not graphical, which is okay. I'd rather have a decent text system than graphical one any day of the week, or in ECS's case, never. I just don't get a lot of the decisions mainboard manufacturers are using, especially when this seems like the one area where Taiwanese firms AREN"T "copy and pasting" and just plain stealing from one another.
    Reply
  • philosofool - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    I honestly don't see the point of GUI BIOS, but I've never used one. The only advantage I can see is building in mouse roll-over stuff so that when I mouse over the menu option, it shows me what's nested in there, but you can do that with arrow key selection too. Reply
  • ckryan - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    I think, when done well, a graphical UEFI can provide more information and options. It doesn't actually do anything better per se. In my opinion, no bios provides nearly enough information on settings and options anyway, but some are just abysmal. Even in the mobo's manual you will find vague descriptions which border on absurd. If you do a lot of digging (and you own an Intel extreme series board) you can find Intel's BIOS/UEFI manual which and a performance tuning guide which provides some good guidance about which settings do what and why you would need to use them. If you had only been using AMD, and then switched to a Z/P Sandy Bridge board, you'd probably be a little confused about the options due to the new OC paradigm. I believe that the best motherboard can be ruined with a terrible BIOS or UEFI. UEFI is pretty cool, but if you can't make a good text only implementation, how the hell are you going to make a passable GUI? I'm perfectly happy with a well designed text based UEFI, but I will admit that as much time as I spend with BIOSs and UEFIs, Asus' slick GUI system is clearly in a class by itself. If I were new to the game, I would want something like that on my first build. There just isn't an excuse for terrible BIOS/UEFIs in the year 2011. Reply
  • wifiwolf - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    I for instance have been surprised my Asus board gui enables instantly booting from whatever device by clicking in that device in boot section of the bios. Was a nice surprise. Reply
  • Nataku - Friday, July 22, 2011 - link

    honestly speaking, for beginner/intermediate users that didn't have to deal with dos, the mouse option does help

    besides, we gotta move forward at some point :P
    Reply

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