Rightmark Audio Analyzer 6.2.5

In part due to reader requests, we are pleased to include Rightmark Audio Analyzer results in our benchmark suite.  The premise behind Rightmark:AA is to test the input and output of the audio system to determine noise levels, range, harmonic distortion, stereo crosstalk and so forth.  Rightmark:AA should indicate how well the sound system is built and isolated from electrical interference (either internally or externally).  For this test we connect the Line Out to the Line In using a short six inch 3.5mm to 3.5mm high-quality jack, turn the OS volume to 100%, and run the Rightmark default test suite at 48 kHz, 96 kHz and 192 kHz.  We look specifically at the Dynamic Range of the audio codec used on board, as well as the Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise.

RightMark Audio Analyzer: Dynamic Range

RightMark Audio Analyzer: THD + Noise

The Creative Sound Core3D chip in the Champion does a great job in our THD+N test across all frequency ranges, -75 dB(A) relating to a distortion of less than 0.02%.  The ALC898 in the Professional performs much like the other ALC898s in other motherboards.

It should be noted that we had to disable THX Studio Pro on the Champion to perform the tests, due to extreme cross channel leakage of the audio signals.

USB 3.0 Backup

For this benchmark, we run CrystalDiskMark to determine the ideal sequential read and write speeds for the USB port using our 240 GB OCZ Vertex3 SSD with a SATA 6 Gbps to USB 3.0 converter.  Then we transfer a set size of files from the SSD to the USB drive using DiskBench, which monitors the time taken to transfer.  The files transferred are a 1.52 GB set of 2867 files across 320 folders – 95% of these files are small typical website files, and the rest (90% of the size) are the videos used in the WinRAR test. 

USB 2.0 Sequential Read SpeedUSB 2.0 Sequential Write SpeedUSB 2.0 Copy Test

ASRock’s XFast software always gives them the best USB 2.0 scores in comparison to the rest of the spectrum.  Even without XFast though, the ASRock copy times are still very competitive.

USB 3.0 Sequential Read SpeedUSB 3.0 Sequential Write SpeedUSB 3.0 Copy Test

For both the Champion and the Professional, ASRock are using Texas Instruments USB 3.0 controllers (no native USB 3.0 on the X79 platform).  We normally do not come across these, but rather Etron or ASMedia.  It is clear to see why – the TI controllers are not the best performing, and are 60% slower than native USB 3.0 implementations in our copy test.  XFast is a saving grace, getting our copy tests back in the ball park.

DPC Latency

Deferred Procedure Call latency is a way in which Windows handles interrupt servicing.  In order to wait for a processor to acknowledge the request, the system will queue all interrupt requests by priority.  Critical interrupts will be handled as soon as possible, whereas lesser priority requests, such as audio, will be further down the line.  So if the audio device requires data, it will have to wait until the request is processed before the buffer is filled.  If the device drivers of higher priority components in a system are poorly implemented, this can cause delays in request scheduling and process time, resulting in an empty audio buffer – this leads to characteristic audible pauses, pops and clicks.  Having a bigger buffer and correctly implemented system drivers obviously helps in this regard.  The DPC latency checker measures how much time is processing DPCs from driver invocation – the lower the value will result in better audio transfer at smaller buffer sizes.  Results are measured in microseconds and taken as the peak latency while cycling through a series of short HD videos - under 500 microseconds usually gets the green light, but the lower the better.

DPC Latency Maximum

ASRock typically do rather well in our DPC Latency testing, and the X79 combo tested today are no different, coming in under 200 microseconds with ease. 

Test Setup, Power Consumption, POST Time Computation Benchmarks
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  • scaramoosh - Saturday, February 09, 2013 - link

    I don't get why they release these, he's done nothing in half a decade and no self respecting person who knows anything about hardware would buy because of a so called Celeb name being put on it. It just acts as a warning sign for me... Reply
  • Tech-Curious - Saturday, February 09, 2013 - link

    I admit that I didn't really know who Fatal1ty was before I read this article, apart from a vague recognition that the silly leet-speak moniker belonged to someone in gaming.

    And I agree with your general point, that such branding on a motherboard is silly.

    But all of that said, if the guy really did win $500,000 in gaming competitions, that's a pretty big deal. Now that he's retired, if companies (or, perhaps, their customers) are dumb enough to give him a comfortable living through lame marketing campaigns like ASRock's, then more power to him.

    Wouldn't touch the motherboard with a ten foot pole, but I can't blame the endorser for accepting the check.

    Nice review.
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Saturday, February 09, 2013 - link

    The "Fatality" branded mobos are just Asrocks high end models. They are pretty good mobos.

    The issue is the marketing is dumb as are those who buy products based on this type of marketing. Clearly enough Asrock customers voiced their displeasure with the crap marketing of John Boy all over the place as Asrock removed his image from the BIOS and allows people to disable his face on the boot screen too. Owner reviews in any PC hardware forum show a lot of folks unhappy with the marketing - not the mobos.
    Reply
  • Samus - Saturday, February 09, 2013 - link

    I've owned a few Fatal1ty products and all of them have been really good quality, especially the headsets and mice.

    I don't think the guy will put his name on crap. And I don't think companies making crap want his name on their product, since it isn't cheap to put his name on that product and if it backfires, it'll cost them.
    Reply
  • Omega215D - Sunday, February 10, 2013 - link

    The Creative gaming mice with his name on it weren't all that great performance-wise and were pretty much crap compared to stuff from Logitech in those days. The sound cards weren't anything special as well but cost much more than it should. Reply
  • hp79 - Sunday, February 10, 2013 - link

    I had a crap fatality branded geforce 8800gs or something, and it was uber crap. I got this as a repalcement when my 7900gs died. My 8800gs had no fan control, so it was running at 100% all the time. Very loud graphics card. I sold it after couple days.

    I really don't see a point branding it with a person maybe because I don't even know or care who this dude is.
    Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Sunday, February 10, 2013 - link

    I had a Fatal1ty 990FX board in my old AMD rig, was incredibly solid and overclocked like a champ.

    Unfortunately, I needed more performance and decided to go with a Military themed build so went with the Asus Sabertooth X79 board, which other than slightly noisy motherboard fans is solid too.
    Reply
  • aguilpa1 - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    Yea, I still have a Fatal1ty Xfi audio card but I didn't buy because it had his handle on it but because at the time it was the only Xfi model that offered the break out box front panel. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Friday, February 15, 2013 - link

    It tells us that it's a high-end board though. Just as it did for Creative and whoever else. It's like putting Ferrari on a monitor....LOL Reply
  • Flunk - Saturday, February 09, 2013 - link

    I agree. I refuse to buy anything branded with that name on principle. I'm not paying extra just for branding from someone I don't even respect or care about. Hell, I would rather have a Michael Jordan* branded motherboard than a one of these.

    *No, I do not like Basketball.
    Reply

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