CPU Performance, Short Form

For our motherboard reviews, we use our short form testing method. These tests usually focus on if a motherboard is using MultiCore Turbo (the feature used to have maximum turbo on at all times, giving a frequency advantage), or if there are slight gains to be had from tweaking the firmware. We leave the BIOS settings at default and memory at JEDEC (DDR4-2133 C15) for these tests, making it very easy to see which motherboards have MCT enabled by default.

Video Conversion – Handbrake v0.9.9: link

Handbrake is a media conversion tool that was initially designed to help DVD ISOs and Video CDs into more common video formats. For HandBrake, we take two videos (a 2h20 640x266 DVD rip and a 10min double UHD 3840x4320 animation short) and convert them to x264 format in an MP4 container.  Results are given in terms of the frames per second processed, and HandBrake uses as many threads as possible.

Handbrake v0.9.9 H.264 Encoding: 640x266 Film

Handbrake v0.9.9 H.264 Encoding: 3840x4320 Animation

Compression – WinRAR 5.0.1: link

Our WinRAR test from 2013 is updated to the latest version of WinRAR at the start of 2014. We compress a set of 2867 files across 320 folders totaling 1.52 GB in size – 95% of these files are small typical website files, and the rest (90% of the size) are small 30 second 720p videos.

WinRAR 5.0.1 Compression Test

Point Calculations – 3D Movement Algorithm Test: link

3DPM is a self-penned benchmark, taking basic 3D movement algorithms used in Brownian Motion simulations and testing them for speed. High floating point performance, MHz and IPC wins in the single thread version, whereas the multithread version has to handle the threads and loves more cores. For a brief explanation of the platform agnostic coding behind this benchmark, see my forum post here.

3DPM: Movement Algorithm Tester (1 Thread)

3DPM: Movement Algorithm Tester (10^4 Threads)

Rendering – POV-Ray 3.7: link

The Persistence of Vision Ray Tracer, or POV-Ray, is a freeware package for as the name suggests, ray tracing. It is a pure renderer, rather than modeling software, but the latest beta version contains a handy benchmark for stressing all processing threads on a platform. We have been using this test in motherboard reviews to test memory stability at various CPU speeds to good effect – if it passes the test, the IMC in the CPU is stable for a given CPU speed. As a CPU test, it runs for approximately 2-3 minutes on high end platforms.

POV-Ray 3.7 Render Benchmark (Multi-Threaded)

Synthetic – 7-Zip 9.2: link

As an open source compression tool, 7-Zip is a popular tool for making sets of files easier to handle and transfer. The software offers up its own benchmark, to which we report the result.

7-Zip 9.2 Compress/Decompress Benchmark

System Performance Gaming Performance 2015
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  • thetuna - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    Your data for the Gigabyte UD5 is very wrong (I own it).
    It has 4 dimm slots, 0x u.2, 1x m.2, and the pcie slots do either 16+4 or 8+8+4.
    Idk what else is wrong there...
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    It looks like it's pulling data for a different board entirely. The shopping link is for an Asus mITX board; that appears to have the specs shown here. Reply
  • Gunbuster - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    Somewhere a warehouse slightly less full of overstocked PS/2 ports is happy. Reply
  • hansmuff - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    I like my PS/2 ports, NKRO is a given and hardware interrupts > software interrupts. Reply
  • Ikepuska - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    I really applaud MSI for this board. It's a great price point for a compelling product.
    Unfortunately I'm going to be sitting skylake out it looks like. I'm waiting to see what the kaby lake refresh might bring in terms of motherboards because U.2 is really really hard to find in a 170 series for a sane price.
    The honest truth is that I hope for fewer SATA ports and no SATA Express ports in kaby. Because of the longevity of the cpu performance nowadays I really want 2 or more U.2 ports, ideally one M.2 port for a boot drive. I'd be willing to give up all or almost all sata ports for such a mythical board. (Not that a board with no sata ports would ever sell yet.)
    Reply
  • dreamcat4 - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    > I'm waiting to see what the kaby lake refresh might bring in terms of motherboards because U.2 is really really hard to find in a 170 series for a sane price.

    Well I can understand people wanting to wait for Kaby Lake now. SInce its so near. However lack of U.2 ports isn't really one of them. For one thing, very few products are coming out with U.2. Making it next-to-useless.

    Secondly, there do already exist very simple m.2 --> U.2 adapters. So with one of those, then any cheap Z170 mobo with an x4 m.2 slot should work fine. In fact mine has 2 of them, and its not even classed as a mid-range board. (Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 3). And using m.2 --> U.2 adapter is the more flexible solution. Since for some reason theres no adaptors available on the market which can go the other way around.
    Reply
  • jasonelmore - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    F Kaby Lake, we all waiting for Skylake EP Reply
  • Ikepuska - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    While I agree that U.2 is nascent, I still had a functioning 2009 board as of this year in use. The truth of the matter is that people still have Sandy and Ivy systems as their main gaming rig. So while yes, there are adapters and add-in cards that would serve the purpose of providing U.2 connectivity, I'd rather have the right ports available and grow into them so to speak. Since I'm looking at keeping the next platform I build for about 8 years or so. Reply
  • Manch - Thursday, April 14, 2016 - link

    Wouldn't use this as my main rig board but a media center mid range gaming pc for the living room this would fit the bill nicely. Reply
  • kaesden - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    Had this board been out a few months ago, i'd probably have gone with this over my Asus board and saved a hundred bucks. Reply

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