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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  • Dr. Swag - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    Hey Ian, any word on how far along the x4 845 review your promised a while back is? I'm very interested in it but it's been quite a while now. I know you've been busy on other reviews but just want to know how that's going. If you don't know what I'm talking about:
    http://www.anandtech.com/comments/10000/who-contro...
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    It's taken a couple of weeks, but I think the X4 845 is tested (regular and OC). Just need to run through a couple of older gen chips to see difference / IPC - X4 760K only arrived yesterday. Should have the 860K in there as well, all three tested at stock and 3G for comparison - CPU (office, synthetic and realworld tests) and gaming performance are both covered. I've also got a set of i3 parts on the go, most of the new E3 Xeons, an FX retest and new A10 reviews in flight, so apologies for the delays. If you've been following my twitter feed recently, I've been updating the test work flow to hopefully optimize this for the future... :) Reply
  • Dr. Swag - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    Awesome man! Just take your time and don't rush it :). Thanks for the reply/update. Reply
  • owan - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    I wish more mid-high end boards would sport color schemes like this. If you want to do a mod project, this is like a blank slate that can work with nearly any theme. Unfortunately high end boards usually have one gaudy color that you can't ignore or alter without significant work. I get that its all part of the branding, but having such a neutral color scheme would have been nice when doing my own project.... I found myself having to use red in my build just to make my Asus ROG board (purchased prior to the project) work, even though I don't really care for the color. Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    I know! Why is a tasteful black & gray so troubling to get right? Reply
  • Questor - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    Amen to that! I saw the MSI X99A Godlike Gaming Carbon and dropped three credit cards on the floor trying to get the one I initially grabbed! At that point, I had not idea what socket, what the specs were and what was generally compatible. I saw the awesome black and shiny combo, like a black muscle car with lots of chrome and went lights out. I came too when my walked up to me and asked why I had my cards out and why is that big black and metal thing $600.00?!!! Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, April 14, 2016 - link

    Agreed, this was a factor in me picking the ASUS Z170-A, seemed like every other board in the same price range (before this MSI, which didn't come out until the end of last year) was pimping a red scheme or something bolder. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    Give us a Skylake that makes use of its EDRAM controller (by having EDRAM) and then I'll care about this generation of boards. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    Probably in the same file with the GTX 960. "Coming real soon." Reply
  • KLC - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    So I'm in the early stages of thinking about a new build. I don't do this often, I'm currently using a
    Q6600 box I built almost 8 years ago. I don't game, I don't overclock, I'll use the integrated graphics with an SSD and HDD for storage. Most uses are standard office apps, web browsing plus media, and photography using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop with a little video using Sony Vegas. There is a bewildering array of motherboards out there. I want a quality mb with quality components, good sound and the latest USB ports but since I'm not on the extreme bleeding edge I don't need to spend a fortune for a mb. This one looks like it might be a good fit for me. Am I right or are there other mbs out there I should look at?
    Reply

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