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


View All Comments

  • blahsaysblah - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    Asrock Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac has all the latest, no extra flush.
    - Intel i219-v LAN.
    - Realtek ALC1150 sound.
    - 2 Chassis Fan ports(not incl CPU)
    - Display Port 1.2, HDMI 2.0 w/4k@60(but not HDCP 2.2), HDMI 1.4(thats two HDMI ports)
    - full x4 M.2 on back of motherboard
    - one regular and one type C USB 3.1 ports
    - removed the AC Wifi+BT module before install so dont know about that.

    One ITX board with no extra stuff. (im ok w/o HDCP 2.2 as that requires an extra chip and who knows what driver issues will pop up). Only thing better would have been two M.2 ports.
  • KLC - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    Thanks, I'll look into that one. I'll probably post this same question in the forums. Reply
  • thebeansoldier - Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - link

    Yep I had the ol' q6600 as well and just upgraded to a 6600k with the Asrock z170 itx/ac last month. Tasks like Handbrake are so much quicker. Picked up a GTX 970 as well and couldn't be happier. Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, April 14, 2016 - link

    This is a very solid choice, Asus Z170-A is worth considering but it might be a touch pricier or harder to find for minor differences. I had an MSI P97 and this SLI PLUS wasn't out when Skylake came out, so I changed it up to ASUS.

    I still think ASUS does a better job on the software end, my MSI P97 had certain quirks like not allowing speed control over all fan headers, but those are things they've worked on and fixed since back then.
  • Toshio - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    Guys you have both the comparison table AND the "Test Setup" specs table wrong. This MB doesn't have any SATA-Express ports. I was comparing this one with ASUS' Z170-A and saw you list the later with two LAN adapters which is also wrong.
    I've always liked your reviews and trusted the data w/o the needed to re-check specs in the manufacturer's website. I hope you get the time to fix this, thanks for the good work!
  • extide - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    Yeah the boards are all mixed up in that dropdown comparison table. It was all messed up in the previous motherboard review as well. They are usually good about this stuff, so I hope they fix it soon. Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    I think one of my table html scripts screwed up. When I get to my PC I'll fix it :) Reply
  • extide - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    Thanks, Ian. Reply
  • MrShigura - Sunday, April 17, 2016 - link

    Still isn't fixed... Reply
  • extide - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - link

    Yet again the motherboard comparison drop down is totally messed up. The specs shown do not match the motherboard selected in the dropdown. I mentioned this on the previous motherboard review as well. Please fix! Reply

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