Benchmark Overview

For our testing, depending on the product, we attempt to tailor the presentation of our global benchmark suite down into what users who would buy this hardware might actually want to run. For CPUs, our full test suite is typically used to gather data and all the results are placed into Bench, our benchmark database for users that want to look at non-typical benchmarks or legacy data. For motherboards we run our short form CPU tests, the gaming tests with half the GPUs of our processor suite, and our system benchmark tests which focus on non-typical and non-obvious performance metrics that are the focal point for specific groups of users.

The benchmarks fall into several areas:

Short Form CPU

Our short form testing script uses a straight run through of a mixture of known apps or workloads, and requires about four hours. These are typically the CPU tests we run in our motherboard suite, to identify any performance anomalies.

CPU Short Form Benchmarks
Three Dimensional Particle Movement (3DPM) v1 3DPM is a self-penned benchmark, derived from my academic research years looking at particle movement parallelism. The coding for this tool was rough, but emulates the real world in being non-CompSci trained code for a scientific endeavor. The code is unoptimized, but the test uses OpenMP to move particles around a field using one of six 3D movement algorithms in turn, each of which is found in the academic literature. This test is performed in single thread and multithreaded workloads, and uses purely floating point numbers. The code was written in Visual Studio 2008 in Release mode with all optimizations (including fast math and -Ox) enabled. We take the average of six runs in each instance.
v2 The second version of this benchmark is similar to the first, however it has been re-written in VS2012 with one major difference: the code has been written to address the issue of false sharing. If data required by multiple threads, say four, is in the same cache line, the software cannot read the cache line once and split the data to each thread - instead it will read four times in a serial fashion. The new software splits the data to new cache lines so reads can be parallelized and stalls minimized.

As v2 is fairly new, we are still gathering data and results are currently limited.
WinRAR 5.01 WinRAR is a compression based software to reduce file size at the expense of CPU cycles. We use the version that has been a stable part of our benchmark database through 2015, and run the default settings on a 1.52GB directory containing over 2800 files representing a small website with around thirty half-minute videos. We take the average of several runs in this instance.
POV-Ray 3.7 beta POV-Ray is a common ray-tracing tool used to generate realistic looking scenes. We've used POV-Ray in its various guises over the years as a good benchmark for performance, as well as a tool on the march to ray-tracing limited immersive environments. We use the built-in multithreaded benchmark.
HandBrake  HandBrake is a freeware video conversion tool. We use the tool in to process two different videos - first a 'low quality' two hour video at 640x388 resolution to x264, then a 'high quality' ten minute video at 4320x3840. The low quality video scales at lower performance hardware, whereas the buffers required for high-quality can stretch even the biggest processors. At current, this is a CPU only test.
7-Zip 7-Zip is a freeware compression/decompression tool that is widely deployed across the world. We run the included benchmark tool using a 50MB library and take the average of a set of fixed-time results.

System Benchmarks

Our system benchmarks are designed to probe motherboard controller performance, particularly any additional USB controllers or the audio controller. As general platform tests we have DPC Latency measurements and system boot time, which can be difficult to optimize for on the board design and manufacturing level.

Gaming

Our Gaming test suite is still our 2015 implementation, which remains fairly solid over gaming title updates. We are still working on a 2017 suite update, with a move to Windows 10. This will allow most of the titles to be replaced with DirectX 12, indie and eSports games.

Gaming Benchmarks
Alien: Isolation If first person survival mixed with horror is your sort of thing, then Alien: Isolation, based off of the Alien franchise, should be an interesting title. Developed by The Creative Assembly and released in October 2014, Alien: Isolation has won numerous awards from Game Of The Year to several top 10s/25s and Best Horror titles, ratcheting up over a million sales by February 2015. Alien: Isolation uses a custom built engine which includes dynamic sound effects and should be fully multi-core enabled.
Total War: Attila The Total War franchise moves on to Attila, another The Creative Assembly development, and is a stand-alone strategy title set in 395AD where the main story line lets the gamer take control of the leader of the Huns in order to conquer parts of the world. Graphically the game can render hundreds/thousands of units on screen at once, all with their individual actions and can put some of the big cards to task.
Grand Theft Auto V The highly anticipated iteration of the Grand Theft Auto franchise finally hit the shelves on April 14th 2015, with both AMD and NVIDIA in tow to help optimize the title. GTA doesn’t provide graphical presets, but opens up the options to users and extends the boundaries by pushing even the hardest systems to the limit using Rockstar’s Advanced Game Engine. Whether the user is flying high in the mountains with long draw distances or dealing with assorted trash in the city, when cranked up to maximum it creates stunning visuals but hard work for both the CPU and the GPU.
GRID: Autosport No graphics tests are complete without some input from Codemasters and the EGO engine, which means for this round of testing we point towards GRID: Autosport, the next iteration in the GRID and racing genre. As with our previous racing testing, each update to the engine aims to add in effects, reflections, detail and realism, with Codemasters making ‘authenticity’ a main focal point for this version.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor The final title in our testing is another battle of system performance with the open world action-adventure title, Shadow of Mordor. Produced by Monolith using the LithTech Jupiter EX engine and numerous detail add-ons, SoM goes for detail and complexity to a large extent, despite having to be cut down from the original plans. The main story itself was written by the same writer as Red Dead Redemption, and it received Zero Punctuation’s Game of The Year in 2014.
Test Bed and Setup ASUS X99-E-10G WS BIOS
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  • dsumanik - Monday, November 7, 2016 - link

    Agreed, but there is a lot of PCI lane juggling on this board as is. With the amount of modern external and internal interfaces being pushed currently the days of 'one board to do it all' may be gone forever, sadly.

    Ultimately this board is going to appeal to users who want to use PCI Slots taken up by 10g rider cards in thier current rigs.

    IMO the idle power is a bit of a concern, over the life of the board it is going to add up, especially if used for server duties.
    Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Friday, December 2, 2016 - link

    Yes I noticed that too - hence I just picked up a new ASRock ws-e/10G which has the Thunderbolt header (TB2 I think it is - but that is fine with me). But what I didn't expect, was that I'd need to BUY the pcie card to actually present the interface. I must admit, I expected something like that to be in the box. More expense.

    Just waiting for my E5-2690v4 Broadwell-EP 14-Core 135W 35M CPU to clear customs to check it all out...
    Reply
  • sorten - Monday, November 7, 2016 - link

    what is the use case for 10G in the home? Reply
  • jkhoward - Monday, November 7, 2016 - link

    People who render using multiple workstations want a super fast network. You can chain multiple systems together to render something faster. Think... home graphic designed/video editor. Reply
  • timbotim - Monday, November 7, 2016 - link

    My primary use case is 30sec transfer of VMs around a network at 10Gbs-1 rather than 5mins at 1Gbs-1 Reply
  • beginner99 - Tuesday, November 8, 2016 - link

    Thats a niche use case and you will need a PCIe SSD to write that much data in such a short time. A 20 GB VM would require a write speed of about 680Mb/s. Reply
  • sorten - Monday, November 7, 2016 - link

    I see, so the average consumer running a render farm in their home office ;-) Reply
  • philehidiot - Tuesday, November 8, 2016 - link

    Personally, I tend to render farts in my home office.

    I do not require quite so many PCIe lanes for this.
    Reply
  • slyphnier - Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - link

    that not cost efficient for home graphic designer/video editor, because u end up spend like more than $15k(depends on many ws) for multiple ws including the switch/router... even say your system/rig will last you like 3-4 years, that will be much cheaper go with rental rendering server/office route

    i believe this board is limited, with shop that have this & available quantity
    Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Friday, December 2, 2016 - link

    They ARE limited, I cannot find waterblocks for mine... But, I can live with that.

    At least having your own hardware, its a KNOWN cost, and some provider doesn't contact you to notify you that you own $7k usd this month in network over-usage due to some redirection error you made...
    Reply

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