System Performance

Not all motherboards are created equal. On the face of it, they should all perform the same and differ only in the functionality they provide - however, this is not the case. The obvious pointers are power consumption, but also the ability for the manufacturer to optimize USB speed, audio quality (based on audio codec), POST time and latency. This can come down to the manufacturing process and prowess, so these are tested.

For TRX40 we are running using Windows 10 64-bit with the 1909 update as per our Ryzen Threadripper 3960X and 3970X CPU review.

Power Consumption

Power consumption was tested on the system while in a single ASUS GTX 980 GPU configuration with a wall meter connected to the Thermaltake 1200W power supply. This power supply has ~75% efficiency > 50W, and 90%+ efficiency at 250W, suitable for both idle and multi-GPU loading. This method of power reading allows us to compare the power management of the UEFI and the board to supply components with power under load, and includes typical PSU losses due to efficiency. These are the real-world values that consumers may expect from a typical system (minus the monitor) using this motherboard.

While this method for power measurement may not be ideal, and you feel these numbers are not representative due to the high wattage power supply being used (we use the same PSU to remain consistent over a series of reviews, and the fact that some boards on our testbed get tested with three or four high powered GPUs), the important point to take away is the relationship between the numbers. These boards are all under the same conditions, and thus the differences between them should be easy to spot.

Power: Long Idle (w/ GTX 980)Power: OS Idle (w/ GTX 980)Power: Prime95 Blend (w/ GTX 1080)

In our power consumption testing, the ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme has noticeably higher power consumption in all three tests. This can be attributed to the LiveDash OLED panel, as well as multiple premium controllers and componentry on board. At full load, the power is more reasonable with a total power consumption of 361 W, which is 10 W more than the ASRock TRX40 Taichi, and 17 W than the MSI Creator TRX40.


Different motherboards have different POST sequences before an operating system is initialized. A lot of this is dependent on the board itself, and POST boot time is determined by the controllers on board (and the sequence of how those extras are organized). As part of our testing, we look at the POST Boot Time using a stopwatch. This is the time from pressing the ON button on the computer to when Windows starts loading. (We discount Windows loading as it is highly variable given Windows specific features.)


POST times on HEDT platforms can usually be slow, but the ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme is pretty fast at booting all things considered. With controllers disabled, the ROG Zenith II Extreme is even faster at POSTing with a time of just 21.2 seconds.

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. 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. This can lead to an empty audio buffer and characteristic audible pauses, pops and clicks. The DPC latency checker measures how much time is taken processing DPCs from driver invocation. The lower the value will result in better audio transfer at smaller buffer sizes. Results are measured in microseconds.

Deferred Procedure Call Latency

We test the DPC at the default settings straight from the box, and the ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme did well with a latency time of 145.4 ms. The best we've seen on the TRX40 models we have tested so far.

Board Features, Test Bed and Setup CPU Performance, Short Form


View All Comments

  • WaltC - Wednesday, December 25, 2019 - link

    Agreed--that's likely to steer people away from the product because not too many people buy the TR to worry themselves over game frame-rates--they usually have much bigger fish to fry...;) I'm not much of a fan of overclocking Zen2--lose your boost/single-thread performance completely--but that's just me...;) Reply
  • Hul8 - Monday, December 23, 2019 - link

    Teaming doesn't magically make more phases - the components being run in parallel (without doublers) are still in phase with each other. It just makes that phase more powerful. Reply
  • airdrifting - Monday, December 23, 2019 - link

    On the overclocking page, higher OC has lower temperature than default BIOS, is this really done correctly? Reply
  • GreenReaper - Tuesday, December 24, 2019 - link

    Yes, because they have reduced the target voltage below that which would be applied by default. Voltage is a key component of power usage; the speed is essentially meaningless for temperature, except that if it's faster it might get work done faster and then be able to slow down and lower voltage (which then leads to a lower temperature).

    Back in the day a lot of power management was focused on constant speed reduction, but for many workloads it's better to go really fast for a little while, then allow the cores to go to sleep.
  • eastcoast_pete - Monday, December 23, 2019 - link

    Thanks! Question: Are the 3 boards listed the only currently available TRX40 boards? If not, could you add a comparison table of the available boards and their features? Thanks! Reply
  • Hul8 - Tuesday, December 24, 2019 - link

    Not sure about availability (especially per region), but Gamers Nexus just had a 12 motherboard roundup video the other day, by Buildzoid, looking into the differentiating features of each, in descending order of price.
  • Hul8 - Tuesday, December 24, 2019 - link

    TL;DW: All of the offerings are perfectly adequate for stock operation - not one dud among them. Choice beyond that will depend on the features you want (overclocking, 10Gb NIC, WiFi, PCIe slot configuration, M.2 slots). Reply
  • Amite - Wednesday, December 25, 2019 - link

    Just a guess — People that buy rigs like this don’t game at 1080p - Give us ultra high resolution gaming Reply
  • netojose - Friday, January 10, 2020 - link

    Hi Sir, thanks a lot for the review! Did you carried on a thermal analysis on GIGABYTE TRX40 AORUS? You mention that this is the best TRX40 tested from the cooling perspective. What other boards were tested? Thanks again! Reply
  • netojose - Friday, January 10, 2020 - link

    Which TRX40 boards did you test for thermal? Did you test GIGABYTE TRX40 AORUS Xtreme? Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now