System Benchmarks

Power Consumption

Power consumption was tested on the system while in a single MSI GTX 770 Lightning GPU configuration with a wall meter connected to the OCZ 1250W power supply. This power supply is Gold rated, and as I am in the UK on a 230-240 V supply, leads to ~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 test bed 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 Consumption: Long Idle with GTX 770

Power Consumption: Idle with GTX 770

Power Consumption: OCCT Load with GTX 770

The ASRock leads the way in power consumption across the board, although the GIGABYTE has the smallest idle-to-peak delta. It will be interesting to see if this 20W window during our OCCT tests is prevalent among other X99 motherboards.

Windows 7 POST Time

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 7 starts loading. (We discount Windows loading as it is highly variable given Windows specific features.) 

Windows 7 POST Time - Default

Windows 7 POST Time - Stripped

The new X99 POST sequence involves a fair amount of DRAM training (testing and verifying speeds) which adds an abnormal amount of time to the POST sequence. This is why every motherboard at default scores above 21 seconds. Not only this, but most of these BIOSes are not fully optimized in order to save time. X99 launch was rushed due to Intel, so it might be the case that we see faster times later on in the life cycle of the platform.

Rightmark Audio Analyzer 6.2.5

Rightmark:AA indicates how well the sound system is built and isolated from electrical interference (either internally or externally). For this test we connect the Line Out to the Line In using a short six inch 3.5mm to 3.5mm high-quality jack, turn the OS speaker volume to 100%, and run the Rightmark default test suite at 192 kHz, 24-bit. The OS is tuned to 192 kHz/24-bit input and output, and the Line-In volume is adjusted until we have the best RMAA value in the mini-pretest. We look specifically at the Dynamic Range of the audio codec used on board, as well as the Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise.

Rightmark: AA, Dynamic Range, 24-bit / 192 kHz

Rightmark: AA, THD+N, 24-bit / 192 kHz

The ASUS takes the lead in THD+N by a long way, and the differences between the ALC1150s and the ALC892 in the MSI show up in the Dynamic Range tests. Unfortunately the GIGABYTE had an issue with its test, causing high levels of software-detectable distortion at high volume levels.

USB Backup

For this benchmark, we transfer a set size of files from the SSD to the USB drive using DiskBench, which monitors the time taken to transfer. The files transferred are a 1.52 GB set of 2867 files across 320 folders – 95% of these files are small typical website files, and the rest (90% of the size) are small 30 second HD videos. In an update to pre-Z87 testing, we also run MaxCPU to load up one of the threads during the test which improves general performance up to 15% by causing all the internal pathways to run at full speed.

USB 2.0 Copy Times

USB 3.0 Copy Times

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.

DPC Latency

DPC for X99 is quite impressive all around, with every motherboard scoring under 100 microseconds.

2014 Test Setup and Overclocking on X99 CPU Benchmarks
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  • StephaneP - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    On the Intel Motherboards, there was an onboard speaker. It was useful for hearing problems with Ram, Gpu, overheat, Fan fail...
    I don't see any speaker on these motherboards...
    Reply
  • R3MF - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    Re: the MSI X99S SLI Plus -

    "This means that with a 40 PCIe lane CPU, a user has to choose between tri-GPU (x16/x16/x8) + M.2 x2 from the chipset, or 2x GPU (x16/x16) + M.2 x4. 5820K users will get M.2 x4 in any configuration (x16/x8, x8/x8/x8)."

    Do I understand this to mean that the same M.2 slot will switch between PCIe 2.0 PCH lanes and PCIe 3.0 CPU lanes depending on whether the last PCIe slot is used, and that 5820K users will always get PCIe 3.0 M.2 because the last PCIEe slot is not available for use at all?

    Further from this; using a 5820k can i only use two PCIe slots if I want to maintain the first slot with 16x for the GPU, or are some of the slots run from the PCH and thus not affected by this.

    I quite like the idea of a single GPU system (with 3.0 16x), a PCIe USB TypeC expansion card (with 3.0 4x), and possibly a third PCIe slot for a sound card. Is that possible with this board?

    Thanks, great article.
    Reply
  • Infn - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    So purely performance-wise I still don't have much reason to upgrade from my 4.5ghz 3930K on X79. Is there anything on the horizon that will? Reply
  • woj666 - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    Nope. You hit a great sweet spot with that system. Keep upgrading your GPU and you'll last a long time. Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    Might want to update this article.

    X79 supports 4-12 core processors rather than 4-6, that you have listed.
    I.E. For example the Asus Sabertooth X79 supports the 8-core Xeon E5-2640 v2 and the 10-core Xeon E5-2650L v2 as well as the 12-core Xeon E5-2697 v2.

    Granted, consumers won't be running those Xeons, but the point stands, that you're not only limited to 4-6 cores on x79.

    It's ironic because ALL Sandy-Bridge-E processors were actually 8-core processors, with 2 cores disabled, which helped with cooling due to the larger die meeting with the heat spreader.
    Ivy Bridge-E however Intel reduced the core count down to 6.
    Reply
  • extide - Saturday, September 27, 2014 - link

    Except for the 3820K, that is a native quad core die. In moving to Ivy/22nm the base die for LGA 2011 went from 4 core to 6 core, and so for Ivy E all the CPU's were based on just the low end 6 core die, vs Sandy where they needed to use the 8 core die to get 6 cores. Reply
  • ludikraut - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    I really hope you guys get an ASUS X99-E WS in to run through its paces. Some nice boards here, but just not in the same league feature and layout-wise.

    l8r)
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Sunday, September 28, 2014 - link

    I've made a note :) Going to try and clear the backlog so we can get some others in! Reply
  • Etern205 - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    Sorry for the derail of this article, but has anyone notice Gigabyte also using some type of OC socket just like the Asus.
    http://www.legitreviews.com/gigabyte-ga-x99-soc-fo...
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Sunday, September 28, 2014 - link

    I have seen similar comments about this. The SOC Force LN2 board in that article is typically a limited run for extreme overclockers at GIGABYTE sponsored events. At this point we're not even sure exactly what ASUS or GIGABYTE is doing with the extra pins, or if they're doing different things with them. I have the standard SOC Force motherboard here, the one that end-users can buy, and it is using the standard X99 socket. Reply

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