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


View All Comments

  • gostan - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    feel like I'm transported back to 2001

    good job AT!
  • xunknownx - Saturday, September 27, 2014 - link

    what settings on povray is being used in this article? i would love to compare my results against theirs. Reply
  • todo1 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    X79 supports TRIPLE CHANNEL DDR3, not quad!
    I don't how it is even possible to make such a mistake?!?
  • tyaiyama - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    After reading the following:
    Is it worth recommendation from Anadtech? Almost 1 month has passed without Asus solving the problem. What's good about this M/B unable to certain hours operations(^^)
  • tyaiyama - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    BTW, MSI M/B also has an issue.
    Both of these M/B happened to be recommended by Anand over the other two: AsRock & Giga. What does it mean? I personally likes AsRock X99 WS which seems Asus X99-E WS w/o PLX.
  • Haravikk - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    Is there a reason the motherboards with moulded shapes over the various I/O ports don't include the I/O shield built-in? I hate adding those damned things; seems unnecessary if your motherboard is shaped around the ports already. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Saturday, October 4, 2014 - link

    Power phases?

    Also, it seems really lazy to not check what changing the MSI load line calibration setting would actually do if changed. "This is quite odd. It would seem the efficiency of the MSI motherboard when overclocked is somehow stunted..." vdroop is supposed to be part of the Intel specification and load line calibration defeats it, right? So, it looks like there is your answer. Auto isn't the optimal setting.

    Also, if you tested these motherboards in the order you reviewed the overclocking results in, you may have fatigued the chip which explains why the results kept getting worse.
  • woj666 - Monday, October 6, 2014 - link

    Agreed, it seems very obvious that that Load Line Calibration setting of "auto" on this MSI board is in fact quite aggressive and applying vboost as described here and here

    The OC section of this article is not comparing apples to apples as the default LLC settings are not the same for the different boards.
  • akula2 - Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - link

    It was a great review, appreciate it very much.

    1) why Asus X99-E WS is missing out of action?

    2) Asus X99-E WS ($510) or Asrock X99 WS ($310)?

    My ten X99 ultra Workstations will have the upcoming Maxwell based Nvidia Quadro and Tesla cards? I'm also evaluating Firepro W9100 card too. I don't know if there will be Maxwell based Titan Black (II or whatever name)?

    Five builds will have Xeon E5-2680 v3 (more like due to price/performance) or Xeon E5-2690 v3
    Five builds will have i7-5760X CPUs

    I never used Asrock WS boards earlier, but have many Asus WS boards (X79/Z97). So, what do you think of Asrock WS over Asus X99-E WS in the given configuration above?

    Yeah, all Xeon workstations will have Intel P3700 NVMe storage solution. Also, I'm pondering on Synology DiskStation DS2413+ for 48TB NAS solution using WD Red Pro HDDs for those planned ten X99 builds.

    Hence, what do you think about those two boards?

    3) Did you observe any PCI-e 3.0 limitations/bottleneck on those two boards? Asus X99-E board has 16-four lanes solution? Please clarify on this count.

    Thank you
  • eng.michael - Friday, January 23, 2015 - link

    I have one , and i install O.S windows server 2012R2 ,and install all drivers correctly EXCEPT LAN driver , any one can help me in this BIG Problem.

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