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Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Monday, 06 May 2013
Table of Contents: Page Index
MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING Motherboard
Closer Look: Z77A-G45 GAMING
Z77A-G45 GAMING Detailed Features
MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING Software
Motherboard Testing Methodology
AIDA64 Benchmarks
SPECviewperf 11 Benchmarks
Z77A-G45 GAMING Power Consumption
Z77A-G45 GAMING Overclocking
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

SPECviewperf 11 Benchmark Results

The Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation is "...a non-profit corporation formed to establish, maintain and endorse a standardized set of relevant benchmarks that can be applied to the newest generation of high-performance computers." Their free SPECviewperf benchmark incorporates code and tests contributed by several other companies and is designed to stress computers in a reproducible way. SPECviewperf 11 was released in June 2010 and incorporates an expanded range of capabilities and tests. Note that results from previous versions of SPECviewperf cannot be compared with results from the latest version, as even benchmarks with the same name have been updated with new code and models.

SPECviewperf comprises test code from several vendors of professional graphics modeling, rendering, and visualization software. Most of the tests emphasize the CPU over the graphics card, and have between 5 and 13 sub-sections. For this review I ran the Lightwave, Maya, and Seimens Teamcenter Visualization tests. Results are reported as abstract scores, with higher being better.


The lightwave-01 viewset was created from traces of the graphics workloads generated by the SPECapc for Lightwave 9.6 benchmark.

The models for this viewset range in size from 2.5 to 6 million vertices, with heavy use of vertex buffer objects (VBOs) mixed with immediate mode. GLSL shaders are used throughout the tests. Applications represented by the viewset include 3D character animation, architectural review, and industrial design.


The maya-03 viewset was created from traces of the graphics workload generated by the SPECapc for Maya 2009 benchmark. The models used in the tests range in size from 6 to 66 million vertices, and are tested with and without vertex and fragment shaders.

State changes such as those executed by the application- including matrix, material, light and line-stipple changes- are included throughout the rendering of the models. All state changes are derived from a trace of the running application.

Siemens Teamcenter Visualization Mockup

The tcvis-02 viewset is based on traces of the Siemens Teamcenter Visualization Mockup application (also known as VisMockup) used for visual simulation. Models range from 10 to 22 million vertices and incorporate vertex arrays and fixed-function lighting.

State changes such as those executed by the application- including matrix, material, light and line-stipple changes- are included throughout the rendering of the model. All state changes are derived from a trace of the running application.


Since the SPECviewperf tests actually comprise code from real-world applications, their results are more indicative on total system performance than the pure CPU performance we see from synthetic tests like AIDA64. Still, overclocking produces some performance improvements, most notable being the Lightwave test. The Maya and TCVIS results show what appears to be only a slight performance increase.



# RE: MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING Motherboardwill 2013-06-23 05:09
"Take from this what you will, but the results are clear cut enough to convince me that that it is worthwhile enabling the power saving settings available on the MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING motherboard. In the 60's and 70's there was a big ecology movement after oil prices had risen sharply and we collectively realised that we could not sustain our then current level of consumer lifestyles. In the ensuing years the economy changed for the better and consumption ramped up sharply. We now find ourselves consuming more than ever and we once again need to realise that natural resources can't possibly sustain us forever. We need to demand more energy efficient products. We need to demand better built and longer lasting hardware. But most of all, we need self control and a more conscious approach towards our consumer habits"

What a fantastic quote, very unusual for a MB review. Bravo
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# RE: RE: MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING MotherboardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2013-06-23 11:07
Thanks for the kind words Will. :)
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# Knowing is half the battle...WhyNotV2 2013-06-24 02:47
"I didn't spot it right away but a closer inspection of the VRM/phase heatsinks reveals that they are shaped like the head of a dragon. This is a nice touch but it will be inevitably lost in an enclosed system with a large CPU cooler much like my own."

This may be true, but YOU know they are there :)
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