|ASUS Striker II NSE nForce 790i SLI Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Wednesday, 28 May 2008|
Page 8 of 14
Synthetic System Benchmarks
The use of synthetic benchmarks has never been my favorite to test hardware, but I have come to understand that they're important for comparing "apples to apples". As with any synthetic benchmark, the numbers can often mean very little more than just numbers. We don't take a high score on a synthetic benchmark to mean that a product will/should perform well, and neither should you. The difference between projected performance and actual performance is the difference between a fire and a fire-fly.
PCMark05 System Tests
PCMark is a series of computer benchmark tools developed by Futuremark. The tools are designed to test the performance of the user's CPU, read/write speeds of RAM and hard drives. We have used these tests to simulate a battery of applications and tasks, which will produce results we can compare to other systems using similar hardware.
After a series of five looped tests, the average of the results were charted below. Keep in mind that both the Gigabyte GA-X48T-DQ6 and ASUS Striker II NSE both shared the same hardware (specified in the Test Methodology section) and operated at the same exact CPU and RAM speed. The idea here was to isolate the motherboard to determine if one product performed better than the other.
Now to be fair, I am heading into this testing without any idea as to what degree of difference in performance there might be between the X48 chipset when compared to the NF790i SLI. I know that Intel's ICH9 (and ICH9R) South Bridge has some issues with SSD's, so they were connected to the JMicron JMB363 SATA-II controller on the X48 motherboard. Just the same, the JMicron JMB363 controller on the Striker II NSE was also used for storage devices.
After one very long round of tests using PCMark05, the ASUS Striker II NSE nForce 790i motherboard is ahead of the Gigabyte GA-X48T-DQ6 by whopping 0.21%. I hope this doesn't go on this way, or I'm going to feel like days of testing was all for nothing.
PCMark Vantage System Tests
PCMark Vantage is the first objective hardware performance benchmark for PCs running 32 and 64 bit versions of Microsoft Windows Vista. PCMark Vantage is perfectly suited for benchmarking any type of Microsoft Windows Vista PC from multimedia home entertainment systems and laptops to dedicated workstations and hi-end gaming rigs. Regardless of whether the benchmarker is an artist or an IT Professional, PCMark Vantage shows the user where their system soars or falls flat, and how to get the most performance possible out of their hardware. PCMark Vantage is easy enough for even the most casual enthusiast to use yet supports in-depth, professional industry grade testing.
After a disappointing first day of testing with PCMark05, I hoped that Windows Vista Ultimate would create a wider divide between the motherboards and put one out ahead of the other.
PCMark Vantage was benchmark tested five times and the results averaged in the chart above. For the most part, the results were once again so close they are virtually identical. The ASUS Striker II NSE falls behind 4.64% in overall PCMarks, for whatever they're worth. The X48 motherboard also led my a minute margin in the Memories, TV & Movies, Communication, and Productivity test sections. Conversely, the nForce 790i SLI motherboard showed some strength in the Gaming, Music, and Disk Drive sections. I'm not sure what algorithm PCMark Vantage uses to calculate Marks, but both motherboards felt identical thoughtout this testing.
So now that I have cofirmed two days worth of testing have gone to waste on identically performing products, I move on to the synthetic graphics benchmark 3dMark06.