|Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P X58 Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Saturday, 24 January 2009|
Page 13 of 17
PCMark Vantage 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 person benchmarking is an graphic 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 computer user to use, yet supports in-depth, professional industry-grade testing.
Since our hardware configurations used 4GB or more of system memory, we decided that 64-bit Windows Vista would offer a glimpse of real perspective for the 6GB tri-channel DDR3 kit used testing. PCMark Vantage offers several scores for different areas of interest, but because the platform differences between X48, P45, and X58 were so big it was best to keep the bias to a minimum.
Beginning with graphics, the Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P pulled ever so slightly ahead of the GA-EX58-EXTREME and Intel DX58SO motherboards; even though both utilized the 2.67GHz Core i7-920 CPU on their X58-Express platform and shared the same GeForce GTX 285 video card. The Gigabyte X48T-DQ6 and EP45T-EXTREME both did well, but still came in roughly 16% below the QPI-equipped motherboards. It may not be much, but this could be the proof we're looking for to show that gaming can benefit by the Core i7/X58 platform.
The PCMark Vantage 'HDD' score is a little misleading; primarily because we didn't use a hard drive for testing. Instead the Patriot Warp v2 SSD was used, which tests the SATA chipset for bottlenecks with solid state drive products. For all intents the playing field was quite even. Using the onboard Intel SATA controller on each motherboard, we the PCMark Vantage score was averaged. Even though the Southbridge chips range from the ICH9R to ICH10R, every single motherboard produced an average score between 11387 and 11433. In testing terms, they're almost identical.
The last area of interest for PCMark Vantage was the 'memories' score, which I must admit is an unfair comparison between the two very dissimilar platforms. Needless to say, the QPI technology gives triple-channel DDR3 a much greater bandwidth (and 8.5 GBps advantage) over dual-channel DDR3. The Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P led the three X58-Express motherboards, but only a few points separate this mainboard from the GA-EX58-EXTREME and Intel SmackOver motherboard. The X48 and P45 motherboards were both extremely close, but still trail behind by almost 27%. Triple-channel system memory sounds enticing, more so than dual channel, but does it really amount to better performance and experience?
In the next section, we test gaming performance between the platforms with Crysis.