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Written by Olin Coles   
Saturday, 24 January 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P X58 Motherboard
Intel Core i7: Platform Information
Intel X58-Express Platform
Gigabyte X58 Features
Ultra TPM Security Encryption
Dynamic Energy Saver Advanced
GA-EX58-UD4P Specifications
First Look: GA-EX58-UD4P
Closer Look: Gigabyte X58
Motherboard Testing Methodology
GA-EX58-UD4P X58 F6b BIOS
3DMark06 Benchmarks
PCMark Vantage Benchmarks
Crysis Benchmark Results
Far Cry 2 Benchmark
Intel X58-Express Final Thoughts
GA-EX58-UD4P Conclusion

Testing Methodology

Testing motherboards is one of the most difficult tasks I've had as a product analyst. There are several different methods to compare one product to another, but even when you try to measure one against another the features don't always stack up. Benchmark Reviews hasn't been around long enough to have a wide variety of same or past-generation chipset motherboards on hand to test against, which shifts the role of our testing away from who makes the best whatever-chipset motherboard to more of a comparison between this product and another previously-released chipset versions for the same processor and memory. But this is where our problems begin; the X58 chipset is brand new, and there aren't many products we can compare apples-to-apples against a fresh new platform.

The Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P motherboard features two of Intel's latest chipset technologies: the ICH10(R) Southbridge and X58 Express Northbridge. While testing could have easily be left to a simple "this vs. that" routine, we here at Benchmark Reviews think that this is less than educating. For our tests, each motherboard was overclocked as far as safe limits would allow utilizing the exact same supplemental components. Benchmarks are recorded after each test, and a system shut down and restart followed thereafter. Because the QPI opens PCI-Express 2.0 bandwidth to 32GBps, we also spent considerable time testing the "real-world" difference between the motherboards with the exact same video card and drivers.

At the start of all tests, the previous display adapter driver is uninstalled and trace components are removed using Driver Cleaner Pro. We then restart the computer system to establish our display settings and define the monitor. Once the hardware is prepared, we begin our testing. The synthetic benchmark tests in 3DMark06 will utilize shader models 2.0 and 3.0. In our higher-end VGA products we conduct tests at the following resolutions: 1280x1024 (19" Standard LCD), 1680x1050 (22-24" Widescreen LCD), and 1920x1200 (24-28" Widescreen LCD). In some tests we utilized widescreen monitor resolutions, since more users are beginning to feature these products for their own computing.

Each benchmark test program begins after a system restart, and the very first result for every test will be ignored since it often only caches the test. This process proved extremely important in the World in Conflict and Supreme Commander benchmarks, as the first run served to cache maps allowing subsequent tests to perform much better than the first. Each test is completed five times, with the average results displayed in our article.

Our site polls and statistics indicate that the over 90% of our visitors use their PC for playing video games, and practically every one of you are using a screen resolutions mentioned above. Since all of the benchmarks we use for testing represent different game engine technology and graphic rendering processes, I feel that this battery of tests will provide a diverse range of results for you to gauge performance on your own computer system. Since most gamers and enthusiasts are still using Windows XP, it was decided that DirectX 9 would be used for all tests.

Test System #1

Test System #2

Test System #3

Test System #4

Test System #5

Benchmark Applications

  • Futuremark PCMark05 v1.2.0 System Test Suite for Windows XP
  • Futuremark PCMark Vantage v1.01 System Test Suite for Windows Vista
  • Futuremark 3DMark06 v1.1.0 (8x Anti Aliasing & 16x Anisotropic Filtering)
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare v1.7.568 (4x AA/16x Trilinear AF)
  • Crysis v1.21 Benchmark (High Settings, 0x and 4x Anti-Aliasing)
  • Far Cry 2 v1.02 (Very High Performance, Ultra-High Quality, 8x AA)
  • Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP-3 (optimized to 16 processes at idle)



 

Comments 

 
# technicianshawn 2010-09-12 20:56
I would like to know where you got your info since the ud5 mobo while using the same x58 chipset is still an update to the ud4p. As I owned both mobos the ud4p is not a bad board but the ud5 offers more features, least of which is the usb 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s.
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# RE: technicianOlin Coles 2010-09-13 06:59
I don't understand your question. We test these products first hand and report our results. Additionally, the GA-EX58-UD4P is different than GA-EX58-UD5 and also the GA-X58A-UD4P. They are all X58-Express motherboard, but they are not all 'the same'... each BIOS is different to cope with memory and I/O chip additions and the X58A series adds additional load to the PCI-Express bus.

Also - this motherboard received our Golden Tachometer Award, so nobody ever said it wasn't good.
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