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Written by Bruce Normann   
Thursday, 15 July 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 Motherboard
AMD 880G Chipset Overview
ASUS AMD-880G Series Features
ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 Specifications
Closer Look: M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3
ASUS BIOS and Overclocking
Motherboard Testing Methodology
EVEREST Benchmark Results
PCMark Vantage Test Results
CINEBENCH 11.5 Benchmark
Passmark Performance Test Benchmark
Crysis Test Results
Aliens vs. Predator Test Results
Motherboard Final Thoughts
ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 Conclusion

Passmark Performance Test Benchmark

PassMark PerformanceTest is a PC hardware benchmark utility that allows a user to quickly assess the performance of their computer and compare it to a number of standard 'baseline' computer systems. The Passmark Performance Memory Test looks at a variety of memory functions:

  • Allocate Small Block
  • Read Cached Memory
  • Read Un-Cached Memory
  • Write Memory
  • Large RAM

It then calculates an overall performance number for Memory Marks. Unlike the Everest memory benchmarks, this test uses all available CPU cores. At similar clock speeds the Intel i5 beats the AMD 555BE by 39%. Even though I saw all cores being used by this test, using task manager to see the individual CPU loads during unrecorded trials, the results look more like a single-core test.


The CPU tests benchmark all the mathematical operations, compression, encryption, SSE, and 3DNow! instructions of a modern processor. There are several areas of concentration for each benchmark, which are then combined into one compound score. This score is referred to as the CPU Mark, and is a composite of the following tests:

  • Integer Math
  • Floating Point Math
  • Find Prime Numbers
  • SSE/3DNow!
  • Compression
  • Encryption
  • Image Rotation
  • String Sorting

The CPU test shows a 69% performance gain for the Core i5-750 over the Phenom II 720BE at roughly similar CPU clock speeds. If you factor out the difference in the number of cores, the difference between the i5-750 and 555BE gets narrowed down to 17%. There's little doubt about the power of the P55/i5 platform, especially in CPU-bound applications or where memory performance has an impact. But that performance comes at a price, literally.

Wrapping up the synthetic benchmarks, what can we say about the overall results? Obviously, in non-gaming situations, four cores beat two or three cores. Applications are getting better at using multicore processors to their fullest capability and computationally intensive tasks like video and audio encoding really benefit from the additional cores. If you've got a gaming rig though, you are better off running those tasks on your GPU. It'll smoke the CPU every time. If you don't, then every additional CPU core makes a difference.

The other thing that struck me was the way the M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 motherboard and the AMD 555BE CPU scaled their performance in every benchmark, with a fairly simple overclock to a very respectable 4.0 GHz. The results for the 790FX/720BE and P55/i5-750 each show the best 24/7 overclock I was able to achieve with that MB/CPU combination, so I set the bar pretty high for the 880G/555BE. There is a limit to how much performance you can squeeze out of two cores, but in the end the actual performance is dictated by how well the application uses all available cores. CINEBENCH gives almost perfect CPU scaling results, while PCMark Vantage mixes up a variety of tasks and threads, and provides more of a system-level benchmark. The lower cost solution looks more viable at the system level, which reinforces the accepted wisdom that for general purpose usage, people tend to buy more computing power than they need.

Let's take a look at two gaming benchmarks to see how well this CPU performance translates in the graphical world.



# Good review, dubious comparisonsBernardP 2010-07-21 07:22
A well-written, detailed review, with good explanations of the features of this particular motherboard. However, knowing that the i5-750 eats Phenoms quad-cores for breakfast, showing comparative benchmarks of the i5-750 with X2 and X3 Phenoms is not representative.

I would have liked to see comparative benchmarks involving a Phenom II X4 945, which has the same 95W TDP as the 15-750.

Also, there are no comments about the Core Unlocking and Turbo Core performance.
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# AgreedBruce Normann 2010-07-21 08:18
I would have prefered to compare apples-to-apples on the CPU, but I used what I had available. For this board, I actually would have liked to compare one of the new Clarksdale CPUs from Intel either the Pentium G6950 Clarkdale 2.8GHz or the Core i3-530 Clarkdale 2.93GHz. They're on either side of the price for the X2 555BE I tested with. I had a Core2Duo Wolfdale in house, but that's not really comparable.

My X2 chip wouldn't unlock unfortunately, so I can't offer performance comparisons for the Core Unlocker. The Turbo Unlocker is tough to measure accurately, as it is dynamic and doesn't always respond the same way every time. I will try and do some more testing and will update the review if I can get reliable results.

Thanks for the feedback.
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# RE: AgreedBernardP 2010-07-21 10:30
Thanks for you reply and explanations. Interesting to know your Phenom X2 sample wouldn't unlock. Many people seem to think that X2 and X3 processors *have* to unlock and feel cheated when they don't.
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# AMD GamerPhil Holmes 2011-04-07 18:24!/photo.php?fbid=10150548993280384&set=a.10150548993275384.648430.543020383&theater

Benchmark ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO with 4GB DDR3 1333MHz / AMD PhenomII x4 965 Black Edition 124w
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