Testing & Methodology
We’ve expanded our testing suite considerably since the X79 chipset release, and will continue to use the same methods for most of the motherboards and CPU’s we test. In the interests of thoroughness and accurate results, we run each test at least three times, and some tests more than that. We average the total of all the tests from each benchmark then report the average here.
The OS we use is Windows 7 Pro 64bit with all patches and updates applied. We also use the latest drivers available for the motherboard and any devices attached to the computer. We do not disable background tasks or tweak the OS or system in any way. We turn off drive indexing and daily defragging. We also turn off Prefetch and Superfetch. This is not an attempt to produce bigger benchmark numbers. Drive indexing and defragging can interfere with testing and produce confusing numbers. If a test were to be run while a drive was being indexed or defragged, and then the same test was later run when these processes were off, the two results would be contradictory and erroneous. As we cannot control when defragging and indexing occur precisely enough to guarantee that they won’t interfere with testing, we opt to disable the features entirely.
Prefetch tries to predict what users will load the next time they boot the machine by caching the relevant files and storing them for later use. We want to learn how the program runs without any of the files being cached, and we disable it so that each test run we do not have to clear pre-fetch to get accurate numbers. Lastly we disable Superfetch. Superfetch loads often-used programs into the memory. It is one of the reasons that Windows occupies so much memory. Vista fills the memory in an attempt to predict what users will load. Having one test run with files cached, and another test run with the files un-cached would result in inaccurate numbers. Again, since we can’t control its timings so precisely, it we turn it off. Because these four features can potentially interfere with benchmarking, and are out of our control, we disable them. We do not disable anything else.
One thing to note is that we are revamping our testing method in order to better represent motherboard performance and offering to you guys the consumer. Also we want to make it an easier read for you without miles of endless charts. Please feel free to provide feedback on what you think as many benchmarks will be shuffled or removed completely.
|Case||Thermaltake Level 10 GT|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-4960X|
|Motherboard||ASUS X79 Deluxe|
|Ram||Kingston HyperX Beast 2133MHz 64GB|
|CPU Cooler||Swiftech H20-220 Edge|
|Hard Drive||Western Digital Velociraptor 300GB|
|SSD||Intel 510 series SATA III 120GB|
|GPU||ASUS GTX680 Top|
|PSU||Thermaltake Toughpower XT 1275W Platinum|
|Mouse||Tt eSPORTS Black gaming mouse|
|Keyboard||Tt eSPORTS Meka G1 mechanical gaming keyboard|
We will use the following applications to test the performance of the Motherboard
|SuperPi Mod 1.5|
|Unigine Heaven 4.0|
|Batman Arkham City|
|Sniper Elite V2|
The X79 platform is admittedly aging now and im sure even though nothing has been confirmed that within the next calendar year it will be replaced as the feature sets for the mainstream have simply gotten too far past the Enthusiasts side now.
Overclocking on this board is similar to what we have gotten used to on previous X79 expeditions and it’s simply a matter of finding the setting your chip is happy at. For me and our test speed I found that the X79 Deluxe could set the CPU at 1.31Vcore in the UEFI and run fully stable however as you push farther I did see the need for voltage was increasing much more quickly but thats not the boards fault but the chip simply needing more to run.
One cool thing to note is that the new 4 Way optimization tool stress tests and auto overclocks your system based on temps observed and internal stability tests to find an optimal setting for your rig to take some of the guess-work out of the equation. However upon testing I did find that the auto clock was a bit generous on voltage and once It settled in on final closes I was able to adjust volts down a bit to get even better temps at a nice clock. However the level of clock you see will definitely be largely based on your cooling so if you are running a huge custom loop liquid cooler you can expect to see some very nice clocks whereas just a mid range air cooler will likely not reach nearly as far.
Important note: Overclocking can cause component failure. Please exercise caution when attempting any level of overclock on system components.
The temperatures were recorded with RealTemp while running wPrime 1024 right before the end of the 5th run. The results were recorded carefully. After the results were recorded, we waited for 30 minutes before taking Idle temperature measurements. The results were as follows:
|CPU Temperatures||Temperature (Idle/Load)|
|ASUS X79-Deluxe OC (4.6GHz)||35C/73C|
|Chipset Temperatures||Temperature (Idle/Load)|
|ASUS X79-Deluxe OC (4.6GHz)||31C/42C|
The reason temps may look a little lower than seen elsewhere online is that We are using a custom liquid cooling loop compliments of Swiftech which helps us reach an area of much higher headroom for overclocking and performance testing.
The power consumption was tested while running Wprime 1024 for a few minutes at stock settings. The results were recorded carefully with a Kill-A-Watt power consumption measuring tool at the wall. After the results were recorded, we waited for yet another few minutes before taking Idle power consumption measurements.
The power consumption is measured full system with loading and to my surprise this board held ground really well with the previous Rampage IV Extreme model. only using slightly more in stock speeds but once both were overclocked it seemed to settle a bit below which tells me there is some built-in efficiency in this board.
In PCMark you can see definite efficiency increases across the board while they are not staggering they are quite good and actually pretty close to what we saw from the Black Edition model.
3D Mark shows and improvement on the performance for a synthetic gaming benchmark and for the motherboard overall I try to focus on the Physics scoring which as you can see is quite close in stock mode but once overclocked the lead is a bit more pronounced for the optimized Deluxe board.
The Superpi bench while old shows efficiency improvement pretty well and offers repeatable results. Here you can see that when doing the Pi Calculation it pulls a bit quicker score averaging about a 2% improvement at stock speeds and a 4% increase when comparing overclocked speeds.
WPrime is similar to Superpi, but is multi core aware and you can set the core count. We used 12 Core setting to take advantage of full hyperthreading or logical cores for the CPU and the stock result was about 1% improvement for the deluxe with the overclock result showing approximately 4.5% improvement which shows pretty accurate scaling from test to test and its obvious that as you push the speeds up the board true capabilities really begin to shine.
“CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer’s performance capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more. MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based). The resulting values among different operating systems are 100% comparable and therefore very useful with regard to purchasing decision-making. It can also be used as a marketing tool for hardware vendors or simply to compare hardware among colleagues or friends.”
Transcoding has become more popular now and the latest Sandy Bridge processor added support for AVX instruction for faster video transcoding. Once again here you can see that the ability to do work is definitely more efficient on the Deluxe board and this means as jobs are queued for this rig it will be able to complete more work and scale further and faster due to the optimizations. if used in a productivity rig in a professional application this could not only save time but money on jobs.
TrueCrypt is a real world application that gives a good indication of the true performance of our latest processor. Here the Deluxe sees an almost 5% jump in performance at bone stock which is a nice result, once again just showing that some optimizations can go a long way in terms of real world applications and productivity.
Unigine Heaven 4.0
Unigine Heaven is a benchmark program based on Unigine Corp’s latest engine, Unigine. The engine features DirectX 11, Hardware tessellation, DirectCompute, and Shader Model 5.0. All of these new technologies combined with the ability to run each card through the same exact test means this benchmark should be in our arsenal for a long time.
Unigine Heaven is simply a heavily loaded graphical benchmark and this shows us any improvements you might see in a 3D app such as gaming and the like. as you can see we get about a single FPS improvement which is not huge but as card counts increase this could actually increase as well.
Once again, Metro 2033 shows that the gains are not huge but they are there netting about 1-2FPS on the average FPS, and now I am interested to test multi card to see if it scales further when pushing more GPUs
Batman Arkham City
Here again we see a few FPS racking up and actually this is quite surprising as testing Z87′s tended to yield very similar results as the PCIe bandwidth did not seem to be any improvement but its obvious something within the board tuning is allowing a bit better performance to eek out in this new Deluxe board. Possible it may even go down to the actual board internal timings itself.
Sniper Elite V2
The deluxe shows again a couple FPS and even scales similarly as the OC doesn’t seem to help in any measurable way yet the results still gain a solid 3FPS changing to the deluxe board.