Performance Testing and Methodology

For general performance testing, we use the same basic test setup for both CPU and motherboard evaluation making the results comparable. Each test is run multiple times to ensure accuracy. The middle result is used in each case. The following system configurations were used for all benchmarks and general testing.

Due to potential scheduler improvements with Windows 10 that have happened over time as well as other tweaks we are using the latest build available at the time of this writing. For reference, the current Windows 10 build is 1909. We are using Windows 10 Professional for reference. All the latest patches have been applied and the driver versions are noted in the specifications. These are not necessarily the newest as we want the game performance to be more consistent across a broader sample of system configurations. We will update these periodically and retest as needed.

All systems were freshly formatted, and all the latest drivers and OS patches were used. All the systems were updated to their latest BIOS revisions. Finally, for the Intel system, I did install the CPU microcode updates relevant to that CPU. It’s important to note that build 1909 does contain improved mitigations for several security flaws on Intel processors. However, I did not go out of my way to download any additional or optional mitigation patches. Hyperthreading (SMT for AMD) also remained enabled for all testing.

We are using the performance power plan on all our test configurations. Essentially, we created a “best case” scenario for each system outside of the hardware configurations. For the hardware, it was impossible to use the same memory modules on all the test systems due to the nature of memory compatibility on different motherboards. That said, we were able to use common frequencies and keep the timings relatively close for the most part. The memory timings and the speeds we used are referenced in the specification tables below.

One thing to keep in mind is that performance is largely determined by CPU and memory configuration, or that of the graphics card rather than the motherboard itself. The benchmarks here ensure that the motherboard was able to hold up to the testing and that there were no problems with firmware, thermals or power delivery, which caused performance to drop off. It’s also worth noting that overclocked results are provided to not only showcase what the motherboard can do when pushed but that it was able to sustain the necessary power delivery to make it through the torture testing another time with greater demand placed on it than that of stock operation.

Finally, all systems were run at stock and overclocked values. For clarification: “Stock” settings are their automatic or default values in BIOS which allows the CPU’s tested to operate using their default base and boost clocks. Overclocked values provided are all core overclocks unless otherwise noted. These clock speeds are the maximum 24/7 stable overclocks we could achieve for each configuration. AVX offsets are not used unless stated. Results, where clock speeds are not explicitly shown, are “stock” values. These are checked to ensure that boost clock behavior is normal and that temperatures are in the correct ranges to avoid throttling and performance anomalies as much as possible

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9 Comments

  1. For a 750 dollar board I am also surprised by the BIOS. Space isn’t cheap in that arena and they could have designed a nice color pallet in the Bios to resemble the motherboard.

    It’s especially damning when my 170 dollar motherboard has twice the size bios storage.

  2. I’d love a HEDT board with excellent VRM’s (and cooling), but forgo all RGB and built-in NIC(s), Audio, Video, etc… a basic quality (8+ layers) board with PS2 and USB plus M.2 port or two – even memory slots limited to 4 slots and surface mounted – nothing else other than direct cpu connected slots for add-in cards. Asus was almost there with Apex x299 – That’s a board I’d pay extra for.
  3. No Power and Temp measurements? Nice review, and if I had the money and a nuclear reactor, would be something I’d like to build one of these days..
  4. We’ve never actually had power measurements in our motherboard reviews. That even goes back to the HardOCP days. Largely, it’s dependent on the CPU and figuring out exactly what the motherboard does is a bit tricky. That said, power is the same as it was in the 10980XE review. 617w when overclocked.

    As for temperatures, I normally cover what the VRM heat sink reads at. An oversight on my part. These reviews are getting more complex and its easy to miss something like that. However, I did note it and the VRM heat sink was a mere 102F.

  5. It’s one of the nicest motherboards I’ve ever reviewed. That’s saying something given that I’ve been doing this for over 14 years.
  6. We’ve never actually had power measurements in our motherboard reviews. That even goes back to the HardOCP days. Largely, it’s dependent on the CPU and figuring out exactly what the motherboard does is a bit tricky. That said, power is the same as it was in the 10980XE review. 617w when overclocked.

    As for temperatures, I normally cover what the VRM heat sink reads at. An oversight on my part. These reviews are getting more complex and its easy to miss something like that. However, I did note it and the VRM heat sink was a mere 102F.

    Thank you Dan!

  7. It’s one of the nicest motherboards I’ve ever reviewed. That’s saying something given that I’ve been doing this for over 14 years.

    For the price I would be surprised if it were anything other than top notch.

    I can understand the history with Intel. Still odd that they chose this route, given that X299 is due to be overhauled… Then again, when all that’s on the horizon is Skylake ++++ and you aren’t jumping to PCI 4.0, I guess there is no real ~need~ to overhaul it (not that that has ever stopped Intel in the past).

  8. For the price I would be surprised if it were anything other than top notch.

    I can understand the history with Intel. Still odd that they chose this route, given that X299 is due to be overhauled… Then again, when all that’s on the horizon is Skylake ++++ and you aren’t jumping to PCI 4.0, I guess there is no real ~need~ to overhaul it (not that that has ever stopped Intel in the past).

    For that price, you do expect a great board. However, GIGABYTE’s X58-UD9 was $700 back in the day and I hated it. It was one of the quirkiest boards I’d worked with at the time. As for Intel, they cycle through the mainstream chipsets too quickly and not fast enough on the HEDT side.

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