With the exception of ATTO, which we use to measure the performance of a motherboard's SATA controllers, all of our benchmarks use real applications that give you a great idea of how well a product fares when performing the tasks for which you're likely to use it.
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We test with our own Media Benchmarks suite, which can be downloaded so that you can test your own system. It uses a combination of Gimp image editing, H.264 encoding with Handbrake and multi-tasking with 7-Zip file compression combined with HD video playback. Finally, for our game testing we benchmark the board running Arma II, and record the minimum and average frame rates.
Our benchmarks include stable overclocked results too, so you can gauge how much performance potential there is in the motherboard, and how much value this adds to your purchase.
Asus Rampage IV Extreme
Asus Sabertooth X79
ASRock X79 Extreme4-M
MSI X79A-GD65 (8D)
ASRock X79 Extreme4
Intel Core i7-3960X (32nm, 12MB Level 3 Cache, 33x100MHz; 3.3GHz)
16GB DDR3 1,600MHz C9 at motherboard SPD settings
Nvidia GeForce GTX 590 3GB
PC Power and Cooling Silencer 750W PSU
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA hard disk
OCZ Vertex 3 240GB (used for storage controller tests only)
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Nvidia Forceware 285.62 WHQL
Asus Rampage IV Extreme 4.68GHz, 120MHz CPU Base Clock, 39x CPU multiplier, 1.25x CPU strap, 1,600MHz dual-channel DDR3 memory at 9-9-9-24 Asus Sabertooth X79 - 4.7GHz, 123.75MHz CPU Base Clock, 38x CPU multiplier, 1.25x CPU strap, 1,600MHz dual-channel DDR3 memory at 9-9-9-24 Intel DX79SI - 4.62GHz, 121.65MHz CPU Base Clock, 38x CPU multiplier, 1,600MHz dual-channel DDR3 memory at 9-9-9-24 ASRock X79 Extreme4-M - 4.72GHz, 121MHz CPU Base Clock, 39x CPU multiplier, 1,600MHz dual-channel DDR3 memory at 9-9-9-24 ASRock X79 Extreme4 - 4.68GHz, 120MHz CPU Base Clock, 39x CPU multiplier, 1,600MHz dual-channel DDR3 memory at 9-9-9-24 MSI X79A-GD65 (8D) 4.76GHz, 119MHz CPU Base Clock, 40x CPU multiplier, 1.25x CPU strap, 1,600MHz dual-channel DDR3 memory at 9-9-9-24