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Test Settings

AMD 890GX Unveiled: Three Motherboards Compared
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Test System Configuration
CPUAMD Phenom X4 955 Black Edition
3.20 GHz, 6.0 MB Cache
RAMKingston KHX2133C9D3T1K2/4GX (4GB)
DDR3-2133 at DDR3-1333 CAS 7-7-7-20
Integrated GraphicsRadeon HD 4290 at default settings
128MB Sideport RAM, Automatic shared RAM allocation
Discrete GraphicsSapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB
725 MHz GPU, GDDR5-4000
System Hard DriveWestern Digital Velociraptor WD3000HLFS, 300GB
10,000 RPM, SATA 3Gb/s, 16 MB cache
Empty Hard DriveCrucial RealSSD C300 256GB SATA 6Gb/s
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerCorsair CMPSU-850HX 850W Modular
ATX12V v2.2, EPS12V, 80-Plus Gold
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Graphics and ChipsetAMD Catalyst 10.3 Preview


AMD’s release of an SATA 6Gb/s integrated controller put us on the hunt for a fast enough drive to test it. Crucial’s RealSSD C300 is the only model we could find to exceed the former 300 MB/s bandwidth limit, and we’re anxious to find out if AMD’s integrated controller can approach the performance levels already seen in discrete controller cards.

After a last-minute failure in this lab’s 790GX motherboard caused panic, Canadian contributor Don Woligroski stepped in with a few game tests using his trusty Asus M4A785TD-M EVO.

Integrated Controller Test
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Campaign, Act III, Second Sun (45 sec. FRAPS)
Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA
Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool
Low Quality, No AA, 1280x720
Dirt 2 DemoIn-game benchmark
Ultra Low Quality Preset, No AA, 1280x720
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call Of PripyatCall Of Pripyat Benchmark version
Minimum Preset, DX10 EFDL, No AA, 1280x720
h2benchw 3.13Sequential Reads and Writes (KB/s)


With integrated controller tests taken care of, our remaining benchmarks used Sapphire’s Radeon HD 5850 graphics card.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Very High Quality, 4x AA
Dirt 2 DemoIn-game benchmark
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 4x AA
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Campaign, Act III, Second Sun (45 sec. FRAPS)
Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA
Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call Of PripyatCall Of Pripyat Benchmark version
Test Set 1: High Preset, DX11 EFDL, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, DX11 EFDL, 4x MSAA
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion:9.0.2.25 x64
Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 min
Default format AAC
Handbrake 0.9.4Version 0.9.4, convert first .vob file from The Last Samurai (1.0 GB) to .mp4, High Profile
TMPEGEnc 4.0 XPressVersion: 4.7.3.292
Import File: Terminator 2 SE DVD (5 Minutes)
Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX Codec 6.9.1Encoding mode: Insane Quality
Enhanced multithreading enabled using SSE4
Quarter-pixel search
XviD 1.2.2Display encoding status = off
MainConcept Reference 1.6.1MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 kbp/s), Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Productivity
Adobe Photoshop CS4Version: 11.0 x64, Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image
Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2010Version: 11.0 x64, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 9.0Version: 9.0.663, Virus base: 270.14.1/2407, Benchmark: Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
WinRAR 3.90Version x64 3.90, Dictionary = 4,096 KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
7-ZipVersion 4.65: Format=Zip, Compression=Ultra, Method=Deflate, Dictionary Size=32KB, Word Size=128, Threads=8
Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1, GPU and CPU scores
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1.0 x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2010Version 2010.1.16.11, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark


A last-minute failure of this lab’s only 790GX board forced us to resort to a model with disabled integrated graphics for non-integrated graphics tests. Gigabyte’s 790XTA-UD4 filled the void.

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