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Test Configuration

Enthusiast P55: Eight LGA 1156 Boards Between $150 And $200
By

Test System Configuration

CPU

Intel Core i7-870 (2.93 GHz, 8MB Cache)

CPU Cooler

Thermalright MUX-120

RAM

Kingston KHX2133C9D3T1K2/4GX (4GB)
DDR3-2133 at DDR3-1600 CAS 8-8-8-24

Graphics

XFX GeForce GTX 285 XXX Edition
670 MHz GPU, GDDR3-2500

Hard Drive

Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS, 300GB
10,000 RPM, SATA 3Gb/s, 16MB cache

Sound

Integrated HD Audio

Network

Integrated Gigabit Networking

Power

Corsair CMPSU-850HX 850W Modular
ATX12V v2.2, EPS12V, 80-Plus Gold

Software

OS

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Graphics

Nvidia GeForce 190.62 WHQL

Chipset

Intel INF 9.1.1.1014


We continue to use Intel’s eminently-overclockable Core i7-870 to test the true capabilities of each LGA 1156 motherboard.

Intel Turbo Boost is a primary feature of this processor, allowing it to clock up to 3.60 GHz depending on how many cores are loaded. Because the highest Turbo multipliers require unused cores to power down completely, we enable EIST and the highest available C-states during our benchmark runs.

High overclocking requires excellent cooling, and the Thermalright MUX-120 is barely enough to handle the heat output at 1.45V core during our overclocking tests.

Kingston’s HyperX DDR3-2133 overclocks well enough to outpace every board we’ve tested in our memory stability comparison.

Benchmark Configuration

3D Games

Crysis

Patch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Very High Quality, 8x AA

Far Cry 2

Patch 1.03, DirectX 10, in-game benchmark
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra High Quality, 8x AA

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky

Clear Sky Benchmark version
Test Set 1: High Preset, DX10 EFDL, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, DX10 EFDL, 4x MSAA

World in Conflict

Patch 1009, DirectX 10, timedemo
Test 1: High Details, No AA / No AF
Test 2: Very High Details 4x AA / 16x AF

Audio/Video Encoding

iTunes

Version: 8.2.1.6 x64
Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min
Default format AAC

Lame MP3

Version: 3.98.2, wave to MP3
Audio CD "Terminator II" SE, 53 min

TMPEGEnc 4.0 Express

Version: 4.7.3.292
Import File: Terminator 2 SE DVD (5 Minutes)
Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9

DivX 6.8.5

Encoding mode: Insane Quality
Enhanced multithreading enabled using SSE4
Quarter-pixel search

XviD 1.2.2

Display encoding status = off

MainConcept Reference 1.6.1
Reference H.264 Plugin Pro 1.5.1

MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224Kbp/s), Mode: PAL (25 FPS)

Productivity

Adobe Photoshop CS4

Version: 11.0 x64, Filter 15.7MB TIF Image
Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates

Autodesk 3ds Max 2009

Version: 11.0 x64, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)

Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 8.5

Version: 8.5.287, Virus base: 270.12.16/2094, Benchmark: Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files

WinRAR 3.90

Version x64 3.90, Dictionary = 4,096 KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)

WinZip 12

Version 12.1, WinZip Command Line Version 3.0, Compression = Best, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings

3DMark Vantage

Version: 1.0.1, GPU and CPU scores

PCMark Vantage

Version: 1.00 x64, System, Memory, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks, Windows Media Player 10.00.00.3646

SiSoftware Sandra 2009 SP4a

Version 2009.9.15.130, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark

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