Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Test Settings And Benchmarks

Intel’s Z77 Express And Lucidlogix MVP: New Features For Gamers
By
Test System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-2600K (Sandy Bridge): 3.40 GHz, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, LGA 1155
CPU CoolerThermalright MUX-120 w/Zalman ZM-STG1 Paste
Z77 MotherboardMSI Z77A-GD65: Intel Z77 Express, BIOS V10.2 (02-27-2012)
Z68 MotherboardMSI Z68A-GD80: Intel Z68 Express, BIOS V18.8 (01/16/2012)
RAMG.Skill F3-17600CL9Q-16GBXLD (16 GB), DDR3-2200 at DDR3-1600 CAS 9, 1.60 V
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 580 1.5 GB
772 MHz GPU, GDDR5-4008
Main Hard DriveSamsung 470 Series 256 GB, SATA 6Gb/s SSD 
2nd Hard DriveMushkin Chronos Deluxe 240 GB, SATA 6Gb/s SSD
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerSeasonic X760 SS-760KM, ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
GraphicsNvidia GeForce 295.73 WHQL
Virtu MVP Version
2.1.110
Lucid Virtu Version1.2.103
ChipsetIntel INF 9.3.0.1019


MSI sent its Z77A-GD65 for a preview a while back, but hardware issues prevented us from using it in a timely manner. Its replacement returns for today’s launch article.

Mushkin’s Chronos Deluxe hasn’t made it into our reference system yet, but it’s more than fast enough to test Intel’s new USB 3.0 controller.

Carried over from our 2010 pocket enclosure round-up, the ASMedia ASM1051 controller of Bytecc’s HD6-SU3 provides a necessary conversion to USB 3.0 for our controller test.

We mentioned a hardware issue that prevented the publication of our preview. That issue was the failure of our old and frequently-tortured Core i7-2600k CPU. ASRock helped us out (and indirectly, its competitor) by sending a replacement. It took a second CPU failure to determine that the motherboard was damaged, so MSI replaced both the motherboard and the second processor.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Battlefield 3Campaign Mode, "Going Hunting" 90-Seconds Fraps
Test Set 1: Medium Quality Defaults (No AA, 4x AF)
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Defaults (4x AA, 16x AF)
DiRT 3V1.01, Run with -benchmark example_benchmark.xml
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Metro 2033Full Game, Built-In Benchmark, "Frontline" Scene
Test Set 1: DX11, High, AAA, 4x AF, No PhysX, No DoF
Test Set 2: DX11, Very High, 4x AA, 16x AF, No PhysX, DoF On
Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimUpdate 1.4.27, Celedon Aethirborn Level 6, 25 Seconds Fraps
Test Set 1: DX11, High Detail Defaults (8x AA, 8x AF)
Test Set 2: DX11, Ultra Detail Defaults (8x AA, 16x AF)
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion 10.4.1.10 x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format 
Lame MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
MediaEspresso 6.5Version 6.5.1210_33281: 1080i HDTV (449MB) to iPad H.264, 1024x768
MediaConverter 7Version7.1.0.68: 1080i HDTV (449MB) to iPad, SmartFit profile
HandBrake CLIVersion 0.95: "Big Buck Bunny" (720x480, 23.972 FPS) 5 Minutes, Audio: Dolby Digital, 48000 Hz, Six-Channel, English, to Video: AVC Audio: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
MainConcept ReferenceVersion: 2.2.0.5440: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Productivity
Adobe Photoshop CS5Version 12.1 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2012Version 14.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
WinZipVersion 15.5 Pro: THG-Workload (464 MB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 4.1: THG-Workload (464 MB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.22: THG-Workload (464 MB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
ABBYY FineReaderVersion 10.0.102.82: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Reviews comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

Display all 93 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    thehidecheck , April 8, 2012 10:04 PM
    nebunis this a joke? we need to have at lease 2 pcie lanes at 16x speed for serious gaming...2 lanes at 8x will be bringing down your true capability of the graphic cards...thanks but not thanks...i will stick with my x58 chip for now

    poppycock, even high end cards can't even come close to saturateing a 8x slot
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFMzRZqFh-w get learned yo
  • 11 Hide
    tmk221 , April 8, 2012 9:55 PM
    This Lucidlogix Virtu software looks very promising. Certainly it needs a lot of improvment but I think that they will do good job having intel as a partner
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    Yuka , April 8, 2012 8:39 PM
    Wasn't the MVP software to account for the "dips" in performance for discrete video cards?

    Could you guys provide a video showing the differences between a run with the MVP and without? With V-Sync on also.

    Nice review, BTW. Thanks for it 8)

    Cheers!
  • 7 Hide
    aicom , April 8, 2012 9:04 PM
    You bolded PCIE 2.0 for Panther Point but forgot to change it to PCIE 3.0
  • 3 Hide
    confish21 , April 8, 2012 9:10 PM
    Tom, should we expect much of an advantage when ivy bridge is used?

    IB and z77 VS. IB and z68?
  • 1 Hide
    s3anister , April 8, 2012 9:17 PM
    On page three you label the MSI Z68A-GD80 motherboard as Intel Z77 Express when it should obviously be Z68.

    Made me do a double take!
  • 9 Hide
    s3anister , April 8, 2012 9:24 PM
    confish21Tom, should we expect much of an advantage when ivy bridge is used?IB and z77 VS. IB and z68?


    Don't expect them to tell you, they're still under Intel's NDA.
  • 5 Hide
    jaquith , April 8, 2012 9:36 PM
    aicomYou bolded PCIE 2.0 for Panther Point but forgot to change it to PCIE 3.0

    No, the Z77 and all Panther Point chipest are indeed 8x lanes of PCIe 2.0, so Thomas's article is correct. Don't confuse GPU PCIe lanes with Chipset PCIe lanes. However, Thomas knows that I too 'wish' the LGA 1155 was PCIe 3.0 clean, it sure would help with other chipset 'sharing' issues (bottlenecks).
  • 3 Hide
    josejones , April 8, 2012 9:43 PM
    Where's the performance increase with the z77 over the z68? The new features are a plus but, previews I've seen so far suggest that the z77's are slower than the z68.

    What's up with that? Do the z77's require the Ivy Bridge CPU to take full advantage? Sounds like possible driver and/or most likely BIOS issues as others have pointed out elsewhere on page 2 of the z77 Motherboard Discussion thread.
  • 11 Hide
    tmk221 , April 8, 2012 9:55 PM
    This Lucidlogix Virtu software looks very promising. Certainly it needs a lot of improvment but I think that they will do good job having intel as a partner
  • 14 Hide
    thehidecheck , April 8, 2012 10:04 PM
    nebunis this a joke? we need to have at lease 2 pcie lanes at 16x speed for serious gaming...2 lanes at 8x will be bringing down your true capability of the graphic cards...thanks but not thanks...i will stick with my x58 chip for now

    poppycock, even high end cards can't even come close to saturateing a 8x slot
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFMzRZqFh-w get learned yo
  • 8 Hide
    Crashman , April 8, 2012 10:16 PM
    aicomYou bolded PCIE 2.0 for Panther Point but forgot to change it to PCIE 3.0
    Nope, Intel did that, it's a capture from Intel's document. And the eight lanes on the chipset really are PCIe 2.0.
    nebunis this a joke? we need to have at lease 2 pcie lanes at 16x speed for serious gaming...2 lanes at 8x will be bringing down your true capability of the graphic cards...thanks but not thanks...i will stick with my x58 chip for now
    Not really: Previous generation cards ran pretty good at PCIe 2.0 x8, and these CPU-hosted lanes are PCIe 3.0. Noting that this is Intel's mainstream platform, that's probably good enough.
    tmk221This Lucidlogix Virtu software looks very promising. Certainly it needs a lot of improvment but I think that they will do good job having intel as a partner
    Given the weakness of Intel's integrated GPU, this certainly looks like a more-efficient technology compared to its previous (Hydra) efforts.

  • -7 Hide
    gradius2 , April 8, 2012 11:52 PM
    I'm tired to see the needed to change MB almost everytime something come out, is time for manufactures to be RESPONSIBLE to make something more universal, so change MB would takes 10 years or more! I hope Tom's make a news about this we need drastic solution for a scary-future it will comes very soon.
  • 4 Hide
    Darkerson , April 8, 2012 11:53 PM
    Very interesting to say the least. Needs some more work, but I like where they are going with this.
  • 3 Hide
    e56imfg , April 9, 2012 12:27 AM
    Saw some benchies of the 3570K / 3770K at Tweaktown. Not sure to trust them or not but the software looks promising.
    In a few months, I'm sure most of these bugs will be ironed out.
  • 8 Hide
    kyraiki , April 9, 2012 1:00 AM
    Good review. Virtu was a great addition to Z68 and the update for Z77 looks promising. I just wish Lucidlogix would have picked another term besides 'HyperFormance'.
  • 3 Hide
    shin0bi272 , April 9, 2012 1:13 AM
    I saw a review of another mobo on this chipset over on another site and they used a 680 for their benchmarks. The only one they had in common with this one was 3dmark 11 on performance.
    They got a 9177 on the z77 from gigabyte... with a 680...the standard 680 P score is 9458.
    You guys topped out in that same bench with a 580 at 8728!
    The normal 3dmark 11 P score with a 580 is 6619 (commensurate with the score for no VVS)

    That HyperFormance and Virtual Vsync are really helping! At least in 3dmark LOL! Cant wait to see what score you get with a 680 combined with HF and VVS!
  • -7 Hide
    nebun , April 9, 2012 1:39 AM
    thehidecheckpoppycock, even high end cards can't even come close to saturateing a 8x slothttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFMzRZqFh-w get learned yo

    still...i would rather have 2 pcie lanes at 16X just in case i want to install two nvidia gtx 590 in sli...get the point?....why settle for something less when you can have the cake and eat it too :) 
  • -9 Hide
    Cyberat_88 , April 9, 2012 3:46 AM
    USB is obsolete, low speed real performance connection, ESATA is the future, stop hyping garbage MBs. Why get the 77 series when the 79 is out with dual x16 pci-e slots ?
Display more comments