Test Setup and PCMark 7
In order to both see how an Ivy Bridge chip would do in a Z77-based motherboard and also get data for comparison to other boards we’ve tested recently, we ran our benchmarks twice--once each with the Intel Core i5-3470 (Ivy Bridge) and Intel Core i7-2600K (Sandy Bridge).
The Core i5-3470 is a fine processor and enjoys the perks of Ivy Bridge, but it’s a decidedly mid-range CPU as opposed to the higher-end Core i7-2600K. For example, the i5-3470 lacks Hyper-Threading, so it’s running four cores/four threads instead of four cores/eight threads, so bear that in mind when evaluating benchmark scores.
Below is what Futuremark says is incorporated in the base PCMark suite and the Entertainment, Creativity, and Productivity suites, the four modules we have benchmark scores for you here.
The PCMark test is a collection of workloads that measure system performance during typical desktop usage. This is the most important test since it returns the official PCMark score for the system
Video Playback and transcoding
Web browsing and decrypting
The Entertainment test is a collection of workloads that measure system performance in entertainment scenarios using mostly application workloads. Individual tests include recording, viewing, streaming and transcoding TV shows and movies, importing, organizing and browsing new music and several gaming related workloads. If the target system is not capable of running DirectX 10 workloads then those tests are skipped. At the end of the benchmark run the system is given an Entertainment test score.
The Creativity test contains a collection of workloads to measure the system performance in typical creativity scenarios. Individual tests include viewing, editing, transcoding and storing photos and videos. At the end of the benchmark run the system is given a Creativity test score.
The Productivity test is a collection of workloads that measure system performance in typical productivity scenarios. Individual workloads include loading web pages and using home office applications. At the end of the benchmark run the system is given a Productivity test score.
The deltas between these motherboards is small; in the overall PCMarks score, in fact all but one are within a few dozen points of one another. The G1.Sniper3 with the Ivy Bridge chip did take the top spot by a slim margin, though; it was also tops in the Productivity sub-test and trailed the pack ever so slightly in the Entertainment sub-test but lagged behind by a little more in Creativity.