Asus Z97 Pro (Wi-Fi ac) Socket 1150 Motherboard Review

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LAME MT and SunSpider

In our custom LAME MT MP3 encoding test, we convert a large WAV file to the MP3 format, which is a popular scenario that many end users work with on a day-to-day basis to provide portability and storage of their digital audio content. LAME is an open-source MP3 audio encoder that is used widely in a multitude of third party applications.

LAME MT
Audio Encoding 

In this test, we created our own 223MB WAV file (a hallucinogenically-induced Grateful Dead jam) and converted it to the MP3 format using the multi-thread capable LAME MT application, in both single and multi-thread modes. Processing times are recorded below, listed in seconds. Shorter times equate to better performance.
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Our custom LAME MT benchmark just uses one or two threads, so it doesn't take advantage of all eight threads available in the Core i7-4770K. When we tested the board in normal mode its performance was faster than all the previous Z97 boards we tested, by about two seconds in the multi-threaded test and one second in the single-threaded test. That is surprising, but when we ran the test again in the optimized mode we saw it finish the test three seconds faster than all the other boards.

SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark
JavsScript Performance Testing

Next up, we have some numbers from the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark. According to the SunSpider website:


This benchmark tests the core JavaScript language only, not the DOM or other browser APIs. It is designed to compare different versions of the same browser, and different browsers to each other. Unlike many widely available JavaScript benchmarks, this test is:


Real World - This test mostly avoids microbenchmarks, and tries to focus on the kinds of actual problems developers solve with JavaScript today, and the problems they may want to tackle in the future as the language gets faster. This includes tests to generate a tagcloud from JSON input, a 3D raytracer, cryptography tests, code decompression, and many more examples. There are a few microbenchmarkish things, but they mostly represent real performance problems that developers have encountered.

Balanced - This test is balanced between different areas of the language and different types of code. It's not all math, all string processing, or all timing simple loops. In addition to having tests in many categories, the individual tests were balanced to take similar amounts of time on currently shipping versions of popular browsers.

Statistically Sound - One of the challenges of benchmarking is knowing how much noise you have in your measurements. This benchmark runs each test multiple times and determines an error range (technically, a 95% confidence interval). In addition, in comparison mode it tells you if you have enough data to determine if the difference is statistically significant.

All of the systems were tested using the latest version of Internet Explorer 11, with default browser settings, on a clean install of Windows 8.1 x64.

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This is one test where our switch to Windows 8.1 might have impacted things more than we would like, as it uses Internet Explorer 11. That is several versions beyond version 9 used in the previous roundup with Windows 7. It's highly likely that optimizations made to the browser over all those years increased its performance here.

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