LAME MT and SunSpider
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.
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.
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.