LAME MT MP3 Encoding & Futuremark 3DMark06
In our custom LAME MT MP3 encoding test, we converted a large WAV file to the MP3 format. In this test, we created our own 223MB WAV file (a never-ending Grateful Dead jam) and converted it to the MP3 format using the multi-thread capable LAME MT application in single and multi-thread modes.
Processing times are recorded below. Once again, shorter times equate to better performance.
LameMT testing is almost solely reliant on the CPU, so often we see duplicate results between various products where the same CPU is used. In this test, all three boards returned identical results, with each completing the single threaded test in 1:23 minutes and the multi threaded test in 55 seconds.
3DMark06's test is a multi-threaded "gaming related" DirectX metric that's useful for comparing relative performance between similarly equipped systems. This test consists of different 3D scenes that are generated with a software and hardware GPU renderers, which is also dependant on the host CPU's performance. In its CPU tests, the calculations normally reserved for your 3D accelerator are instead sent to the host processor. GPU rendering tests employ a mix of SM2.0, SM3.0 and HDR techniques and effects.
Targeting the test to cater to CPU performance, we get a better idea of sub-system performance with minimal influence on the results from the graphics card(s). With the 3DMark06 CPU test, the GIGABYTE GA-M59SLI-S5 was the best performer, topping the ASUS M2N32 WS Pro by 9 points and the MSI K9N Diamond by 23 points. These score are slightly inconsistent with what we saw earlier from the MSI board especially but again the variances are quite small.