X79 Motherboard Roundup: ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte

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LAME MT Audio Encoding and Cinebench

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 mid to high bit-rate and VBR (variable bit rate) MP3 audio encoder that is used widely around the world in a multitude of third party applications.

Audio Conversion and Encoding

In this test, we created our own 223MB WAV file (a hallucinogenic-induced 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, listed in seconds. Shorter times equate to better performance.

There is essentially no differentiation in the LAME scores, with the exception of the 0:30 posted by the ASUS P9X79, which is obviously fairly negligible as well.

Cinebench R11.5
3D Rendering

Cinebench R11.5 is an OpenGL 3D rendering performance test based on Cinema 4D from Maxon. Cinema 4D is a 3D rendering and animation tool suite used by 3D animation houses and producers like Sony Animation and many others. It's very demanding of system processor resources and is an excellent gauge of pure computational throughput. This is a multi-threaded, multi-processor aware benchmark that renders and animates 3D scenes and tracks the length of the entire process. The rate at which each test system was able to render the entire scene is represented in the graph below.

Both ASUS boards hit the same score of 7.44, topping the other boards by a fairly small margin. In order to parse out the differences in those scores, you'd really need to dig deep into each board's stock CPU clock and other details. Note that this is the lone benchmark in which the ASUS boards took the top score. Historically, we've seen ASUS aggressively tuning PLL clock speeds a tick or two northward for just bit more performance at stock settings.

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