Z77 Motherboard Round-Up: MSI, ASUS, Gigabyte, Intel
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 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.
Just in case you were wondering--yes, this graph is correct. All of the Z77, Z68, and X79-based systems represented in this graph perfomed identically. The benchmark uses only one or two threads, and since the Core i7-2700K and Core i7-3820 feature similar cores that Turbo up to the same frequency, performance was the same across the board.
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.
Once again, we saw minimal variation from system to system here, regardless of the motherboard, save for the AMD-based system which trailed the others by a wide margin.