Overall System performance and Gaming
Here is where we dig out the FutureMark tests.
For overall system performance we use PCMark Vantage. This is run in both x86 and x64 mode to give the best indication of performance.
The H55M Pro from ASRock shows that it is quite adept at general purpose computing. We saw good performance in both x86 and x64 modes. It is true that much of this performance is due to the X-25 SSD used, but some is brought by improvements in the Clarkdale CPU.
For synthetic gaming tests we used the industry standard and overlockers bragging tool 3DMark Vantage. This is a test that strives to mimic the impact modern games have on a system. FutureMark went a long way to change from the early days of graphics driven tests to a broader approach including physics, AI and more advanced graphics simulations. 3DMark Vantage uses the DX10 API in addition to having support for PhysX. Due to the PhysX support and our use of an NVIDIA GPU, we run with PhysX enabled and disabled to give you the best indication of real system performance. For testing we use the Performance test run.
As we showed in our coverage of the Core i5 661 earlier on, the GPU under the hood is not the best for gaming. It just does not have the horsepower; it can probably manage some simple games that do not require heavy rendering, but not more than that.
Cinebench R10 x64
Cinebench is a synthetic rendering tool developed by Maxon. Maxon is the same company that developed Cinema4D another industry leading 3D Animation application. Cinebench R10 tests your systems ability to render across a single and multiple CPU cores. It also tests your systems ability to process OpenGL information.
Surprisingly the entry level H55M Pro combined with the Core i5 661 does well in CPU based rendering. It is not quite up to a native Quad Core in terms of performance, but we see good enough performance that it could be used as a low-cost/entry-level platform for this type of work.