Real-world testing allows us to see how well a product will perform when used in the same manner as it would be in your house or office. It is an important side to performance testing as it can uncover hidden glitches in the way a product performs.
It is especially true when testing a mainboard; there are so many components of a board that have to interact that any problems between parts can cause a failure of the whole.
For real-world testing we use some common applications and functions. We test with LightWave 3D for rendering performance, AutoGK for Transcoding from DVD to AVI and two games for gaming testing.
Rendering of 3D Animation is a system intensive endeavor. You need a good CPU, memory and HDD speed to get good rendering times. For our testing we use LightWave 3D. This software from Newtek is an industry standard and has several pre loaded scenes for us to use.
Again, as with our synthetic render testing we see decent performance from the H55 and Core i5 661 combination. This does drive home the fact that this new dual core when combined with the new H5x chipsets will have quite a bit of hidden potential.
AutoGK stands for Auto Gordian Knot; it is a suite of transcoding tools that are compiled into an easy to install and use utility. It allows you to transcode non-protected DVDs and other media to Xvid or Divx format. For our testing purposes we use a non-DRM restricted movie that is roughly 2 hours in length. This is transcoded to a single Xvid AVI at 100% quality.
Transcoding performance is going to be the Achilles Heel of the H55 and Core i5 6xx and 6x1 CPUs. For some reason it seems to stumble when performing this task. Even when overclocked and combined with high end performance, it has trouble. Of course, this may change with improvements in BIOS and tweaks from ASRock and other manufacturers.