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.
As with other tests, we again see very similar scores between the H55 and H57 based boards. But again these are good times for rendering considering you are seeing Dual Core (hyper Threading enabled) performance.
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.
In our initial coverage of the Core i5 661 we saw rather poor transcoding performance. With the H57 from GIGABYTE we see an incredible improvement on the original performance numbers. We ran the tests multiple times to make sure the results were accurate and they stand as they are.
Our only thoughts here are that perhaps there was an issue with the SATA DVD-RW drive we use for testing and the ASRock H55 board. We will be returning to that board to check this out. For now we see some good performance from the GA-H57-USB3 for those of you that like to protect your DVD investments.