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.
We recently uncovered a slight flaw in LightWave 9.6 that has forced us to re-test more than one CPU and board. It seems that adaptive sampling is not always on if you turn it on. We have corrected this error and checked the existing scores for older boards and CPUs. As such, you may see scores that differ from older reviews. We will note where needed if any scores are re-tests for accuracy.
The performance between the ASUS and ASRock is almost identical in LightWave. There is really not much more to say than that.
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 transcoding tests the P7P55D-E Pro wins under stock speeds, but loses when we push the CPU.