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.
Also starting with this review we are going to be pushing forward with using newer LightWave scenes that make use of Raytracing. We will also be pushing up to a higher 4k resolution (4096x3072). These two extra features will place en even greater burden on the CPU and system. If there is anything not up to par, we will see it right away here.
With a time of 36 minutes we see that the addition of Ray Tracing and 4k resolutions have put a much larger stress on the 955. This is unfortunately higher than we would have liked to see.
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.
Again our transcoding times are not where they should be. However, I do not think that is a board issue, but more a problem with the CPU. We will be checking this in future evaluations.