With any system you will want to see a combination of synthetic testing and real-world. Synthetics give you a static, easily repeatable testing method that can be compared across multiple platforms. For our synthetic tests we use Everest Ultimate, Sisoft Sandra, Futuremark's 3DMark Vantage and PCMark Vantage, Cinebench as well as HyperPi. Each of these covers a different aspect of performance or a different angle of a certain type of performance.
Memory is a big part of current system performance. In most systems slow or flakey memory performance will impact almost every type of application you run. To test memory we use a combination of Sisoft Sandra, Everest and HyperPi 0.99.
Our memory numbers here are a tad off. The stock speed could be better and due to a failing on the part of our DDR3 choice, we had to down clock the speed to 1206MHz. Still, after talking with ASUS about this we hear they will be tweaking this in the final BIOS release to get better performance.
Everest Ultimate is a suite of tests and utilities that can be used for system diagnostics and testing. For our purposes here we use their memory bandwidth test and see what the theoretical performance is.
We see the same thing here with our Everest testing. If you do want more memory performance with this test you can always enable C States in the BIOS for a few extra MB of bandwidth. It is important to remember that this will only affect benchmarks that are thread efficient.
HyperPi is a front end for SuperPi that allows for multiple concurrent instances of SuperPi to be run on each core recognized by the system. It is very dependent on CPU to memory to HDD speed. The faster these components, the faster it is able to figure out the number Pi to the selected length.
For our testing we use the 32M run. This means that each of the four physical and four logical cores for the i7 and the four physical cores of the i5 is trying to calculate the number Pi out to 32 million decimal places. Each "run" is a comparative to ensure accuracy and any stability or performance issues in the loop mentioned above will cause errors in calculation.
With our HyperPi testing we see what could possibly be another casualty of the memory performance issue we saw above. The times we see here are a little less than what we have come to expect from an ASUS product. They are not bad, but they certainly could be better. Once we pushed the board we see the tweaking for the upper end in the BIOS, even with the lower RAM speed we were able to pull off a win with the Maximus III.