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. To show better multi-thread performance we are also using perspective cameras which make heavy use of the ray tracing engine. We have also increased the resolution to 4k (4096 x 3072) to give the CPU even more to think about.
Again we used our experience with the Core i7 980X to give you an idea of where the Maximus III Extreme with the Core i5 750 stands. It also gives you a good idea of what you can do with a truly thread efficient application. Even with the Core i5 750 running at almost 1GHz faster, it cannot keep up with the 12 threads available on the 980X.
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.
The Maximus III Extreme does very well with video transcoding and we see that performance gets even better when we OC the CPU up to 4.2GHz. It is even better than the performance on the ASRock P55 despite only being a few MHz faster.