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.
At stock speeds the Lightwave 3D performance is not at the top of the group; this was not entirely unexpected, but still a tad disappointing. However, once we kicked the CPU up to 4.38GHz things took off (as they should). Again, I want to draw your attention to the stock speed groupings. We have four boards here, but only two times. I am not sure what to make of this, but it is interesting to see the split like this.
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 ASUS RIIIE is not the fastest in our AutoGK testing. It comes in second behind the MSI XPower. The difference in times is at 10 seconds. Once we overclock the CPU and push the system things are a little different with the RIIIE coming out on top.