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.
This 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.
Lightwave 3D scores are pretty good in reality. What you are seeing here is a 2.4GHz CPU (well eight of them) running almost as fast as a 3.33GHz CPU. The extra two cores and 4 threads come into play here while the lack of memory per CPU and the slower HDD performance brings us back down.
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.
Our numbers here represent a few things. The first is the slower HDD speed, as the DVD has to move data through the same controller it is likely that this reduced the overall performance. We also have a feeling that AutoGK, although multi-threaded, cannot deal with the extra CPU. It would seem that we are only seeing the results from one 2.4GHz CPU.