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.
At our new stock speed of 1600MHz the ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3 seemed to run a little faster than the jump from 1333 to 1600MHz would warrant. Normally at 1333 we see numbers in the low 12GB/s range with a 66MHz bump we are almost a GB/s faster.
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.
Oddly Everest does not show the memory at 1600MHz during our stock testing. This is despite being set to that in the BIOS. Instead it lists the speed at 1574MHz. It also shows the CPU speed at 3.5GHz. Again, this is due to the single core nature of Everest which kicks in the Turbo modes of both AMD and Intel CPUs.
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.
The performance numbers here are much better than we usually see from an AMD based system. The M4A89TD PRO when the memory is set to 1600MHz can get some number crunching done for you. These results bode well for our Lightwave and transcoding testing later.