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.
For LightWave 9.6 x74 we see the X58A-UD9 performing at the bottom of the pile. The difference was only 4 seconds on the frame rendered, but it is also very important to remember that LightWave is for 3D animation. This means that you are hardly ever going to render only one frame. When overclocked the UD9 does manage to perform much better though.
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.
Simply put, the X58A-UD9 did not do so well at Transcoding with AutoGK. It seems to lag behind. This is most likely due to the slower than expected HDD performance we saw earlier.