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.
Remember how we said that the average memory performance and lower HyperPi performance would hurt us in heavy CPU to memory applications? Well, LightWave 3D is showing us that right now. For both stock and overclocked testing we see the X58 Extreme6 at the back of the pack.
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 ASRock X58 Extreme6 was not the slowest board we tested here. It was almost a minute faster than that board. However, it was still not where we would expect an Intel 980X to be in terms of RAW transcoding power.
The reasons? Well, the same as we have been talking about; memory and HDD performance. Once again, though, these can be adjusted for by ASRock with a little more time on the BIOS.