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.
For stock memory performance the Sabertooth does an excellent job. It comes out on top even over boards that are much more expensive. However, when we overclock it, we cannot maintain the same level of performance.
Replacing Everest in our labs is AIDA64. This new testing suite is from the core development team from Lavalys and continues that tradition. The guys have thrown in better support for multithreaded CPUs as well as full 64-bit support. We use this to test memory and HDDs for now, but may find ourselves opening this up to other areas of the motherboard.
Something interesting in these results (although they still show good memory performance) is the absence of a write speed. This is probably due to the BETA version we used for this testing run. We will be moving forward with the final 1.00.1111 version in all future reviews, so this will not be an issue.
But getting back to memory performance, the Sabertooth can certainly hold its own here. We hope to see matching HDD speeds as that would indicate a solid performing product.
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 ASUS Sabertooth X58 is second behind the X58A-UD9 for our HyperPi testing; at least at stock speeds. When we overclock it the slower memory performance kicks in and we drop back to third. However, it is very important to say that every overclock is going to be different, as timings, voltages and even the ratio of the UnCore and QPI will come into play.