Testing Methods

With the exception of SiSoft Sandra and Lavalys Everest, all of our benchmarks use real applications that give you a great idea of how well a product fares when performing the tasks you're likely to want it for. We are also focusing a lot more of our time on evaluating the overclocking potential and stability of the motherboards (and platforms) using a stress test designed to highlight any of the potential weaknesses that the product may have. That involves a gradually increasing amount of stress starting with Prime95 torture test on all cores and expanding to looping 3DMark06. This is to ensure that all parts of the system are stressed simultaneously over a period of time.

Most poorly engineered products fail within the first couple of hours, or even minutes, and along with the other test results this will allow us to make a conscious decision on whether a motherboard is worth your money.

*Asus Maximus III Formula Review Test Setup
Click to enlarge

Test Setup:


  • Asus Maximus III Formula (Intel P55, 0801 BIOS)
  • Gigabyte GA-P55-UD5 (Intel P55, F5f BIOS)
  • Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD4 (Intel P55, F3 BIOS)
  • MSI P55-GD65 (Intel P55, 1.41 BIOS)
  • Asus P7P55 Deluxe Review (Intel P55, 0504 BIOS)

Common Components:

  • Intel Core i7 870 (45nm, 8MB L3 cache, 22x133MHz; 2.93GHz, Turbo Mode and Intel power saving states left at BIOS default settings)
  • Stock: Corsair 4GB DDR3 1,600MHz C8 at motherboard SPD settings, Overclocked: G.Skill Perfect Storm 2,200MHz C8, custom timings
  • Graphics Testing: Zotac GeForce GTX 260! AMP
  • PC Power and Cooling Silencer 750W PSU
  • Seagate 7200.11 1TB SATA hard drive
  • Intel X25-M 80GB SSD
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit SP1
  • Intel inf
  • Nvidia Forceware 190.38 WHQL

Overclocked Settings:

  • Asus Maximus III Formula: 4.4GHz CPU, 200MHz base clock, 22x multiplier, 2,000MHz dual channel DDR3 memory at 8-8-8-24-72-1T, 3.61GHz CPU-northbridge, 3.21GHz QPI.
  • Gigabyte GA-P55-UD5: 4.1GHz CPU, 205MHz base clock, 20x multiplier, 2,050MHz dual channel DDR3 memory at 8-8-8-24-114-1T, 3.69GHz CPU-northbridge, 3.28GHz QPI.
  • Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD4: 4.24GHz CPU, 202MHz base clock, 21x multiplier, 2,020MHz dual channel DDR3 memory at 8-8-8-24-88-2T, 3.64GHz CPU-northbridge, 3.23GHz QPI.
  • Asus P7P55D Deluxe: 4.21GHz CPU, 200MHz base clock, 21x multiplier, 2,000MHz dual channel DDR3 memory at 8-8-8-21-72-1T, 3.61GHz CPU-northbridge, 3.21GHz QPI.
  • MSI P55 GD65: 4.18GHz CPU, 190MHz base clock, 22x multiplier, 1,900MHz dual channel DDR3 memory at 8-8-8-24-1T, 3.42GHz CPU-northbridge, 3.04GHz QPI.

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