Testing Methods

With the exception of ATTO, which we use to measure the performance of a motherboards SATA controllers, 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 test with our own Media Benchmarks suite which can be downloaded so you can test your own system. It uses a combination of Gimp image editing, H.264 encoding with Handbrake and multi-tasking with 7-zip file compression combined with HD video playback. Finally, for our game testing we benchmark the board running Crysis and record the minimum and average frame rates.

Our benchmarks include stable overclocked results too, so you can gauge how much performance potential there is in the motherboard, and how much value this adds to your purchase.

Test Setup:

Motherboards:



MSI X58A-GD65 Review X58A-GD65 Testing Methods

Common Components:

  • Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition (32nm, 12MB L3 cache, 25x133MHz; 3.33GHz)
  • 6GB DDR3 1,600MHz C8 at motherboard SPD settings
  • ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB
  • PC Power and Cooling Silencer 750W PSU
  • Seagate 7200.11 1TB SATA hard drive
  • Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB (used for storage controller tests only)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • ATI Catalyst 10.2 WHQL (all boards except the Rampage III Gene & UD3R)
  • ATI Catalyst 10.5 WHQL (Rampage III Gene & UD3R)

Overclocked Settings:

  • MSI X58A-GD65 - 4.4GHz, 200MHz QPI, 22x multiplier, 1,600MHz triple-channel DDR3 memory at 8-8-8-24-74-1T.
  • Asus Sabertooth X58 - 4.4GHz, 200MHz QPI, 22x multiplier, 1,600MHz triple-channel DDR3 memory at 8-8-8-24-74-1T.
  • Asus P6X58D-E - 4.4GHz, 200MHz QPI, 22x multiplier, 1,600MHz triple-channel DDR3 memory at 8-8-8-24-74-1T.
  • Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R (rev 2) - 4.4GHz, 200MHz QPI, 22x multiplier, 1,600MHz triple-channel DDR3 memory at 8-8-8-24-74-1T.
  • Asus Rampage III Gene - 4.4GHz, 200MHz QPI, 22x multiplier, 1,600MHz triple-channel DDR3 memory at 8-8-8-24-74-1T.
  • Asus Rampage III Extreme - 4.4GHz, 200MHz QPI, 22x multiplier, 1,600MHz triple-channel DDR3 memory at 8-8-8-24-74-1T.
  • Asus P6TD Deluxe - 4.4GHz, 200MHz QPI, 22x multiplier, 1,600MHz triple-channel DDR3 memory at 8-8-8-24-74-1T.
  • EVGA X58 SLI Micro - 3.52GHz, 160MHz QPI, 22x multiplier, 1,600MHz triple-channel DDR3 memory at 8-8-8-24-74-1T.
  • Asus P6X58D Premium - 4.4GHz, 200MHz QPI, 22x multiplier, 1,600MHz triple-channel DDR3 memory at 8-8-8-24-74-1T.
  • Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 - 4.4GHz, 200MHz QPI, 22x multiplier, 1,600MHz triple-channel DDR3 memory at 8-8-8-24-74-1T.
  • Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R - 4.4GHz, 200MHz QPI, 22x multiplier, 1,600MHz triple-channel DDR3 memory at 8-8-8-24-74-1T.

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