Testing & Methodology
We’ve expanded our testing suite considerably since the X79 chipset release, and will continue to use the same methods for most of the motherboards and CPU’s we test. In the interests of thoroughness and accurate results, we run each test at least three times, and some tests more than that. We average the total of all the tests from each benchmark then report the average here.
The OS we use is Windows 7 Pro 64bit with all patches and updates applied. We also use the latest drivers available for the motherboard and any devices attached to the computer. We do not disable background tasks or tweak the OS or system in any way. We turn off drive indexing and daily defragging. We also turn off Prefetch and Superfetch. This is not an attempt to produce bigger benchmark numbers. Drive indexing and defragging can interfere with testing and produce confusing numbers. If a test were to be run while a drive was being indexed or defragged, and then the same test was later run when these processes were off, the two results would be contradictory and erroneous. As we cannot control when defragging and indexing occur precisely enough to guarantee that they won’t interfere with testing, we opt to disable the features entirely.
Prefetch tries to predict what users will load the next time they boot the machine by caching the relevant files and storing them for later use. We want to learn how the program runs without any of the files being cached, and we disable it so that each test run we do not have to clear pre-fetch to get accurate numbers. Lastly we disable Superfetch. Superfetch loads often-used programs into the memory. It is one of the reasons that Windows occupies so much memory. Vista fills the memory in an attempt to predict what users will load. Having one test run with files cached, and another test run with the files un-cached would result in inaccurate numbers. Again, since we can’t control its timings so precisely, it we turn it off. Because these four features can potentially interfere with benchmarking, and are out of our control, we disable them. We do not disable anything else.
One thing to note is that we are revamping our testing method in order to better represent motherboard performance and offering to you guys the consumer. Also we want to make it an easier read for you without miles of endless charts. Please feel free to provide feedback on what you think as many benchmarks will be shuffled or removed completely.
|Case||Open Test Bench|
|Ram||Corsair Vengeance DDR4 2666 16GB GSkill TridentX 2666MHz|
|Hard Drives||Western Digital Velociraptor 1TB 10000RPM 6Gb/s Hard Drive|
|SSD||1x Plextor M.2 M6E 512GB SSD (X99) 1x Kingston HyperX 240GB SATA III 6Gb/s SSD (non X99)|
|GPU||Nvidia GTX 780|
|PSU||Thermaltake Toughpower XT 1475W Gold|
|Mouse||Tt eSPORTS Black Gaming Mouse|
|Keyboard||Tt eSPORTS Meka G1 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard|
We will use the following applications to test the performance of the Motherboard, Processor
NOTE! Due to the early nature of the platform we have seen some very strange results form the platform on some benchmarks and have been told that updates to the benchmarks will be made to make them more compatible so stay tuned for future board reviews for better idea on scoring
|SuperPi Mod 1.5|
|Unigine Heaven 4.0|
|Batman Arkham City|
|Sniper Elite V2|
For overclocking I only had one sample this go around and I had a kind of pre warning from ASUS that the common clock is between 4.4-4.6 on air/water on these chips with some exceptional samples pulling 4.7GHz capable without going extreme cooling.
Here once again we can see the clock limitation on the 5960X is 4.5G approximately, you can get a bit more with some BCLK tuning and other settings but my goal was to find what any user who wanted to find a 100% stable 24/7 clock can accomplish. This is not the lowest we have seen this clock reachable on this chip as the Xpower did the same clock at about .12V lower but that really is a small margin difference considering. You can see the voltage scaling in the below chart and as the chip ramps up major going from 4.4 to 4.5GHz.
|CPU Frequency||Voltage Required (Load)|
Here you can see a breakdown of the voltages applied to reach the target speed, but do note that I cannot verify if the voltages will match every CPU only time will tell how well each chip scales with settings but if history has taught us anything it’s that CPUs can vary by a lot so don’t expect to just plug in my exact setting and run well, but maybe this will help give you a baseline to start from.
When testing memory overclocks we found that the Corsair 2666 Modules can do around 2800MHz at some decent timing settings on the ASUS board and the Classified was no different although ity seemed like on the memory side it required a bit less voltage requiring only 1.29V vs 1.32..
Important note: Overclocking can cause component failure. Please exercise caution when attempting any level of overclock on system components.
The temperatures were recorded with RealTemp while running wPrime 1024 right before the end of the 5th run. The results were recorded carefully. After the results were recorded, we waited for 30 minutes before taking Idle temperature measurements. The results were as follows:
|CPU Temperatures||Temperature (Idle/Load)|
|EVGA X99 Classified OC (4.5GHz)||29C/62C|
|EVGA X99 Classified||27C/51C|
|Chipset Temperatures||Temperature (Idle/Load)|
|EVGA X99 Classified OC (4.5GHz)||28C/35C|
|EVGA X99 Classified||26C/30C|
The Water 3.0 ultimate with it large surface area 360mm radiator keeps the CPU plenty cool.
PCMark shows some good results and to my surprise the Computation portion took a big leap here as well as many of the tests. This may be the first sign of the maturization I had mentioned previously where boards as the BIOS matured ramp up performance or the Classified board is just very well tuned.
AIDA64 simply tests the memory and gives you raw input on performance for the memory bus and installed DIMMS. As you can see the new X99 platform with DDR4 can pull some massive bandwidth numbers but I was also a little shocked as to the high 70ns latency result. It is however worth noting that AIDA is getting constant updates and the bench as it stands takes up to a minute just to start so it is possible that once the software side is fixed this could be better. The Classified here picked up a better latency number but it was at the expense of bandwidth, and while the voltage is stable lower for the memory clock there may need to be some board adjustments necessary to straighten this out as the read and copy benchmark numbers are quite a lot lower.
Handbrake is a free program used for transcoding video files. For this we used a 4K video file and ran it down to 1080 while manually keeping count of the time it took to process this via the CPU. as you can see when compared to the 4960X the new 5960X jumps far ahead and even almost halves the time once overclocked. Do note that the extra 4 threads will definitely help with this as the program utilizes all cpu threads when running the encoding operation. The Classified board definitely gains some ground here delivering faster encode times especially when overclocked.
As mentioned before Systeminfo for Futuremark has a major issue and so it had to be disabled on the X99 but regardless it shows some slightly higher numbers in this 3D synthetic benchmark. I’m sure some of that is due to the physics score and the extra threads at work. The Classified shows a strong run here pretty much matching the competition and being that EVGA has such a big focus on always taking the world record every time a new GPU launches it doesn’t surprise me to see the board well tuned for this kind of run.
This tests single threaded performance and clock efficiency by processing digits of the number pi. Here you can see that single threaded performance is not groundbreaking as it is beat out by the 4960X but I am very interested to see what a few BIOS updates will bring. As you can see even when overclocked the 4790K beats the 5960X so something I feel may be amiss here. The Classified at stock settings didn’t seem to be throttling as well at default settings on the CPU and therefore lost some efficiency on this single threaded app but once overclocked it packed some major steam.
WPrime is similar to Superpi, but is multi core aware and you can set the core count. The 5960X with its 16 processing threads makes easy work of Wprime and gets us close to a run in the 2 second range on the 32M side when overclocked. The Classified board picks up some ground here in the overclocked testing but once again at stock it almost seems like the CPU is not being allowed to fully ramp properly and this could be a result of a needed BIOS update which will likely be seen coming down the pipe.
“CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer’s performance capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more. MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based). The resulting values among different operating systems are 100% comparable and therefore very useful with regard to purchasing decision-making. It can also be used as a marketing tool for hardware vendors or simply to compare hardware among colleagues or friends.”
Here you can see where the high-end rendering work can be done. The 5960X once again flexes its muscle in a major way pulling in some crazy high scores for the CPU test and even more impressed with the OpenGL test which seems to have gotten a nice boost as well. The Classified pulls once again some impressive numbers to show that the EVGA team knows how to make a CPU run and run well!
Transcoding has become more popular now and the latest Sandy Bridge and on processors added support for AVX instruction for faster video transcoding. Here again the 5960X is proving itself to be a work horse in these heavy loaded tasks as it chews thru them and gives scores higher than we have seen come through our test bench for any consumer part to date. The Classified once again struggles at default CPU settings and falls quite a bot behind but when in its core competency “(overclocking) it blows past the competition with some very nice scores.
TrueCrypt is a real world application that gives a good indication of the true performance of our latest processor. The AES capability helps push the performance higher in the encryption performance and the super high core count with overclock added gives us out first double digit result in truecrypt on a consumer part. as you can see the outgoing 4960X is easily beaten by 2GB/s stock vs stock which is a huge performance increase. We are seeing a trend here as the stock performance seems a bit off but at overclock its on par or better than everyone else.
Unigine Heaven 4.0
Unigine Heaven is a benchmark program based on Unigine Corp’s latest engine, Unigine. The engine features DirectX 11, Hardware tessellation, DirectCompute, and Shader Model 5.0. All of these new technologies combined with the ability to run each card through the same exact test means this benchmark should be in our arsenal for a long time.
Unigine Heaven on a discrete GTX 780 sees very similar performance as the 3.0 PCIe bus simply moves more than enough data at great efficiency that there is really no major advantage from extra threads here. The thread count and even overclock does little to help here as its simply outguunned by the gamers dream 4790K chip. Classified pulls ahead of the pack easily here delivering clear wins both stock and overclocked.
Metro 2033 once again may be showing some of the performance issues we have seen as the performance simply falls off compared to the other results we have seen. the max FPS is normally well into the 150+ range yet on X99 it is in the 80’s and the average FPS is also 33% lower across the board so we will be digging into this further to find the issue.
Batman Arkham City
Batman Arkham City has been a staple of our benchmarking suite and its simply because its a fun game to play, its popular and offers many excellent technologies which puts a system to work. Here you can see that at stock the 4790K beats the average FPS against the X99 but when overclocked the X99 can pull ahead some but by the same token im sure the 4790K when overclocked could pull away some as well.
Sniper Elite V2
The Sniper Elite V2 shows similar scaling across the board offering well over playable FPS results but the X99 does not jump ahead in any way. the Classified does well here keeping an extremely playable framerate but one area to take notice is that the minimum when overclocked jumped up to 58FPS which means there should never be a skip or issue when playing with the classified board and do note that result is over 10 FPS higher than any competitor.