Integrated Device Testing
Audio Subsystem Testing
Audio Playback Testing
Using a selection of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music tracks and Windows Media Player, the audio subsystem playback performance was tested for playback accuracy and fidelity. Playback using the audio test tracks from the Realtek software was distortion free using a 5.1 speaker setup through the on-board analogue audio ports.
The audio listening session using the on-board analogue audio ports was also distortion-free, making for an enjoyable audio listening session.
Microphone Port Testing
For testing the board's Microphone input port, the microphone from a Razer Carcharias audio headset was used to capture a 30 second spoken phrase with the assistance of the Microsoft Sound Recorder application. The resulting audio file was saved to the desktop and played back using Windows Media Player.
The recorded audio test was distortion-free and without any detected aberrant noise effects. However, audio pickup through the microphone was inaudible without the microphone input volume set to 100 (full) and Microphone Boost set to its maximum setting (+30dB).
ATTO Disk Benchmark
To validate that the board’s device ports were functioning correctly, we connected an OCZ Vertex 3 90GB SATA III SSD to the system and ran the ATTO Disk Benchmark against the drive. ATTO was configured to test against transfer sizes from 0.5 to 8192 KB with Total Length set to 512 MB. The SSD selected for testing has a maximum read throughput of 550 MB/s and a write throughput of 500 MB/s on a SATA III controller. The drive tests were repeated three times with the highest repeatable read and write speeds recorded.
The Intel Z87 controller performed as expected with the controller able to push the performance of the SSD to its rated read and write performance limits.
SoftPerfect Research NetWorx Speed Test
In conjunction with Windows Performance Monitor, SoftPerfect Research NetWorx Speed Meter application was used to measure the upload and download performance of the motherboards integrated network controllers. Speed Meter was used to measure average network throughput in MB/s with Windows Performance Monitor used to measure average CPU utilization during the tests.
The LanBench network benchmarking software was used to generate send and receive traffic between the local and remote systems over a five minute period with packet size set to 4096 and connection count set to 20. A LanBench server was set up on the remote system to generate or receive traffic for the tests performed. The upload and download tests were repeated three times with the highest repeatable average throughput and the lowest repeatable average CPU utilization percentage recorded.
Note that that theoretical maximum throughput for a Gigabit Ethernet adapter is 125 MB/s (1.0 Gbps).
The integrated Intel-based networking solution is among the highest performing on the market, showing its strengths in this testing. Upload and download transfer tests averaged around 115 MB/s with a minimal CPU utilization footprint of 5% or less.