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 of the selected audio tracks was distortion free using a 5.1 speaker setup through the on-board analogue audio ports.

Using the audio output ports from the G1.Sniper 5's rear panel, the audio produced was of a high quality and distortion-free using both provided OP-AMPs in the board's OP-AMP header. However, the audio reproduction using the LM4562 was superior to that of the Burr-Brown chip. The Burr-Brown OP-AMP exhibited a slightly muted quality to its sound during playback.

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 resulted in clean audio pickup with no distortion or aberrant noise effects heard during playback of the recorded audio after adjusting the recording volume and Microphone Boost settings correctly. Audio pickup with almost inaudible with microphone recording volume set to less than 50 and Microphone Boost less than +20cb. With the Crystal Voice functionality enabled through the SoundBlaster Pro Studio software, the Microphone Boost has to be set to its maximum setting (+30dB) for the recording voice segment to be audible during playback.

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 port. The drive tests were repeated three times with the highest repeatable read and write speeds recorded.

Both the Intel Z87 and the Marvell controllers performed well with neither controller having a clear-cut performance advantage over the other using the selected SSD drive. Both controllers pushed the SSD drive to its performance limits for both read and write throughput.

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).

From a pure network throughput perspective, both the Intel-based and Qualcomm Killer-based controllers performed equally well with both sustaining average speeds over 100 MB/s during there respective test runs. The differentiation comes to light when looking at the CPU utilization averages during the test runs. The Intel controller uses a negligible amount of the CPU , averaging 2% for both upload and download, while the Killer controller averages over 5% utilization during upload and over 10% utilization during download transfer runs.

« PreviousNext »