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 app provided test sounds and audio test tracks was clear and distortion free using a 5.1 speaker setup through the on-board analogue audio ports.
Listening tests using the selected audio tracks were performed with a Razer Carcharias audio headset as well as a 5.1 speaker setup to exercise the subsystem's audio fidelity. GIGABYTE seems to know how to design integrated audio subsytems. Even without the bells and whistles of the changeable OP-AMP and configurable levels, the X99-SOC Champion's integrated audio chipset performed well using both the speaker setup and the headphones. The audio clarity and crispness was superb through both listening devices.
Microphone Port Testing
For testing the board's Microphone input port, the microphone from a Razer Carcharias audio headset was used to capture a 10 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 was distortion-free during all test run, requiring recording volume set to a minimum of 75 and Microphone Boost enabled with a +20dB setting. Enabling the Noise Suppression and Acoustic Echo Cancellation functions via the audio control panel had no discernible audio quality impact on the recorded audio stream.
ATTO Disk Benchmark
To validate that the board’s device ports were functioning correctly, we connected an OCZ Vertex 460 240GB SATA III SSD to the system and ran the ATTO Disk Benchmark against the drive. The SSD was directly connected to the native SATA 3 ports. NGFF port testing was performed using an M.2 based Plextor PCIe M.2 2280 128GB SSD. ATTO was configured to test against transfer sizes from 0.5 to 8192 KB with Total Length set to 512 MB and Queue Depth set to 10. The M.2 SSD selected for testing has a maximum read throughput of 770 MB/s and a write throughput of 335 MB/s over a PCI-Express x2 bus. The selected SSD has a maximum maximum read throughput of 540 MB/s and a write throughput of 525 MB/s on a SATA III controller. The drive tests were repeated three times with the highest repeatable read and write speeds recorded.
SSD performance met performance expectations across all ports, pushing the performance limits of the OCZ Vertex 460 test drive used. The M.2 SSD performance was also on par with expectations with read performance just shy of 800 MB/s.
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).
Performance on the Intel GigE network controller was excellent with both upload and download transfers averaging well over 100 MB/s. The average performance difference between the upload and download transfers was a mere 8 MB/s with the upload performing best at an average speed of 118 MB/s. Even the CPU utilization numbers average a low 2% during all tests with spikes on the controller staying below 10% for the duration of both runs.