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. SUPERMICRO's implementation of the Realtek HD audio chipset was well designed with equally good performance across both listening methods. The audio clarity and crispness was very good through both listening devices, no distortion detected during playback at all.
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 runs, but remained muted even with recording volume set to 100 and Microphone Boost set to its highest +30dB setting. Enabling the Noise Suppression and Acoustic Echo Cancellation functions via the audio control panel had now negative effects on playback, nor positive effects on pickup volume. You may want to look to an external implementation for your microphone needs with this board unfortunately.
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. 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.
As anticipated, SSD performance met performance expectations with the device connected to either port set with the board pushing the performance limits of the OCZ Vertex 460 test drive.
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 both Intel GigE network controllers was excellent, averaging close to an impressive 110MB/s during all test runs. The performance spread between upload and download transfers differed by 8-10 MB/s on average with the upload speeds averaging a cool 119 MB/s. Even more impressive was the CPU utilization, averaging 1% or less during all runs with spikes of no more than 7%.