Synthetic Benchmark Testing
SiSoft Sandra 2015 SP2b
The Sandra benchmarks remain a fast and easy way to determine system quality from a CPU and memory subsystem perspective. With the updated Sandra 2015 suite, the Z170-A's performance fell as expected – ahead of the Intel Z97-based system but behind the Intel X99-based system. It performed on par with the other Z170-based system indicating proper CPU and memory subsystem operation.
Intel Linpack Benchmark v11.3.0.004
The current version of the Intel Linpack benchmark comes with a batch file to run from the command-line interface for running the Linpack tests. It serves as a good indicator of proper system CPU functioning and is considered one of the most intensive CPU benchmarks currently available. This test was repeated three times with the highest repeatable GFlops (Giga-Floating Point Operations Per Second) score recorded.
This CPU torture test is a proven method for identifying possible issues with the CPU to motherboard interface layer. This test seems to be a great equalizer for the Z170-A motherboard with its performance matching that of both the other Z170 system as well as the Z97-base board.
Multimedia and System Benchmark Testing
Maxon Cinebench R15
Maxon’s Cinebench R15 benchmark can be used determine a system's ability to render 3D content based on their Cinema 4D animation software. The CPU benchmark test was run three times, with the highest reproducible Cinebench points score recorded.
In this multimedia benchmark, the Z170-A's performance falls more within expectations both in-line with the other Z170-based system and between that of the Z97 and X99-based systems.
FutureMark PCMark 8
FutureMark Corporation’s PCMark 8 can be used to reliably ascertain a system’s performance in a Windows 10-based use environment. The benchmark tests chosen for benchmarking included the Home test, Creative test, Work test, and Applications test in conjunction with Adobe Creative Suite 6.0). All test suites within the PCMark 8 benchmark were run three times, with the highest reproducible PCMark scores recorded.
In this multimedia benchmark, the Z170-A pulled head of the Z97 and X99-based systems significantly, most likely because of its faster CPU core and ring bus speed of 4.0GHz.