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 Kingston HyperX Cloud Gaming audio headset as well as a 5.1 speaker setup to exercise the subsystem's audio fidelity. In both cases, audio reproduction was clear, rich, and distortion-free with little quality difference between the listening sessions. Note that sound reproduction across all speakers required enabling the Speaker Fill setting in the audio control applet.
Microphone Port Testing
For testing the board's Microphone input port, the microphone from a Kingston HyperX Cloud Gaming 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 +10dB setting for full clarity. Enabling the Noise Suppression and Acoustic Echo Cancellation functions did not introduce distortion. However, enabling Noise Suppression introduced an echo to the recorded audio stream.
ATTO Disk Benchmark
To validate that the board’s device ports were functioning correctly, we connected a Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 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 SATA-Express device ports, the USB 3.0 ports, and USB 3.1 Gen2 ports. NGFF port testing was performed using an M.2 based Samsung 950 Pro PCIe M.2 2280 256GB SSD. The M.2 device was tested using the board's integrated M.2 slot. USB port testing performed using the SSD in a USB 3.1 Gen 2 compatible enclosure. 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 2200 MB/s and a write throughput of 900 MB/s over a PCI-Express x4 bus. The selected SSD has a maximum read throughput of 540 MB/s and a write throughput of 520 MB/s on a SATA III controller. The drive tests were repeated three times with the highest repeatable read and write speeds recorded.
Connected directly the to the integrated SATA ports, the SSD drive performance remained consistent across the board at maximum device speeds. The Samsung 950 Pro drive also performed very well on the M.2 PCIe x4 port with its performance pushed to its rated limits. The USB 3.1 Gen 2 based ports under performed slightly with device speeds peaking between 450-500 MB/s with the USB 3.0 based ports enabling speeds of up to 400 MB/s from the attached drives.
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 Intel I128-V GigE network controller performed very well, averaging 117 MB/s transfer speeds during all tests. CPU utilization remained at or under 5% average during the tests with momentary usage spikes of up to 10%.