Integrated Device Testing

Audio Subsystem Testing

Audio Playback Testing

Using a selection of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music tracks and Windows Groove Music applet, 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 with the 7.1 speaker setup going through the integrated analogue audio ports. Note that the Line-In audio port is used for side speaker connection in a 7.1 setup.

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.

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 30 second spoken phrase with the assistance of the Microsoft Voice Recorder application. The resulting audio file was saved to the desktop and played back using Windows Media Player.

Audio pickup perfect and distortion free without Microphone Boost enabled, requiring a recording volume of 50%. Audio pickup improved by enabling the Perfect Voice tools within ASUS' Sonic Studio II interface, but seemed to suffer when more than one audio steam with present in the pickup.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

To validate that the board’s device ports were functioning correctly, we connected an 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.

Performance on the Intel-based SATA / SATA-Express ports showed no difference, pushing the SSD's maximums. When connected to the ASMedia SATA port, the SSD performance fell significantly landing just above 400MB/s. The Samsung 950 Pro M.2 drive performed as expected with its performance in the PCIe x4 M.2 slot pushing its performance limits. The performance on the USB 3.1 / 3.0 ports varied greatly most likely resulting from known between different enclosures and the board chipsets rather than actual performance issues with the board ports. The USB 3.1 Type A port performed best with an average of over 500MB/s. The ASMedia USB 3.0 port showed the worst performance at just over 400MB/s, matching that of the ASMedia SATA ports.

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, the lowest repeatable average CPU utilization, and lowest repeatable performance spike percentages recorded.

Note that that theoretical maximum throughput for a Gigabit Ethernet adapter is 125 MB/s (1.0 Gbps). The theoretical maximum throughput for the integrated wireless AC controller is 108 MB/s (867 Mbps).

The Intel I219-V GigE network controller exhibited the best performance, with average speeds coming close to 120MB/s. The Atheros 802.11ac wireless controller faired worse, averaging 60MB/s during upload and a slightly slower 54MB/s during download tests. The wireless controller performance suffers in comparison to the wired controller because of packet loss and transfer overhead. In both cases, the CPU utilization remained below a manageable 10% during all tests with spikes into the low teens at several points during the runs. The only exception were performance spikes into the low 30's seen during the Intel controller download tests.

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