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 with the 7.1 speaker setup going through the integrated analogue audio ports. Note that the side channel output much be attached to the Line-In port when audio is set for 7.1 speaker output.
Rear Panel 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. Audio reproduce through the speakers was distortion free, but lacked the richness and crispness of that coming through the headset.
SupremeFX Hi-Fi Audio ports
Using the headset connected to the 3.5mm jack on the SupremeFX Hi-Fi device, the audio reproduction matched or exceeded that using the same headset connected to the rear panel jack. The audio clarity during the listening session was markedly better than that produced from the rear panel jack however.
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 Voice Recorder application. The resulting audio file was saved to the desktop and played back using Windows Media Player.
Rear Panel Audio ports
Audio pickup was distortion free without Microphone Boost enabled, requiring only a 75% record volume for near perfect pickup. Audio pickup quality diminished slightly with the Noise Suppression and Acoustic Echo Cancellation settings enabled, requiring a Microphone Boost setting of +10dB. With just the base settings (of 75% recording volume), audio pickup improved with the Perfect Voice tools enabled from within the ASUS Sonic Studio II audio applet.
SupremeFX Hi-Fi Audio ports
At first, configuring the SupremeFX HI-FI device for microphone use was tricky, it would not work at all. Updating the drivers to the latest version seemed to fix that issue. Audio pickup with the default control panel settings were clear and distortion free with recording volume set to the maximum setting.
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.
On the integrated SATA ports, the Samsung SSD performed well within expectations with no performance difference between the primary and secondary Intel X99 controllers. The M.2 PCIe X4 port also performed well with the drive pushed to its performance limits in testing. Performance on the USB 3.1 ports was mixed with that of the Type A port much more inconsistent than the drive performance on the Type C port. However, performance on both ports seemed to match that of the same drive on the SSD ports, an impressive feat. The differences measures are most likely a result of the different enclosures used, rather than port-related issues because of known performance idiosyncrasies with certain USB 3.1 enclosures and the integrated chipsets. The SSD performed as expected on the USB 3.0 ports with all devices performing well north of an impressive 400MB/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, 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 162.5 MB/s (1300 Mbps)
The wired GigE network controllers performed well with performance during upload and download tests averaging an impressive 117 MB/s on both controllers. The Broadcomm 802.11ac WI-FI controller performed slightly slower, but strongly nonetheless, with a 100 MB/s upload average and 92 MB/s download. 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 well below 10% during all tests including measured utilization spikes during the runs.