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 5.1 speaker setup going through the integrated 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. Enabling the Sonic Studio II effects in conjunction with the external speaker setup enhanced the quality of the audio playback. Sonic Studio II seemed to have little impact on the audio quality using a headset 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 Voice Recorder app.

Audio pickup was clear and distortion-free, requiring a minimum recording volume of 75% and Microphone Boost set to +10dB for optimal audio pickup. Audio pickup and reproduction were enhanced by enabled the Perfect Voice tools from within the Sonic Studio II applet.

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 USB 3.0 ports, and USB 3.1 Gen2 ports. 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 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.

Across all testing interfaces, the SATA-based SSDs performed well within expectations with read and write performance pushing over 500 MB/s. The drive on the USB 3.1 Type C port performance slightly lagged that of the Type A port, but is most likely because of the SATA to USB 3.1 adapter used rather than a sign of issues with the board's implementation. The performance of the SATA SSD connected to the USB 3.0 port hit just above 450 MB/s for both read and write speeds as expected.

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 falling just below 120MB/s. For the WI-FI Atheros 802.11ac controller, performance fell significantly lower than its rated capacity, averaging just over 60MB/s during upload and a dismal 33 MB/s during download tests. The wireless controller performance suffers in comparison to the wired controller because of packet loss and transfer overhead inherent to wireless transfers. 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.

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