Integrated Device Testing
Audio Subsystem Testing
Audio Playback Testing
Using a selection of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music tracks and Windows 10 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 configuration.
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 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 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.
Audio pickup was distortion free with, requiring minimal tweaking of the recording volume for optimal operation. Further, Microphone Boost was not required for pickup. Audio pickup quality did not change when the provided software audio tools where activated, including Noise Suppression and Acoustic Echo Cancellation.
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 III and SATA-Express ports, the native USB 3.0 ports (USB 3.1 Gen1), the native USB 3.1 Gen2 Type A port, and the ASMedia 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.
For drives connected to the native X370 chipset-controlled SATA and SATA-Express ports, performance pushed the rated sepcs for the attached SSD. The same held true for the Samsung M.2 drive on the integrated M.2 port with performance maxing out its rated speeds. The drive performance connected to the USB 3.1 ports (both the ASMedia and AMD X370 chipset-based) were equally impressive, edging out drive performance on the native SATA III ports. For devices connected to the X370 chipset controlled USB 3.0 ports, performance fell just above 460 MB/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 GigE network controller. 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).
Both GigE network controllers performed well, showing equivalent performance in both upload and download speeds coming in just under 120 MB/s. CPU utilization remained low as well with averages falling well below 10% and spikes at or just above that.