Integrated Device Testing

Audio Subsystem Testing

Audio Playback Testing

Using a selection of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music tracks and the Windows 10 Groove Music software, the audio subsystem playback performance was tested for playback accuracy and fidelity.

Playback was clear and distortion free with the 5.1 speaker setup going through the integrated analogue audio ports. Note that 7.1 speaker mode was unavailable due to a driver glitch with Windows 10 v1803 and not with the board itself.

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 experiences.

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, requiring minimal tweaking of the recording volume for optimal operation. However, recording quality was found to be best with recording volume set to 75% and with Microphone Boost set to +10dB.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

To validate that the board’s storage 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 ports. The M.2 device was tested using the board's integrated M.2 slot with an M.2 based Samsung 950 Pro PCIe M.2 2280 256GB SSD. USB port testing was performed using the M.2 drive 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 3.0 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.

Across the board, drives connected to the native chipset and Coffee-Lake CPU controlled ports performed well within specs. Both M.2 slots maxed out the performance of the M.2 drive with the SATA3 port maxing out the SSD drive's performance. Drive performance connected to the USB 3.1 ports was impressive as well with both read and write performance htting around the 1000MB/s mark (the bandwidth limits of USB 3.1 ports). The drive performance on the USB 3.0 ports matched expectations as well with its performance falling only slightly behind that of the native SATA3 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 GigE and WiFi-based 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 integrated Intel I219 controller performed well within expectations, averaging 117 MB/s for both upload and download tests. The CPU utilization remained strong during all testing, averaging well below 5% with spikes not breaking the 10% mark.

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