ASRock A770 Crossfire Motherboard - Gaming and Real-World Performance

Article Index
ASRock A770 Crossfire Motherboard
ASRock A770 Crossfire Up Close
Chipset and Motherboard Features
BIOS, Overclocking and Energy Saving
Test Setup, RAIDXpert and Subsystem Tests
ASRock A770 Crossfire Benchmarks
Gaming and Real-World Performance

Gaming Performance:

We begin our gaming performance section with the new 3DMark Vantage.  While many will argue that this is not indicative of real-world performance, it is a simple and effective way to compare similar systems to judge how tweaking, drivers and different hardware can affect your performance.  This benchmark is effective at producing consistent results as it is scripted and 100% repeatable.  Once again we show stock 2.6GHz scores with overclocked 3.2GHz scores.  Both the K10N750SLI-WiFi and the K10N78hSLI-WiFi are running at the same speeds at both stock and overclocked settings using an 8800GT while the A770 Crossfire is overclocked to 400MHz HTT speed and uses an HD4850 - the comparison numbers are merely for reference and are not meant to be directly compared.  We are just in the process of upgrading and migrating to AMD graphics hardware.

3DMark Vantage
3DMark Vantage

 

Because we only have a single HD4850 in this machine we only ran a couple of game benchmarks - and those at stock speeds.  The GPU is the limiting factor here; especially in Crysis.  Crysis was ran at medium detail with no AA while CoD4 was ran at 1680x1050 at high detail and with 2x AA. Because the graphics hardware is so different, we didn't include previous results with other motherboards and 8800GT graphics.

Gameplay Perf
Gameplay Perf

 

Real-World Performance:

We wrap up with a look at video decoding (watching) and encoding.  We've used several HD Video clips at 1080p and 720p on both WMVHD and Quicktime H.264.  The fast CPU on this system makes HD videos play very smoothly although the CPU is much higher than other nVidia based ASRock boards we've looked at.  The chart above can be compared with the results from the K10N750SLI-WiFi here, as well as the K10N78hSLI-WiFi here.  You'll notice that the CPU load on the A770 Crossfire with an ATI HD4850 is much higher than other chipsets.

HD Playback
HD Playback

 

Video encoding is a very CPU intensive application and shows just how efficient the system is.  We've used DVDShrink, ConvertX to DVD in real world tests as well as the x.265 benchmark - which is a scripted test that merely calculates frames per second.  All tests are very CPU intensive.

 ConvertX to DVD
ConvertX to DVD
DVD Shrink
DVD Shrink
x.264 Action
x.264 Action

 

We managed to compare all of our previously reviewed ASRock motherboards on the ConvertXtoDVD and DVDShrink tests and found the A770 Crossfire to come in the middle of the pack in ConvertXtoDVD and last place in the DVDShrink test.  We compared only the K10N78hSLI-WiFi with the A770 Crossfire in the x.264 benchmark and the A770 come is second place again.  Only stock performance numbers are available here.  In both the ConvertX and DVDShrink test, a lower score is better, but on the x264 benchmark, higher is better as the results are in FPS.


Final Thoughts & Conclusion:

The A770 Crossfire motherboard from ASRock has a shorter list of features than the K10N750SLI-WiFi and K10N78hSLI-WiFi motherboards and the price is about the same.  Does that mean that the A770 has less value?  Not necessarily.  Where the ASRock A770 Crossfire has left out WiFi, Firewire and a few other little things such as number of SATA cables, it certainly makes up for in overclocking performance.  With the other boards, chipset limitations that possibly stemmed from integrated graphics resulted in poor overclocking performance.  With the A770 we were able to overclock the HTT speed 100% and ran it up from 200MHz to 400MHz and push our 5000+ Black Edition processor higher, farther and faster than it has ever been before.

ASRock has opted for a 8x/8x Crossfire split and this will provide very good performance for most cards on the market today.  There is ample room between the slots for dual-slot coolers and you should have no issues with SATA, IDE or other ports getting in the way of longer cards.  We'll sum things up with a list of pros and cons.

 

Pros:

  • Crossfire motherboard for ~$100
  • Excellent overclocker
  • Nice software bundle for overclocking and energy management
  • Fastest Ethernet we've ever seen
  • AMD RAIDXpert works very well
 

Cons:

  • No Firewire
  • Crossfire Switch Card
  • RAM slots are close together
  • Not many cables/accessories included

 

BCCRating

 

I'd like to thank ASRock for sending over the A770 Crossfire for testing.  Make sure you go and post your feedback in the forum at the "Comments" link below.