ASRock G43 Twins-FullHD mATX - G43 Benchmarking Continued

Article Index
ASRock G43 Twins-FullHD mATX
Closer Look at the Board
G43 Specifications and Features
G43 Twins-FullHD BIOS
Instant Boot and Subsystem Testing
G43 Benchmarking Continued
Gaming Performance and Conclusion

Test Setup:

We've been using Windows Vista for our software platform for a while now and while we've had some issues in the past, these seem to have been resolved since SP1.  While Vista is still a slower OS due to higher overhead, it is here to stay and we'll continue to use it as it is the only option for DX10 game testing.  ASRock has claimed full support for Vista and the Intel G43 chipset actually supports DX10 and Pixel Shader 4.0 so we thought we find out how full their support really is.  This board has been rock solid at stock speeds.  Below is the test setup as it stands for this review.

  • Intel Core 2 Duo QX6850 CPU @ 3.0GHz (Stock)
  • 4GB Crucial PC2-6400 (DDR2-800 @ 5-5-5-15) - Crucial
  • Also tested 4GB Crucial DDR3-1333 kit (review pending)
  • Samsung 245BW 1920x1200 LCD
  • ASRock G43 Twins-FullHD Motherboard - ASRock
  • Western Digital WD2000JB 200GB SATA HDD.
  • LG 18x SATA DVDRW
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit SP1 w/ all updates

 


GPU-Z

Our goal was to if the ASRock G43 Twins-FullHD could be a capable HTPC motherboard so we ran some benchmarks in that regard.  One of the main tests we ran was CPU load when playing back HD-Video content.  We also fired up a few games on the GMA X4500 to see if it had enough power to actually play anything.  The results are below.

HD - CPU Usage
HD - CPU Usage

 

 

HD Video Playback:

We've seen some pretty interesting results when it comes to HD Video playback over the past year or so.  Some graphics cards do the processing which frees up the CPU for other tasks.  Even systems with fast CPUs can bog down if the video card or chipset doesn't help processing the video.  We ran several Windows WMV-HD videos at 720p and 1080p as well as a Quicktime HD 720p video to find out how the ASRock G43 would operate as a HTPC without an additional graphics card installed.  Results are shown below from the Intel DQ35JO running a mere E4300 CPU.  For this review we didn't have the same CPU handy and in fact have a powerhouse in the QX6850 so the comparison below is shown merely for reference.

 HD Video Chart

 

The fast CPU makes the biggest difference on the CPU load, but the system never exceeds 14% CPU load - even when running 1080p HD video.

On the last page we'll take a quick look at gaming performance on the GMA X4500 chipset before we draw some conclusions.