ASRock A780GXE vs AOD790GX - Phenom Battle - Test Setup, HDD and Systems Testing

Article Index
ASRock A780GXE vs AOD790GX - Phenom Battle
Closer Look at the Boards A780GXE and AOD790GX
AMD 780 Chipset and A780GXE/128M Features
AMD 790 Chipset and AOD790GX/128M Features
BIOS, Energy Saving and Overclocking
Test Setup, HDD and Systems Testing
Let the Benchmarking Begin - Synthetic
Real-World Gaming and Applications Benchmarked

Test Setup:

This is the first full-blown motherboard review we've posted with the AMD Phenom x4 9950 Black Edition processor and as such we have no previous results to compare it to in terms of CPU performance, gaming and such.  In this review we are simply comparing one board against the other.  Both boards offer very similar BIOS options but the latest board - the AOD790GX/128M actually takes our processor to levels we've not seen before.  AMD has done something right with the SB750.

 

Subsystem Tests - HDD:

Both the A780GXE/128M and the AOD790GX/128M support AMD's RAIDXpert which I covered in detail in the ASRock A770 Crossfire review.  Please refer to that if you want more details about this feature.



We start off the subsystem testing with some HDD tests.  For the HDTach test below we used a RAID 0 stripe on a new pair of 640GB HDDs.  Both motherboards used the same RAID array and stripe settings.  This test was run at stock CPU speed on both boards as well.  You can see that the AOD790GX edges out the A780GXE motherboard in Average Read and Burst Speeds in the HDTach benchmark.  CPU load was measured at 4% on both boards with a latency of about 14ms.  If the burst speed is accurate, it's impressive at over 378MB/sec on the 790GX chipset board.

 HDTach Chart
HDTach Chart

 

Subsystem Tests - Audio:

ASRock claims that some of their motherboards have HD Audio that is capable of 110db dynamic range through the ALC890 codec.  You can find our results of those boards here.  The A780GXE/128M uses the standard ALC888 audio codec so we expected it to have slightly poorer audio quality than the AOD790GX/128M which uses the same ALC890 codec as other "HD Audio" motherboards.  The truth is that most people won't hear the difference when plugged into a $50 pair of speakers or $15 headphones, but for those of you that care about audio quality on the integrated audio, RightMark Audio Analyzer results are below.  We tested a few different bit and sampling rates and have posted the chart below for your viewing pleasure.

 A780GXE - RightMark
A780GXE - RightMark
 A0D790GX - RightMark
A0D790GX - RightMark

 

You can see that the AOD790GX indeed shows better audio quality in terms of Noise Level, Dynamic Range and more.  As stated before, if you're using cheap speakers, you won't hear the difference however.



Subsystem Tests - Network:

One area that we have started testing is network performance.  It is easy for a company to claim great networking features as many users never test them out and are puzzled when they can only transfer files at a mere 250Mbit/sec on their 1000Mbit/sec NIC.  We use iPerf for testing network performance and on this board we tested out both wired and wireless performance.

In iPerf, we ran single threaded tests as well as a multi-threaded network test that used five streams at the same time.  Multi-threaded performance always looks better and shows how the network system will hold up when accessed from multiple machines at the same time.  Single thread performance shows client-to-client file sharing performance.  For kicks and giggles we included the A770 Crossfire results as well.

 iPerf Performance
iPerf Performance

 

Please keep in mind that the network performance numbers indicate maximum throughput that the networking hardware is capable of.  In reality, you won't see these numbers due to Operating System overhead, CPU and even Hard Disk Drive limitations.  The truth is though; the A770 Crossfire has one of the best performing networks of any of the tested ASRock motherboards and it is still the board to beat.

On the next page, we'll run some performance benchmarks and see how these boards round out.