ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard - Test Setup, HDD Testing and More

Article Index
ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard
Close Look at the ASRock X58 SuperComputer
X58 Features and Specifications
BIOS and Overclocking
Test Setup, HDD Testing and More
Synthetic System, CPU and Memory
Real World Application Benchmarks
Game Performance and Final Thoughts

Test System Specs:

In this motherboard review we managed to swap out the EVGA X58 3X SLI motherboard for the ASRock X58 SuperComputer and kept the same memory, same hard drives but unfortunately we had to substitute in a Radeon HD4870 in place of the two Radeon HD4850 Crossfire setup.  Because of this, most of the benchmarks can be directly compared as the majority of the review focuses on CPU, memory and subsystem tests.  Please keep this in mind when we get on to the gaming tests that the graphics hardware has been swapped out for a single-card solution instead of the dual-card solution previously.  While the card is more powerful by itself, it will be interesting to see how a single HD4870 stacks up to the two HD4850s.  With that being said, here is our test system breakdown:


EVGA X58
ASRock X58
CPU
Motherboard
ASRock X58 SuperComputer
Memory
Graphics
2x Radeon HD 4850 Crossfire
Radeon HD 4870
Cooling
Hard Drives
2x Seagate 200GB HDD RAID 0
2x Seagate 200GB HDD RAID 0
Operating System
Windows Vista Ultimate x64 w/SP1
Windows Vista Ultimate x64 w/SP1
ATI Drivers
9.1 Drivers
9.3 Drivers

 

Subsystem Tests - HDD:

We start off the subsystem testing with some HDD tests.  For the HDTach test below we used a RAID 0 stripe on a pair of older 200GB HDDs.  It's unfortunate that we didn't have any better drives on hand, although you can see the performance is still very good.

 HDTach
HDTach

 

Although the performance is very close, the ASRock X58 actually wins the HDTach performance test as it averages 84.2MB/sec with a 219.7MB/sec burst speed.  The EVGA X58 hit 84.0MB/sec average read speed with a 213.4MB/sec burst speed.  Although the numbers favor ASRock, you'll never see the difference in the real world.

 

Subsystem Tests - Audio:

ASRock uses the ALC890 codec that is technically capable of 110dB signal-to-noise ratio. As you can see with all of the results below although the sound quality is labeled as "HD", you can see that the quality is not "high quality".  Even though it is capable of 192kHz audio, it doesn't do it that well.  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.

 RMAA

It's nice to see that the audio quality of the ASRock board is a step up above the EVGA X58 3X SLI.  The audio quality doesn't test as good as a Creative X-Fi card by all means, but the dBA Noise Level and Dynamic range is 10 dBA and 7 dBA better respectively.

 

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.

iPerf

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.

On the next page we'll cover some synthetic benchmarks relating to system performance and memory before we jump into real world tests and gaming.