ASRock H55DE3 Motherboard - Test Setup, HDD Testing and More

Article Index
ASRock H55DE3 Motherboard
Closer Look at the H55DE3
H55DE3 Features and Specs
BIOS and Overclocking
Test Setup, HDD Testing and More
Synthetic System, CPU and Memory
Real World Apps and Gaming
Final Thoughts and Score

Test System Specs:

This is the first Core i7 1156 review we've done and we have a whole new test platform for this setup.  We are using some good reliable Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR3-1600 memory, but other than that, we've got a new CPU, new hard drive, and a recycled Radeon HD 4870.  Overall, it's a pretty solid system that should be very similar to what many consumers have.  To this end it should be pretty interesting to most of you as you'll be able to find out how a new Core i7 CPU compares to your current setup.  We've included a few numbers that compare the 2.8GHz Core i7 860 LGA1156 with the Core i7 920 1366 CPU on an X58 chipset.  The Core i7 860 system is a bit cheaper - thanks in part to the motherboard so it will be interesting to see how it all shapes up.

Intel Core i7 1156
Intel Core i7 860 1156 @ 2.8GHz
ASRock H55DE3
XFX Radeon HD 4870 512MB
Hard Drives
Operating System
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
ATI Drivers
Catalyst 10.2 Drivers


Subsystem Tests - HDD:

We start off the subsystem testing with some HDD tests.  For the HDTach test below we are using the data from the Patriot 128GB MLC SSD.  This drive is one of the fastest SSDs we've seen yet so we are going to use it to test out the motherboard SATA bandwidth.  It shows the capability of the motherboard.  With an average read speed of 228MB/sec, the board certainly can handle a fast drive.


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.



The results are pretty good.  We see slower single-threaded performance on this board that we have on other motherboards, but when we run five threads, the performance is about 94% of the actual rated 1000Mbps network.  We saw speeds of 945Mbps and this is very decent.  The network performance is actually incredible in real-life as well.  This was the first review where we had both the test system and a file server running 128GB SSDs - one Crucial and one Patriot.  I transferred a bunch of Steam games for use later in the review and they actually transferred over the network in speeds greater than 105MB/sec.  That proves that the write speed is one of the most limiting factors with fast networking hardware.  It was amazing to see 8GB of files transfer over the network in a little over a minute. 

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.