ASRock X58 Extreme 3 Motherboard - Test Setup, HDD Testing and More

Article Index
ASRock X58 Extreme 3 Motherboard
Closer Look at the X58 Extreme 3
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 ASRock X58 SuperComputer motherboard for the ASRock X58 Extreme 3 and kept the same memory, same graphics but dropped in a 128GB Patriot SSD in place of the aging Seagate drives.  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 some subsystem test, the SSD makes all the difference and these results can't be directly compared.  With that being said, here is our test system breakdown:


ASRock X58 SC
 ASRock X58 Ex3
 Intel Core i7 920 - 2.66GHz
ASRock X58 SuperComputer
ASRock X58 Extreme 3
 6GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600 Kit
2x Radeon HD 4850 Crossfire
Radeon HD 4870
Radeon HD 4870
CoolIT Domino A.L.C.
Hard Drives
2x Seagate 200GB HDD RAID 0
2x Seagate 200GB HDD RAID 0
 Crucial 128GB SSD
Operating System
Windows Vista Ultimate x64 w/SP1
Windows Vista Ultimate x64 w/SP1
 Windows 7 Ultimate x64
ATI Drivers
9.1 Drivers
9.3 Drivers
 10.6 Drivers



Subsystem Tests - HDD:

We start off the subsystem testing with some HDD tests.  For the HDTach test below we used a 128GB SSD from Crucial that has been around the block and shows how "dirty" SSD's perform.



You'll notice that HDTach doesn't always give true HDD performance under Windows 7 when using SSDs.  The drive reports a burst speed only 4MB/sec faster than the average read.  This is not accurate as the drive will burst much faster than the read speed.


Subsystem Tests - USB 3.0:

We recently used the USB 3.0 features of this board to test the Super Talent Express Drive 3.0 over here.  Please refer to this review for all the sweet USB 3.0 details.  






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.

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.