The Test System and Test Software
Testing workstation and server components require a different setup than a consumer motherboard test. Benchmarks such as games and 3D performance aren’t the ones we’re looking for here. We rather want to know how a motherboard like this can handle its memory and processor and we also want to know how well the built-in features such as network, audio, and storage features work.
While our benchmarks naturally will show the performance coming from the components that are attached, using the same components on all tested boards allows us to draw a comparison and see which board performs best and can get the most out of the hardware it has available.
We’re stressing every component as much as possible in order to check both stability and performance. We also test such parts as the built-in audio features and especially their latency as that’s something that can have a serious impact on the overall performance of the system by creating micro-hickups.
As mentioned, we need a lot of extra hardware to test a motherboard and you can find a complete list of those parts below.
- CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1280 v5
- RAM: Crucial Ballistix DDR4 2400 MHz (4x 8GB) UDIMM
- GPU: Sapphire Ultimate R7 250 1GB GDDR5
- SSD: Micron M500DC 800GB System Drive
- PSU: be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 1200W
- Cooler: Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate
- Thermal Compound: Gelid GC-Extreme
For some of our tests such as those involving the network capabilities, we also require a secondary system.
- Motherboard: Supermicro C7Z97-OCE
- CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230Lv3
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB 1866MHz
- SSD: Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD
- GPU: Sapphire R7 240 2GB
- PSU: be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 850W
- Cooler: Thermaltake Water 3.0 Performer
- Case: Lian Li PC-T60
- Network: D-Link DXE-820T
- D-Link DXS-1210-12TC Websmart Switch
- Angelbird SSD2go Pocket 512GB USB 3.0 SSD
- Intel 750 SSD 1.2TB PCIe NVMe SSD
- Toshiba HG6 512GB SATA3 SSD
We use a wide variety of applications to gain a broad spectrum of results for comparing diverse aspects of the system performance.
- Windows Server 2012 R2
- AIDA64 Engineer Edition
- Cinebench R11.5
- Cinebench R15.0
- Geekbench 3
- PCMark PerformanceTest 8.0
- SiSoftware Sandra
- SuperPi Mod 1.9 WP
- wPrime 2.10