CPU Performance, Short Form

For our motherboard reviews, we use our short form testing method. These tests usually focus on if a motherboard is using MultiCore Turbo (the feature used to have maximum turbo on at all times, giving a frequency advantage), or if there are slight gains to be had from tweaking the firmware. We put the memory settings at the CPU manufacturers suggested frequency, making it very easy to see which motherboards have MCT enabled by default.

For Z590 we are running using Windows 10 64-bit with the 20H2 update.

Rendering - Blender 2.79b: 3D Creation Suite

A high profile rendering tool, Blender is open-source allowing for massive amounts of configurability, and is used by a number of high-profile animation studios worldwide. The organization recently released a Blender benchmark package, a couple of weeks after we had narrowed our Blender test for our new suite, however their test can take over an hour. For our results, we run one of the sub-tests in that suite through the command line - a standard ‘bmw27’ scene in CPU only mode, and measure the time to complete the render.

Blender 2.79b bmw27_cpu Benchmark

Rendering – POV-Ray 3.7.1: Ray Tracing

The Persistence of Vision Ray Tracer, or POV-Ray, is a freeware package for as the name suggests, ray tracing. It is a pure renderer, rather than modeling software, but the latest beta version contains a handy benchmark for stressing all processing threads on a platform. We have been using this test in motherboard reviews to test memory stability at various CPU speeds to good effect – if it passes the test, the IMC in the CPU is stable for a given CPU speed. As a CPU test, it runs for approximately 1-2 minutes on high-end platforms.

POV-Ray 3.7.1 Benchmark

Rendering - Crysis CPU Render

One of the most oft used memes in computer gaming is ‘Can It Run Crysis?’. The original 2007 game, built in the Crytek engine by Crytek, was heralded as a computationally complex title for the hardware at the time and several years after, suggesting that a user needed graphics hardware from the future in order to run it. Fast forward over a decade, and the game runs fairly easily on modern GPUs, but we can also apply the same concept to pure CPU rendering – can the CPU render Crysis? Since 64 core processors entered the market, one can dream. We built a benchmark to see whether the hardware can.

For this test, we’re running Crysis’ own GPU benchmark, but in CPU render mode. This is a 2000 frame test, which we run over a series of resolutions from 800x600 up to 1920x1080. For simplicity, we provide the 1080p test here.​

Crysis CPU Render: 1920x1080

Rendering - Cinebench R23: link

Maxon's real-world and cross-platform Cinebench test suite has been a staple in benchmarking and rendering performance for many years. Its latest installment is the R23 version, which is based on its latest 23 code which uses updated compilers. It acts as a real-world system benchmark that incorporates common tasks and rendering workloads as opposed to less diverse benchmarks which only take measurements based on certain CPU functions. Cinebench R23 can also measure both single-threaded and multi-threaded performance.

Cinebench R23 CPU: Single ThreadCinebench R23 CPU: Multi Thread

Compression – WinRAR 5.90: link

Our WinRAR test from 2013 is updated to the latest version of WinRAR at the start of 2014. We compress a set of 2867 files across 320 folders totaling 1.52 GB in size – 95% of these files are small typical website files, and the rest (90% of the size) are small 30-second 720p videos.

WinRAR 5.90

3DPMv2.1 – 3D Movement Algorithm Test: link

3DPM is a self-penned benchmark, taking basic 3D movement algorithms used in Brownian Motion simulations and testing them for speed. High floating point performance, MHz, and IPC win in the single thread version, whereas the multithread version has to handle the threads and loves more cores. For a brief explanation of the platform agnostic coding behind this benchmark, see my forum post here.

3D Particle Movement v2.1

NAMD 2.13 (ApoA1): Molecular Dynamics

One frequent request over the years has been for some form of molecular dynamics simulation. Molecular dynamics forms the basis of a lot of computational biology and chemistry when modeling specific molecules, enabling researchers to find low energy configurations or potential active binding sites, especially when looking at larger proteins. We’re using the NAMD software here, or Nanoscale Molecular Dynamics, often cited for its parallel efficiency. Unfortunately the version we’re using is limited to 64 threads on Windows, but we can still use it to analyze our processors. We’re simulating the ApoA1 protein for 10 minutes, and reporting back the ‘nanoseconds per day’ that our processor can simulate. Molecular dynamics is so complex that yes, you can spend a day simply calculating a nanosecond of molecular movement.

NAMD 2.31 Molecular Dynamics (ApoA1)

System Performance Gaming Performance
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  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - link

    That's a LOTTA money for a motherboard without 10Gbe and limited to either 10 coffee lake cores or 8 rocket lake cores. Reply
  • YB1064 - Thursday, May 27, 2021 - link

    Yes, I agree. No 10GbE in a premium board = no buy! Reply
  • ballsystemlord - Thursday, May 27, 2021 - link

    I also agree. I can't order even 0.5G Ethernet but I defiantly need that 10GbE port! Reply
  • lmcd - Friday, May 28, 2021 - link

    Aside from defiantly being unable to spell, the point of 10G Ethernet is connection to a local NAS, among other things. Reply
  • kpb321 - Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - link

    The Mini DP in for supporting the USB-C display port alt mode with a discrete video card has always felt like a pretty clunky solution. That's why I've always felt like that was much more useful on laptops, SFF etc where there is no support for changing a dedicated GPU and you just build that into it. I wonder if they could built Display port signaling into the PCI-E slot using some reserved pins or an extra section of connectors or something like that to make it simple with a dedicated GPU Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - link

    You can already do video signaling through PCI-E. That's how laptop GPUs have worked ever since the first iterations of optimus. Reply
  • Jorgp2 - Thursday, June 3, 2021 - link

    Pretty sure it's actually built into windows nowadays. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, May 27, 2021 - link

    "with a flagship motherboard model costing nearly double that. It comes down to..."

    Greed.
    Reply
  • Questor - Thursday, May 27, 2021 - link

    All this connectivity and still a shortage of PCI express lanes. Reply
  • GNUminex_l_cowsay - Thursday, May 27, 2021 - link

    I think the next high end motherboard review needs to have a feature comparison table. Post time and idle power are impossible to interpret without knowing what is on the board and these high end boards have a lot of things. Reply

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