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ASUS ROG Strix X99 Gaming Review

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ASUS ROG Strix X99 Gaming Testing:

Testing ASUS ROG Strix X99 Gaming motherboard will involve running it through OCC's test suite of benchmarks, which includes both synthetic benchmarks and real-world applications, to see how each of these products perform. The gaming tests will also consist of both synthetic benchmarks and actual gameplay, in which we can see if similarly prepared setups offer any performance advantages. The system will receive a fully updated, fresh install of Windows 10 64-bit edition, in addition to the latest drivers for each board and NVIDIA drivers for the NVIDIA GTX 1080 Founders Edition video card. In the past we had locked the clock speed on the processor to eliminate any easily controlled variables due to processor speed. However, there is a difference in how each manufacturer handles the CPU default and boost speeds, creating opportunity for one board to deliver a higher level of performance. This variable is a point of difference between boards. The majority of users will run the stock settings, making this point a valid concern, so we have changed our test methods to capture this point of difference.

Testing Setup: Intel Socket 2011 V-3

 

Comparison Motherboard:

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

 

Cranking up a big clock speed on Intel's latest architecture is going to require, first and foremost, a really good chip from the lottery pool and exceptional cooling to keep all 10 cores running at full speed. When I first had the opportunity to play with the Core i7 6950X, I was a little surprised that 4.3GHz was about all it had to offer. When you look at the base core clock speed of 3.0GHz and the factory boost clock speed of 3.5GHz, 4.3GHz does not seem so bad. That's an increase in clock speed of over 30% for spending some time in the BIOS. Ultimately, 4.3GHz was all I could get out of my Core i7 6950X using the Gigabyte X99-Designare-EX. It's all I could get out of it realistically on the ASUS X99 Sabertooth as well. In that respect, it was what could be had with those two motherboards.

To start, I mirrored the processes I used for overclocking on the other two tested motherboards and started with adjusting the core clock speed ratio to 42 on all cores with the core voltage set to 1.30v. No surprises here, really. Increasing the voltage is a double edged sword when it comes to overclocking the Core i7 6950X in that thermals easily get out of hand, even with a full on custom water cooling solution. The 1.30v turned out to be a bit much for my full on water cooling loop, so I backed it down to an applied 1.27v while leaving the rest of the voltages as they were applied by the UEFI BIOS. It seems that the tighter voltage regulation and all-digital Digi+Extreme Engine allow that granular control that is needed to get the most out of this chip with the lowest posible voltage. Finding 4.2GHz stable, I pushed up a bit higher and ran the clock multiplier up to 44 and started my testing while leaving the Corsair Dominator memory at 3200MHz.

I found that 4400MHz was as far as I could go; I think more so based on the thermals than the actual theoretical maximum of the chip. TIme to start thinking about going sub zero!  Going from a base core clock of 3.0GHz and Turbo Boost of 3.5GHz to 4.4GHz is a significant leap forward in clock speed of just over 30%. You cannot go wrong with that kind of horsepower.

 

 

 

Maximum Core Clock Speed:

Each CPU has been tested for stability at the listed overclocked speeds. These clock speeds will represent the level of performance shown by the overclocked scores in the testing.

 

 

Benchmarks:

  • Scientific & Data:
  1. PCMark 8
  2. SiSoft Sandra 2016
  3. Cinebench R15
  4. HWBOT X.265 Benchmark
  5. AIDA64 5.74
  6. CrystalDiskMark
  7. ATTO
  8. iPerf
  9. Rightmark Audio Analyzer
  • Gaming:
  1. 3DMark
  2. Tom Clancy's The Division
  3. Shadow of Mordor



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