Performance - Subsystems
Motherboard performance is not simply a measure of how fast you can overclock or indeed how many FPS it will get you in your favorite game. We feel that it is a combination of the subsystems combined with how well it handles your CPU, RAM and add-in boards. As such we cover perfrmance of these items in our testing. Memory
Memory performance is very important in a motherboard. This is even more true now that most CPUs have an internal memory controller. These are usually less affected by the actual speed of the memory as they are any issues in latency, skew and tracing on the board. For the most part ASUS has this area firmly in hand. They typically can outperform the competition in terms of stock and overclocked memory performance. For our testing we use Sisoft Sandra and Everest Memory test.
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Stock/Overclocked [4032MHz] - Click to Enlarge
ASUS has always done an excellent job of tweaking the memory performance on the P7P55D Deluxe. We see some great numbers here and ones that typically out do the competition. Drive Performance
The ability of a motherboard to pull data from your disk drive is another important aspect of system performance. For our testing here we wanted to see a couple of things; the first was how well can an onboard SATA controller would handle SSD RAID as well as a single SSD and the more traditional SATA HDD.
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The P7P55D does great with a single SSD but starts to show its limitations when we team two up in RAID 0. The system is just not able to handle the amount of data being push through it and actually performs worse than a single SSD. Unfortunately, this is a limitation of all Intel chipsets we have seen to date. The only motherboard chipset to date immune to this roughly 400MB/s wall was nVidia's MCP55 SouthBridge [used from nForce 4 to nForce 790i]. The reason for higher bandwidth was the use of HyperTransport link between Northbridge and Southbridge chips.Audio
As we mentioned above, we are seeing motherboard makers putting I higher-quality audio products onto their boards. But are these new CODECs able to make a difference? That is something that is important to know as if they are not then you are paying extra for something that is not going to be any benefit to you in the end as you will need to spend extra to get sound that is acceptable.
We found the audio on the P7P55D Deluxe to do a very good job for an onboard device. We were particularly impressed with how well it did pushing audio out to our tec•on Model "55" tube amp using the standard Audio out. In all it is an excellent option for audio. Still for some an Ad-In board will be the better option.
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