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ASUS Maximus Formula Special Edition
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by Rob Williams on October 22, 2007 in Intel Motherboards

We took a look at the Blitz Formula and Extreme boards from ASUS just over two months ago, and now we have the X38 version of those boards on the bench today. In addition to featuring a Northbridge waterblock, it also has “extreme” overclocking ability and a great bundle.

Multi-Media Tests, Disk Access

Nothing can prove the performance of a PC better than real-world benchmarks. The only downside to real-world tests is that it’s difficult to compare to a friends computer, unless they happen to have the same software and media files that you are encoding/converting. We can show direct differences though, since we run the exact same tests on each board.

 

Video Encoding

 

To test video encoding capabilities, we ripped our “Lamb of God – Killadelphia” concert DVD and then used Nero Recode to convert it into something that can be burned on a normal sized DVD. The direct DVD rip is 7.7GB, and Recode compresses it into a 4.5GB frame.

 

 

A matter of 2 seconds doesn’t mean too much, but the robust P5E3 still reigned supreme.

 

Multi-Media Rendering

 

3D Model rendering is a big business, so a capable processor and motherboard is required to have rendering completed on time. Cinebench R10 is a recent update to Cinebench 9, which renders a high-resolution motorcycle. It scales well with extra cores and higher frequencies, so it’s a benchmark we’d hate to be without.

 

 

It’s not too surprising to see such close scores here, as it’s more the CPU that is the important factor. Each board also selects slightly different FSB speeds as well (despite 333MHz being chosen), so those few extra megahertz might play a role in achieving a higher overall score.

 

Disk Performance

 

Different motherboards use different chipsets for SATA controllers, so these tests are a good way to see how one board will compare to another. The first test is synthetic, using HD Tach RW/3, while the File Compression is real world, which involves compressing a 4GB folder (4,809 files) using 7-Zip.

 

 

 

 

Once again, the varying differences are quite minimal, which is a good thing overall. It seems no matter which board of the three you choose, you will have fairly equal performance all around the board [no pun]. Of course, gaming is the deciding factor for some, so we will be jumping into that next.



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