Latest News Posts

Social
Latest Forum Posts

Gigabyte P55A-UD4P
Bookmark and Share

gigabyte_p55a_ud4p_review_logo_112709.jpg
Print
by Rob Williams on November 27, 2009 in Intel Motherboards

S-ATA 3.0 and USB 3.0 devices may seem non-existent right now, but the motherboards to power them are certainly not. We’re taking a look at one of Gigabyte’s first “333” motherboards that supports both technologies, the feature-packed P55A-UD4P. At $180, it’s priced-right given its feature-set, and overclocks like a dream, too.

Test System & Methodology

At Techgage, we strive to make sure our results are as accurate as possible. Our testing is rigorous and time-consuming, but we feel the effort is worth it. In an attempt to leave no question unanswered, this page contains not only our testbed specifications, but also a fully-detailed look at how we conduct our testing.

If there is a bit of information that we’ve omitted, or you wish to offer thoughts or suggest changes, please feel free to shoot us an e-mail or post in our forums.

Test System

The table below lists the hardware for our current motherboard-testing machine, which remains unchanged throughout all testing, with the exception of the motherboard. Each motherboard used for the sake of comparison is also listed here, along with the BIOS version used. In addition, each one of the URLs in this table can be clicked to view the respective review of that product, or if a review doesn’t exist, you will be led to the product on the manufacturer’s website.

Component
Intel LGA1156 Test System
Processors Intel Core i7-870 – Quad-Core, 2.93GHz, ~1.25v
Motherboard
ASUS P7P55D Pro – P55-based, 0606 BIOS (09/08/09)
Gigabyte P55-UD5 – P55-based, F3 BIOS (08/01/09)
Gigabyte P55A-UD4P – P55-based, F4 BIOS (11/09/09)
Memory
Corsair XMS3 DHX 2x2GB – DDR3-1333 7-7-7-20-2T, 1.65v
Graphics
Sapphire Radeon HD 4890 1GB (Catalyst 9.9)
Audio
On-Board Audio
Storage
Power Supply
Chassis
Display
Cooling
Intel Stock LGA1156 Cooler
Thermalright MUX-120 (Overclocking)
Et cetera

When preparing our testbeds for any type of performance testing, we follow these guidelines:

    General Guidelines

  • No power-saving options are enabled in the motherboard’s BIOS.
  • Internet is disabled.
  • No Virus Scanner or Firewall is installed.
  • The OS is kept clean; no scrap files are left in between runs.
  • Hard drives affected (not SSDs) are defragged with PerfectDisk 10 prior to a fresh benchmarking run.
  • Machine has proper airflow and the room temperature is 80°F (27°C) or less.
    Windows 7 Optimizations

  • User Account Control (UAC) and Action Center messages are disabled.
  • Windows Defender, Firewall, Security Center, Search, and Updates are disabled.

Because it gives a more realistic interpretation of motherboard/CPU performance, we leave all of the power-related options in the BIOS to their default selection. This means that for Intel boards, SpeedStep is left in tact, and Cool’n’Quiet for AMD-based boards.


Our Windows 7 Desktop for Motherboard-Testing

To aide with the goal of keeping accurate and repeatable results, we alter certain services in Windows 7 from starting up at boot. This is due to the fact that these services have the tendency to start up in the background without notice, potentially causing slightly inaccurate results. Disabling “Windows Search” turns off the OS’ indexing which can at times utilize the hard drive and memory more than we’d like.

Application Benchmarks

To help test out the real performance benefits of a given processor, we run a large collection of both real-world and synthetic benchmarks, including 3ds Max 2010, Adobe Lightroom 2.5, ATTO, PCMark Vantage, Sandra 2009, WinRAR and more.

Our ultimate goal is always to find out which processor excels in a given scenario and why. Running all of the applications in our carefully-chosen suite can help better give us answers to those questions. Aside from application data, we also run two common games to see how performance scales there, including Call of Duty: World at War and Crysis Warhead. For a synthetic point-of-view, we also use Futuremark’s 3DMark Vantage.

Game Benchmarks

In an attempt to offer “real-world” results, we do not utilize timedemos in any of our reviews. Each game in our test suite is benchmarked manually, with the minimum and average frames-per-second (FPS) captured with the help of FRAPS 2.9.9.

To deliver the best overall results, each title we use is exhaustively explored in order to find the best possible level in terms of intensiveness and replayability. Once a level is chosen, we play through repeatedly to find the best possible route and then in our official benchmarking, we stick to that route as close as possible. Since we are not robots and the game can throw in minor twists with each run, no run can be identical to the pixel.

Each game and setting combination is tested twice, and if there is a discrepancy between the initial results, the testing is repeated until we see results we are confident with.

The two games we currently use for our motherboard reviews are listed below, with direct screenshots of the game’s setting screens.

Call of Duty: World at War

Crysis Warhead

Although the screenshots reflect a 1680×1050 resolution, we also test using 2560×1600.


Advertisement