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ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1 Motherboard Review

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x264HD 5.0 Test

Tech ARP’s x264 HD Benchmark comprises the Avisynth video scripting engine, an x264 encoder, a sample 1080P video file, and a script file that actually runs the benchmark. The script invokes four two-pass encoding runs and reports the average frames per second encoded as a result. The script file is a simple batch file, so you could edit the encoding parameters if you were interested, although your results wouldn’t then be comparable to others.

This is another example of a useful benchmark that’s based on real-world code. I like encoding benchmarks since they’re one of the few tests that can measure a real-world use of the power of modern multi-core processors. Also, like SPECapc Lightwave, this benchmark is an “overclocking killer”, able to crash overclocked machines that can run synthetic stress tests all day long.

x264bench_1_2

The frames-per-second encoded score increases by 11% for Run 1 and 12% in the more demanding Run 2.

In general, the performance increases I saw in these benchmarks were minor enough so that in most cases you wouldn’t notice them unless you were actually running and timing benchmarks.

I’ll present my final thoughts and conclusion in the next section.


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5 comments

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  1. f doggrell

    will the asus sabertooth z97 mark 1 ( or mark 2 ) be fully compatible with the new broadwell cpu ? when will intel finally start selling the broadwell ? great review . thanks .

    1. Caring1

      It will be backwards compatible with current gen Intel processors as well, but you will lose some of the functionality. You will not be able to use Broadwell processors on current gen motherboards.

      1. David Ramsey

        Just to clarify: we know you will be able to use Broadwell CPUs on motherboards with Z97 chipsets. Older chipsets, well, I haven’t heard anything official either way.

  2. David Ramsey

    Broadwell support is the main reason for the existence of the Z97 chipset, so yes, any new motherboard with a Z97 will support Broadwell, although it wouldn’t surprise me if you had to update the BIOS when Broadwell comes out. As to when Intel will start selling Broadwell CPUs: well, it was originally supposed to be late 2nd quarter, but has slipped since then. Hopefully some time this year.

  3. James

    Re the mystery pins, I think it actually says “LPC DEBUG” so I’m guessing it might be to hook up something similar to this: http://amzn.to/1oedVBz

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