Benchmarks - Synthetic
Sandra is a software collection of synthetic benchmarks that will give us a basic idea as to what a system is capable of. It should be noted that SiSoft numbers change depending on what hardware is being tested. These were recorded using Sandra Professional Version 19.35.2013.4
One of the most difficult things about doing reviews is finding some kind of common ground to establish a benchmark on so that when we say something is good our readers know it is based on something they can try themselves. In the case of audio reproduction there are too many factors to consider such as hearing quality, sound equipment (speakers) and room dimensions so we are turning to the RightMark Audio Analyzer to give us a set of audio specs. We will then use those numbers to determine what kind of audio quality you can expect.
This test was performed using a loopback cable which is basically a jack that connects the analog line-out plug back into the analog line-in. That way we can remove almost all of the variables and concentrate on what is actually being reproduced and recorded.
Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB: +0.33, -0.30
Noise level, dB (A): -92.3
Dynamic range, dB (A): 92.3
THD, %: 0.010
THD + Noise, dB (A): -77.5
IMD + Noise, %: 0.035
Stereo crosstalk, dB: -91.9
IMD at 10 kHz, %: 0.018
General performance Good
Color coding indicates good to bad, Bright green = Excellent - Bright Red = Poor - Black = Good
Synthetic performance never really tells the entire story, but is a good indication of what the system would probably be capable of doing under the right conditions. Due to some enhancements in the memory controller and onboard cache you will find that the CPU itself isn't much faster than an Ivy Bridge but will process memory intensive data much faster.
The Rightmark audio benchmark is a great tool for exposing audio specs for the various chips and software and read much like if you were buying an amplifier or sound system for your house. What you can take away from this is that the sound quality is "good". In terms of overall specs we noticed that the new OP-Amp audio system leverages heavily on the audio software and to have an accurate test you have to disable the software effects. What we have discovered is that while the audio specifications may be good on paper the actual audio quality is quite good when put thru a good set of headphones.
We did color code the results to help indicate what each of the numbers mean and are happy to report that nothing is red this time around.