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 28.61.2018.12
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: +0.10, -0.16
Noise level, dB (A): -96.0
Dynamic range, dB (A): 96.2
THD, %: 0.00142
THD + Noise, dB (A): -88.1
IMD + Noise, %: 0.00561
Stereo crosstalk, dB: -91.3
IMD at 10 kHz, %: 0.00481
General performance Excellent
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. For this set of benchmarks I mixed up the performance spectrum a bit to represent the modern HEDT platforms. X299 has been out for awhile and while this review features the Core i9 7900X there are much faster versions of the LGA 2066 on the market and this board is likely tuned for the new generation.
The Rightmark audio benchmark is a great tool for exposing audio specs for the various chips and software used and read much like if you were buying an amplifier or sound system for your house.
I’m going to come out and say “WOW!” The Aorus X299X Xtreme Waterforce is a monster when it comes to Rightmark audio testing. An interesting story, when I use Rightmark for testing audio quality it is done using a loopback cable and I then configure the audio software to remove any post processing and set the system to stereo. In Stereo there were many aspects of the audio quality in the Excellent range however the overall was just “Average” Changing the audio configuration to surround sound is giving us the quality settings in this review.
That tells me that while stereo might be the best setting for testing the audio controller isn’t tuned for that and is offering bad results. Much like the TRX40 Aorus Master Threadripper motherboard the SABER ESS will process audio differently depending on what connections are you using. Rear audio connections assume a desktop setup (5.1) while front panel connections assume headphones and will route the audio through a DAC intended for high resolution audio intended for two driver audio devices. (aka headphones).