• reviews
  • motherboards
  • Gigabyte Z68X UD7 B3 Motherboard Review
  • Gigabyte Z68X UD7 B3 Motherboard Review


    Benchmarks - Real World

    Unreal Tournament 3
    UT3 is the fourth game in the Unreal Tournament series.  It has no story mode gameplay and is exclusively designed for multiplayer action.  While the gameplay and weapons are similar to the UT2004 counterpart, the gaming engine is all new.  For this benchmark, we're using the UT3Bench tool from Guru3D, and CarbonFire Botmatch to record framerates.  The resolution was set to 800x600 to minimize any performance gains from the video card.
    Crysis is based in a fictional future where an ancient alien spacecraft has been discovered beneath the Earth on an island near the coast of China.  Crysis uses Microsoft's new DirectX 10 for graphics rendering, and includes the same editor that was used by Crytek to create the game.  Consider it the pretty version of Far Cry.
    Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare
    Call of Duty 4 is a very fast paced first person shooter based on modern warfare tactics and weapons.  The game is based on DirectX 9 technology and really shows that game developers can make incredible looking games using older technology.  For this benchmark we are using a custom timedemo that was recorded during an actual online multiplayer game.  The demo is then replayed as a benchmark in the game with the average FPS recorded at the end.
    Xvid Encoding
    XviD Movie Encoding Test: This is a new test that was added to cover other sections of real-world performance. The test consists of a simple task of encoding a DVD rip from VOB to AVI with AutoGK 2.45 using the XviD codec. The movie used is the first chapter of Dirty Pair Flash #2 and consisted of 40104 frames. The time shown is how many frames per second were processed during the first pass to encode the video files.
    Bapco SYSmark 2007 Preview
    Bapco SYSmark 2007 is a true real-world benchmarking suite that tests whole system performance by running through a series of real programs while recording the results.  These programs include: Adobe After Effects 7, Adobe Illustrator CS2, Adobe Photoshop CS2, AutoDesk 3ds Max 8, Macromedia Flash 8, Microsoft Excel 2003, Microsoft Outlook 2003, Microsoft PowerPoint 2003, Microsoft Word 2003, Microsoft Project 2003, Microsoft Windows Media Encoder 9 series, Sony Vegas 7, SketchUp 5, WinZip 10.0
    Futuremark PCMark Vantage
    PCMark Vantage is a system benchmark from the makers of 3DMark.  It uses a variety of 2d tests to determine an overall computer score based on your system configuration.  The PCMark score is completely portable however to recreate it the score completely you will need almost identical hardware.
    Real World Conclusion
    Our real world benchmarks are designed to illustrate a cross section in performance that covers gaming, video encoding, content creation and everyday office applications.  Our results are pretty straight forward with no real surprises.  Overall we can conclude that the Sandy Bridge architecture is indeed extremely fast and that the Z68X is very similar to the P67A.
    We did replace the Quake 4 benchmark with Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare to give us another game in the performance cross section.  DirectX 11 is not represented in our motherboard reviews because the results are almost purely based on the video card and has very little to do with motherboard performance.  Because of this we have opted not to include any Aliens vs Predator results and stick with DX9 and DX10 titles until another awesome OpenGL game comes along.

    Our results mirror those found on the Synthetic page.  One thing you may notice is a trend with certain benchmarks where the two Gigabyte boards almost mirror performance numbers, sometimes they are faster and other times they are slower but almost always the same.  This is the benefit, or hindrance, of using the NF200 chip.  Of course the real benefit cannot be realized with only single GPU.  We also notice a rather significant drop in performance in a few select benchmarks.  When we test our systems we do so with the default and auto assigned settings in place so to represent un-turned and out of box performance.  (read: default user setups).  It would seem that the turbo feature wasn't kicking in like it should have and cost us a few points across the board.