Performance & Testing
General Performance Testing
All performance testing was done with an i7-8700K and GTX 1070 at default clock speed. CPU was left with Speed Step and Turbo Boost enabled. The only setting changed was enabling XMP memory settings in the BIOS. Games were run at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and higher settings enabled as noted.
"Use the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark to test the performance of SSDs, HDDs and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and a selection of popular games. You can test the system drive or any other recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices."
ASUS’s Maximus X Formula does quite well on full system performance testing with PCMark 8 and trading blows with other Z370 boards to land near the top of the list.
PCMark 10 is the complete benchmark for the modern office. It is the ideal test for organizations that are evaluating PCs for a workforce with a range of performance needs. The tests in this benchmark cover a wide range of activities from everyday productivity tasks to demanding work with digital media content.
PCMark 10 uses a modular approach to build relevant benchmark tests around common end-user scenarios. A Test Group is a collection of workloads that share a common theme or purpose. There are four test groups in PCMark 10, we use three of them.
Essentials: covers the common, everyday ways that people use a PC. The workloads include Web Browsing, Video Conferencing, and App Start-up time.
Productivity: measures system performance with everyday office applications. This test group includes the Spreadsheets and Writing workloads.
Digital Content Creation: This test group's workload reflects the demands of working with digital content and media. The tests include Photo Editing, Video Editing, and Rendering and Visualization.
The Formula did well on PCMark 10 as well but scored slightly lower in Productivity than we expected which brought its overall score down a hair.
WebXPRT 2015 is browser-based and covers a wide range of media and web type content and the Formula did well, landing within a few percent of all of our other Z370 based ASUS boards.
CPU Performance Testing
Super PI Modded 1.5
“In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo. The program was written by D.Takahashi in collaboration with Dr.Y.Kanada at the computer center. This record should be the current world record. (Details are shown in the windows help.) This record-breaking program was ported to personal computer environments such as Windows NT and Windows 95. In order to calculate 33.55 million digits, it takes 3 days with a Pentium 90 MHz, 40 MB main memory and 340 MB available storage.”
On Super Pi’s single threaded benchmark, individual core speed is king. The Maximus board completed 32 million digits in 7 minutes and 13.96 seconds which places it in the middle of the pack of Z370 boards.
"CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer's performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and much more.
CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and OS X). And best of all: It's completely free."
Cinebench emulates real-world content creation and rendering and can utilize about as many threads as you can throw at it. Using all 12 threads of the 8700K, the Formula completed the benchmark with a score of 1489.
The benchmark shows a rating of MIPS (million instructions per second). The rating value is calculated from the measured speed, and it is normalized with results of Intel Core 2 CPU with multi-threading option switched off. So if you have modern CPU from Intel or AMD, rating values in single-thread mode must be close to real CPU frequency. There are two tests, compression with LZMA method and decompression with LZMA method. Once the total passes reach 100, the score is taken.
The Formula scored 40,695 Million instructions per second combined on 7-zip’s built-in benchmark which just edges out the Maximus Hero but falls a bit behind the Strix.
Memory Performance Testing
AIDA64 Engineer Edition
“FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.50 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business Edition 1.50 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises. The new AIDA64 update implements AVX-optimized benchmarks for the upcoming Intel Sandy Bridge processors, adds a brand-new video encoding benchmark, and supports the latest AMD and NVIDIA graphics processors.”
On AIDA64 memory testing, the Formula scores well over 46GB/s on reads and writes, and about 40.5GB/s on copy testing, placing it amount the fastest we’ve tested yet.
Memory latency is the lowest we’ve seen yet at 46.1 nanoseconds.
Passmark Performance Test - Memory Mark - Threaded
“Fast, easy to use, PC speed testing and benchmarking. PassMark Performance Test ™ allows you to objectively benchmark a PC using a variety of different speed tests and compare the results to other computers.”
Passmark’s threaded memory mark comes in with a score of 41,576 placing the Formula near the top of the pack.
“SiSoftware Sandra provides a robust package of diagnostic tools for testing your system and teasing out its problems--or potential headaches.”
SiSoft Sandra, on the other hand, shows the Formula trailing 1st place by more than 3GB/s
ATTO Disk Benchmark
“As the industry's leading provider of high-performance storage & network connectivity products, ATTO has created a widely-accepted Disk Benchmark freeware utility to help measure storage system performance. As one of the top tools utilized in the industry, Disk Benchmark identifies performance in hard drives, solid state drives, RAID arrays as well as connections to storage. Top drive manufacturers, like Hitachi, build and test every drive using the ATTO Disk Benchmark"
Using the M.2 port under the cover, out Samsung 960 PRO 2TB drive falls a little short of its 3500MB/s read rates but does come close to its rated 2100MB/s write speeds. The sheer amount of devices on the board draining bandwidth from the already cramped DMI link to the CPU from the chipset likely accounts for this small hit to the maximum bandwidth.
“CrystalDiskMark is designed to quickly test the performance of your hard drives. Currently, the program allows measuring sequential and random read/write speeds."
CrystalDiskMark fares slightly better hitting almost 3300MB/s in it’s testing.
The AS SSD benchmark determines the performance of Solid State Drives (SSD). The tool contains six synthetic and three copy tests.
The synthetic tests determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD. These tests are performed without using the operating system cache. In the sequential test, the program measures how long it takes to read and write a 1 GB file. In the 4K test, read and write performance is determined for randomly selected 4K blocks. The 4K-64 Third test is equivalent to the 4K procedure, except that the read and write operations are distributed to 64 threads. This test should show differences between the IDE operating mode where NCQ is not supported and the AHCI mode for SSDs with Native Command Queuing (NCQ). The additional compression test can measure the performance of the SSD as a function of the compressibility of the data. This is especially important for the controllers that are used to increase the performance and life of the cell compression.
AS SSD uses different testing methods and will come up with a slightly different score than the previous benchmarks but shows results along the lines of what we were expecting.
3DMark – Fire Strike
"Fire Strike is a showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for today's high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today"
Our first synthetic gaming benchmark, Futuremark’s 3DMark Firestrike, shows very strong performance out of the Maximus X Formula, just slightly losing out to the Strix, almost within the margin of error.
3DMark – Time Spy
"3Dmark Time Spy is a new DirectX 12 benchmark test for Windows 10 gaming PCs. Time Spay is one of the first DirectX 12 apps to be built “the right way” from the ground up to fully realize the performance gains that the new API offers. With DirectX 12 engine, which supports new API features like asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, and multi-threading, Time Spy is the ideal test for benchmarking the latest graphics cards.”
On Timespy, the Formula places closer to the middle of the pack.
Grand Theft Auto: V
"When a young street hustler, a retired bank robber, and a terrifying psychopath find themselves entangled with some of the most frightening and deranged elements of the criminal underworld, the U.S. government and the entertainment industry, they must pull off a series of dangerous heists to survive in a ruthless city in which they can trust nobody, least of all each other.”
Even pushing 5 years old, Grand Theft Auto: V can put a heavy load on the most capable systems. The Formula still manages to come in at 180FPS which places it in 3rd place.
Metro: Last Light
"It Is the Year 2034. Beneath the ruins of post-apocalyptic Moscow, in the tunnels of the Metro, the remnants of mankind are besieged by deadly threats from outside – and within. Mutants stalk the catacombs beneath the desolate surface, and hunt amidst the poisoned skies above."
Developed by 4A Games and published by Deepsilver, Metro: Last Light uses the 4A game engine. At its highest settings, the 4A game engine is capable of bringing all but the most extreme gaming systems to their knees.
Metro: Last Light gives us an average frame rate of 128 FPS, only a fraction of a percent from 1st place.