MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic Intel Motherboard Review: Page 7 of 9

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Posted by Damon Bailey on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 8:00am

Testing & Performance


General Performance Testing

All benchmarks are run using stock settings on the i7-7820X CPU, which leaves Turbo Boost 3.0 enabled for some automatic boosting. We noticed it frequently running as high as 4.3 GHz under light to moderate loads, and 3.8-4.0Ghz under moderate to heavy loads. The ram was manually clocked to its XMP rating of 3200 MHz @ 14-16-16-39 speeds to avoid applying any automatic overclocks.

Games where ran at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and higher settings enabled.


PCMark 8

"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."

MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic

Great Scores, within a fraction of a percent of other similar systems.


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 environment such as Windows NT and Windows 95. In order to calculate 33.55 million digits, it takes within 3 days with a Pentium 90 MHz, 40 MB main memory and 340 MB available storage.”

MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic

Super Pi shows us pretty well right on par with other similar systems.

Fritz Chess

Fritz Chess is a benchmark in which a fictitious game of chess is played. As each move has to be calculated by the computer, it is an excellent test of CPU muscle.

MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic

Same thing with Fritz, right in the middle of the pack but only a few points from taking the lead.


"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 many 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."

MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic

Strong performance from Cinebench. The lowest score of the 3, but only a fraction of a percent from the leader.


The benchmark shows a rating in 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

MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic

The Tomahawk seems to really like 7-zip, turning in a strong lead.


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.”

MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic

The Tomahawk Arctic doesn’t seem to chill out on memory performance. Here it holds down the lead in all 3 tests.

MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic

We also see very big differences in memory latency. We ran the tests several times to be sure, but it is indeed true.


Passmark Performance Test - Memory Mark - Threaded

“Fast, easy to use, PC speed testing and benchmarking. PassMarkPerformanceTest ™ allows you to objectively benchmark a PC using a variety of different speed tests and compare the results to other computers.”

MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic

Passmark also shows a commanding lead in memory performance.

SiSoft Sandra

“SiSoftware Sandra provides a robust package of diagnostic tools for testing your system and teasing out its problems--or potential headaches.”

MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic

Three wins can’t be a coincidence, apparently, the efforts MSI has put into optimizing the memory layout on this board is paying off!


Storage Testing

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"

MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic

ATTO shows up that a single SATA Drive has no issues or bottle necks. We will go ahead and try to RAID multiple SSD’s together and see if we can find any bottlenecks.

MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic

2x Drives – Good scaling so far.

MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic

3x Drives – still perfect scaling.

MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic

And 4x Drives. We still see perfect scaling here. Intel’s latest 200 series chipsets exhibit perfect scaling on 4 drives with nearly 2.2GB/s.

CrystalDiskMark 3.0

“CrystalDiskMark is designed to quickly test the performance of your hard drives. Currently, the program allows measuring sequential and random read/write speeds."

MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic

Measuring our OS Drive in AHCI mode, the Corsair Force LX we see exactly what the manufacturer’s specifications show it should be.


"Test the sequential or random read/write performance without using the cache. AS SSD Benchmark reads/writes a 1 GB file as well as randomly chosen 4K blocks. Additionally, it performs the tests using 1 or 64 threads and it determines the SSD's access time.

Two extra benchmark tests examine the drive's behavior when (1) copying a few big files, a lot of small files and a mixture of file sizes by using cached copy functions of your OS as well as (2) reading/writing data depending on the data's compressibility."

MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic

AS SSD shows the same as Crystal Disk Mark for our OS drive.

Game Testing

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"

MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic

Synthetic gaming performance from FireStrike gives us a solid score.


3DMark – Time Spy

"3Dmark Time Spy is a new DirectX 12 benchmark test for Windows 10 gaming PC’s. 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 multithreading, Time Spy is the ideal test for benchmarking the latest graphics cards.”

MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic

IT’s probably in part due to the very strong memory performance, but Timespy does well with a noticeably higher CPU score.

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.”

MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic

Our First simulated game test shows great performance, just edging out the next board in line.

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 a midst 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.

MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic

We see great performance again, just edging out its competition.


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