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Intel X99 flagship motherboard shootout: When the sky's the limit

By Koh Wanzi - 1 Feb 2017

Performance Benchmarks

Performance Benchmarks

SYSmark 2014

SYSmark is a general productivity benchmark suite that measures the response times of tasks on a PC using real-world applications like Microsoft Office 2013 and Adobe Photoshop and simulated user input. Task response times are used to generate a performance rating that reflects actual user experience, so the faster a PC responds to application workloads, the higher its score will be. The method of measuring response times can take many forms, such as the time it takes for an application to show a pop-up completion message, or how long it takes a progress dialog to disappear and for a user to regain application control.

Unsurprisingly, there were minimal differences between the systems as the only variable was the boards themselves. That said, the MSI X99 Godlike Gaming Carbon scored a narrow win overall here, thanks to it taking the lead in the Media Creation and Data/Financial Analysis segments.


Cinebench R15

Cinebench is a benchmark tool used to compare CPU performance across different systems, so we’ll be using it to evaluate how well our Intel Core i7-6950X plays with the different motherboards. The test scenario uses all of the system’s processing power to render a photorealistic 3D scene, making use of various algorithms to stress all available processor cores.

Once again, all the boards performed extremely close to each other, but the ASUS ROG Rampage V Edition 10 still managed to eek out a small lead.


SPECviewperf 12.1

SPECviewperf is used to measure the 3D graphics performance of systems in professional applications. Each individual workload, called a viewset, represents graphics and content from an actual real-world application. Compared to SPECviewperf 11.0, this latest version of SPECviewperf includes updated traces from the latest application versions and is designed to provide a more accurate indication of GPU performance in the actual applications.

SPECviewperf actually runs a total of eight different viewsets, but we’ve picked just three to display here. The maya-04 viewset is derived from Autodesk’s Maya 2013 application. Lightwave-01 from PTC is no longer tested – instead, it’s been replaced by creo-01, also from PTC. We also included the new energy-01 viewset, which puts the board through some professional volume rendering applications.

The results were also remarkably close here, with there being less than a point of difference in most cases. These are top-tier boards we’re talking about here, so we fully expect them to be closely matched.


Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

3DMark is a synthetic gaming benchmark that tests graphics and computational performance at different resolutions, starting at 1080p and going all the way up to 4K. A series of two graphics test, one physics test, and then a combined test stresses your hardware in turn to assess its performance. And because of the physics test that keeps the GPU load low while running gameplay physics simulations on the CPU, all three 3DMark Fire Strike tests scores also include an element of CPU performance.

It was also difficult to tease out any significant differences in performance here. However, the Gigabyte board did fall behind its rivals in the Fire Strike test, although it caught up in the more demanding Extreme and Ultra benchmarks.


Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

All the boards turned out a very similar performance here, with just minuscule frame rate differences across the board. Clearly, gaming performance is not going to be a key factor in teasing out a winner here, and other features like board layout and overclocking performance matter far more.

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