TECHNOLOGY X TESTING PROTOCOL
At Technology X, we test our systems slightly different depending on the purpose of the product, whether it’s for an entry-level user or if it’s for an extreme gamer. Throughout all of our testing, we ensure that our system has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide. Benchmarks of the products we test are that of brand new products. This means that the product has not been used previously, except possibly for some initial testing performed by the manufacturer. The purpose of this is so that we can verify that the manufacturer’s specifications match the product. Additionally, we also try to include links to the benchmarks used in our report so that you, as the reader, can replicate our tests to confirm that your system is as awesome as it should be!
This Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchases; our appreciation goes to the below mentioned manufacturers for their support in our project. All of the components we use for testing and evaluation can be easily purchased at a relatively affordable price. The links provided below can assist in pricing, as well as availability for those of you who may find interest in our equipment.
|PC Chassis:||In Win 805 Mid Tower Chassis|
|Motherboard:||ASRock Z170 OC Formula|
|CPU Cooler:||Corsair H100 AIO CPU Cooler|
|Memory:||Crucial 64GB DDR4-2133 Memory|
|Power Supply:||be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 850W|
|Graphics Card:||Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Amp! Edition 4GB|
|System Cooling:||be quiet! Silent Wings 2 Chassis Fan|
|Keyboard:||Tesoro Excalibur Spectrum|
|Mouse:||i-rocks M20E Illuminated Gaming Mouse|
|Storage:||Intel 750 Series NVMe PCIe SSD (1.2TB)|
To test our Z170 system we’ll use a variety of benchmarking tools and productivity applications including CPU-Z, AIDA64 Engineer, PCMark8, Cinebench R15, Intel Extreme Tuning Utility and MaxxMem. We’ll also show you some gaming tests using FRAPS to measure FPS performance and 3DMark11.
Using the ASRock Z170 OC Formula, we can easily hop into the BIOS to switch our overclocks. In this instance, we were able to achieve an easy increase to 4.6GHz with a core voltage of only 1.350v. This substantiates into a 31% increase in clock speed, which is very nice to see!
Let’s start off with the easy benchmarks and put that Intel 750 NVMe PCIe SSD to the test.
AS SSD Benchmark uses incompressible data in their testing of SSDs, essentially providing results that would be consistent with using the heaviest workload, thus lower speeds are expected. Transfer speeds (MB/s) are seen in the left picture below and IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) are on the right.
Exceptional! The Intel 750 pumps out 2.3GB/s sequential read and 1.2GB/s sequential write.
Clearly the Intel 750 NVMe PCIe SSD is a force to reckoned with, and it pairs very well with our Z170 build!
For our CPU benchmarks we run our CPU at the stock clock as well as overclocked to the highest stable speed we could achieve with the motherboard, which is 4.6GHz.
This is a fairly simple benchmark for anyone with this valuable utility. After a quick benchmark it allows you to compare your score to previously submitted scores of various hardware.
PCMARK 8 – CREATIVE 3.0
Futuremark’s PCMark 8 is the latest in their series of industry standard PC benchmarking tools. We test CPU performance using the ‘Creative 3.0‘ benchmark on ‘Conventional’ mode.
Maxon’s Cinebench is a benchmarking tool based on their Cinema 4D software. It measures CPU performance by rendering a photo realistic 3D scene. We tested only using multi-threaded processing.
INTEL EXTREME TUNING UTILITY (Intel XTU)
Intel’s Windows-based software allows for a simple means to tune your systems performance, as well as to overclock, monitor and stress a system.
AIDA64 CACHE & MEMORY BENCHMARK
This utility is easily accessible in the AIDA64 software and tested the read, write and copy speeds of your memory, as well as the latency. It is an excellent tool for checking to see how well your memory performs when overclocked.
MAXXMEM MEMORY BENCHMARK
This is another tool used for measuring the read, write and copy speeds as well as latency of your memory. Before we even run this test, we can presume that our results shouldn’t vary too much from our AIDA64 memory benchmark.
Before we get too carried away, we recommend checking out our full in-depth review of the Zotac GeForce GTX 980 AMP! Edition, where you will see some insight as to how overclocking can affect your gaming performance.
FUTUREMARK 3D MARK – FIRE STRIKE
Fire Strike is a graphics-intesive test that pushes your graphics card to the limit. It is highly unrecommended to use this test on anything other than a dedicated graphics card. Watch carefully as the hero fights off a lava guardian-type villain, and witness massive fight scenes that take place over platforms only feet away from lava. Fire Strike is a DirectX 11 benchmark for higher-performance gaming PC’s and overclocked systems. Fire Strike is very demanding, even for the latest graphics cards.
Overclocking this card is a definite option, a good option at that as it produces over an 11% increase in performance from the stock clock speeds!
GAME TEST – WITCHER 3
The Witcher 3 is definitely one of the most highly anticipated game releases this year, and as the follow-up to developer CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher 2 – which was one of the most graphically intense PC game when it was released – it has some big shoes to fill.
We test on “High” with NVIDIA HairWorks set to “Geralt” only, and post-processing set to “High” with FXAA enabled, at both 1080p and 1440p.
This is an excellent example of how this graphics card stands up to a modern, and very demanding, game. In the 1080p data set, the 980 AMP! almost reaches an average of 60FPS.