EVGA Z75 SLI Peripheral Performance
Here’s the stuff that matters – all three boards use a different assortment of peripherals, so this is where we’ll see some variances in performance. During all these tests, only the auxiliary peripherals being tested were enabled.
First we’ll check out the most important aspect: SATA performance. Tests were performed on an Intel 520 Series 240GB drive, which was secure erased between each test run.
We have moved away from simple sequential transfer tests, since it means next to nothing in terms of real world performance. Instead we’ll test 4K random access using various queue depths, using Anvil Storage Utilities. We’ll test at QD1 and QD4, the range most Windows tasks fall within. We’ll also throw in the sequential results, to show large file transfer speed:
At QD1, you can already see that the Marvell 91xx controller is, well, kind of crappy. The 61xx uses on the Z75 SLI is only meant to be used as an ESATA port, by the way.
What is troubling is that the Intel controlled SATA3 speed is slower on the Z75 SLI board compared to the two Gigabyte boards. Something we’ll have to keep an eye on.
The strange performance issue with the Z75 SLI board is even worse at QD4.
Things finally even out in the sequential test, which is less meaningful than the other tests.
It looks like the Z75 SLI has issues with 4K random transfers – the most common hard drive usage on a desktop PC. We’re waiting to hear back from EVGA on the chance of a BIOS update addressing this issue. The Z75 SLI hasn’t received a BIOS update since it was released, so it’s possible that these performance problems will be addressed.
The Intel powered USB 3.0 performs in line with the UD5H, which is to say that they are both slower than they should be. They should be exactly the same speed as the UD3H but aren’t. Again, we’re using exactly the same drivers and settings on every board, so I’m not sure what is causing this.
We won’t waste a chart on USB 2.0 – it works fine. All three boards run at 35 MB/s read and 29 MB/s write.
Ethernet tests were hosted on a non-Intel adapter this time, so the speeds are probably capped there. More importantly, note the lower power consumption on the Intel device.
To test audio quality, we used RMAA in 24-bit 96 kHz mode in a loopback test. This tests both the output and recording quality at the same time. Results are given using words, from “Very Poor” to “Excellent” and we have changed these to numbers 1-6 for easy comparison:
|RMAA 24-bit, 96 kHZ|
|Frequency Response||Noise Level||Dynamic Range||THD||IMD + Noise||Stereo Crosstalk||IMD @ 10 KHz||Overall Score|
|EVGA Z75 SLI|
In my opinion the most important scores to consider are “Frequency Response” and “Stereo Crosstalk”. In those particular tests, the EVGA Z75 SLI scores well. To be honest, all three probably sound about the same to most people. The main difference is that both Gigabyte boards include extra software for audio enhancements like THX, X-Fi effects, and equalizers. The Z75 SLI only uses the basic Realtek drivers.
On the next page, we will take our Core i7 3770K to the extreme for the first time, in our Overclocking results!