In late 2010 Finalwire acquired the software known as EVEREST from Lavalys and changed the name to AIDA64. AIDA64 Extreme Edition is a diagnostic and benchmarking tool that offers comprehensive system monitoring of data such as CPU, motherboard, hard drive, and GPU temperatures and voltages as well as CPU and memory benchmarks and system stress testing utilities that are useful for diagnosing stability issues or ensuring a system overclock is stable.
We are using version 1.80.1450 to measure the memory latency, read, and write speeds.
In the latency test, our Kingston HyperX 1600MHz kit is faster than the two other 1600MHz kits we have tested from Corsair because the Kingston kit runs at tighter timings. The bandwidth tests show very little difference between the 1600MHz kits.
Media Encoding: x264
Our first real-world test measures video encoding performance using the excellent x264HD benchmark developed by graysky and updated by Adrian Wong & Dashken which can be found here: http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=520. X264HD is a free video encoding library that is very popular among video enthusiasts for its ability to produce high quality videos while maintaining reasonably small file sizes. The x264HD benchmark has been updated to version 4.0 and now includes an HD test clip. Video encoding processes are some of the most intense tasks a modern computer will complete, and they tend to be very sensitive to CPU core counts and memory bandwidth. The test repeats a 2-pass encode of a 720p MPEG2 source into a MPEG4 video file four times. The results of the test are reported in frames per second and here we present the average of the four benchmark runs.
We do see a slight bump in performance from the Kingston kit compared to the Corsair kits because of tighter timings.
Gaming: Crysis 2
For our gaming tests we will be testing at 1920×1080 resolution. As of August, 2011, 1920×1080 is the most popular resolution used by gamers according to the Steam Hardware Survey, with nearly 23% of PC gamers using this resolution. http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey.
In general, we test with all detail options at their highest in-game settings in order to stress our hardware to the fullest extent possible. Ideally, our two SLI GTX470 video cards with their 1280MB of DDR5 will be able to handle the pixel pushing duties, isolating our CPU and memory subsystems in our benchmarks. Our i7 2600K CPU is overclocked to 4.4GHz, which should supply sufficient processing power for most of today’s gaming scenarios.
Our game test today involves Crysis 2. Despite the fact that many PC gamers wrote off and ignored the game shortly after release for a variety of reasons, Crysis 2 has been patched and updated several times, making it one of the best looking games on the PC. For our tests we are using the latest version of the game, which is 1.9 as of the time of this writing. We also patched Crysis 2 using the High Resolution Texture Pack as well as the DirectX 11 update. We are using the highest available in-game video quality settings and the DirectX 11 rendering path in order to place as much strain as possible on the hardware.
Our benchmark takes place during the “Second Chance” sequence of the game. During the benchmark run, the player uses the binoculars to scout the combat area before he engages in several firefights with enemy soldiers in an open outdoor environment. The sequence involves several explosions and both gunfire and melee action. We will be measuring our results using Fraps and will be reporting both minimum and average frames per second (FPS).
Faster RAM helps in our high resolution gaming test. We see a slight improvement in minimum FPS and a small increase in average FPS as well. However the differences are small enough that we have to be properly benchmarking in order to detect the differences.