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Test Settings

Asus And DFI: Core i7 Micro-ATX Motherboards Compared

Though most of our current articles contain updates to both hardware and software, a previous test configuration was required to make today’s benchmark results consistent with those of our other X58 motherboard comparisons.

Test System Configuration

Intel Core i7 920 (2.66 GHz, 8.0 MB Cache)

CPU Cooler

Swiftech Apogee GTZ Liquid Cooling


Kingston KHX16000D3ULT1K3/6GX (6.0 GB)
DDR3-2000 at DDR3-1866 CAS 7-8-7-20


XFX GeForce GTX 285 XXX Edition
670MHz GPU, GDDR3-2500

Hard Drive

Western Digital WD5000AAKS, 500 GB
7,200 RPM, SATA 3 Gb/s, 16 MB cache


Integrated HD Audio


Integrated Gigabit Networking


Coolermaster RS850-EMBA
850W, ATX12V v2.2, EPS12V



Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate x64 SP1


Nvidia GeForce 181.20 WHQL


Intel INF

While other reviewers have standardized their tests using DDR3-1600 CAS 8 memory, faster modules are required to assess the full overclocking capabilities of X58 motherboards. Kingston’s DDR3-2000 was chosen for its win in our 6 GB DDR3 overclocking shootout.

Zalman’s ZM-STF1 thermal grease was chosen for its quick set-in time, low thermal resistance, and mess-free application.

Excellent cooling is required to reach our Core i7 920’s overclocking limit. Swiftech’s Apogee GTZ moves heat quickly away from the CPU, via its MCP-655b high-volume pump and 3x120mm radiator.

Top benchmark performance in our previous X58 Motherboard Shootout has made the Asus P6T the reference platform for most of our tests. Today it represents the “Full ATX standard” by which we can judge the effectiveness of micro-ATX alternatives.

Benchmark Configuration

3D Games

Call of Duty: World at War

Patch 1.1, FRAPS/saved game
High Textures, No AA / No AF, vsync off
Ultra Textures, 4x AA / Max AF, vsync off


Patch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Very High Quality, 8x AA

Far Cry 2

DirectX 10, Steam Version, in-game benchmark
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra High Quality, 8x AA

World in Conflict

Patch 1009, DirectX 10, timedemo
Test 1: High Details, No AA / No AF
Test 2: Very HighDetails 4x AA / 16x AF

Audio/Video Encoding


Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 min
Default format AAC

Lame MP3

Version: 3.98 Beta 3 (05-22-2007)
Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min
wave to MP3

TMPGEnc 4.5

Import File: Terminator 2 SE DVD (5 Minutes)
Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9

DivX 6.8.3

Encoding mode: Insane Quality
Enhanced multithreading enabled using SSE4
Quarter-pixel search

Xvid 1.1.3

Display encoding status = off

MainConcept Reference 1.5.1

MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 kbp/s), Mode: PAL (25 FPS)


Autodesk 3ds Max 9

Version: 9.0, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)

Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 8

Version: 8.0.134, Virus base: 270.4.5/1533, Benchmark: Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files

WinRAR 3.80

Version 3.70 BETA 8, WinZIP Commandline Version 2.3, Compression = Best, Dictionary = 4,096 KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)

WinZip 11

Version 11.2, Compression = Best, Benchmark: THG-Workload (139 MB)

Sythetic Benchmarks and Settings

3DMark Vantage

Version: 1.02, GPU and CPU scores

PCMark Vantage

Version: 1.00, System, Memory, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks, Windows Media Player

SiSoftware Sandra XII SP2

Version 2008.5.14.24, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark

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    snow cakes , 11 June 2009 03:43
    DFI tends to screw me over the past two times my Lanparty motherboards kept locking up at random times during computer ussage. If I had to buy a new motherboard I would look at the Asus over the DFI.