ASUS Maximus III Extreme 1156 Motherboard
Published: 19th February 2010 | Source: ASUS | Price: around £250 |
3D and Gaming Benchmarks
Firstly welcome to the audience who've skipped straight to this page. You've confused this with a graphics card review. Please return to page one and come back when you've caught up.
For the rest of us, now is the time to see if those synthetic and utility benchmarks give us anything meaningful in gaming terms. For the games themselves as always we're running at the maximum possible settings allowed within the game. Anti-aliasing is noted when applied. Because this isn't a review of graphical prowess and we wanted to ensure we didn't become, however unlikely, GPU limited, we've run the tests today at 1680x1050. Still plenty of resolution to give a stiff workout and something that many people are likely to play at.
3D Mark Vantage
3D Mark Vantage is a strange beast. Despite clearly being able to detect and test the CPU, as you can see from the results below it's almost entirely graphics limited. Anyway, we have tested firstly the P score, which is the standard test. Hugely disappointing. A 1280x1024 test most definitely wont stress the GTX275 and so large gains should be seen from the copious overclock. Sure the CPU score was massive, but the P-Score itself stayed the same.
As the results for the P-Score were, disappointing, we decided to run the High test to see if the extra stress applied to the entire system might help the overclock to stretch its legs despite the likely-hood of being GPU limited. And it didn't. Hmmm. Chalk this one up on the strange pile.
Although usurped in the graphical stakes by more recent titles, Warhead is still an absolute crippler on a system thanks to some overambitious coding. Following our results in the 3DM Vantage test in which the biggest improvement was found at the High level, the bench runs were performed at Enthusiast settings, but naturally without anti-aliasing. A fairly linear graph is produced in which clock speed gains frames. Just like it should. Quite what Vantage was playing at we might never know.
Dirt 2 is the latest in the line of great racing games Codies have been putting out since GRiD. A great career mode, and some truly great graphics and a engine that remains playable on even modest rigs, should perform well on this spec. However in previous tests its console roots shine through and it didn't make much difference what we threw at it, it just kept on churning out results in a fairly linear fashion. Sure there are a couple of FPS to be had, and the overclock that we used was bulletproof. Just not quite the response you'd expect from an extra 1GHz of power pushing the data around.
Modern Warfare 2
MW2 shows a marked improvement over Dirt 2 terms of scaleability. Consider the furore that greeted it upon release as a dumbed-down console port it's good to see that having a nice bit of hardware driving you makes a lot of difference. An 80 frame minimum 4xAA on a stock Quad is impressive.
Time to wrap up all this with our conclusion.