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ASUS M5A99X Evo AM3+

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by cadaveca, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Unfortunately, stuff like that really isn't going to save much time.

    So, like, i get a board, I open the package it comes in, and the box gets stuck in my photo box. I take pictures of the packaging, and the contents. I install CPU, memory, cooler, VGA, connect PSU, and then fire it up. I'll check temps, poke around with a multimeter to check voltages, then I install a fresh copy of windows.

    I then update windows, and install all the apps and games I use. Then I defrag.

    I'll pop off stock tests, capture software screens, after verifying stability. Then I go into the bios, take screenshots, and then I start clocking things up, with memory up first. Then I need to verify stability of the OC; fortunately because I've used my test CPUs alot, I know roughly where they should end up. Then i need to do OC tests. then I reset the BIOS using a CMOS clear, and re-run the stocks tests.

    As you said, I have to run these tests not only to be able to show numbers, but also to verify that things are working as they should be.

    Actually running tests takes very little time. Picture edits take very little time, maybe a couple of hours with graph generation. Maybe I need to go back and re-shoot a pic or two...but I can't tell with that until I get the pics online.

    So I get all the images online, then arrange them, then I write.

    I could do all of that in about three 8-hour days. But at the same time, I like to use the board for a couple of days at least, to get a good feel for it, look or any odd behavior, etc...

    I really have "streamlined" my testing "protocols".

    The CPU and memory tests are done because BIOS tweaks can affect things there. While all tests are going to have slight variations, because identical hardware is used each time, except for the CPU for the given platform, the tests should highlight any of these differences in the BIOS, which is part of the board. The tests I used have been used for years to make minute compares, besides the games, so the differences in results that are shown sometimes really aren't "statistical variations"...there's a real difference.
     
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  2. Halk New Member

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    Hmm. Ok. I'll take you at your word there then. I se your point as well, it doesn't take much more to do a couple of benchmarks when you have everything set up, that's right enough indeed.

    Perhaps steal a leaf from Wizzard's book and try for more metadata? Something I like in his reviews is performance per watt and performance per dollar. Those help you find the sweet spot on graphics cards - or at least see where your money is just being wasted.

    I don't suggest the same thing for motherboards... you'd need to work out how exactly to produce figures that are useful. But I don't think I'm alone in wondering how much difference spending 2+ x as much on a motherboard has on performance in terms of percentages.

    I'm also still very keen on direct comparisons between boards. For example on your latest Asus 9xx board review a section that listed just the differences between the two boards. E.g.

    - Lower power consumption
    - 2 extra USB2 ports
    - Additional overclocking headroom

    Etc.

    Again these are just ideas for discussion, I don't think I'm entirely certain about them - and I'm very aware that I don't want to sound ungrateful or offend you.
     
  3. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    No, this feedback is good!

    When it comes to motherboards, because so mcuh of the actual logic, other than I/O, is now integrated into the CPU, increases in price are directly related to the onboard components(which I take pics of), and included features, such as things like SLI and LUCID's Hydra/Virtu, all of which I do mention.

    one of the biggest time consumers is the OS install, and re-using an OS from a different board can lead to many issues, as was my displeasure to discover.

    I've been shooting video of the board booting, looking for a way to show is this has any impact, even, and in some instances, there is a slight difference, but actually presenting it in a way that shows that difference is really had, as soemtimes it's just fractions of a second.

    Quantifying features into cost isn't all that easy. I do know what are quality components, and what aren't, and I can mention this, but actualyl translating this to a number that the end user can make use of has presented another difficult situation...maybe one OEM buys 100x more fo the same component, and gets deal on them...

    I do make direct compares in the boards, via audio, and HDD performance, as well as software and BIOS. I show what you get in the box, and then I do show power consumption numbers for what the boarde pulls through the 8-pin. Then the data is presented in agraph, that shows the difference. UAdio data is one specific area I will be changing on upcoming reviews.

    The CPU and memory numbers are compared across all platforms, which doesn't really serve much purpose other than within platforms, as differences in CPU tech affect those numbers. I am hoping that over time, with enough reviews giving data, that we might see a trend between OEMs, regardless of paltform, but there just isn't enough data there at this point.
     
  4. Raphael New Member

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    Great reviews, for both the m5a97 evo and the m5a99x.
    I'm just going to use a single gpu setup, so my choice between the two should be easy, though one single thing (well, appart from the lower power consumtion in the 99x) swings my prefered choice to the €40ish more exspensive 99x board. But is it justified?
    According to the specs on Asus' site, the 97 has a system bus of up to 4.8 GT/s HyperTransport™ 3.0,whilst the 99x boasts speeds of up to 5.2 GT/s.
    So I wonder: do the (up to) 400 MT/s extra have a noticeable affect in, say, anything just above mainstream gaming, or is this kind of difference only really visible in synthetic benchmarking?

    Keep up the good work,
    R
     
  5. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    HT is the bus between the CPU and the 9XX chipset. I have yet to see much of any applications that actually benefit from such increases, except with some multi-GPU setups.
     
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  6. Halk New Member

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    Any more 9xx reviews coming soon?
     
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  7. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Hopefully soon!
     
  8. Raphael New Member

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    That's good to hear! It'll make the choice just that much easier to make.
    That'll just leave me to decide between the energy efficiency of the two boards...
    I'd imagine what the tests showed for cpu power draw would apply to every other component installed, yes? Hmm... a few W/h more on my energy bill or a saving of some € 40 now...
    ROFL, if I had exact numbers, I could calculate the time one would have to use a given setup with the 990x chipset board vs. the 970, but I guesstimate which board would be best for my needs / budget right now :D

    Thanks a bunch!
    R
     
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  9. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Just don't forget that variations in parts could also lead to a M5A97 EVO having the smae power consumption. It's not like there was a huge, drastic difference, to me. I do use non-typical loads in an effort to stress the VRM.
     
  10. Raphael New Member

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    Oh, aye, I agree with you that's it not a drastic difference, but the 16% difference under full load with EPU on - (20 / 123) * 100% = 16,ish % - made me pause and wonder about the payback-ratio (the time it takes an investment to 'pay itself back'), and even under full load, 24/7 running, I estimated the ratio would be longer than it's (economical) lifetime.
    So I'll go with the M5A97 EVO and the extra few W/h will show on my electricity bill, and a few extra is no biggie: it's charged per kW/h ;)
     
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  11. Sir B. Fannybottom

    Sir B. Fannybottom

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    cadaveca, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PUT A CUSTOM TITLE!
     
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  12. Halk New Member

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    If it's any help I was calculating roughly the other day that 1W is about £1 per year at UK electricity costs. That's based on about 12.5p per unit - I don't know how much Americans pay, but if it's roughly that then you can translate that to dollars.

    So 20W more efficient is £20 per year - or £40 if you assume 2 years life from it.

    But if that's under load and the difference is at idle then it's much much smaller.

    Cadaveca - there's a nice article for you to do if you fancy it. Investigate possible power savings, and efficiencies based on enabling things like C&Q, and using efficient parts where possible..... but still with the same amount of thump available. A lot of work though!
     
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  13. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    To be honest, I could do more reviews/articles, but it's really a lack of hardware that prevents me from doing more, as well as time.

    I'm working on updating the test rig, and what I want to do is gonna cost a fair bit. I've given some products away, but still have a couple of P67/Z68/9-series boards to redo the HDD testing with, and I'm gonna put a bit more info into the overclocking, adding in OC power consumption, and OC efficiency.

    I'd like more rams to check compaitbility issues, and more VGAs to load the boards up. I'd eventually liek to directly compare multi-GPU supporting boards with multiple GPUs, and those that only have one x16 slot with others with jsut one, in order to directly compare and benfits in BIOS to 3D efficiency.

    I've had alot of requests for some of the higher-end boards too.
     
  14. Raphael New Member

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    Halk, thanks for your 2cts., but are you sure about your calculations?
    I don't know the going rates in the US either, seeing I'm from the Netherlands (howdie, neighbour! ;) ), but the going rate for me is about € 0,22 _per unit_.
    To check, I took out the bill I got over last years use (1626kWh (not kW/h,... I always get the 2 mixed up)) at the rate of the 22 eurocents mentioned.
    I do believe you made a slight mistake in the calculation you made. The unit by which dutch companies charge is 1 kWh. A rise in 20 Wh (or 0,02 kWh) does not seem to rime with your 1W = 1 Gbp...
    Argh, I thought I had it all figured out and now I'm doubting again, lol! I'm even doubting the unit they use: kWh... kW/h seems to make much more sense!!!!
    Just ignore the last bit; just the ramblings of a madman ;)
     
  15. Halk New Member

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    My calculation is as follows.

    12.5p per unit for electricity - this is approx what I pay.
    1watt running for one year is 1*24*365=8760 watt hours. Kilowatt hours is 8.76, and at 12.5p it comes out at £1.095.
     
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  16. Raphael New Member

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    Aye, it makes sense. If I ran what I'm planning to be my gaming rig 24/7, for more than 2 years full load, it might be wise to consider the M5A99X Evo (which I still do, btw: the 4 sata on the 970 chipset will do, but I'll use them all, so no room for possible apgrades).
    I didn't metion as much in my conclusion, but since it'll be my gaming rig, so even taking an unrealistic estimate of 8h a day, the 970 would be the cheaper investment for a (lsight) enthousiast like me,... Except if I'd use it as a gaming rig board for more than 5 years, which I doubt with my starting-to-seem-like-hardware-addiction :p
    Actually, the main reason I'm thinking of upgrading my gaming kit is because my HTPC upgrade I made this year (Core i3-2100T) in all but some ways beats the Athlon II 250 I have for my gaming. I've checked with my HD5750 stuck to the lga155 board, and it equals the Athlon setup in all save in the memory department.
    I'm starting to be too much of a harwareophile to let a thing like that happen, So hence my desire for a new board, and a Phenom to begin with.

    Thanks for your thoughts and ari verdeci,
    R
     
  17. DeerSteak New Member

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    With my M5A97 EVO, I'm finding there's so much in the menu that can affect power consumption without ever touching base voltage values, and alot of it I don't even know what it does. I just know that the BIOS says "this will help stability when overclocking" and apparently ti's right - 4GHz on my Phenom II was not possible on my K9A2-CF, even with a higher CPU voltage. I can "get by" on 1.45v on the ASUS where the MSI wasn't stable even with 1.5v. And all of that will affect power consumption. Exactly how much I don't know, I don't have anything beyond my kill-a-watt, which shows an 8-10W difference between high efficiency and high performance.
     
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  18. Ren7on

    Ren7on New Member

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    First of all: Great review.

    I just bought the M5A99X today and I was amazed with the amount of options for setup and OC. The BIOS is simply outstanding. I have it paired with a 1055T (now at 3.6GHz), G.Skill 2x4GB 1600 CL9 (1766MHz), MSI GTX 560Ti TFII (925/1100), X-Fi Fatal1ty and a CoolIt ECO ALC.

    I bought this mother mostly because I found someone to sell my old one (M4A785G-V EVO), to be ready for the future Zambezi X8 and to have the option to put another 560. This last thing is wich ultimately let me decide for the 990X over the 970 chipset.:roll:

    If anyone else is thinking about buying this baby, stop thinking about it and just do it.:rockout:
     
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  19. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    I agree, ASUS really knocked it out of the park with this series.
     
  20. Athlonite

    Athlonite

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    The only thing I can see that lets this mobo down is the x8x8x4 PCIe I would have prefered 2 x16x16 slots and 1 or 2 x1 slots and 1 PCI slot over the x8x8x4 limited tri/sli/CF config this offers
     
  21. ioni31 New Member

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    Hello,
    I intend to buy this mainboard M5A99X EVO but I'm not sure if using a single PCi Express video card, it will work at 16X or 8X?
    In the future I will not use a SLI or a crossfire video cards. Would you recommend me in this case buying the model M5A97 istead? (sorry for my english).
    Cheers.
     
  22. Neo4

    Neo4 New Member

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    The board has SLI and CrossfireX capability at X16 for a single card or X8 X8 for dual. It's a great board.
     
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  23. Mordecai Walfish New Member

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    I know this is a bit necro but I just read the review and then the comments and would like to agree with Neo4 at the end here..

    There truly is *very* little difference between PCI-e x16 in both slots for SLI/CF or having x8 in both slots while in SLI. Look it up, I cant find the link off hand but tests of this have proven that this difference is minimal, and I sure as heck would prefer x8 in both slots to a x16/x4 setup.
     
  24. okto New Member

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    power/reset onboard

    hello,
    i know its kinda old thread/review (i get the old thread warning)
    but i think it doesn matter,
    the 990x suit me, but i cant find the onboard power/reset button (i just looking at the picture)
    is there power/reset button onboard?

    because my old case is like test rack transparant case (so theres no front pannel and other things)
    its little bit troublesome if theres no onboard power/reset button,

    sorry for my bad english i hope you got the point
     
  25. Athlonite

    Athlonite

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    No there isn't an onboard Power/reset button this isn't an High end Asus mobo so little things like that get left out in order to save the punter money
     

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