Drive and Audio Performance ResultsOur drive and audio testing differs a bit from the rest of our testing for several reasons. First of all, when it comes to drive performance comparisons, nearly every platform on the market is very close to one another, as most do provide external drive-controllers which make the numbers offered very platform agnostic. And finally, with audio, we do not list any numbers except for those reported by the product we are testing in order to provide the most information possible, as each audio CODEC will behave quite differently, and each board does not employ the same CODEC. As such, there is no standard we can use other than the numbers themselves. You can always check our other motherboard reviews in order to make direct comparisons in audio performance.
We tested each drive interface separately in order to provide the most complete numbers possible. Employing HDTune Pro for all of the testing, I tested each drive outside of the OS environment using a separate OS on a separate drive. However, I do use drives with a fair amount of data on the Corsair ForceGT (60% full) to simulate performance in real-world situations, and I also use the same drive to test all interfaces.
HDTune Pro (SATA 6Gb/s)
I was only able to test SATA 6 GB/s connectors since the AMD FM2 platform doesn't have any SATA 3 Gb/s connectors. SATA performance left something to be desired until the Catalyst 12.10 driver release, but AMD let me know that a driver was in the works some time ago, so I delayed my testing until that driver went public. Now that it's here, we see AMD take the top spot in SATA 6 Gb/s performance. Nice job, AMD!!
HDTune Pro (USB3.0)
USB 3.0 driver performance was just as good and took second spot. I find it ironic that the only result to beat out the Gigabyte F2A85X-UP4 was yet another Gigabyte product. Seems like they chose the right USB 3.0 controller!
RightMark Audio Analyzer
Audio testing with RightMark Audio Analyzer provided pretty good numbers for the Gigabyte F2A85X-UP4. It rated the audio given by the onboard Realtek CODEC as "Good" and gave a couple sections a "Very Good" rating. I guess an ALC898 wasn't really needed!