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 comparison, nearly every platform on the market is very close to one another. Most platforms provide external drive controllers which means the numbers offered are very much 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 with each board employing a different 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 to audio performance.
We've tested each drive interface separately in order to provide the most complete numbers possible. Employing HDTune Pro for all of the testing, we tested each drive outside of the OS environment using a separate OS on a separate drive. However, we do use drives with a fair amount of data on them (60% full) to simulate performance in real-world situations.
HDTune Pro (SATA2)
In HDTune Pro SATA 3 Gb/s performance, we found the Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 TH to perform fairly well, faster than the Gigabyte G.1 Sniper M3, and ASUS P8Z77-V. It's still fairly low on the graph though.
HDTune Pro (SATA 6Gb/s)
SATA 6 Gb/s showed a slightly similar picture, with the Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 TH beating out three other Intel Z77 Express-based products and the ultra-affordable B75M-D3H.
HDTune Pro (USB3.0)
USB 3.0 drive performance tests are done using the same Corsair F60 drive used to test SATA 3 Gb/s performance, and here we got very similar results, with the Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 TH sitting right in the lower-end of the graph.
RightMark Audio Analyzer
Audio testing on the Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 TH was great fun, as the Z77X-UP5 TH is quite nearly the very best ever. Very rarely have I seen RightMark Audio Analyzer score an on-board solution so well, but since I had spent time before running this test gaming and listening to music, I knew well ahead of time that this ALC898 design may just be the best ever using that CODEC. RMAA rates it as "Very Good", and there couldn't be a more honest assessment.