We measured network controller performance using the Microsoft application, NTttcp. We took readings of maximum speeds as well as processor usage. Gigabyte and MSI use a Realtek controller, ASRock a Broadcom and Asus uses an Intel. Which does best?
Hold the mouse over the graph to view processor times.
Fairly amusingly, the Realtek controllers do best on sending and the Intel does best on receiving. Only the Broadcom hasn’t made any progress in this test. In terms of CPU usage, the mobo with the Intel controller has a small advantage, but in the context of multicore CPUs, this isn’t necessarily an issue.
We used RightMark Audio Analyzer to measure analogue audio quality (the signal is identical in digital via the S/PDIF out). We used the loopback mode which uses both the analogue line-in and line-out on the motherboard. Realtek is the manufacturer’s preferred choice with two separate models, the ALC889 and the ALC892. While the 892 is used by three of our motherboard manufacturers, Gigabyte has opted for the 889. This is an older model, but does it have lower performance? Not really if we look at the specs:
Not all the differences in spec necessarily come into play. For example, there’s no S/PDIF in on the Gigabyte mobo, even though the chip supports it. The signal/noise ratio differences between the two chips is however significant.
Hold the mouse over the table to view results at 24 bit/192 kHz.
In effect, the ALC889 stands out in respect of noise, which is a positive in terms of Gigabyte's choice.