MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt Motherboard Review
Multimedia and System Benchmark Testing
Handbrake was used to convert an uncompressed version of the Iron Man Blu-ray movie in MKV format to a compressed 720P MP4 format. The Iron Man MKV file was ripped from the Blu-ray disc with the file size for the uncompressed media coming in at 26 GB. Handbrake was run with default settings enforced with the exception of Anamorphic set to Loose and Video width set to 1280. This test was repeated three times with the lowest repeatable conversion time recorded.
Given the fact that video encoding is one of the more system intensive operations, good performance in this benchmark can be indicative of overall board health. The Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt does not disappoint with its performance matching that of the other board.
Maxon Cinebench 11.5
Maxon’s Cinebench 11.5 benchmark can be used determine a system's ability to render 3D content based on their Cinema 4D animation software. The CPU benchmark test was run three times, with the highest reproducible Cinebench points score recorded.
The Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt continues to show strong performance against the competition.
Tech ARP x264 HD Benchmark
Tech ARP's x264 HD benchmark can be used to determine how fast the system can encode a 1080p type video clip to an x264-type format. The benchmark test was run three times, with the highest reproducible FPS (Frames per second) score recorded.
Yet again, the Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt manages to stick close to it competitor for another strong performance showing.
PCMark 7 Professional
FutureMark Corporation’s PCMark 7 can be used to reliably ascertain a given system’s performance in a Windows 7-based non-gaming type use environment. The professional version of the benchmark test was run three times, with the highest reproducible PCMark scores recorded.
While its performance remained strong, the Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt seemed to lag its competitor in this business app centered benchmark by almost 5% in all tests.
FutureMark Corporation’s Peacekeeper browser-based online test can be used to determine system performance for web sites and web-based content. Using a Firefox browser, the benchmark test was run three times, with the highest reproducible Peacekeeper score recorded.
The Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt decimates the competition coming in at over 20% faster than the other Intel Z77-based solution.