Hard Disk I/O Says What?
I wanted to go over the hard drive I/O tests we used in the AMD platform showdown, as something is amiss with the results posted by the MA790FXT-UD5P. Basically, we were getting negative performance gains when moving from the older Spider Platform to the newer Dragon Reloaded platform. Even the mid range entry level Dragon platform even performed better which definitely isn't right as logic would dictate newer is faster and better.
In order to see if the Dragon Reloaded would vindicate itself, we fired up the WD Velociraptor again and redid all the tests just to make sure.
As shown in the PCMark Vantage scores, when compared to its predecessors there is a noticeable downward trend in scoring. One would think the numbers should trend downwards with the Phenom II X3, and spike back up when the Phenom II X4 is used. The X4 does have one more core and a lot higher clock speed. However we see the Phenom II and the motherboard it's married to showing a rather uninspired performance.
From PCMark we moved over to SiSoft Sandra to get some raw performance numbers. Running the Physical Disks test we see that there is a decent performance drop between the platform the MA790FXT-UD5P is used in and the Asus based Phenom II X3 platform, to the tune of a 7% drop. Though that may not sound dire, it shouldn't be at all. Performance should be at least equivalent to the lower powered motherboard/CPU combo, and better then the 1.5 year old platform.
While the transfer speeds we're suspect, we still managed to post the fastest access time I've seen in a while with the GIGABYTE MA790FXT-UD5P. I should reiterate again that all these tests were performed using the same WD Velociraptor hard drive. We even performed the tests multiple times to make sure there wasn't any weird glitches caused by the OS.
Hopefully these performance anomalies are a result of something easily fixed like a BIOS update or drivers. We used the latest of both at the time of testing and they remain unchanged between the launch of this article and the last one. We'll have to see how the numbers stack up when we review more AM3 based motherboards. I promise you, we have more AM3 boards coming up so don't you worry!