ATTO Disk Benchmark
The ATTO disk benchmark is a Windows-based utility for testing storage performance of any storage drive or controller. We use the default benchmark setup.
M.2 PCIe Performance
For M.2 testing we use a Toshiba OCZ RD400 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD.
Peak M.2 performance does not vary much at all between motherboards but the role of thermal throttling has a significant impact on the consistency of that performance. The above screenshots show the M.2 performance with no additional M.2 cooling (left) and a fan blowing over the M.2 drive area (right). ASUS needs to work on a method for preventing thermal throttling in the M.2 slot since it is an enclosed space that has low airflow.
We test USB 3.0 and 3.1 performance using a pair of Transcend SSD370S 512GB SSDs in RAID 0 connected to an Icy Box RD2253-U31 2-bay USB 3.1 enclosure powered by an ASMedia ASM1352R controller.
USB 3.0 and 3.1 performance was as expected for the controllers used, Z270 for USB 3.0 and ASM2142 for USB 3.1.
SATA 6Gbps Performance
For SATA 6Gbps testing we use an OCZ Trion 150 480GB SSD.
SATA performance conformed to expectations for the chipset and also matches previous Z170 results KitGuru has recorded.
Rightmark Audio Analyser is a freeware benchmarking utility designed to objectively test the performance characteristics of audio solutions. We setup a line-in line-out loop and execute the record/playback test before generating the results report you see below. A sampling mode of 24-bit, 192 kHz was tested.
Audio performance has shown a decent incremental improvement over previous-generation Z170 motherboards using the Realtek ALC1150 codec, such as the Z170 Pro Gaming AURA. The new Realtek ALC1220 codec used with the Maximus IX Formula delivers improvements in Noise Level, Dynamic Range and Total Harmonic Distortion.
In real-world testing there is less difference to speak of between ALC1150 and ALC1220 but ASUS performs strongly in other aspects of audio such as with companion software, jack detection and headphone amplification.
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