Now we are firing up some actual applications just to make sure all we just saw pertains to the real world. Starting with Excel 2007, we see a small variance in performance as some motherboards on average completed the large calculation in ~11.56 minutes, while others took almost 20 seconds longer.
The ECS P55H-A, DFI LanParty DK P55-T3eH9 and Gigabyte P55-UD6 stood out as the best performers, while surprisingly the Asus P7P55D Deluxe was the most sluggish.
Using WinRAR we measured the time it took to compress two different types of file archives. The large 720p HD file was compressed in 16.18 minutes using the Asrock P55 Extreme while the Gigabyte P55-UD6 took 36 seconds longer. While tangible, in absolute terms this 3.6% difference is still small between the fastest and the slowest tested motherboard.
The last application that we are testing with is Photoshop CS4, where we measured the time it took to apply two filters to a large resolution image. This time the Asus P7P55D Deluxe produced the best result taking 265 seconds, though it was a mere 5 second margin against the slowest result.