Asus P8Z77 WS Reviewccokeman -
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Testing this latest Z77-based board from ASUS will involve running the P8Z77 WS through OCC's test suite of benchmarks, which includes both synthetic benchmarks and real-world applications, to see how each of these products perform. The gaming tests will also consist of both synthetic benchmarks and actual gameplay, in which we can see if similarly prepared setups offer any performance advantages. The system will receive a fully updated, fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit edition, in addition to the latest drivers for each board and the latest AMD Catalyst drivers for the XFX HD 7970. To ensure as few variables as possible, all hardware will be tested at their stock speeds, timings, voltages, and latencies – unless otherwise stated. Turbo Boost is disabled to make a fair comparison without skewing results.
- Processors: Core i7 3770K
- CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H100
- Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77 WS
- Memory: Mushkin 993997 Redline PC317000 9-11-10-28 8GB
- Video Card: XFX HD 7970 Black Edition
- Power Supply: Corsair AX1200
- Hard Drive: Corsair Force GT 240GB
- Optical Drive: Lite-On Blu-Ray
- Case: Corsair Obsidian 650D
- USB 3.0 Dock: Thermaltake Black X 5G
- OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
- Asrock Z77 Extreme 4
When you get down to it ASUS has put together an excellent suite of tools to allow overclocking to become as simple as possible for the novice yet can get complex enough for the enthusiast; that is through the entire product stack. The ROG offerings get a little bit more in terms of memory tweaking but the P8Z77 WS has everything you need to get the most out of your CPU. Manual tweaking can be easy with the use of the Advanced section of the UEFI BIOS under the AI Tweaker section where the CPU and memory parameters and voltages can be applied.
My Core i7 37770K gets a little stubborn when you get up over 4.65GHz and will not go over 4.7GHz. At that level the vcore required 1.325 to 1.335v, which really heats up the CPU to the point the thermal load is not controlled with less than a full water cooling solution. On the P8Z77 WS I was able to pull a fairly decent 4.59GHz clock speed on the Core i7 3770K with over 2200MHz on the memory using just around 1.29v on the CPU and 1.67 on the memory. Both of the overclocks were stable in testing and prove that ASUS build quality carries over from the ROG to the workstation boards.
Manually tweaking the board is the way to get the most your CPU has to offer but not the only game in town. Using the TurboV EVO tool in ASUS AI Suite II allows the user to basically push a button in the AI Suite II GUI and have the system manage the CPU overclock via the CPU level up function applying a series of tweaks including voltage and bclock tuning to deliver a stable overclock. In the past this tool has been on the conservative side when it came to overclocks but through the past few launches has gotten a bit more aggressive. For my limited chip ASUS tool was able to pull a fully respectable 4429MHz with nothing more than pushing the button on the screen. Again in the past this tool would deliver the overclock but prove not 100% stable at the overclock set by the tool. What a change a few generatiosn makes as the 4.43GHz clock speed is fully stable at 1.26v.
Each CPU and motherboard has been tested for stability at the clock speeds listed when in an overclocked state. These clock speeds will be used to run the test suite and will show the performance increase over the stock settings in the overclocked scoring.
Scientific & Data:
- PCMark 7
- HD Tune 5.0
- AIDA64 2.50
- Sandra 2012 SP6
- HandBrake 9.8
- ProShow Gold
- ATTO 2.47
- DiRT 3
- Battlefield 3
- 3DMark 11