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ASUS ROG Maximus IX Formula Review

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ASUS ROG Maximus IX Formula Testing:

Testing this new platform will involve running it 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 10 Professional 64-bit edition, in addition to the latest drivers for each board and NVIDIA drivers for the NVIDIA GTX 1080. In the past we had locked the clock speed on the processor to eliminate any easily controlled variables due to processor speed. However, there is a difference in how each manufacturer handles the CPU default and boost speeds, creating opportunity for one board to deliver a higher level of performance. This variable is a point of difference between boards. The majority of users will run the stock settings, making this point a valid concern, so we are changing up the test methods to capture this difference.

Testing Setup: Intel Z270

 

Testing Setup: Intel Z170

 

 

Comparison Motherboard:

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

 

Overclocking Intel's latest core architecture, when you get down to it, is much the same as what we have seen since Sandy Bridge, however there are some new wrinkles to get the most of the processor and Z270 platform. One of the key differences between the 7700K and 2600K is that generating a 5GHz overclock that you can use day in and day out without having to use a full on custom water loop is much closer to reality as we see with this chip board combination. ASUS ups the ante by giving the user a wealth of overclocking options that you can employ to get the most out of your system. Architecturally, the 7700K  and Z270-based motherboards allow the user to set up an AVX offset multiplier that actually reduces the core clock speed ratio by a user defined amount when an AVX based load is detected. Using this method allows you to use a higher core clock multiplier for lighter loads and backing off a bit when you throw a heavy AVX load into the equation.

Basically, you get snappier performance all the time. But again ASUS ups its game to add in a feature called CPU Overclocking Temperature Control when you manually apply the 5GHz overclock setting in the Overclocking presets along with a manually applied CPU core/cache voltage. By setting up a predetermined ratio and voltage you can drop the clock speed and voltage to cool the CPU down at a controlled clock speed versus a thermal limit set with a drastic reduction in performance until the CPU cools down. Using this tool will give you a higher level of performance once you hit your user applied limits.

Manually cranking up the clock speed is one way to improve performance when overclocking. It will usually net you the highest clock speed and best performance overall if you take the time to test and tune. I found my best combination of clock speed and voltage at 5GHz on the core using an applied 1.36v in the BIOS, 4589MHz on the ring bus, and 3671MHz on the memory. I reached these clock speeds by setting the bclock to 102MHz with a core clock multiplier of 49. That being said, using ASUS tools I was still able to hit 5GHz on the core, while the memory and ring bus speeds were set lower. Using the 5GHz Overclock setting in the BIOS worked well and provided a stable 5GHz overclock. Using the TPU tool in ASUS AI Suite III did just as well as when using the F11 option in the BIOS. The key here is that even a novice can get a big clock speed, as long as their hardware is up to the task!

 

 

 

 

Maximum Core Clock Speed:

Each CPU has been tested for stability at the listed overclocked speeds. These clock speeds will represent the level of performance shown by the overclocked scores in the testing.

 

 

Benchmarks:

  • Scientific & Data:
  1. PCMark 8
  2. SiSoft Sandra 2016
  3. Cinebench R15
  4. HW.bot X265 Benchmark
  5. AIDA64
  6. CrystalDiskMark
  7. ATTO
  8. iPerf
  9. Rightmark Audio Analyzer
  • Gaming:
  1. 3DMark
  2. Tom Clancy's The Division
  3. Hitman 2016



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