ASUS ROG Maximus VII Hero Reviewccokeman -
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ASUS ROG Maximus VII Hero Testing:
Testing the ASUS ROG Maximus VII Hero motherboard 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 7 Professional 64-bit edition, in addition to the latest drivers for each board and NVIDIA drivers for the NVIDIA GTX 770. 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: Socket 1150
- Processors: Intel Fourth Generation Core i7 4770K
- CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H100 and Custom water cooling
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus VII Hero
- Memory: Patriot Viper 3 2400MHz
- Video Card: NVIDIA GTX 770
- Power Supply: Thermaltake Smart 750W
- Hard Drive: Corsair Force GT 240GB SATA 3
- External Drive Housing: Thermaltake BlacX 5G
- Optical Drive: Lite-On Blu-Ray
- Case: Corsair Obsidian 650D
- OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Overclocking the Core i7 4770K is akin at times to pulling your teeth out due to the thermal limits that get reached pretty quickly when applying voltage to the core and IVR. Couple that with the strength of the memory controller as CPU clock speed increases, you play a balancing act to get the highest level of performance. ASUS takes all these variables into account based on its testing history with the architecture to deliver good, solid overclocking using its tools. To start with, the 5-Way optimization tool in AI Suite will give you a good solid 4.2GHz clock speed with nothing other than clicking the radio button in the software. It's just that easy.
Overclocking through the BIOS using the EZ Tuning feature is just as easy and resulted in a clock speed of 4.58GHz; almost what my chip can do with some manual tuning. All it takes is the end user answering a few questions about the intended usage, the cooling, and a minute to run through the algorithms and tune the system. Presto chango, you get a clock that gets you close to the maximum your chip can handle. But wait, there's more! ASUS gives you one more place to overclock your CPU, with a series of profiles that range from 4.2GHz to 4.6GHz under the CPU Level Up button in the BIOS, in the Extreme Tweaker section of the Advanced menu. All those options are pretty solid, but we want to manually tune the system to get the best performance from the installed hardware. I know where my chip will and will not run and I was able to push it to 4645MHz, tuning the CPU voltage, cache voltage, DRAM voltage, and CPU voltage LLC. All the rest of the system settings were left at auto. They are just that good for the majority of users.
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 over-clocked scores in the testing.
- Scientific & Data:
- PCMark 7
- SiSoft Sandra 2013
- Cinebench 11.5
- X.264 5.1
- AIDA 64 3.00
- Crystal Disk Mark
- ATTO 2.47
- Rightmark Audio Analyzer
- DiRT 3
- Metro: Last Light