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ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Hero Review

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ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Hero 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 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: Intel Socket 1151

 

Testing Setup: Intel Socket 1150

 

Comparison Motherboard:

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

 

Much like I saw with the MSI Z170A Gaming M7, there are a myriad of options available to the end user when it comes to overclocking your Skylake processor. In this case I am beating on an Intel Core i7 6700K. ASUS makes it easy for the end user looking for a robust overclock that really takes little more than answering a couple questions when you overclock using the ASUS EZ Tuning Wizard by Pressing F11 while in the UEFI BIOS. Using this option will give you a stable overclock that helps improve system performance since clock speed is usually king when it comes to some benchmarks. However, you can get a more robust overclock by using the 5-Way optimization tool in ASUS' AI Suite III software suite.

Using the EZ Tuning Wizard, the board sets a modest 4.67GHz overclock, keeping the Cache ratio in the 42 range and the memory in the 2200MHz range. Doing nothing more than answering questions about the intended use and your cooling solution, this option takes about 15 seconds if you move quickly through the menu. Following a reboot, you should have a solid overclock that will maximize system performance for very little of your time. By using the 5-Way optimization tool in ASUS' AI Suite III, you not only boost up the clock speed, but you optimize the fan speeds to get the best mix between fan speed, noise, and cooling performance. Using this tool, ASUS' options deliver a 4.9GHz clock speed, a bit much for my chip to handle with a reasonable amount of voltage, but by dropping the multiplier down to 48 it was good to go.

Manual tuning allows for tweaking all of the available options in the UEFI BIOS, but when you don't have to, it's a moot point. That being said, the options are there and I could not improve much over the settings used by the 5-Way tool. I could tweak the voltages and memory timings to gain a little more performance at lower voltages, but that was about as much as I could do. Another area you can use to massage performance is in the BIOS under the Extreme Tweaker Menu. There is an option called Overclocking presets that lists a few profiles that you can take advantage of for either Bclock or DRAM overclocking. Trying out the 340 Bclock preset, I found that it would indeed boot up and run with the memory speed and overall core clock speed reduced, but with the actual Bclock at 340MHz that shows you can tweak the Bclock to a pretty high level.

Unfortunately I was not able to boost the multiplier any higher, so the clock speed using the 340MHz Bclock preset was 2.7GHz on the CPU and 2700+MHz for the memory. By using any one of these options ASUS delivers a robust level of overclocking on this board.

 

 

 

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 2014
  3. Cinebench R15
  4. X.264 5.1
  5. AIDA64 3.00
  6. CrystalDiskMark
  7. ATTO 2.47
  8. iPerf
  9. Rightmark Audio Analyzer
  • Gaming:
  1. 3DMark
  2. Batman: Arkham Origins
  3. Metro: Last Light



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