ASUS Z87-Plus ReviewBluePanda - July 7, 2013
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ASUS Z87-Plus Testing:
Testing ASUS's Z87-Plus 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 AMD Catalyst 13.6 drivers for the XFX HD 7970. 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: Thermaltake Water 2.0 Extreme
- Motherboard: ASUS Z87-Plus
- Memory: Mushkin 993997 Redline PC317000 9-11-10-28 16GB
- Video Card: XFX HD 7970 Black Edition
- Power Supply: CM Silent Pro Hybrid RS-850
- Hard Drive: Corsair Force GT 240GB SATA 3
- Optical Drive: N/A
- Case: Corsair Obsidian 650D
- OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Overclocking with the ASUS Z87-Plus board wasn't too difficult at all. Having a new chip with no known "max" OC was rather quick to find its limits with the board. As always, I try for my high hopes and attempted a 4.8GHz boot. That didn't happen; 4.7GHz however, at least posted and made it to Windows before shortly failing through a run of IBT. Wiggling some settings and setting the voltage up to 1.3V finally got me to a very sound and stable maximum overclock of 4.6GHz. Any bit more and I would quickly find it throttling under the stress of higher temperatures. Sure it is lower than the the other max OCs on the chart, but you must remember that this is a different sample than the others it is compared to; thus, the maximum OC it may ever get on any board, stable, may be this same 4.6GHz. This won't be known until the next board comes along, so don't feel the ASUS Z87-Plus isn't good enough just yet.
So for your benefit (after you've looked at the BIOS page), overclocking wasn't too complicated; it consisted of adjusting the core clock ratio up to a final 46 and increasing the stock CPU voltage to 1.3V. The memory was quite content with no need for extra voltage on the XMP profile for 2133MHz. All in all a very easy and somewhat fast jump from stock to the maximum stable overclock with very few settings needing adjustment.
Maximum Core Clock Speed:
Each CPU has been tested for stability at the listed over-clocked speeds. These clock speeds will represent the level of performance shown by the overclocked scores in the testing.
- Scientific & Data:
- PCMark 7
- SiSoft Sandra 2013
- Cinebench 11.5
- X.264 5.1
- AIDA 64 3.00
- Crystal Diskmark
- Rightmark Audio Analyzer
- Metro: Last Light
- DiRT 3