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ECS Z97-MACHINE Review

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ECS Z97-MACHINE Testing:

Testing the ECS Z97-MACHINE motherboard will involve running it and its comparison products through OCC's test suite of benchmarks, which include both synthetic benchmarks and real-world applications. The gaming tests will also consist of both synthetic benchmarks and actual game play, 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 chipset drivers for each board and GeForce drivers for the GTX 770 . 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 will be left on so that differences in the boards boost characteristics can be observed. After stock speed testing, each board will then be overclocked to a level that the chip and memory can run while still maintaining full stability.

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Motherboard:

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

  • Processor: Intel 4770K 44x100MHz 4400MHz
  • Memory: 2400MHz

 

As always, moving on to the overclocking section is fun. While I don't have a great 4770K to test with (the highest I ever get seems to be 4.4GHz regardless of the board) the ECS Z97-MACHINE managed to max my highest overclock and I literally had to change two settings to get there. The voltage offset for the CPU was set to +100 mV and the CPU ratio was cranked to 44. Bam! 4.4GHz rock solid in every test I could think of. I did try to push for 4.5GHz but this poor chip just fails at the silicon lottery.

Because overclocking was so simple I was hoping for pushing the CPU a little further, but no amount of tweaking would get it to reliably run at full load at 4.5GHz even when cranking back the memory speed. Oh, did I not mention that? The XMP timings were 100% stable even at 4.4 GHz. Quite impressive for an inexpensive 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 7
  2. SiSoft Sandra 2014
  3. Cinebench 11.5
  4. X.264 5.1
  5. AIDA 64 3.00
  6. CrystalDiskMark
  7. ATTO 2.47
  8. iPerf
  9. RightMark Audio Analyzer
  • Gaming:
  1. 3DMark
  2. DiRT 3
  3. Metro: Last Light



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