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Z68 Motherboard Roundup

gotdamojo06    -   September 25, 2011
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Testing:

Testing this group of Z68-based motherboards will include running them through the OCC test suite of benchmarks that include both synthetic benchmarks and real world applications to see how each of these boards perform. The gaming tests will also include a couple of synthetic benchmarks and actual gameplay to see if similarly prepared setups offer any performance advantages. Each board received a fully updated fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit edition and used the latest drivers for each board and the latest AMD Catayst drivers for the HD 5870.

Testing Setup: Intel Core i5/i7 Socket 1155


 

Comparison Boards:

  • ASRock Z68 Fatal1ty
  • ASUS P8Z68-V
  • ASUS P8Z68-V PRO
  • ASUS P8X68 Deluxe

Overclocking:

 

Overclocked Settings:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 2600K at 98.7 x 48 = 4738MHz
  • Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Fatal1ty

Overclocking on the ASRock board was quite simple. As soon as I was able to ensure that the Turbo Boost was disabled so that I could keep a stable multiplier, I was able to slowly increase the multiplier up by 1x every step and test for stability. On the ASRock board, it seemed like it was much easier to get a stable overclock with the bClK set under 100, so I ended up with settings of 98.7 x 48, which gave me a clock speed of 4738MHz.

 

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 2600K at 101.1 x 47 =4753 MHz
  • Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V

The ASUS P8Z68-V board was a little bit easier to overclock than the ASRock board was once I got the settings in the BIOS set for "higher" clock speeds. In the BIOS, I ended up setting the VRM Frequency to 350 instead of the stock 300 and Phase/Duty Controls to Extreme, which allowed for lower voltages and allowed me to get the bCLK up to 101.7 with a 47 multiplier, giving me a final clock speed of 4753MHz. Fine tuning the overclock was able to be done through the ASUS TurboV utility, which makes things a lot easier when you are trying to fine tune an overclock, as you don't need to jump out of Windows and get right back into the BIOS to change a few settings, such as your vCore, bCLK, or Multiplier.

 

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 2600K at 101.3 x 47 = 4760MHz
  • Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO

Overclocking on the ASUS P8Z68-V PRO motherboard was very similar to the ASUS P8Z68-V board, as it should be. There was not many differences between the two boards, however I was able to get a little bit higher overclock than I was with the previous board. I was able to set the board at 101.3 x 47, which gave me a final clock speed of 4760MHz. Once again, I was able to fine tune through the ASUS TurboV utility.

 

 

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 2600K at 103 x 47 = 4842MHz
  • Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68 DELUXE

Overclocking the Deluxe was again more of the same when it comes to overclocking on the Sandybridge platform. The limited bclock tuning means that an unlocked K-SKU processor is needed to really see a nice boost in performance. Finding the bclock limit for the chip and board combo means bumping up and applying the bclock increase, then rebooting to see if it POSTs, much like any other system. However, you get to the failure point much sooner, as most 2600SKU chips are going to scale between 103 to 106MHz, and 103 is where I ran into POST failure issues. Finding the bclock limit was easy and you use almost the same process to find the multiplier limit. The end result of the bclock and multiplier tuning was 4842MHz, or 103 x 47. The uEFI bios makes navigating to the correct settings an easy point-and-select process. Tweaking the BIOS is not the only way to overclock with these ASUS boards. Asus TurboV software can be used both manually and in "automatic mode". The one caveat is that with a CPU that needs to have the internal PLL overide voltage applied, the limit will be whatever multiplier and clock speed the chip can run without the internal PLL voltage applied, which in this case was 4400MHz. Even so, the flexibility is there to overclock via the BIOS for the traditionalist or from within the operating system environment. The choice is yours.

 

 

 

Benchmarks:

  • Scientific & Data:
  1. Apophysis
  2. WinRAR
  3. Geekbench
  4. Bibble 5
  5. Office 2007
  6. POV Ray 3.7
  7. Sandra XII
  8. ScienceMark 2.02
  9. Cinebench 10
  10. Cinebench 11.5
  11. HDTune 4.60
  12. MediaEspresso
  13. PCMark 7
  • Video:
  1. Aliens vs. Predator
  2. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  3. Civilization V
  4. 3DMark 11
  5. Lucid Virtu



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