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Asrock z87 OC Formula Release Date

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June 12, 2013 4:25:59 PM

When are the Asrock z87 OC Formula boards supposed to be available at US online retailers?
a c 75 V Motherboard
June 12, 2013 5:59:53 PM

they should come by july or so. but to be honest, there are cheaper boards that perform the same if not better such as the z87x-ud3h from gigabyte
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June 12, 2013 6:08:35 PM

I was going to take advantage of the watercooled sinks. The only other board that has active, silent cooling for those sinks is in the $400 range.
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a c 75 V Motherboard
June 13, 2013 3:49:09 AM

you know that watercooling is totally unnecessary right? the vrms on the good boards from gigabyte, asus and asrock (only the boards above extreme6) already run ice cold
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June 13, 2013 5:43:24 AM

That is right knowledge, but only in a general sense. The devil is in the details.

Yes, in a typical situation, watercooling can be thought of as unnecessary. And good heat sinks providing thermal exchange with a standard air environment will dissipate heat at a sufficient rate. But the assumption there is the temperature differential between the VRM sinks and the ambient air temperature. This is typically regulated by actively moving air through the chassis, which I do not do. In my environment, the inner air temperature would build up causing a decrease in the performance of the VRM sinks, and every other non-watercooled component in my system. I do this for noise control. The only source of noise in my system is a single water pump located inside a large, external water reservoir / heat sink (Zalman Reserator). I have been running this way for a while, and have never heard, or rather *not* heard, a system that compares with this type of noise control. I can not tell without looking at the lights or monitors whether my system is on.

Overclocking is just a fringe benefit.

So my choices are to pull the VRM sinks and replace them with an aftermarket watercooler or buy a board with watercooled VRM sinks. I have only found 2 choices. Gigabyte has one (OC Force) but it is ~$400. Based on the Z77 prices, I am hoping the Asrock OC Formula has a much more attractive price point (<$250). Aftermarket watercoolers are still an option, but they will add around $150 to the price and mean I will have to pull the stock sinks and later replace them if I move the board to a non-watercooled system [I have 3 other desktops "downstream" that get my old parts].
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a c 75 V Motherboard
June 13, 2013 5:50:24 AM

the IR powerstages are efficient enough so that the heatsinks are a unnecessary decoration. they are not your typical d-paks or lower rds mosfets where heatsinks are overbuilt. there is a reason that the heatsinks are rather small
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a b V Motherboard
June 13, 2013 6:04:22 AM

Ultra Durable 5 plus is good and sufficient, no doubt, gigabyte have do a great job in Mobo, so i would recommend mobo with this feature. i agree with you, TheBig Troll that Z87 OC Formula could be overprice, but overclocking potential could make you feel dumbfounded, believe it. Plus Asrock really growing manafacture, IMO, they make OC formula resist water, as protection for who use water cooling.
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a c 75 V Motherboard
June 13, 2013 6:13:28 AM

the water-resistance was mainly put in place so that LN2 guys dont have to worry as much for condensation to kill their board. for watercoolers, the effect is negligble as if somehow you have a unexpected leak, the water could be fine to the board but it will take out other components
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a b V Motherboard
June 13, 2013 6:31:43 AM

Now, again you impress me with that answer, how can i miss that, other component could get damage, only if case manafacturer have make something lenovo Erazer X700 case, inverted, power supply at top so nothing can get wet except motherboard and case.
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June 13, 2013 6:34:08 AM

Again, those cooling systems are only sufficient if you are moving air through your case. I am not moving air through my case. Or, more exactly, The only air moving through my case is due to the fan on the power supply.

You have to have a strategy for getting heat from the heat generator to outside your house.

Typical:
generator -> heat sink : air in case -> case fan : air in room -> house air conditioner : outside of house

Mine:
generator -> waterblock : water -> reservoir heat sink : air in room -> house air conditioner : outside of house

I have no mechanism to get air in my case out of my case, and I'm not adding a case fan to do that. If the motherboard has heat sinks, I'm going to use water to move that heat outside the case. Now you may be right, they may just be eye candy. But I'm not going to take that risk. I see no high-end boards without large heat sinks. And I see Gigabyte and ASRock's overclocking boards both have watercooled VRM sinks. And if the difference in price between a "good" board and a leading manufacturer's best overclocking board with watercooled sinks is less than a tank of gas.... they why not get the high-end board?

I don't think you're wrong in your points, I just don't think you are giving adequate weight to the effect of not moving air through the case. That assessment is fueled by past experience and a stack of bricked hard drives. When you move to a fully water-cooled solution, you have to factor in a change in manufacturer's assumptions of a temperature differential between the component and the ambient air temperature, even for components that have no heat sink at all like hard drives.
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June 13, 2013 6:38:19 AM

I will agree that the coating is largely not needed. I always assumed a water leak would be end of life for affected components. However, seeing water dripping out of my cpu waterblock, rolling across my soundcard, then across my video card, and out of the case onto my carpet made me challenge that assumption. The only real damage was to my carpet, which got a blue stain from the corroded tubing dissolved in the water. The system didn't even power off (well, not until the CPU overheated).

I'm not saying you should expect this outcome. Just that, well, that was funny.
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a c 75 V Motherboard
June 13, 2013 6:39:25 AM

dude, i have no case fans and im running my noctua d14 passively. yet my even lower quality vrms found on the z77-v Lk does not even go hot
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June 13, 2013 6:52:06 AM

And that is great for you. I have found that my case heats up when I make assumptions. Like I said, you may be right. But at these price points, it is not worth the risk.

What case do you have? What components are installed where? What is the ambient temperature in your room? Do you have active air moving due to your power supply? If so, at what rate? What's the path of air flow? Do you have vents in the top of your case? How many obstructions do you have? How many heat-generating components other than motherboard, powersupply, processor, video card do you have? What speed are you running your processor? What processor? What video card? What video card will you be running before the z87 solution hits end of life? Do you have Nest thermostats that detect when no one is home and raises the room ambient temperature up to 80 degrees max while the system is running at peak workload?

You're trying to make it simple, but it is not as simple as you make it out to be. And your advice to me is to risk this to save about $80 on an $800 upgrade. It is just not worth it.
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a c 75 V Motherboard
June 13, 2013 8:45:27 AM

there is zero risk. thinking that a vrm will overheat is your last priority because ALL manufacturers no matter how crappy will have vrms that can run without external cooling.

if a reviewer can run a gigabyte board in a incubation chamber with external liquid cooling and the board vrms measure a little over 5c higher than the incubation chamber, you are seriously doing something wrong about thinking a vrm can overheat
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June 13, 2013 3:57:36 PM

1: I never said I thought a VRM would overheat.
2: Link for referenced review?
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a c 75 V Motherboard
June 13, 2013 4:09:15 PM

i could try but not quite sure which out of the 15+ sites i found it on
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June 13, 2013 4:10:18 PM

I'm interested in reading it. I tried searching for key phrases and came up empty. Are you sure it was a Gigabyte board? If so, was it a Z87?
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a c 75 V Motherboard
June 13, 2013 4:13:56 PM

its a gigabyte board alright. no one else uses IR3550 or 3553 powerstages. i can show you some of their z77 boards however. they use the same vrms anyways

this is their z77x-up5 TH. it uses a true 8 phase IR3550 vrm assembly. the z87x-ud3h uses the IR 3353 stages instead. the only difference is that the 3550 is rated for 60A while the 3553 is rated at 40A. both of which are ridiculous
http://hardocp.com/article/2013/06/11/gigabyte_z77xup5t...
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June 13, 2013 5:52:46 PM

Troll: The "incubation" test sounds interesting. Ultimately I don't think it well-informs my situation. I've basically got a very poor "incubator" (using hardocp's definition) with a watercooler external to the incubator. So their incubator is a runaway thermal situation until you get to extreme temperatures. Would be interesting to see them pull the watercooler radiator outside that and see what happens.

I'm also not a fan of their terminology. An incubator, at least my understanding of one, is a life-sustaining environment. You are talking constant temperature, humidity, condition x, .... They do tend to be maintained very hot though, which is probably how it got adopted as the term for this type of testing.

My concern is that, while the VRMs will not overheat, they may contribute to raising the ambient chassis temperature in a non-trivial way due to lack of airflow. Hard to make a good decision without good data, and I haven't yet seen good data. In the absence of good data, I prefer to spend a little extra and be on the safe side.
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June 13, 2013 5:54:13 PM

endeavour37a said:
ASUS Formula has WCed VRMs, don't know the price but the Extreme is $400, so it should be cheaper..
http://www.dvhardware.net/article58549.html


I saw that, but it doesn't seem to have hit the street yet either. I have had bad luck with Asus in the past, but willing to give them another try. It will probably come down to availability and price.
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a c 75 V Motherboard
June 13, 2013 5:58:27 PM

Patrick Hines said:
Troll: The "incubation" test sounds interesting. Ultimately I don't think it well-informs my situation. I've basically got a very poor "incubator" (using hardocp's definition) with a watercooler external to the incubator. So their incubator is a runaway thermal situation until you get to extreme temperatures. Would be interesting to see them pull the watercooler radiator outside that and see what happens.

I'm also not a fan of their terminology. An incubator, at least my understanding of one, is a life-sustaining environment. You are talking constant temperature, humidity, condition x, .... They do tend to be maintained very hot though, which is probably how it got adopted as the term for this type of testing.

My concern is that, while the VRMs will not overheat, they may contribute to raising the ambient chassis temperature in a non-trivial way due to lack of airflow. Hard to make a good decision without good data, and I haven't yet seen good data. In the absence of good data, I prefer to spend a little extra and be on the safe side.


the incubator is basically a box where they turn up the heat to around the 38-40c mark. completely un-realistically high ambient temperatures.

no. thinking the vrms are going to raise your ambient chassis temps is just plain wrong. at that rate, you would think hard drives can cause your overclocking to be reduced since they put out heat into the chassis. VRM temperature is the LAST THING anyone would consider for how well your system overclocks
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a b V Motherboard
June 13, 2013 7:27:58 PM

FrozenCPU has a lot of cool stuff :)  Perhaps check here, then search the manufactures listed that make these things. EK has a VRM block for an ASUS Gene.

http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l3/g30/c293/s728/list/p1/L...

Just trying to help a bit find something that may work for you... hope you get it put together
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June 13, 2013 7:40:15 PM

I appreciate it endeavour. I'll probably wait until someone does a good test with lower price boards and can verify Troll's assertions or wait until there's a good waterblock solution on the market.

Troll: You are claiming that with no air flow and using air to cool the VRMs that the air will not heat up, at least that is my understanding of your claim. If that be your claim, it contradicts everything I have been taught about thermodynamics (assuming the ambient air is cooler than the VRM). I agree that "no air flow" is an unrealistic ideal, but I'm just saying I require evidence, and I can find none. I can find lots of weak evidence to support significant heat generation in the form of 3 leading manufacturers making an OC version of their Z87 board with waterblocks on the VRM and chipset (I wish the Asrock had a heatpipe...). I'm not saying you are wrong, just that the presented evidence is not convincing. Without convincing evidence, I'll get a waterblock solution and not worry about it.
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a b V Motherboard
June 13, 2013 8:04:40 PM

Well I don't really think VRM's generate that much heat, but they do heat up never the less. Anything with amperage moving through it that has resistance produces wattage depending on the voltage, the old laws of electrons thing.

But, if you want to WC the MOSFETs then great, or the new digital stuff I guess. I would if I could find a easy inexpensive set up, if you already have WC then a bit of tube and a couple fittings is all you need and it would look nice. My only concern is flow restriction of such a small block. But the PCH blocks do not look as clean as the stock iron with the pretty logos and such. First look at the MSI MPOWER and it looked to be WCed power with the large flat heatsink, looks nice though.

Someone said your hard drive produces more heat, I must agree with that, the faster they spin the toaster they get, yet the whole frame is more or less a heat spreader like the CPU.

Read about someone submerging the whole thing in mineral oil then cooling the oil in a radiator, a bit messy but would be real quite if you dropped the radiator in a 5 gallon bucket of ice water then just added ice every once and a while. Just thought it was a novel approach.....
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June 13, 2013 9:00:24 PM

endeavour37a said:
Well I don't really think VRM's generate that much heat, but they do heat up never the less. Anything with amperage moving through it that has resistance produces wattage depending on the voltage, the old laws of electrons thing.

But, if you want to WC the MOSFETs then great, or the new digital stuff I guess. I would if I could find a easy inexpensive set up, if you already have WC then a bit of tube and a couple fittings is all you need and it would look nice. My only concern is flow restriction of such a small block. But the PCH blocks do not look as clean as the stock iron with the pretty logos and such. First look at the MSI MPOWER and it looked to be WCed power with the large flat heatsink, looks nice though.

Someone said your hard drive produces more heat, I must agree with that, the faster they spin the toaster they get, yet the whole frame is more or less a heat spreader like the CPU.

Read about someone submerging the whole thing in mineral oil then cooling the oil in a radiator, a bit messy but would be real quite if you dropped the radiator in a 5 gallon bucket of ice water then just added ice every once and a while. Just thought it was a novel approach.....


I use SSD for primary and a water-block-cooled spinning disk for user data. I may move that to an external file server due to noise.

I really like the reserator as a cooling solution. It works well, I see a 1-3 degree jump in CPU temperature when I crank it to 100%, and it is almost completely silent. It takes up a lot of space, but I have a lot of space, so that is not a big problem.
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a c 75 V Motherboard
June 14, 2013 3:42:11 AM

WTF? watercooling hard drives is probably the dumbest thing you can watercool in an entire system. a hard drive on its own runs barely above ambient temps and are easily fine up to 40c which is stupidly high in any worst case scenario. its just like how people liquid cool their chipsets when it does absolutely nothing
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June 14, 2013 5:38:04 AM

If you are curious as to the reasoning, I would appreciate it if you could ask for that reasoning without being insulting.

In my mind you seem to keep coming back to this "ambient temps" thing. I agree. A hard drive will only be a few degrees hotter than the air surrounding it. Which it will then heat up. Which will let the drive get hotter. Which will heat up the air. Which will let the drive get hotter. Which will heat up the air. See where I am going with this?

Yes, if you are moving air through your chassis, this is a fine approach. But if you trap air, it becomes an insulator. The insulation in your wall that keeps your house warm when it is cold outside most likely is fiber insulation that works by trapping air.

I water-cool my drives because I found when I went to a water-cooled system my drives started running hot. I went to change one out one day and the burn lasted for about 4 days. I was also having drive failures. At the time I was running a bank of about 8 7200 rpm drives in a single chassis. I was losing a drive every 3 months like clockwork. I added water-cooling for the drives and have not had a single drive failure since. That was 8 years ago. Not one drive failure in 8 years. Six drives. Again. Not ONE DRIVE FAILURE IN 8 YEARS. That is 48 drive-years with no failures compared with a prior failure every 2 drive-years. It is anecdotal evidence, but it is enough for me to put water-coolers for the hard drives on my wish list and give family something to buy.

I water-cool my drives because I have direct measurements from my system that say that is needed.

There is nothing common about wisdom.
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June 14, 2013 5:53:18 AM

Well, the OC Formula just showed up on Newegg. $294. Ouch.
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a c 75 V Motherboard
June 14, 2013 6:09:28 AM

let me ask you a question first of all. why do you have zero airflow within your computer? because even in a watercooled system, there are always fans moving air inside and out the case.
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June 14, 2013 4:56:06 PM

Like I said in my first long post,

"This is typically regulated by actively moving air through the chassis, which I do not do."

When running water-cooled, I remove the fans. All that I can. I have not invested in a fanless power supply, but I do not want to count on the power supply fan for essential cooling. And other than the power supply fan, I have no fans in the system.

You seem to be assessing things from an "overclocking" perspective. Why would someone do X, that won't help with overclocking. I have said this previously, but again, I do not water-cool for overclocking reasons, but for sound control. I have a completely silent system. The only sources of sound come from my speakers (wanted), the power supply fan (would love to get rid of it), and the water pump located INSIDE a solid metal reservoir.

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June 16, 2013 8:37:06 PM

Well, given the $300 price, I'd rather just save my cash and aftermarket it if it becomes a problem. So now I'm trying to decide which of the Gigabyte boards to go with. I am trying to decide between:

* UD3H
* OC
* UD5H

Without considering price, is there a good reason to pick one of these over any others? I will be connecting very few drives and almost no fans. I'm leaning towards the OC board, but acknowledge I don't really know enough here to make a good decision. I plan to buy first thing in the morning, family will be out of town this week which gives me a good change to do the system builds.
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a c 75 V Motherboard
June 17, 2013 3:47:45 AM

id still have to ask why there are no fans in the system. even if you watercool everything with radiators, you still need fans to cool that. you cant just let them passively cool each other because it wont happen.

the UD3h is more than enough. the z87x-oc is basically s slightly upgraded UD5H VRM but with bare bone features for overclocking
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a c 75 V Motherboard
June 17, 2013 5:12:30 AM

so how does that unit stay cool when you have no means of cooling the reservoir/radiator.
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June 17, 2013 5:21:30 AM

It sits in the open air, you don't need active cooling on it to keep it cool, it is always cool to the touch. They did offer a fan that would attach to the top, but in my opinion it was a marketing gimmick. Passive cooling with this thing is more than sufficient. I actually have not run it on an i7, it has been offline for a while. I abandoned it when I went to the 1st gen i7 for budgetary reasons (needed new waterblocks, and just had the 3rd kid...). Really looking forward to having a silent PC again. But when I was running it on the core 2 duo, I seem to remember idle workload measuring 34-35 C, and 10 minutes on 100% all cores measuring 36 C.

If you are interested I'll post metrics once the new system is up and running.

I pulled the trigger on the UD3H. I appreciate the help.
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a c 75 V Motherboard
June 17, 2013 5:28:08 AM

seems interesting. id like to see it up and running
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