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Z87H3-A2X Extreme Firmware

Five Z87 Motherboards Under $220, Reviewed

ECS’s overclocking options are fairly limited, though the Z87H2-A2X Extreme does access many of Haswell’s new features. Its M.I.B. X menu opens to a simple list of submenus and a few system stats.

The Z87H3-A2X Extreme doesn’t manipulate Intel Turbo Boost to create a fixed ratio, but instead allows users to pick the highest boost ratio. As a result, our 4.5 GHz overclock dropped to 4.3 GHz when four cores were highly taxed, regardless of other settings.

My chosen 1.300 V core came easily from the M.I.B. X Over Voltage submenu, but I was a little disturbed to find DRAM voltage 40 mV above the setting I intended. I was even more disturbed to see that the board only reported it as 14 mV higher.

Should I mention that ECS was shooting for a top DRAM overclock? It got there using the 1.61 V setting to achieve a true 1.65 volts and a 3,050 MT/s data rate.

This version of Z87H3-A2X Extreme firmware appears unaware of Intel’s 22x133 max memory ratio, though jumping directly from our memory’s XMP-3000 profile to “Manual” mode caused it to keep that profile’s timings as we dropped from the non-functional 30x100 ratio.

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