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Overclocking Results

Four Z87 Express Motherboards For Three- And Four-Way SLI
BIOS Frequency and Voltage settings (for overclocking)
 ASRock Z87
Z87 XPower
Base Clock90-300 MHz (0.1 MHz)80-300 MHz (0.1 MHz)80-267 MHz (0.01 MHz)90-300 MHz (0.06 MHz)
CPU Multiplier8.0-120x (1x)8.0-80x (1x)8-80x (1x)8-80x (1x)
DRAM Data Rates800-4000 (200/266.6 MHz)800-3200 (200/266.6 MHz)800-2933 (200/266.6 MHz)800-3200 (200/266.6 MHz)
CPU Vcore0.80-2.00 V (1 mV)0.001-1.92 V (1 mV)0.50-1.80 V (1 mV)0.80-2.10V (1 mV)
VCCIN1.20-2.30 V (10 mV)0.80-2.70 V (10 mV)1.00-2.91V (10 mV)1.20-2.30 V (1 mV)
PCH Voltage0.98-1.32 V (5 mV)0.70-1.80 V (6.25 mV)0.65-1.30 V (5 mV)0.70-1.80 V (10 mV)
DRAM Voltage1.17-1.80 V (5 mV)1.2-1.92 V (5 mV)1.15-2.10 V (5 mV)1.20-2.40 V (10 mV)
CAS Latency4-15 Cycles1-31 Cycles5-15 Cycles4-15 Cycles
tRCD3-20 Cycles1-31 Cycles4-31 Cycles4-31 Cycles
tRP4-15 Cycles1-31 Cycles4-31 Cycles4-31 Cycles
tRAS9-63 Cycles1-63 Cycles5-63 Cycles9-63 Cycles

Some manufacturers happen upon their overclocking victories by tampering with set voltage levels, sneaking in 20 to 30 millivolts more than you specify. But we usually catch that, either by voltmeter or by CPU temperature (often both). We weren’t surprised that three of the boards hit exactly the same overclock, and only one of these allowed us to bump up base clock by a measly 1 MHz at 46x.

Speaking of base clock, the most significant setting for users with multiplier-locked processors is at the 100 MHz strap. That’s because both ratio adjustment and base clock strap are locked out of those same CPUs. Certain manufacturers have ways to boost base clock overclocking capability, included reductions in System Agent/Cache and integrated GPU ratios. We left those settings to the manufacture to choose, and Asus surprised us with a 114 MHz BCLK.

ASRock and Gigabyte experienced the same phenomena seen by EVGA in our mini-ITX motherboard round-up, where increased base clock caused the PCIe graphics card to malfunction. I’m starting to wonder if it’s a problem with Intel’s latest base firmware, which companies can modify to suit their board’s configuration differences.

We used our voltmeter to set 1.650 to 1.655 volts to the memory

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