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Z87 Extreme9/ac Firmware

Four Z87 Express Motherboards For Three- And Four-Way SLI

The Z87 Extreme9/ac OC Tweaker menu leads with a list of factory-configured overclocking presets from 4.0 to 4.8 GHz, but most of those require too much voltage to run for more than a few seconds on our CPU before thermal throttling kicks in and knocks it back down. Next on the menu are CPU ratio and BCLK settings for manual O/C configuration.

The motherboard properly detects this memory’s DDR3-3000 XMP profile and Haswell’s DDR3-2933 memory controller limit, choosing that ratio and increasing the base clock to 102.3 MHz to compensate.

Everyone major motherboard company has figured out ways to override the CPU’s integrated voltage control. The 1.235 V setting produces a nominal voltage of 1.25 V on the Z87 Exteme9/ac, and load compensation pushes it a little past 1.26 V. Even if a company were to figure out a way to fool the volt meter, full-load temperatures would be a dead giveaway.

All major manufacturers also cheat on DIMM voltage, pushing 10% or more past the set limits to allow a higher overclock at a setting users believe is safe. Our volt meter showed an actual 1.65 to 1.655 V when using the motherboard’s 1.635 V setting.

Primary, secondary, and tertiary memory timings are adjustable over a wide margin to allow super-high memory overclocks.

The Tools menu shows an image of detected components (System Browser), allows flashing firmware from the UEFI GUI (Instant Flash), and stores up to three O/C configurations as user profiles.

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