Results: 3DMark and PCMark
Because Intel’s integrated controllers and closely-regulated firmware removes variability between platforms, any sizable difference in the benchmarks should be attributed to either broken settings (like bad memory timings) or unintended overclocking (cheating). Smaller difference can be caused by acceptable differences in base clock (99.8 to 100.2 MHz, for example) or by chance, since differences up to 1% can occur between consecutive runs on the same hardware.
We started to notice a performance advantage favoring Gigabyte’s Z97X-UD5H in 3DMark 11, but the issue really stood out in 3DMark Professional. A quick run through the firmware settings proved there was no way to disable firmware "enhancement" of Intel's Turbo Boost ratios. In this case, the "enhanced" mode forces the CPU's maximum-specified ratio, regardless of the number of cores utilized in the benchmark.
Gigabyte retains a lead through PCMark, though the amount of gain is questionable since this metric is very dependent on storage performance.
My thoughts you can find the hero board within that price range quite easy. http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-motherboard-maximusviihero
I'm buying the Asus Z97i-plus because it just mount a 2x M.2 2280 and 2260, and all other connectivity goodness, uninterested in overclocking unless the broadwell i5 K consume less than 90W :D
stunned at how tiny even the packing box is. :D Just pairing it up with a G3258
initially to see how it behaves. Pondering a GTX 750 Ti, but kinda hoping NVIDIA
will release a newer version in Sept.
Better audio quality.
Generally ROG boards have better quality parts.
But in the end we need the reviewers (like you) to review as many products as they can, so we can see the performance difference between them.