Asus offers two modes for overclocking. “XMP” mode starts off with an Intel XMP memory profile. It’s a great way to get your memory running at its rated settings, while simultaneously enabling a wide range of additional overclocking options.
Here's where things take a turn for the worse. My retail Core i7-4770K wouldn't run stably at 4.3 GHz, no matter how much voltage I applied to it. Over time, I determined that the first core was crashing, so I couldn't even set a graduated overclock above 4.2 GHz unless I also wanted to set core affinity for every program. Yes, I know that professional overclockers might be tempted to put in the time, but real-world computing is more practical. I stuck with 4.2 GHz and licked my wounds.
G.Skill’s DDR3-1866 CAS 8 kit overclocked to DDR3-2133 CAS 9, as predicted. I had to manually configure 9-10-10-27 timings, and was faced with a boot failure when I pushed further to 9-10-9-27.
A core clock rate of 4.2 GHz was accessible with a 1.28 V core setting. But 4.3 GHz remained out of reach, even at 1.3 V (I tried higher settings, too, before giving up). Offset voltage mode allows the board to idle down to a lower voltage, and I achieved a maximum 1.288 V core using the 0.025 V offset.
MSI's Afterburner software provides a handy fan profile page under the Settings menu, in addition to power limit and frequency modification. Our Hawaii GPU didn't overclock well, but the Radeon R9 290X's memory scaled all the way to GDDR5-6200.
was multicore enhancement enabled for both the q1 $1600(asrock z87 pro3) and this quarter's high end pc(asus z97-a)? did it affect the heat output? asus keeps m.c.e. enabled by default. i can't see any other factors atm.
all 3 builds look very well-performing this quarter. looking forward to the perf-value analysis.
The last time I checked the "Samsung 840 EVO MZ-7TE250BW" wasn't an HDD, and nobody wanted us to run OS/2 on a modern gaming system. Please read the charts, wabba
I would go with 16 GB of memory for $85 more, since that’s only $85/$1600=5% more cost. I’d also go ahead and get the Asus 780 for $520. (Side note: I disagree that most would go AMD in a 780 vs 290x, but I know better than to open that can of worms). SLI was mentioned but not used, and I also would not get SLI unless I KNEW it worked with the game I was most interested in. The posts on various forums about SLI causing problems in most games, along with SLI “issues” dating back to 3dFX Voodoo2 cards, keeps me away from SLI.
I also would stay away from “generally stable, but usually not stable in the games I want to play most” (not quoting the author here) overclocking of the system/video card. It’s nice to see it in the charts, but I read about way too many problems in games caused by overclocking for me to rely on it to get my ‘value’.
Lastly, I think the pendulum has swung too far towards “value” for the high end build. I suggest tweaking that a little for future high end builds (eg..780Ti, 16 GB memory, 500GB SSD, but continue to stay away from $1000 CPU, $1200 SLI, etc).