Three-Way X99 LGA 2011-v3 ATX Motherboard Shootout

Results: Overclocking

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BIOS Frequency and Voltage settings (for overclocking)
Row 0 - Cell 0 ASRock X99 Extreme4Gigabyte X99-UD4MSI X99S Gaming 7
Base Clock90-300 MHz (0.1 MHz)80-333 MHz (0.01 MHz)91-300 MHz (0.05 MHz)
CPU Multiplier12x-120x (1x)12-80x (1x)12-80x (1x)
DRAM Data Rates800-2666 (200/266.6 MHz)800-2666 (200/266.6 MHz)1333-2666 (200/266.6 MHz)
CPU Vcore0.80-2.00V (1 mV)0.50-1.70V (1 mV)0.80-2.10V (1 mV)
VCCIN1.20-2.30V (10 mV)1.00-2.70V (10 mV)1.20-3.04V (1 mV)
PCH Voltage0.90-1.50V (25 mV)0.65-1.30V (5 mV)0.70-2.32V (10 mV)
DRAM Voltage1.00-1.80V (10 mV)1.00-2.00V (10 mV)0.60-2.80V (10 mV)
CAS Latency4-31 Cycles5-31 Cycles4-31 Cycles
tRCD5-31 Cycles1-31 Cycles4-31 Cycles
tRP5-31 Cycles1-31 Cycles4-31 Cycles
tRAS10-63 Cycles1-63 Cycles9-63 Cycles

All three mid-priced X99-based motherboards reach the same 44 x 101 MHz base clock setting, though fractional differences in actual base clock could create the illusion of leadership. We call this a tie.

After seeing that none of the test samples were stable at the 125 MHz needed by our RAM to reach the highest DDR4 data rates, we scratched the test off our list and stuck to a 100 MHz strap. We found that Gigabyte’s X99-UD4 could potentially push a “locked” processor a little further, if Intel ever introduces one.

Not that we’d want to overclock with the X99-UD4, though. Going over the edge caused it to read a firmware error and reflash the chip with an old backup copy. If our hardware required new firmware to function (as sometimes happens after the introduction of a new CPU), we would have been stranded.

Our inability to reach DDR4-3000 at 125 MHz x 24, and Haswell-E’s inability to run 30x data rate ratios meant that we were stuck going backwards from 125 MHz to find each motherboard’s highest data rate, at 124x 24 for both the X99 Extreme4 and X99S Gaming 7. All of those re-flashes on the X99-UD4 eventually pushed us to try the board’s class-leading 106 MHz base clock in conjunction with the CPU’s highest 26.66x data rate multiple, for a grand total of 2832 MT/s.

The lack of a DDR3-2800 setting again forced us to use Haswell-E’s 26.66x maximum memory ratio to find each board’s peak bandwidth. This test was added to a previous platform after finding out that a brand not represented here today was using hobbled timings to win overclocking competitions, but Gigabyte was first to fall behind on this occasion.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • dgingeri
    "LGA 2111-v3"??

    Did something change?
  • west7
    In the 3D gaming page it should been i7-5760x not i7-4790 and fix the LGA 2111-v3 typo and why there in no SLI/crossfire test?!
  • Amdlova
    12 Phases Six Phases Eight Phases what!
  • Daniel Ladishew
    Can't wait for them to review some of the other manufacturer's products in the X99 category. The ASUS board especially.
  • chiefpiggy
    Noob question: would my socket 1150 i5 4670k work with one of these motherboards or do I need one of the Haswell-E processors?
  • sportfreak23
    14199415 said:
    Can't wait for them to review some of the other manufacturer's products in the X99 category. The ASUS board especially.

  • InvalidError
    14199118 said:
    "LGA 2111-v3"??

    Did something change?
    LGA 2011 uses DDR3 while LGA2011-3 uses DDR4 so the sockets are different to prevent people from putting the wrong CPU in the wrong motherboard.

    I think there were other changes but this is the big obvious one.
  • firefoxx04
    it should be mentioned (and maybe it was, just not on the first page) that you only get the 40 pci e lanes if you purchase the two higher tiered haswell-E chips. The lowest end model does not support 40 lanes, I think it supports 28.
  • dgingeri
    I was commenting on the typo of "2111" vs "2011".
  • vincevdc
    The MB grid on page one shows that the MSI X99S Gaming 7 mb has an Intel Z97 Express chipset. This is a typo...