|BIOS Frequency and Voltage settings (for overclocking)|
|Row 0 - Cell 0||ASRock X99 Extreme4||Gigabyte X99-UD4||MSI X99S Gaming 7|
|Base Clock||90-300 MHz (0.1 MHz)||80-333 MHz (0.01 MHz)||91-300 MHz (0.05 MHz)|
|CPU Multiplier||12x-120x (1x)||12-80x (1x)||12-80x (1x)|
|DRAM Data Rates||800-2666 (200/266.6 MHz)||800-2666 (200/266.6 MHz)||1333-2666 (200/266.6 MHz)|
|CPU Vcore||0.80-2.00V (1 mV)||0.50-1.70V (1 mV)||0.80-2.10V (1 mV)|
|VCCIN||1.20-2.30V (10 mV)||1.00-2.70V (10 mV)||1.20-3.04V (1 mV)|
|PCH Voltage||0.90-1.50V (25 mV)||0.65-1.30V (5 mV)||0.70-2.32V (10 mV)|
|DRAM Voltage||1.00-1.80V (10 mV)||1.00-2.00V (10 mV)||0.60-2.80V (10 mV)|
|CAS Latency||4-31 Cycles||5-31 Cycles||4-31 Cycles|
|tRCD||5-31 Cycles||1-31 Cycles||4-31 Cycles|
|tRP||5-31 Cycles||1-31 Cycles||4-31 Cycles|
|tRAS||10-63 Cycles||1-63 Cycles||9-63 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.
Did something change?
I think there were other changes but this is the big obvious one.