DZ77RE-75K Software And Firmware
Intel’s software bundle is unchanged from our previous review, and even its hard-to-find Extreme Tuning Utility remains without update. We took a few screenshots to be certain, but, with nothing new to discuss, we can instead refer you to our last round-up for more information about Intel's bundled software.
The DZ77RE-75K’s firmware-based overclocking menu also appears unchanged from less expensive board we reviewed previously, though a change in hardware does trigger different overclocking results. A 101 MHz base clock and 46x multiplier give us 4.64 GHz at 1.25 V.
It appears that everyone is fudging the numbers when it comes to voltage these days, displaying lower voltages in the firmware than our meters show at the pins, and Intel's DZ77RE-75K sets a particularly egregious example for the CPU core. To begin with, High V-droop mode is supposed to allow voltage to sag under CPU load, but this board caused the CPU’s voltage to climb under load. Setting Low V-droop caused the CPU voltage to climb even more under load. The only way we could get the CPU to 1.25 V was to choose 1.19 V as the baseline and watch the voltage climb.
The DZ77RE-75K doesn’t let you fine-tune memory from XMP mode, but the board does retain previously-set timings when entering manual mode. Entering Manual mode from Auto makes SPD values your baseline, while entering Manual from XMP mode makes those timings stick as well. Because of that, we were able to start our DRAM overclocking effort without manually configuring primary, secondary, and tertiary controls.
The big difference between memory overclocking on the Intel and ECS boards was the set voltage. While ECS reported 1.632 V for our 1.65 V reading, we had to set the DZ77RE-75K to 1.687 V to reach an actual 1.65 V on our meter. That makes Intel the only company in today’s comparison that isn’t under-reporting DIMM voltage.
"Six $220-280 Z77 Express-Based Motherboards, Reviewed"
Also, the time taken to show the windows loading screen/ BIOS page..
you really liked the black/grey dimms and PCI slots of the gigabyte better than the blue/black of the MSI!
Andrew Ku tests drive controllers. I'm trying to get him to "write the book" on controller performance, since dozens of boards use only a few different controllers. As for testing things like Z77 controller performance on board A vs Z77 controller performance on board B, it's a waste of time unless something is broken. So the article looked for "broken stuff". See the red bar on the first chart:
With nothing broken, there's no excuse to test the Z77 controller six times. Back to me begging Andrew Ku for a comprehensive comparison of every SATA controller currently available on mainstream-brand enthusiast boards.
This allows ocer's to achieve higher overclocks while still retaining the power saving functions, instead of being forced to either reduce the overclock, or be forced to run high voltage 24/7.
MSI doesn't have this key feature.
Overclocking the BLCK is very unlikely to cause any damage, it's just likely to not give much of a stable overclock.