Our Z77A-GD80 overclocking efforts were a little more successful in firmware than in software, reaching 4.7 GHz CPU and a hair more than DDR3-2800 at 1.25 V core and 1.65 V memory.
The actual CPU core and DRAM voltage settings needed to reach those targets were 1.235 V and 1.633 V. We also had to set Vdroop Offset Control to 100% to keep the CPU voltage from sagging below 1.25 V under load.
XMP profiles got our memory overclocking started, but the Z77A-GD80 loosened the timings from 11-13-13-35 to 11-14-14-37 when we picked the higher 28x multiplier. Fortunately, we were able to set just those few timings back to XMP defaults without reconfiguring secondary and tertiary controls.
"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.