Test Settings And Compatibility
|Test System Configuration|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-3770K (Ivy Bridge): 3.50 GHz, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, LGA 1155|
|CPU Cooler||Thermalright MUX-120 w/Zalman ZM-STG1 Paste|
|RAM||G.Skill F3-17600CL9Q-16GBXLD (16 GB), DDR3-2200 at DDR3-1600 CAS 9, 1.60 V|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 1.5 GB 772 MHz GPU, GDDR5-4008|
|Hard Drive||Samsung 470 Series 256 GB, SATA 3Gb/s SSD|
|Sound||Integrated HD Audio|
|Network||Integrated Gigabit Networking|
|Power||Seasonic X760 SS-760KM, ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold|
|OS||Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce 296.10 WHQL|
|Virtu MVP||Version 2.1.114, GPU Virtualization, HyperFormance, No Virtual Vsync, where applicable|
|Chipset||Intel INF 220.127.116.119|
While G.Skill’s F3-17600CL9Q-16GBXLD provides the default DDR3-1600 CAS 9 settings we want for benchmarks, it’s no longer fast enough to push the limits of today’s best memory controllers. The firm provided a set of its F3-2666C11Q-16GTXD Trident X DDR3-2666 specifically to extend our overclocking capabilities.
We’re watching the gradual resolution of all of our previous peripheral woes as manufacturers continue to move their UEFI developments forward. Keyboards and mice from Microsoft and Logitech, plus a Saitek keyboard and Razer mouse, were all compatible with every board in both Windows and UEFI modes.
The question lingers about whether our previous purchase of these components was a waste of money. Some companies wait until a problem is exposed before they fix it, and this is especially true of minor issues such as UEFI mouse compatibility.
|3DMark 11||Version 18.104.22.168, Benchmark Test Only, Virtu MVP Enabled Entry, Performance, and Extreme Presets|
|PCMark 7||Version 1.0.4, PCMark, Productivity, Storage Suites Intel SATA Driver, Intel RST Monitor Installed|
|SiSoftware Sandra||Version 2012.10.18.74 CPU Arithmetic, Multi-Media, Memory Bandwidth benchmarks|
When testing products from different vendors based on dissimilar technologies, a real-world benchmark set helps us determine real-world performance differences. Yet, today’s boards center on the same chipset, and synthetics are more useful for finding the cause of performance deficits. Performance parity between all properly-designed Z77 motherboards has forced us to look for problems rather than solutions.
"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.