Power And Heat
MSI registers the lowest power consumption, which typically indicates that all of Intel’s power-savings features are enabled, that few third-party controllers are active during the test, and that power control circuitry is fully optimized.
Gigabyte, Intel, and Asus are close enough to MSI that all three appear optimized, while ECS' Z77H2-AX looks like it could use a little more development. ECS also has the oldest firmware, and that could help explain its higher power consumption.
Asus and ASRock enjoy the benefit of fans, yet they also have the highest voltage regulator temperatures. Intel, MSI, and Gigabyte all look cool using nothing more than waste air from the CPU cooler to carry away the heat.
"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.