Z87 XPower Software
Though MSI relies primarily on on-board buttons (Direct OC control) and its co-branded Intel Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU) for on-the-fly overclocking, it still has a more basic utility that’s able to address MSI-specific functions. It even gets a CPU Core Voltage knob this time, though that control was already available in XTU.
OC Genie can be set by either firmware or software, and the software version responds to the on-board button. We were happy to find a super-efficient 4.0 GHz fixed overclock at a lower-than-stock 1.10 V fixed voltage, though we actually had to change memory to get there. OC Genie automatically set our memory’s XMP-3000 profile, but the board couldn’t push this RAM past DDR3-2965.
The Killer E2205 GbE controller also gets a new management interface, with a handy pie chart for traffic analysis. Packet prioritization is a top feature here, as expected from a firm famed for its low response times.
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Am i missing something here? I dont see the point of reviewing 3 and 4 way sli boards and not testing 3 and 4 way sli. Seems rather pointless since any average motherboard will perform well in adobe, productivity etc benches dependent on the cpu....Reply
This was really just about finding any board that supports Nvidia's requirements about how that third card is connected. We found some, I overclocked them, now I have enough data to pick a board for the System Builder Marathon. But that only explains why overclocking took priority!Reply
After spending two days per board on a "one week" article, I couldn't add more tests. The general benchmark set looks for unintended overclocking/underclocking, power and memory bandwidth issues, so you can see the performance difference attributable to each board's CPU and DRAM configuration differences. It runs from a .bat file, so it didn't add significantly to the article's completion time.
The PLX bridge that these all share represents the "great equalizer" when it comes to CrossFire and SLI configuration, so that portion of all three boards should be identical. I understand that things that should be the same in theory are occasionally different in practice. My apologies for not having the extra 1-day per board for additional tests.
12341788 said:They all use the same PLX bridge, so you would have seen a whole bunch of identical gaming results. The general benchmark set looks for unintended overclocking/underlocking, power and memory bandwidth issues, so you can see the actual performance difference. And there's still an overclocking section.
These boards had to be tested for general performance and stability like any other boards. The PLX controller is the equalizer when it comes to games.
I think testing 3/4 way sli would still be valid, as it doesn't always work properly, in the past there have been compatibility problems with certain gpu's/boards/firmware/controllers and certain benchmarks completely failed.
"internally-mounted external USB 2.0 port for ReadyBoost fanatics" on the asus z87.Reply
Those have nothing to do with readyboost. The internal usb ports are very common on workstations and you put CAD dongles and equivalent items in them so that you can lock them inside the case and don't have to worry about some one stealing them from the outside or them taking up an outside usb port.
I would love to see Asus Maximus VI Extreme, but it seems ASUS didn't want to give a 2nd board and prefered the Z87 WS....Reply
Where are the sli/cfx tests ? Non senseReply
no cfx test i think the review title is misleadingReply
where are the sli/crossfire benchmarks and comparisons with traditional non-switched setups?Reply
Hey guys, we have these awesome new setups for supreme graphics pumping power! Watch it zip files like every other board!
Those heatsinks on the Asus look like the would interfere with large CPU coolers.Reply
Why are they still making motherboards with PS/2 connections? Its time to move on, replace those baby's with some USB 3.0!Reply