|BIOS Frequency and Voltage settings (for overclocking)|
|Row 0 - Cell 0||ASRock Z87 Extreme9/ac||Asus Z87-WS||Gigabyte Z87X-UD7 TH||MSI Z87 XPower|
|Base Clock||90-300 MHz (0.1 MHz)||80-300 MHz (0.1 MHz)||80-267 MHz (0.01 MHz)||90-300 MHz (0.06 MHz)|
|CPU Multiplier||8.0-120x (1x)||8.0-80x (1x)||8-80x (1x)||8-80x (1x)|
|DRAM Data Rates||800-4000 (200/266.6 MHz)||800-3200 (200/266.6 MHz)||800-2933 (200/266.6 MHz)||800-3200 (200/266.6 MHz)|
|CPU Vcore||0.80-2.00 V (1 mV)||0.001-1.92 V (1 mV)||0.50-1.80 V (1 mV)||0.80-2.10V (1 mV)|
|VCCIN||1.20-2.30 V (10 mV)||0.80-2.70 V (10 mV)||1.00-2.91V (10 mV)||1.20-2.30 V (1 mV)|
|PCH Voltage||0.98-1.32 V (5 mV)||0.70-1.80 V (6.25 mV)||0.65-1.30 V (5 mV)||0.70-1.80 V (10 mV)|
|DRAM Voltage||1.17-1.80 V (5 mV)||1.2-1.92 V (5 mV)||1.15-2.10 V (5 mV)||1.20-2.40 V (10 mV)|
|CAS Latency||4-15 Cycles||1-31 Cycles||5-15 Cycles||4-15 Cycles|
|tRCD||3-20 Cycles||1-31 Cycles||4-31 Cycles||4-31 Cycles|
|tRP||4-15 Cycles||1-31 Cycles||4-31 Cycles||4-31 Cycles|
|tRAS||9-63 Cycles||1-63 Cycles||5-63 Cycles||9-63 Cycles|
Some manufacturers happen upon their overclocking victories by tampering with set voltage levels, sneaking in 20 to 30 millivolts more than you specify. But we usually catch that, either by voltmeter or by CPU temperature (often both). We weren’t surprised that three of the boards hit exactly the same overclock, and only one of these allowed us to bump up base clock by a measly 1 MHz at 46x.
Speaking of base clock, the most significant setting for users with multiplier-locked processors is at the 100 MHz strap. That’s because both ratio adjustment and base clock strap are locked out of those same CPUs. Certain manufacturers have ways to boost base clock overclocking capability, included reductions in System Agent/Cache and integrated GPU ratios. We left those settings to the manufacture to choose, and Asus surprised us with a 114 MHz BCLK.
ASRock and Gigabyte experienced the same phenomena seen by EVGA in our mini-ITX motherboard round-up, where increased base clock caused the PCIe graphics card to malfunction. I’m starting to wonder if it’s a problem with Intel’s latest base firmware, which companies can modify to suit their board’s configuration differences.
We used our voltmeter to set 1.650 to 1.655 volts to the memory
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.
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.
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.
Hey guys, we have these awesome new setups for supreme graphics pumping power! Watch it zip files like every other board!