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Six $160-220 Z77 Motherboards, Benchmarked And Reviewed

Power, Heat, And Efficiency

ASRock performs an amazing feat in power consumption, beating the most power-hungry board by 30 W at full load. We did our best to assure that each board’s power-savings features were completely enabled for our benchmarks, but some motherboards had a greater number of power options compared to others.

MSI’s low heat signature could be due to superior cooling, but it’s more likely that its unique design did a better job of preventing us from probing a hot spot. With a maximum temperature gain of only 10° Celsius, all of the boards run acceptably cool.

The average performance chart of today’s review compares each motherboard’s overall performance to a class average for all six motherboards. Gigabyte had the highest base clock (which technically goes down as a mild form of cheating), so Gigabyte takes an artificial lead.

ASRock’s low full-load power consumption generates a similarly low average power consumption, giving it an 8% above-average efficiency rating. Vice versa for ECS.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.