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Z87 Hits The High End: Four Sub-$300 Motherboards

Power, Heat, And Efficiency

ASRock’s Z87 OC Formula proves the most-miserly premium motherboard, followed by MSI’s MPower Max. The Maximus VI Formula includes the most on-board features, and those extras exact a power consumption penalty.

None of the motherboards in this round-up run hot, though Gigabyte’s Z87X-UD5H voltage regulator was barely warm.

We expected that benchmark gains in one place would be offset by losses somewhere else, and our expectations come true in the combined bar of our overall performance chart. That means efficiency is the inverse of power consumption.

All of our calculations use a 100% baseline, but we need to zero that out for our efficiency chart. Nothing can be more than 100% efficient.

Using the group average as a baseline and zeroing out the results by subtracting the original 100% baseline, we see that ASRock's Z87 OC Formula is 5.5% more efficient than average for this motherboard group.

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