Trio of Z87 OC Motherboards Tested

Motherboards/Intel S1150 by leeghoofd @ 2013-07-26

Today we will be looking at 3 high end Overclock optimized mainboards for Intel's 4th generation processors. Madshrimps received the Z87-OC Formula sample from ASRock, the Gigabyte Z87X-OC and MSI's Z87 XPOWER flagship. Three boards, although all listed in total different price categories, targeted specifically at the enthusiast crowd. Fully equipped to squeeze the last MHz out of your Haswell. Due to the specific nature of these particular boards we have adapted the review method slightly to go more into the efficiency aspect instead of listing all of the onboard features/chips.

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ASRock Z87 OC Formula

The Z87-OC Formula is ASRock's high end EATX format offering for the overclocking enthusiast. There's also a mATX model called the Z87M OC Formula. Take note that the mATX Formula picture is not actual size versus it's bigger brother. The Formula has got an embedded PLX 8605 chip so Quad SLi is supported right out of the box.




What makes this board so interesting for the community? One reason to purchase this board could be the Conformal Coating, which is applied to each Z87OC Formula board on the top and backside. During extreme overclocking benching sessions with liquid nitrogen or sortlikes, there will always be the risk of condensation, making your setup unstable and in worst case scenerio even could kill some hardware. With the applied coating this risk is seriously reduced.




ASRock's serious business with this board is also reflected by it's 5 year Solid as a rock warranty (this of course under normal operating conditions :P)




The board is build on an 8 layer black PCB. For the voltage regulation ASRock utilises a 12 Power Phase Design made out of Premium Alloy Chokes (PAC) and Dual-Stack MOSFETs (DSM). The socket is really clean, thus easy to insulate. ASRock is the only one to include a small fan on the PWM heatsink. Secondly the option is present to integrate this heatsink into a watercooled loop. Sadly the barbs are not exchangeable.




A total of 10 SATA3 6Gb/s connectors are ready to feed your storage desires. Six of them are steered by the Intel Z87 chipset, the remaining four are handled by the ASMedia ASM1061 chipset. 




The back I/O panel sports a PS2 connector, two USB2.0 ports (black), eight USB3.0 ports, two HDMI (in/out) ports, one optical SPDIF Out port and a RJ45 LAN Port. The latter is controlled by an Intel Gbe LAN Chip for 10/100/1000 fast internet acces. 7.1 Ch audio is provided by a RealTek ALC1150 Codec.


Included accessoires are:

  • Driver Cd and manuals
  • I/0 panel shield
  • 1 front USB3.0 2.5inch panel
  • SLI bridge connector
  • 10 x SATA3 Data Cables
  • Rear USB3.0 bracket
  • Gelid GC Extreme Thermal Compound





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Comment from Teemto @ 2013/07/26
Really like the editor's note
Comment from NordWolfe @ 2013/08/03
Finally somebody with the balls to tell it like it is. Now I would just like somebody to call-out Intel, for their woeful/unacceptable manufacturing quality control on their CPUs, and AMD, for their incompetence that permits these abuses from their rivals. At least, so it seems, AMD is now hiring the right people for their CPU division. Hope this pays off quickly so that Intel loses it’s arrogance, and total lack of respect for it’s customers. For that to happen we need many more true reviewers, such as yourself, and not Corporate Whores, such as we see in most sites, and youtube channels.
I salute your courage, integrity, and the knowledge you have on your mission.
Comment from leeghoofd @ 2013/08/04
Thx guys for the feedback. It's not what the manufacturers or people from the PR team want to read, but at least it's the truth based on hard facts... apreciated that my hard works is applauded