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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Gigabyte Z87X-OC OCing features:

Gigabyte has nicely grouped the onboard OverClocking features into what they call as the OC Touch zone.Without wasting too many words I let the picture do the talking. Anything you need is located in that area.


Most buttons/switches speak for themselves.

However the TAG button is able to load a customized BIOS profile after a CMOS reset, very handy when benching, no need to go into the bios to load a profile.

The OC Gear button switches between 1MHz and 0.1MHz increments.

The OC Turbo button activates the OC board to tune in the best OC for your processor and onboard RAM.

The Settings Lock button does actually what the names says, it locks the previous  good settings.

Thank god MSI introduced the Direct to Bios button on their Z77 MPOWER board, we see this feature on all high end Z87 boards now.

When tweaking your OS you can use the OC Trigger Switch, this drops the CPU multiplier to the lowest possible value of 8X.

No OC targeted board can be without voltage measuring points. Either you use the included measuring cables or directly position your Digital MultiMeter at the pins.




The OC PCIe switch allows you to enable/disable manually the different PCIe slots, for quick debugging which GPU is giving you troubles.

Two more interesting buttons are the CLR Bat button and the Ignition switch.The patended orange Ignition switch keeps on powering your entire setup, besides the CPU. Allowing you to keep the fans spinning while heating up your CPU, thus avoiding the risk of condensation during LN2 sessions. The CLR bat switch has the same function as when you pop the battery to fully clear the CMOS.




The included OC Brace helps benchers to keep their videocards firmly secured, not everybody benches on bench tables :)



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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