Motherboard ReviewsPC Hardware Reviews

ASUS Z97-A Motherboard Review

« UEFI Overview and Overclocking | System Benchmarks(CPU, Memory, Compression, Multimedia) »

Test System and Testing Procedures

Processor Intel Core i7-4770K (Retail)
CPU Cooler
Noctua NH-D15 with Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound
Power Supply
Enermax Platimax 1000W 80 Plus Platinum PSU
Memory Patriot Viper 3 “Black Mamba” Low Profile 2x8GB DDR3 Memory 2100 MHz CL11
Storage OCZ Agility 4 256GB SSD (OS), OCZ Vertex 4 256GB SSD (test drive), Vantec NexStar (USB 3.0 enclosure).
Graphics Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 WindForce OC
Drivers 1.22 beta BIOS update, Intel Chipset Driver 10.0.3, NVIDIA 335.23 WHQL drivers.
Motherboard(BIOS ver) ASUS Z97-A (0702), MSI Z97 MPower MAX AC (1.22beta), ASUS Z87 Maximus VI Gene (1102)
Router Cisco E3200 stock firmware with 2x 6ft Cat5E cables for network testing
Operating System Windows 7 x64 Ultimate SP-1 with latest patches and updates

Latest working BIOS, updates and drivers were used at the time of the review. Each test was conducted at least three times for accuracy.

Comparison benchmarks in this review are shown between the stock performance, Auto-OC TPU (ratio boost) performance and manual multiplier overclock of 4.5GHz at 1.28Vcore. This is the maximum overclock achievable on this specific chip on a tower air cooler without throttling under AIDA64 stability test load  (although it can safely boot up to 4.7GHz with 1.375Vcore with a custom water loop). This will also serve as a baseline OC test for cross comparison with other Z97 motherboards down the road.

Tests conducted are separated in three sections: System benchmarks (CPU benchmarks, memory tests, compression benchmarks, media encoding and 3D rendering tests), Subsystem testing (storage, network and audio performance tests), and Gaming Benchmarks (semi-synthetic and real gameplay tests).

System Benchmarks

  • wPrime 1.55 32M
  • Aida64 Engineer 4.30.2900
  • CineBench R15
  • PCMark 8 v2.0.228
  • WinRAR 5.01
  • Handbrake 0.9.9
  • x264 FHD 1.0.1

Subsystem Testing

  • CrystalDisk Mark for SATA and USB 3.0 tests
  • DPC Latency
  • Rightmark Audio Analyzer 6.4.0
  • Passmark Performance Test 8.0 – Network Speed Graph
  • JPerf 2.0.2
  • LAN Speed Test 3.4

Gaming Benchmarks

  • 3DMark11 v1.0.132 – Performance and Extreme Preset
  • 3DMark (Firestrike test) v1.2.362 – Default Preset
  • Tomb Raider – Built-in Benchmark, Low preset on 800×600, Max preset on 1920×1080
  • Bioshock Infinite – Built-in Benchmark, Low preset on 640×480, Max preset on 1920×1080
  • Sleeping Dogs – Built-in Benchmark, Low preset on 640×480
  • Unigine Heaven 4.0 – Built-in Benchmark, DX11 Low preset on 640×480

 

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Ron Perillo

Ron is a non-binary tech writer that presently identifies as a reviewer but is currently transitioning toward modding.

One Comment

  1. Boughts one!
    I hope they imrpove the board’s gaming performance by bios, i have read a review where this board resulted to lag behind some old boards like GA-z87x-d3h and MSI gaming series…

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