Motherboard Testing Methodology
Motherboards based on the same chipset tend to have very similar performance. This wasn’t always the case, but since Intel released their ‘Sandy Bridge’ CPU’s we find ever increasing motherboard features embedded into the CPU rather than the chipset. With this in mind it’s not surprising that everyone’s “Z87″ chipset motherboard performs pretty much alike…at stock settings. The ASRock Z87E-ITX Motherboard is a near full feature motherboard condensed into the ITX form factor (as the name suggests) and has to work extra hard to prove itself worthy of its price tag.
Overclocking is facilitated with the right CPU, but this motherboard isn’t just about overclocking. There is a 6-phase CPU power setup, enhanced power circuitry, and plenty of other features as detailed in this review that you wouldn’t expect to find on an ITX Motherboard.
I will test the motherboard using the synthetic AIDA64 benchmark’s CPU tests as well as a “real world” benchmark, SPECviewperf. Results presented hereafter will represent tests conducted at stock CPU speeds and auto overclocked speeds using the ASRock A-Tuning utility. A-Tuning overclocked the i5 4670K CPU from its stock speed of 3.4GHz to 4.2GHz.
I was able to reach 4.3GHz after a little bit of tweaking but the CPU would not yield better results without more volts and without getting too hot (due to the on-die VRM present in Haswell CPU’s). Since the 100MHz increase didn’t produce any substantial increase in benchmark scores, the results were not included in the charts. rovide a little more detail about this in the overclocking section later in the article.
Motherboard: ASRock Z87E-ITX Motherboard with P1.40 UEFI BIOS
Processor: 3.4GHz 4th Gen’ Intel Core i5 4670K “Haswell” CPU
System Memory: 4GB DDR-3 1600MHz CL11 Dual Channel
Disk Drive 1: 160GB Seagate SATA II 7200rpm
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 120m
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium x64
- AIDA64 v2.85.2400
- SPECViewPerf 11
Join us on the next page for the AIDA64 benchmark results.