We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASRock, Kingston, Mittoni, Noctua and Corsair.
When it comes to the lineup of boards we'll be looking at today, there's nothing you haven't really seen in our previous reviews with the ASRock Z68 Pro3 and Extreme4 both being present. We've also got the ASRock X58 Extreme3 and Sapphire Pure Black P67 Hydra for good measure.
When we looked at the Pro3 the main thing we wanted to know was by moving to a cheaper board, were we sacrificing performance or just some features that we maybe didn't really need when compared to the Extreme4. Today we want to know the same thing; by moving to a cheaper board again, and in this case a smaller one, are we just losing some features because of the smaller PCB, or are we also losing some performance?
The other thing we'll be looking at today when we compare the Pro3-M to other boards is the Pro3-M when we overclocked it. One thing we did find with the Pro3 was that our overclocking potential wasn't quite as strong. With smaller heatsinks on the board it didn't come as a surprise. Is moving to an mATX board going to impact out overclocking potential even further, though?
With a bit of optimism I set the multiplier to 50x hoping we could get up and running at 5GHz, which is just above what we achieved out of the Z68 Pro3, but a little lower than what we could get out of the Z68 Extreme4. While we got into Windows, as soon as we started our HyperPI run we got a BSOD a few minutes in.
Back to the BIOS, I moved the multiplier to 49x and we ended up again in Windows with no problems. Everything was up and running just fine and it was the overclock we settled on. This brought our CPU to 4.92GHz which was what we achieved on the Z68 Pro3 from ASRock. So with our overclock set and everything running smoothly, it's time to see what kind of performance we can get out of this mATX board.
Let's get started!