We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS, MSI, Western Digital, MemoRight and Corsair.
The main motherboard featured in our graphs today is naturally this BIOSTAR option which we'll be looking at in both stock and overclocked performance. Along with that, though, we've got a couple of other Z77 motherboards including the ASRock Z77 OC Formula, GIGABYTE Z77X-UD4H and ASUS Maximus IV GENE. Along with these we've also got the recently looked at GIGABYTE X79S-UP5-WiFi.
When it came to the overclocking side of things, I can honestly say that not a whole lot was expected initially. Not only is the board not focused on overclocking, it's instead focused on a completely different segment due to the Hi-Fi audio features that are present.
Heading into the BIOS we're greeted with all the normal features you'd expect from a motherboard. What was added here, though, was the color coding that we see on mainly only ASUS boards. As you move up the voltages we have certain colors and it's clear as we move to more and more dangerous areas. We like this.
In this case you go from black to yellow and into red. Depending on the quality of your cooler ultimately depends on where you can go with the voltages, but with a strong air cooler or basic water cooling setup, you should have no issue at the end of the yellow section. Of course it's important to make sure that you keep an eye on the temperatures when you get into Windows.
Moving our voltages to just before the color red and the multiplier to 47x, we got into Windows at 4.7GHz with no issue. We started doing an encode test under MediaEspresso and while it looked to be going strong, it crashed after about five minutes.
We headed back into the BIOS and moved to the 46x multiplier. If this is where we ended up at we would have been fairly satisfied. Our best tested boards tend to sneak a little over 4.7GHz, while a lot of them sit around the 4.6GHz mark - especially those that don't have a huge focus on overclocking. Back in Windows, though, with no issue at 4.6GHz, we decided to head back into the BIOS to see if we could do anything with the BCLK and squeeze a few more MHz out of the setup.
Pushing the BCLK up to 101.53 and leaving the multiplier running at 46x, we managed to have our machine running at a very solid 4670MHz or 4.67GHz as listed in our graphs here today. This is a really strong overclock and honestly higher than we expected out of this board.