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.
Along with the Z77-HD4 running at both stock and overclocked speeds we've also got the ASRock Z77 OC Formula, GIGABYTE Z77X-UD4H, ASUS Maximus V GENE and GIGABYTE X79S-UP5-WiFi.
When it comes to the overclocking side of things we headed straight into the BIOS and made our way to the M.I.T. section. We knew exactly what we wanted to do here - we headed to the multiplier section and moved it to 47x which we know is pretty much the max of our particular i7 3770k chip.
We then headed into the voltage settings and adjusted them as they needed. We then rebooted and got into Windows with no problems. Considering the lower end nature of the board we figured once we started our MediaEspresso encode the program would either crash or we'd be greeted with a BSOD.
Much to our surprise the run completed without a single issue. Surprised with the performance of the board when overclocking we headed back into the BIOS. We went for a 48x multiplier which we knew wouldn't work, but we thought we'd try anyway. Our machine didn't boot.
We headed back into the BIOS and moved back to the 47x multiplier. From here we then took the time to adjust the BCLK. We found ourselves in Windows at 4.75GHz. We started a MediaEspresso encode and got quite far through - all the way to 81% to be accurate before it crashed.
We then took the time to mess around with the BLCK a little more to see if we could get anything else out of it. In the end we had to go back to 100 which bought our CPU in at 4.7GHz. This is still an extremely strong overclock. Most boards we see go around the 4.6GHz mark. Few go to 4.7GHz and even fewer show any signs of stability above that speed. Much to our shock, though, overclocking performance was really quite amazing when we consider where this model stands on the market. With that overclock found it was time to get into the benchmarking side of things to find out just what kind of performance we were able to get out of the board.