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BIOSTAR GAMING Z97X (Intel Z97) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Apr 9, 2015 2:12 pm
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: BIOSTAR

Test Setup

 

A big thanks to Corsair for sponsoring the case, fans, SSD, USB drive, and PSU!

 

A big thanks to Seek for sponsoring the Thermal Camera. You can find my review of the camera here.

 

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This is the new test bench, and it is designed to test every aspect of the motherboard and it's IO. I have designed it so that the motherboard sits in a case and is cooled by fans always on at a constant rate to keep the conditions similar for all tests. I have cut out part of the case behind the motherboard so I can get thermal images of the back of the PCB where the VRM heat spreads. System and CPU power measurements are now digitally logged. We are also using a Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350 for our Wireless AC tests. The latest M.2, SSD, and USB technologies are also being utilized to test the maximum potential of the motherboards that are being tested.

 

The front panel was easy to install and its cables are pretty long so it will work in the majority of cases.

 

 

Overclocking Results

 

In this section, I will go through overclocking this board.

 

CPU Overclocking

 

Max CPU Overclock is found by setting the VCore to 1.4v, Input voltage to 2.0v, cache voltage to 1.2v, CPU multiplier to 45x, memory and cache multipliers to 8x, and disable any features that would result in CPU frequency fluctuation. I then proceed into Windows and use software to increase the multiplier; in this case I opted to use BIOSTAR's TOVERCLOCKER program.

 

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5.0GHz is the maximum of our CPU on this board. Maximum AIDA64 Stable Overclock (BIOS settings below for this):

 

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I was easily able to pull off 4.8GHz on the CPU with 4.0GHz cache and a 2600MHz overclock on my memory manually tuning the UEFI.

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