CPUID recently released their latest CPU-Z version that brings some major changes to the much-loved software. One of these changes has made it harder to get validation at lower stability levels, so it becomes much more troublesome to validate 5.2GHz at 1.5v with every board. While CPU-Z has changed, many motherboards (not this one) don't have LLC. I have to set a higher voltage to compare all these boards at the same voltage.
I have decided to reduce the CPU VCore to 1.4v applied (I will measure real VCore at the output capacitors), and see how high I can validate. On most boards, it's 5.0. I have also decided to add real voltage levels compared to what is set for all motherboards, if they don't have voltage read points I will mark where I got the readings from on the board.
The GAMING Z170X does 5.0GHz just like other high-end boards.
I test stability at 4.8GHz CPU, 4.0GHz Uncore, and 2666MHz on the memory with 1.4v on the VCore. I am using HandBrake to transcode a 2GB video, and it is very telling since it pulls all cores to the maximum frequency and load. Handbrake is good for a quick stability check, plus I get a log of the encoding speed and the number of errors. It is very easy for the queue not to finish all the way and just error out, and 1-3 hours of AIDA is about equal to this HandBrake test, so I am replacing it. The reason the CPU frequency and Uncore are so low is because EIST drops the CPU frequency at idle points. You can see HWiNFO's CPU frequency and temperature maximums that the CPU runs at full speed when loaded.
These are the voltage read points if you want to try and use the built-in LLC because in-Windows reading isn't very good for most Z170 motherboards. You can expect a 0.05-0.1 drop in the voltage if you don't use LLC, which I figure most people will use. However, if you set a value of 50 for both DC and AC and test, you could find some benefits and reduction in vdroop. I reported there was no vdroop control, and they added in the integrated AC/DC LLC, so hopefully they will add in external LLC in the future. Measuring the VCore manually is recommended. If you don't want to measure, then look at your CPU temperature to see how much VCore you need. As a reference, 80C is about 1.39-1.43v on a good AIO water cooler at 4.8GHz. And you might need to set 1.45-1.5v for that (Intel's recommended maximum is 1.52v). So, just try and stay under that since the VCore will drop under load.
I have decided to expand the overclocking tests to the following:
Test 1: 4x8GB (32GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX 2666MHz C16
The motherboard runs four sticks each at 8GB at 2,666MHz XMP, but BIOSTAR's XMP applies its own timings that are applied when applying XMP on other kits as well. That includes C19 and T1 for some reason.
Test 2: 4x4GB (16GB) Corsair Dominator Platinum 3200MHz C16
This kit meant for X99 works just fine on the board, but again with an altered XMP profile. I had to go in and set C16 and command rate to T2 from T1.
Test 3:2x4GB (8GB) G.Skill Ripjaws V 3600MHz C17
This kit doesn't work on all motherboards. Usually, only overclocking models can even boot this kit by just enabling XMP. On the GAMING Z170X, I can get to 3200MHz, but 3600MHz isn't attainable at this moment. BIOS updates should bring support for these modules as I wasn't able to get 3200MHz earlier, but with the second oldest BIOS, I can (a new BIOS just released while writing this review).
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and the GAMING Z170X]
- Page 3 [BIOSTAR GAMING Z170X Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [BIOSTAR GAMING Z170X Circuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Software]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup]
- Page 7 [Overclocking]
- Page 8 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 9 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 10 [Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption]
- Page 11 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]
Recommended for You
- We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.
Latest News Posts
- Project CARS 2 latest screenshots look amazing
- BlackBerry announces KEYone, with Pixel's camera sensor
- Genesis Alpha One is the 80s sci-fi game I always wanted
- iPhone 7 explodes, smoke coming out caught on video
- Mass Effect: Andromeda on PC is Origin exclusive
- Main and backup BIOS are damaged or wipped
- Halo Wars 2 Xbox One Review
- Asus Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5s rear camera is not working
- ASUS ROG SWIFT PG258Q: Crazy Fast Gaming @ 1080p 240Hz
- Cannot access the BIOS on a laptop
- ASRock launches a new era of performance with AMD Ryzen motherboards
- Nintendo eShop, Indie Games Ready for Nintendo Switch Launch
- Innovation and competition return to high-performance PCs March 2nd with worldwide AMD Ryzen 7 availability
- Final Fantasy awarded Guinness World Records title for most prolific role-playing game
- InstaVR launches publishing compatibility with HTC VIVE, cnabling companies to create high quality long-form VR video applications