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ASRock Fatal1ty H87 Performance (Intel H87) Motherboard Review

ASRock Fatal1ty H87 Performance (Intel H87) Motherboard Review

We finally check out the new Intel H87 chipset via the ASRock Fatal1ty H87 Performance motherboard. Let's see how this well priced board performs.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Sat, Sep 7 2013 9:01 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:32 PM CDT
Rating: 91%Manufacturer: ASRock

Introduction and Package

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At the launch of any new chipset, we see Intel launch with it a number under that label. For example the "8" series chipset saw the Z87, H87 and Q87, along with the B85 and H81. Like any chipset launch, though, we tend to only focus on the most popular ones. First of all because that's what our readers want to see and secondly it's of course what most companies are promoting.

If any company was going to send us a motherboard based on one of the other chipsets, though, it was going to be ASRock and today we're checking out a motherboard from them based on the H87. As the title suggests, this particular board falls under the Fatal1ty series.

The H87 is a chipset aimed for people who don't quite need all the features that are brought to the table via the Z87 chipset. There's not a huge amount of differences between the two chipset, but we'll take a closer look at just what exactly they are in a few moments.

Before we take a closer look at the differences, though, we need to see the package. So, without any delay, let's see just what ASRock is bringing to the table with the Fatal1ty H87 Performance.

Package

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Checking out the box, we can see the front gives us some of the basic information including the model name and a bunch of logos that are part of the board. Turning over, you can see we get into a bit more detail on everything that's offered.

Being a Fatal1ty board, you can see the Gaming Armor and A Style Audio. Gaming Armor brings with it Hi-Density Power Connector, 15u Gold Dingers for our VGA PCIe slots, Intel LAN and Purity Sound. You can also see that XSplit is included in the bundle, which is software that allows you to broadcast what's going on with your computer via online streaming services.

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Diving in the bundle you can see we've got the standard line up of paperwork and driver CD. You can also see a pair of SATA cables and standard rear I/O panel, below an ASRock case sticker to round the bundle off here today.

ASRock Fatal1ty H87 Performance Motherboard

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Looking above you can see the normal black and red color scheme, along with the Fatal1ty branding throughout the heatsink design. Let's move in a little closer, though, and see just what we're dealing with.

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Checking out the expansion slots, you can see we've got two PCIe x1 slots, along with three older PCI legacy slots. You can see we've also got two red PCIe x16 slots. One is a PCIe 3.0 x16 slot that runs at x16, while the other is a PCIe 2.0 x16 slot that runs only at x4.

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Heading across the bottom, you can see the normal connectors you'd expect on the left hand side. Looking over on the right you can see we've got six SATA connectors. All six of these connectors are SATA 3.0 and all run off the Intel chipset.

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Heading to the top of the board we can see the main 24-pin ATX power connector and next to that we have a USB 3.0 header. You can also see four DIMM slots. One of the main difference between the H87 and the Z87 is the RAM support on the H87 while still being 32GB is instead rated for speeds ranging from 1066MHz DDR to 1600MHz DDR. We see Z87 boards via overclocking go into the realms of 3000MHz+ DDR.

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Checking out the CPU area you can see the 8-pin CPU connector at the top of the board. Moving back a little and looking at the CPU area, you can see that it's not that busy at all, with just a small heatsink seen.

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Taking a look at the I/O side of things, you can see a fairly standard setup with a PS/2 port and four USB 2.0 connectors. Video out options include DVI-D, VGA and HDMI. Along with that we also have a HDMI in port. Four more USB connections are seen, but these are all USB 3.0, while Gigabit networking is provided by the PHY Intel I217V chip. Finally we finish off with five auxiliary connectors and an optical out port which run off the Realtek ALC1150 Audio Codec and brings with it Purity Sound, a feature that combines a number of hardware and software features to make audio quality as good as possible.

Quickly before we move into the BIOS, though, we just want to quickly cover the main differences between the H87 and Z87 chipsets. There really are very few differences between the two chipset. One of the main differences is the RAM support which we mentioned earlier. The H87 goes to just 1600MHz DDR, while the Z87 via overclocking can exceed 3000MHz DDR.

We also lose support for multiple video card setups and multiplier overclocking, although, the latter, is not an issue at the moment as companies have offered the feature anyway. Intel have said they will be adjusting the Microcode, though, so it can no longer be done. Apart from those features, though, there's really not much that differs between the two chipsets.

BIOS

Heading into the BIOS you can see the typical Fatal1ty design layout is present with the red being seen throughout. As always, if you're heading into the BIOS, the chances are you're going to be doing overclocking, and if that's the case, you'll want to be in the OC Tweaker section.

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You'll probably want to enable the Non-Z OC feature which gives you the same overclocking features as the Z87. We'll talk about just how we went with the overclocking side of things on the next page.

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Moving through the rest of the BIOS, you can see a fairly standard affair with all the typical options present.

Benchmarks - Test System Setup and Overclocking

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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.

We've got a bunch of Z87 boards in our graphs today. One of the main things we want to know is how the H87 performs against the Z87 chipset from an out of the box performance perspective. Saying that we've got the recently looked at Super Micro C7Z87-OCE, alongside the ASRock Z87 OC Formula and GIGABTYE Z87X-OC.

Along with these boards we've also got the MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming and GIGABYTE X79S-UP5-WIFI for comparison.

One of the biggest differences between the H87 and Z87 chipset is that officially the H87 doesn't really offer anything in terms of overclocking abilities. Generally speaking, you should only be able to adjust the BCLK of the CPU. Since the introduction of the chipset, though, we have seen companies figure out a way to bring multiplier overclocking to the table.

We adjusted the voltage and then proceeded to adjust the multiplier to 49x, which tends to be the limit of this CPU. We got into Windows with no problem and then proceeded to do a MediaEspresso encode. Completing with no issue, we knew that we had pretty much found the overclock we would achieve today.

ASRock Fatal1ty H87 Performance (Intel H87) Motherboard Review 01 | TweakTown.com

Nonetheless, we did head back into the BIOS to see if we could get anything more out of the setup, but as we expected, we didn't have any luck. With everything up and running, we finally finished off with a 4898.51MHz overclock or 4.9GHz as illustrated in our graphs today.

Saying all this, though, it's important to remember that the multiplier overclocking ability is something that Intel are working on removing as it does hamper the reason to buy a Z series chipset a little, especially when using just one video card. Do keep in mind that these levels of overclockability may not always be attainable in the future.

CPU Benchmarks

HyperPi 0.99

Version and / or Patch Used: 0.99

Developer Homepage: www.virgilioborges.com.br

Product Homepage: www.virgilioborges.com.br

Download It Here

HyperPi is a front end for SuperPi that allows for multiple concurrent instances of SuperPi to be run on each core recognized by the system. It is very dependent on CPU to memory to HDD speed. The faster these components, the faster it is able to figure out the number Pi to the selected length.

For our testing we use the 32M run. This means that each of the four physical and four logical cores for the i7 and the four physical cores of the i5 is trying to calculate the number Pi out to 32 million decimal places. Each "run" is a comparative to ensure accuracy and any stability or performance issues in the loop mentioned above will cause errors in calculation.

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AIDA64

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.00.1035BETA

Developer Homepage: http://www.aida64.com

Product Homepage: http://www.AIDA64.com

Buy It Here

Replacing Everest in our labs is AIDA64. This new testing suite is from the core development team from Lavalys and continues that tradition. The guys have thrown in better support for multithreaded CPUs as well as full 64 bit support. We use this to test memory and HDDs for now, but may find ourselves opening this up to other areas of the motherboard.

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Straight away out the gate we can see that performance on the ASRock Fatal1ty H87 Performance is strong and lines up with its Z87 big brother for the most part under all benchmarks.

Thanks to the ability to adjust the CPU Multiplier, you can see overclocking brings with it a strong boost in performance thanks to the improved 4.9GHz CPU clock speed.

System Benchmarks

PCMark 7

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.04

Developer Homepage: http://www.pcmark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.pcmark.com

Buy It Here

PCMark 7 includes a range of tests that give different views of your system's performance. In the Advanced Edition you can choose which tests to run. The common use and hardware component tests are unavailable in the Basic Edition.

Overall system performance is measured by the PCMark test. This is the only test that returns an official PCMark score. The Lightweight test measures the system capabilities of entry-level systems and mobility platforms unable to run the PCMark test, but it does not generate a PCMark score. Common use performance is measured by the scenario tests - Entertainment, Creativity and Production - each of which results in a scenario score. Hardware component performance is measured by the hardware tests - Computation and Storage - each of which results in a hardware score.

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MediaEspresso

Version and / or Patch Used: 6.5

Developer Homepage: http://www.cyberlink.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.cyberlink.com/products/mediaespresso/overview_en_AU.html?fileName=overview&r=1

Buy It Here

MediaEspresso is a blazingly fast media universal converter that can transcode your videos, photos and music files and out put them to a huge range of portable devices including mobile phones, portable media players and even game consoles. With technologies like Smart Detect, Direct Sync and CyberLink's TrueTheater video enhancements, you can not only forget about complicated format, resolution and output settings, but your converted file will come out the other side looking better than when it went in!

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Looking at the performance under PCMark 7 and MediaEspresso, you can see that the ASRock Fatal1ty H87 Performance lags a little bit behind in both benchmarks. Not by a huge margin, but you can see in both benchmarks that we're lagging slightly behind the Z87 offerings.

Thanks again to the fact that we're able to adjust the multiplier, we see some great performance gains again under both benchmarks with some good real-world benefits being seen under MediaEspresso.

USB 2.0 and 3.0 Benchmarks

AIDA64

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.70.1400

Developer Homepage: http://www.aida64.com

Product Homepage: http://www.AIDA64.com

Buy It Here

Replacing Everest in our labs is AIDA64. This new testing suite is from the core development team from Lavalys and continues that tradition. The guys have thrown in better support for multithreaded CPUs as well as full 64 bit support. We use this to test memory and HDDs for now, but may find ourselves opening this up to other areas of the motherboard.

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Looking above you can see that USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 performance is exactly as you'd expect.

We really see that most motherboard's USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 performance is pretty similar these days.

SSD Benchmarks

AIDA64

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.70.1400

Developer Homepage: http://www.aida64.com

Product Homepage: http://www.AIDA64.com

Buy It Here

Replacing Everest in our labs is AIDA64. This new testing suite is from the core development team from Lavalys and continues that tradition. The guys have thrown in better support for multithreaded CPUs as well as full 64 bit support. We use this to test memory and HDDs for now, but may find ourselves opening this up to other areas of the motherboard.

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HD Tune Pro

Version and / or Patch Used: 4.61

Developer Homepage: http://www.hdtune.com

Product Homepage: http://www.hdtune.com

Buy It Here

HD Tune Pro gives us accurate read, write and access time results and for the last couple of years has been gaining popularity amongst reviewers. It is now considered a must have application for storage device testing.

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SSD performance is pretty strong across both benchmarks. We can see that under AIDA64 the performance is pretty much in line with everything else.

The numbers under HD Tune Pro sees that the minimum is a little lower than the GIGABYTE and MSI offerings. Looking at the Average and Maximum, though, you can see we're ahead of both.

Memory Benchmarks

AIDA64

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.00.1035BETA

Developer Homepage: http://www.aida64.com

Product Homepage: http://www.AIDA64.com

Buy It Here

Replacing Everest in our labs is AIDA64. This new testing suite is from the core development team from Lavalys and continues that tradition. The guys have thrown in better support for multithreaded CPUs as well as full 64 bit support. We use this to test memory and HDDs for now, but may find ourselves opening this up to other areas of the motherboard.

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Due to the fact that we're not able to run our memory at the standard 1866MHz DDR, you can see that RAM performance is a little lower as it's set to 1600MHz DDR, the maximum supported speed by the H87 chipset.

This is important to remember as the last thing you want to do is buy a H87 based motherboard and buy 1866MHz DDR or higher RAM, as it would truly just be a waste of money. Do keep this in mind.

Gaming Benchmarks

3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.3dmark.com/3dmark11/

Buy It Here

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world's most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC's gaming performance 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

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Metro 2033

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.4a-games.com//

Product Homepage: http://www.thqnordic.com/

Metro 2033 is an action-oriented video game with a combination of survival horror and first-person shooter elements. The game is based on the novel Metro 2033 by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. It was developed by 4A Games in Ukraine and released in March 2010 for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360.[3] In March 2006, 4A Games announced a partnership with Glukhovsky to collaborate on the game.[4] The game was announced at the 2009 Games Convention in Leipzig;[5] a first trailer came along with the announcement.[6] A sequel was announced, currently titled Metro: Last Light.

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Out of the box performance for gaming is pretty much what you'd expect. The ASRock boards along with the GIGABYTE board all perform very close to each other.

Overclocking brings a slightly bump in the Performance preset and the lower resolution result under Metro 2033. In the end, though, we see that performance between all setups is very close.

Temperature and Power

Power Consumption

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Power draw at idle and load sits at the lower-end of the scale. Overclocking brings a bump in both the idle and load, as you'd expect, but with 328 Watt being seen at load with the setup we have here today, we're not too worried.

A good quality branded power supply in the 500 Watt+ realm would do the job perfectly.

Core Temperature

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Stock CPU temperatures look good with both low idle and load numbers. Overclocking of course causes both numbers to jump, and you can see that at load we're seeing 98c.

A very high number, but a number we're used to seeing on the 4770K when it comes to these kind of clock speeds. At least it didn't hit 100c which is when the CPU speed begins to throttle back to reduce its temperature.

Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts

This is a really interesting board to talk about when it comes to our overall thoughts of it. Coming in at $104.99 at the time of writing, the ASRock Fatal1ty H87 Performance is really just an awesomely priced motherboard that offers some great performance for the price. Out of the box performance for the most part is pretty typical, it lags sometimes compared to the Z87 offerings, but at this price point, we really can't complain.

What makes the board for us is the fact that we're able to get 4.9GHz out of our 4770K CPU at this price point. Of course, the general feature set is good, the color scheme is also nice for a board at this price point. But the excellent out of the box overclocking performance at this price point is what makes the board really shine for us.

The issue is that in June, Intel issued a statement saying they intended to lock down the ability to use multiplier overclocking on the chipset. Remove the ability to get 4.9GHz from the board and we end up with a model that instead of offering amazing value for money, instead just offers good value for money.

If the removal of this feature is done via a BIOS update, then we could simply just choose to not update the BIOS and we would continue to have the feature. The other option could be a "stability update" through Windows Update. Again if ignored, you could simply continue to have this feature. If you're going to be overclocking, we for the most part feel that you're going to be more comfortable with what's going on. Because of that, we feel that we can score the board based on the fact that it's $104.99 and offers fantastic overclocking features.

If you're able to dodge the update that will lock down the multiplier changing ability (if it even comes out from Intel) and want a system with just one video card, this is ultimately an awesome motherboard. Its performance out of the box is strong and becomes even better when overclocking is thrown into the mix. The overall look of the board is strong and a strong feature set which includes Intel Gigabit networking, plenty of SATA III ports and some Fatalit1y specific feature make for an outstanding board at $104.99.

This is a board we wouldn't hesitate in recommending. We would always feel the need to warn people, though, that you could lose these overclocking abilities if you're not paying too much attention to your updates. As of now, though, we're able to enjoy some great overclocking at a fantastic price point with this product from ASRock.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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