We used the WattsUp? Pro meter in these tests. This allowed us to measure power use directly from the wall. This meter also uses a USB cable to connect to a computer and Logger Pro software to graph the readings while we run our tests.
To test total system power use, we used AIDA64 Stability test to load the CPU, and then recorded the results.
Now we get down to the draw backs of overclocking. Both systems tested are equal except for the Z97-WS, which was overclocked, and the graph shows the extra power needed to do so. Even at 225watts max, the system is still not pulling a super large amount of watts.
We did not have enough time to run our full set of tests, but by looking at the results for the tests we did run, we believe that the increase in performance will continue with those tests.
We were very impressed with how the new BIOS really brings it all together when setting a system up. It is much simpler to use and you really have no need to go into the advanced settings anymore.
The ability to simply click EZ Tune in the BIOS, and a few more clicks and you have a fully overclocked system with almost no effort that gives you a great performance increases for next to no effort. If you thought that the latest generation of Intel CPU's were easy to overclock, ASUS has just made it that much simpler. It can boost the performance of this system up into the high-end range with little to no effort.
The package itself has a huge number of features that allow you get a lot out of this system depending on how you want to use it.
About the only thing we can really nitpick about is we wish it had more SATA ports. Some of us like to use 3-4 hard drives on top of a SSD RAID and a DVD drive, so we have just enough for that, but not much room for expansion. All though when new SATA Express drives come out we could drop our RAID and gain two additional SATA ports, so it's still good.
Overall, we think that the Z97-WS is an exceptional platform and ASUS has done a good job with feature load out and updates to the BIOS and ease of overclocking. We also did like the number of USB ports you can run on this motherboard, it seems we never have enough of these anymore. Whether you are a system builder or a DIY kind of person, you really cannot go wrong with this motherboard.
At this time, we do not know what the final cost will be for this motherboard (it should go on sale soon, but we don't have a final date just yet), so we will have to withhold judgment on value. When you compare the package quality of other ASUS motherboards, we have seen this one seems to have cut some corners, even though it is still adequate it does not compare to past motherboards. We hope that this will help to reduce some of the costs for this motherboard.
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