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ASRock Z170 OC Formula (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Sep 9, 2015 2:24 pm
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: ASRock

Overclocking Results


CPU Overclocking


CPUID recently released their latest CPU-Z version which brings some major changes to the much loved software. One of these changes has made it harder to get a 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 its 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.




The Z170 OC Formula is doing 5.0GHz.





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 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, but you can see HWiNFO's CPU frequency and temperature maximums that the CPU runs at full speed when loaded.




There are multiple LLC options and I only picked the three most effective. Level 1 is the strongest with a voltage increase under load, which is what you want for extreme overclocking situations. As you increase the voltage applied, the LLC levels will become less effective, meaning Level 1 might increase only a few millivolts at 1.8v+.



Memory Overclocking


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 2666MHz XMP without issue.


Test 2: 4x4GB (16GB) Corsair Dominator Platinum 3200MHz C16




This kit meant for X99 works just fine on the Z170 OC Formula at 3200MHz with XMP.


Test 3:2x4GB (8GB) G.Skill Ripjaws V 3600MHz C17




This 3600MHz G.Skill kit works perfectly on the Z170 OC Formula, which makes it one of a few Z170 boards capable of running this kit and other high speed DDR4 kits with ease.

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