Many thanks to...

We must thank the following companies for kindly providing hardware for our test bed:

Thank you to OCZ for providing us with 1250W Gold Power Supplies.
Thank you to G.Skill for providing us with memory kits.
Thank you to Corsair for providing us with an AX1200i PSU, Corsair H80i CLC and 16GB 2400C10 memory.
Thank you to ASUS for providing us with the AMD GPUs and some IO Testing kit.
Thank you to ECS for providing us with the NVIDIA GPUs.
Thank you to Rosewill for providing us with the 500W Platinum Power Supply for mITX testing, BlackHawk Ultra, and 1600W Hercules PSU for extreme dual CPU + quad GPU testing, and RK-9100 keyboards.
Thank you to ASRock for providing us with the 802.11ac wireless router for testing.

Test Setup

Processor Intel Core i7-4770K Retail
4 Cores, 8 Threads, 3.5 GHz (3.9 GHz Turbo)
Motherboards ASRock Z87 Extreme6/AC
ASRock Z87 OC Formula/AC
ASRock Z87M OC Formula
ASRock Z87E-ITX
ASUS Z87-Pro
Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H
Gigabyte Z87X-OC
MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming
MSI Z87 XPower
MSI Z87I
Cooling Corsair H80i
Thermalright TRUE Copper
Power Supply OCZ 1250W Gold ZX Series
Corsair AX1200i Platinum PSU
Memory GSkill TridentX 4x4 GB DDR3-2400 10-12-12 Kit
Corsair Vengeance Pro 2x8 GB DDR3 2400 10-12-12 Kit
Memory Settings XMP (2400 10-12-12)
Video Cards ASUS HD7970 3GB
ECS GTX 580 1536MB
Video Drivers Catalyst 13.1
NVIDIA Drivers 310.90 WHQL
Hard Drive OCZ Vertex 3 256GB
Optical Drive LG GH22NS50
Case Open Test Bed
Operating System Windows 7 64-bit
USB 2/3 Testing OCZ Vertex 3 240GB with SATA->USB Adaptor
WiFi Testing D-Link DIR-865L 802.11ac Dual Band Router

Power Consumption

Power consumption was tested on the system as a whole with a wall meter connected to the OCZ 1250W power supply, while in a dual 7970 GPU configuration.  This power supply is Gold rated, and as I am in the UK on a 230-240 V supply, leads to ~75% efficiency > 50W, and 90%+ efficiency at 250W, which is suitable for both idle and multi-GPU loading.  This method of power reading allows us to compare the power management of the UEFI and the board to supply components with power under load, and includes typical PSU losses due to efficiency.  These are the real world values that consumers may expect from a typical system (minus the monitor) using this motherboard.

While this method for power measurement may not be ideal, and you feel these numbers are not representative due to the high wattage power supply being used (we use the same PSU to remain consistent over a series of reviews, and the fact that some boards on our test bed get tested with three or four high powered GPUs), the important point to take away is the relationship between the numbers.  These boards are all under the same conditions, and thus the differences between them should be easy to spot.

Power Consumption - 2x 7970 at Long Idle

The Z87E-ITX does well in our power consumption tests, being relatively low in idle scenarios, 16W lower than the MSI in gaming and under 130W during OCCT.

Windows 7 POST Time

Different motherboards have different POST sequences before an operating system is initialized.  A lot of this is dependent on the board itself, and POST boot time is determined by the controllers on board (and the sequence of how those extras are organized).  As part of our testing, we are now going to look at the POST Boot Time - this is the time from pressing the ON button on the computer to when Windows 7 starts loading.  (We discount Windows loading as it is highly variable given Windows specific features.)  These results are subject to human error, so please allow +/- 1 second in these results.

POST (Power-On Self-Test) Time

The Z87E-ITX hits the nine second mark square on, providing a nice and quick boot time.

ASRock Z87E-ITX In The Box, Overclocking System Benchmarks
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43 Comments

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  • duynguyenle - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    You can get the manual here http://www.asrock.com/MB/overview.asp?cat=Manual&a...

    The section on storage quoted:

    6 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors, support RAID (RAID 0,
    RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, Intel Rapid Storage Technology
    12 and Intel Smart Response Technology), NCQ, AHCI and
    “Hot Plug” (SATA3_5 connector is shared with the eSATA
    port; SATA3_4 connector is shared with the mSATA/mini-
    PCI Express slot)

    So it looks like the eSATA and mSATA ports are shared with the physical SATA ports 3 and 4, giving you only 6 maximum HDDs
    Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    For example, the H87 version of this board has four physical SATA ports and one eSATA giving 5 total ports. The 87-chipset only has six SATA 6Gbps channels total. Reply
  • zlandar - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    I see 6 SATA ports in a row on the motherboard. The eSATA and mSATA are in addition to the 6 SATA ports. Reply
  • duynguyenle - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    Just because there are 6 SATA ports doesn't mean you can use all 6 IN ADDITION to the mSATA and eSATA ports. Quite often, the physical ports share electrical connection with mSATA and eSATA connectors, meaning that if you plug in a mSATA drive onto the motherboard, you will disable the SATA connector it's shared with.

    In fact, the user manual here (http://www.asrock.com/MB/overview.asp?cat=Manual&a... states that the mSATA and eSATA ports are shared with onboard SATA ports number 3 and 4, respectively, meaning that you only get a maximum of 6 HDDs in any combination of onboard SATAs+mSATA+eSATA
    Reply
  • abscode - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    My media server/file server/HTPC is built around this board and has been on 24/7 since it's release week. It's been absolutely solid and trouble free. Recently built a developer workstation around the Asus Z87I-Deluxe and that one has been excellent too. Reply
  • vortexmak - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    Ian or someone who has this board, can you please check if Wifi and Bluetooth works on Linux/Ubuntu ? My purchasing decision rests on this.

    PS: You can use an ubuntu bootable CD. Thanks for all the help :)
    Reply
  • vortexmak - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    Where does the power for eSATA come from ? Do you have to use an external power supply ?

    Will AT be reviewing the Gigabyte Z87 ITX board as well ?

    Thanks
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    eSATA is an unpowered interface. I've seen a few boards offering combination eSATA/USB2 ports that could theoretically combine power and data into a single cable; but I don't recall ever seeing a device that used one. Part of that issue is probably that at the time USB power was limited to 2.5W; and most eSATA enclosures were for 3.5" drives which needed a brick to provide enough power to operate. Reply
  • bobbozzo - Thursday, November 7, 2013 - link

    If your case has an empty slot, you can get brackets with Molex and/or SATA power connectors.
    Here's one with 2 eSATA, 1 Molex, and external cables for Molex -> SATA power:
    www.amazon.com/dp/B000YI7M3G
    Reply
  • stennan - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    Will you be doing any matx motherboards soon. I have my eyes on the gryphon or the gene 6. The question is how I should add wifi and if I should add a dedicated soundcard. It partly hinges on if true audio takes off and if the 290 will be quiet enough for the small case I have in mind. Reply

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