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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  • IanCutress - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    I've already covered the Z87M OC Formula, and I have the Gryphon in for review, as well as a gaming mATX. I hope to get to them by the end of the year :) You have two options for WiFi: USB device, or PCIe x1 card. Reply
  • althaz - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    Also, I can assure you that the 290 is not quiet enough. It almost doens't matter what for, if you have to ask about the noise, it'll probably bother you, IMO. Reply
  • Aikouka - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    I've been looking at this board for a while, so it was a nice treat to see the review pop up this morning. The main use that I have for this board is for HTPCs. I like using the Streacom cases (Ganesh reviewed one for Anandtech), and the cases require very little obstruction from the top of the motherboard to the CPU. Unfortunately, a lot of Mini-ITX boards put the memory or 24-pin power connector up there. Also, most boards don't have mSATA ports on them, which is nice because forgoing a 2.5" drive helps to reduce the cable clutter in a really small case.

    All that said, it's good to see that the board received some praise! I just need to wait for Perfect Home Theater to get the short Streacom heat pipes in stock first since the CPU socket is a lot closer to the top than on most motherboards.
    Reply
  • vykos - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    Actually, the cheapest board with 802.11ac is Gigabyte's FM2+ mITX board for $110 on Newegg: GA-F2A88XN-WIFI

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...
    Reply
  • IanCutress - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    I just got wind of this via email. It seems fairly new - it doesn't show up on various searches either. So that makes it Gigabyte cheapest on AMD, ASRock on Intel. This means good things: 802.11ac should be ubiquitous up and down the product stack and single band 2.4 GHz should not see the light of day.

    Ian
    Reply
  • popej - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    Quote from review: "the dynamic range is low for an ALC1150".

    For typical codec a loop-back test actually measures line-in performance, since AD converters are usually worst then DAC. And results are in perfect accord with ALC1150 data sheet, which states typical ADC dynamic range -104dB and THD+N -80dB.

    Line-in performance is maybe not the most interesting parameters for a motherboard, but at least measurement have proved, that codec implementation is correct.
    Reply
  • lekzero - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    I believe this mb is used in "Steam Box prototype", I believe I also saw a power supply Silverstone's ST45SF-G also in SBox. Reply
  • Hrel - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    I just built a new computer using this board, in a Fractal Design Node 304 case. Core i5 4570S, 8GB of DDR3 1866 and my old GTX460 768MB GPU. Pretty happy with it. Put some velcro stickies on a slim external DVD burner and put it on top of the case, looks good, is quiet, and is fully functional. Pretty happy I can finally build a small form factor computer without having to give up anything.

    The newegg video on the case says long graphics cards could conflict with modular PSU's. This wasn't the case for the Seasonic G...something. 550W hybrid fan PSU I put in it. Just fyi. The modular ports sit below the GPU, so it is tight, but a GTX780 should fit in there just fine.
    Reply
  • BernardP - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    Could someone explain what are the uses for the onboard WiFi? This has been puzzling me for some time.

    I already have a wireless router at home. What could this onboard WiFi add?
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    The same thing as the wifi on your laptop, tablet, and phone; it lets you connect to the router without running an ethernet cable. Reply

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