Many thanks to...

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

Test Setup

Test Setup
Processor Intel Core i7-4770K ES
4 Cores, 8 Threads, 3.5 GHz (3.9 GHz Turbo)
Motherboard ASRock Z97 Extreme6
Cooling Corsair H80i
Thermalright TRUE Copper
Power Supply OCZ 1250W Gold ZX Series
Corsair AX1200i Platinum PSU
Memory G.Skill RipjawsZ 4x4 GB DDR3-1600 9-11-9 Kit
Memory Settings 1600 9-11-9-27 1T tRFC 240
Video Cards MSI GTX 770 Lightning 2GB (1150/1202 Boost)
ASUS HD7970 3GB (Reference)
Video Drivers Catalyst 13.12
NVIDIA Drivers 335.23
Hard Drive OCZ Vertex 3 256GB
Optical Drive LG GH22NS50
Case Open Test Bed
Operating System Windows 7 64-bit SP1
USB 2/3 Testing OCZ Vertex 3 240GB with SATA->USB Adaptor

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 single MSI GTX 770 Lightning 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 - Long Idle

Power Consumption - Idle

Power Consumption - OCCT

Long idle and idle power consumption are relatively normal for the Z97 Extreme6, although the load power consumption is 10-20W higher than the other motherboards listed here. We have another motherboard tested but not written up yet which also shows the same as the ASRock though, indicating there may be some power saving implemented on some motherboards but not others, or more fundamental efficiency differences due to components.

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 - Single MSI GTX 770

Like some of the other Z97 motherboards, the default POST time extends to almost 20 seconds. However when stripped of the extra controllers, the Z97 Extreme6 is a very impressive 6.9 seconds.

ASRock Z97 Extreme6 In The Box, Overclocking System Benchmarks
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43 Comments

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  • Haravikk - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    Once again I can't understand this over-subscription that results in complex balancing of which SATA ports are used. I mean really, how many people buying these types of motherboards actually need more than four SATA ports? How many actually need a full seven PCIe slots? Just compromise on one or both, and reallocate the bandwidth; juggling ports that work and don't isn't something a builder should have to worry about, it should just be a case of plugging stuff in anywhere that fits and then starting it up. Reply
  • R3MF - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    Reducing GPU access to 8x PCIe 3.0 lanes wouldn't be a problem on Kaveri/FM2+ as they have 24x PCIe 3.0 from the APU.

    If only they'd release an X6 refresh of Kaveri...
    Reply
  • TelstarTOS - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    "GIGABYTE originally had that issue with their Z87 1080p BIOS, but it is fixed for Z97."

    Gigabyte? ;)
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    Yup, GIGABYTE had the issue of having a full HD mode but it wasn't initiated by default, and they fixed it for Z97 such that I can boot into full HD mode directly. ASRock still required me to select the full HD mode from the 720p mode. Reply
  • isa - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    I'm pretty sure the z97 chipset supports m.2 with 4 channels of PCIe 2.0, but this article states most or all upcoming m.2 implementations will be limited to just 2 channels of PCIe 2.0. Do I have my facts straight, and if so, why the 2 channel limit? I can speculate as well as anyone and thus I'm not interested in speculation, but please comment if you actually know. thanks! Reply
  • isa - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    To be clearer, I'd hope m.2 cards and sockets for any laptop to have 4 channels, since overall bandwidth issues with lots of ports that affect desktops just isn't an issue. Reply
  • SirKnobsworth - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    I believe that the Z97 chipset only supports SSD caching on two lanes. Not that this matters all, or perhaps even most of the time, but maybe it was done just to avoid confusion. Reply
  • isa - Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - link

    OK, I looked up the z97 chipset specs in Intel's site, and I believe the answer is that the chipset provides 8 total PCIe 2.0 channels, and these can be assigned in any combo of 1x, 2x or 4x channel bundles as long as the total is 8 or less. So the chipset supports assigning 4 channels to the M.2 slot, and doing so leave 4 PCIe channels for other uses. I just hope laptop motherboard and firmware makers and M.2 PCIe card makers don't automatically limit themselves to M.2 2x implementations. I saw nothing in the Intel specs that required a RST (aka SSD caching) channel for each M.2 PCIe channel, nor do I know if Intel's use of RST effectively allows but cripples the performance of any M.2 PCIe channels over 2. I also don't know if one can disable RST and thus get the full benefit of 4 M.2 channels, motherboard and firmware permitting. It would be great if there was an Anandtech article going into this a bit more. Reply
  • heywoodmi - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    Ian,
    You mentioned that default POST time was slow @ 20 seconds. Do you recall which controllers you had to disable to bring the POT times down to 7 seconds? I'm wondering if you also had to disable the M2 Ultra interface, because that seems to negate the unique characteristics of this motherboard. I'm looking to actually pair this up with a samsung XP941.
    Thanks
    Reply
  • 457R4LDR34DKN07 - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    That seems unlikely as it does not use a controller and is directly connected to CPU. The only delay caused would be the UEFI firmware on the XP941 and motherboard Reply

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