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
ASUS Z87-Pro
Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H
Gigabyte Z87X-OC
MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming
MSI Z87 XPower
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


View All Comments

  • jhoff80 - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    I bought one of these a while ago and it really is a good motherboard. I was having some issues with 1.35V RAM at first, but UEFI version 2.10 cleared that up for me. The Bluetooth part of the 802.11ac/BT module gave me issues as well, but that was all driver-related. Even still, I swapped it out for an Intel part that's performed much better.

    My biggest issue with the motherboard though, is I really can't believe that Asrock removed their consumer IR header in this generation. I know it's a very niche thing to need, but it'd be perfect for my gaming/media PC. And there's still space for it in the spot it used to be in, they seem to have just decided not to include it this time.
  • Samus - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    I have the H87 version of this board, and had the same exact problem with 1.35v RAM until the August BIOS update v1.5. That BIOS also fixed a crazy Windows 8.1 (beta at the time) problem causing the event viewer to log a ton of disk IO errors that were in actuality, inert.

    So far ASRock support has been exceptional. I'm traditionally an ASUS user (and use an Asus H77 ITX board in my file server with a Areca RAID controller) and the BIOS is nearly identical to ASRock. The ASUS software, however, is slightly more "professional" looking, but the XFAN utility and other tools function virtually the same. They're the same company, after all.

    But the only problem with the H87 version of this board is four SATA instead of six. Not a problem for my tiny case, but it could be an issue for people with a lot of drives (like a BitFenix case, etc)
  • Gigaplex - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    "So far ASRock support has been exceptional."

    I find this hard to believe. I've got an ASRock A75M-HVS as a file server, booting via UEFI. They released a firmware update for Windows 8, which broke UEFI booting for me, so I had to roll back to the older firmware. I emailed their support about it multiple times and never got a response other than their automated "we have received your email and will contact you soon".
  • Samus - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    The Gigabyte A75 chipset boards have UEFI problems as well, so I think it is more an FM1 chipset problem than a board manufacture problem. But then again, Gigabyte isn't always great with their support either.

    To be fair to AMD, the A75 was their first chipset to support UEFI so it isn't a shock there are bugs here and there in the same way there were TONS of issues migrating Z68 boards to a UEFI BIOS (many didn't ship with UEFI so it was added to later BIOSes and that was a mess, especially once again for Gigabyte.)
  • Tull-Power - Thursday, November 7, 2013 - link

    Speaking from experience, Asrock do offer excellent support, even on their budget priced boards. I built a number of workstations using the (almost) mini-itx sized G41-VGS3, and after a while noticed that AsRock were releasing updated BIOSes for similar models but not this one. One update improved significantly the CPU fan speed management, something which my users would've appreciated. I e-mailed them and the next day they had sent me a BIOS file with all the updated (including the fan speed) from other models. It flashed flawlessly and considering the rock bottom price, I couldn't be happier. Reply
  • fluxtatic - Sunday, November 10, 2013 - link

    Asus spun ASRock off several years ago, along with Pegatron. Reply
  • Lonyo - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    Do the eSATA ports and mSATA ports take away from the 6 ports on the board, or are they in addition to the 6 ports?

    From the look of it, you're limited to 6 devices total, e.g. 1 eSATA, 1 mSATA and 4 regular or 6 regular and no e/m?
  • jhoff80 - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    They take away from it. 6 total. Reply
  • Ninhalem - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    Do you have official documentation or something else that backs that up?

    I've been looking for a long time for a board that has 6 SATA slots and an mSATA for my home server.
  • kirk444 - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    the user manual will clarify it for you, but the eSATA and mSATA each share a physical SATA port on the board. You are limited to 6 SATA devices.

    What I've done, is stick a 2 port SATAIII MiniPCI-E HBA into the top-side mPCI-E slot. (I am not using the wi-fi/bluetooth).

    I've seen conflicting reports on whether the back-side mPCI-E can be used without disabling the use of the mSATA associated SATA port. My very brief testing seems to show that even if you just use it as a mPCI-E (as in, shove the wireless card on the back side) that you still lose the SATA port. ASRock tech support told me otherwise, but I think they just misunderstood the question.

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