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Shootouts

Intel X99 flagship motherboard shootout: When the sky's the limit

By Koh Wanzi - 1 Feb 2017

Temperature, power consumption & overclocking

Temperature, power consumption & overclocking
 

Temperature

We measured the temperatures of the VRM and PCH heatsinks after running 40 loops of the 3DMark Fire Strike Stress Test. The ASUS motherboard posted a strong performance here as well, and it was among the coolest boards for both the VRM and PCH measurements. The I/O shroud also happens to house a large aluminum heatsink, so that could account for the lower VRM temperatures as well.

 

Power consumption

To test power, we ran the energy-01 viewset in SPECviewperf 12.1 and recorded the peak power consumption. The ASRock motherboard came ahead here with the lowest idle and peak power consumption, while the ASUS and MSI boards tied for second place on both figures. However, if you consider what the ASUS motherboard packs, its power consumption performance is definitely top-notch as opposed to the more 'sparse' ASRock board. The Gigabyte board did worst here, with idle power consumption almost 12 per cent higher than the ASUS and MSI models.

 

Overclocking

In order to assess the respective overclocking performance of the boards, we first tweaked the CPU multiplier ratio and raised the voltage accordingly. After ascertaining that the achieved clock speed was stable, we then proceeded to increase the BCLK value to get smaller overclock increments.

But changing the BCLK values also overclocks the RAM, so we throttled its speed accordingly to maintain system stability. The table below shows the clock speeds we achieved, along with the CPU vCore, multiplier, and RAM frequencies. We've also included the respective BIOS versions of the boards for those who are keen to know such details.

Overclocking Results
Model BIOS version Maximum CPU Core Ratio Achieved BCLK (MHz) Vcore (V) RAM frequencies (MHz) Maximum Overclock Achieved (GHz)
ASRock X99 Taichi 1.40 35 126 1.35 2268 4.41
ASUS ROG Rampage V Edition 10 1502 35 125 1.35 2251 4.376
Gigabyte X99 Designare EX F4c 35 126 1.35 2268 4.41
MSI X99A Godlike Gaming  Carbon 2.6 35 125 1.35 2251 4.376

Most of the boards managed to achieve impressive – and again relatively similar – overclocking numbers. Still, the ASUS board inched ahead by a small margin in an extremely competitive field as seen in the below graph. The ASRock X99 Taichi unfortunately lagged behind here, posting only a 13 per cent gain compared to the 25 to 27 per cent improvement achieved by the other boards.

One interesting thing to note is that despite posting the strongest results and the largest percentage jump from stock speeds of 27 per cent, the ASUS motherboard did not actually hit the highest clock speeds. That said, we’d take actual performance over raw numbers any day, and that ASUS did deliver.

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