Product Listing

ASRock Z77 OC Formula - Intel Z77 Chipset Goes High-End

By Wong Chung Wee - 5 Feb 2013
Launch SRP: S$409



The ASRock Z77 OC Formula board sports the right features and engineering build to target this market segment of overclockers and power users. From its 8-layer PCB board design, its revamped VRM solution featuring newly designed capacitors and chokes, its out-of-the-box LN2 cooling support, the team from ASRock has put in a lot of thought into bringing a truly well-engineered motherboard to the intended target market.

The ASRock Z77 OC Formula motherboard has targeted the OC market segment with a formulaic approach of quality build components and features, but doesn't quite live up to expectations in our usual benchmarks. Its gaming and overclocking performance proves otherwise; however, to truly appreciate its overclocking potential, only hardcore overclockers need apply.

However, we have discovered that despite its best efforts, its performance turned in at our usual benchmarks were not impressive. It performed at levels that were on par with the average performers of the mainstream motherboards. It did show its mettle during our gaming benchmarks and its overclocking performance is somewhat acceptable, given its high-end components and features that are supposed to give it a distinctive advantage in the overclocking realm.

With its 12 + 4 power phase control system, its power consumption level attests to its power efficiency. During our overclocking efforts, the myriad of voltage options did help us achieve a stable overclock when we pushed its base clock frequency to a high of 107MHz that is just behind the MSI Z77 MPower board. Beyond that, we were not able to push the rig beyond the 4.6GHz mark as our test rig started throttling the processor, leading to palpable decrease in our performance scores. However, the process of overclocking and getting a stable high overclock took much longer than expected as compared to mainstream Z77 class boards that we've tested before.

Overall, we do feel that the ASRock Z77 OC Formula has the potential to perform, perhaps when paired with extreme cooling solutions and hardcore overclocking memory modules that are rated up to 3000MHz. True to its racing car motif that is used to hawk its OC prowess, the ASRock Z77 OC Formula felt like one that was driven on normal roads, hindered by the traffic lights and unable to unleash its tarmac-ripping performance. Another speed bump is its exorbitant price tag of S$409 as a similar class boards like the MSI Big Bang Z77 MPower can be purchased at a lower price of S$339. Having said that, the good thing is that the actual retail price is much lower ans hovers around the S$370 bracket. Given the skew and functionality of the ASRock Z77 OC Formula, it's reasonably for what it offers.

In conclusion, the ASRock Z77 OC Formula is definitely not meant for anyone other than the purists of overclockers (with deep pockets) who can appreciate its features, tools and beauty. The important question is to figure out the purpose of use for the board and your cooling techniques. Unlike some others that are better designed for air-cooled setups, this board is more pro towards water-cooled setups and serious tinkering. It may not get you the best raw performance, but it will probably help you get a better than expected overclock - if you don't mind spending some time refining to get your preferred state.

If you're looking for an easy to overclock board with less complexity and mainly for air-cooled setups, there are other options that cost less and are more effective.

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  • Performance 7.5
  • Features 8.5
  • Value 6.5
The Good
Good engineering build
Well equipped and geared for overclocking
Lots of USB 3.0 ports
The Bad
Overall performance no better than mainstream boards
Overclocking needs to be tricked out
Unleashing the board's potential requires expensive LN2 equipment
Very expensive
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