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[REVIEW] ASRock Z87M OC Formula (Micro-ATX OCF) - Performance Test

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
ASRock Z87M OC Formula - Performance Test

Z87MOCFormulam.jpg

Introduction:

ASRock motherboard (mobo) series 'OC Formula' is developed by one of the world overclocking legend, Nick Shih, with the aim to achieve the highest overclocking record. In the Z87 platform, ASRock released OC Formula series in two models, the Extended-ATX based ASRock Z87 OC Formula (REVIEW) and the micro-ATX form factor ASRock Z87M OC Formula (Z87M OCF) which I am going to review here.

Perhaps some of us might think that smaller sized motherboards will have bad overclocking capabilities due to fewer components equipped on the board. Can ASRock OC Formula Z87M prove that this is wrong? Let's take a look at what this little board can do and what it can’t.

Product Link: http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z87M%20OC%20Formula/

Suggested Retail Price: RM 599

Specifications:

oq1.png

Full specifications of the Z87M OCF can be found HERE

Unboxing:

DSC_0906.jpg
The mobo is delivered in a grey cardboard box.

DSC_0907.jpg
The back of the box describes the features carried by this board as well as what the platform can do.

DSC_0922.jpg
The Z87M OCF features a black/ yellow/ gold colour scheme and conforms to micro-ATX form factor with measurement of 24.4 cm x 24.4 cm.

DSC_0926.jpg
The board is compatible with socket LGA1150 based Intel’s 4th Generation Core i7, i5 & i3/ Pentium/ Celeron processors. There are 12 digital power phase system to supply enough power for extreme overclocking. The four DIMM slots can support a total of 32GB of RAM with maximum frequency of 3000MHz on overclock.

DSC_0925.jpg
Let’s move on to the expansion slots. You will get two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots that support up to 2-way Quad-SLI and Quad-CrossFireX. Other than that, it comes a pair of PCIe 2.0 slots running at x4 and x1, respectively. Also spotted, a half mini-PCIe slot as well as one mSATA/mini-PCIe slot.

DSC_0941.jpg
For storage needs, this board packs a total of six SATA 6Gbps ports and an eSATA port powered by the Z87 chipset and supporting RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10.

DSC_0940.jpg
The rear IO panel included:

- 1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
- 1 x HDMI-Out Port
- 1 x HDMI-In Port
- 1 x DisplayPort
- 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
- 1 x eSATA Connector
- 2 x USB 2.0 Ports
- 4 x USB 3.0 Ports (Intel Z87) (ASMedia Hub)
- 2 x USB 3.0 Ports (Intel Z87)
- 1 x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
- 1 x Clear CMOS Button
- HD Audio Jack 7.1 Channels

DSC_0936.jpg
The board is an 8 layer PCB with 4x 2oz copper, which is specially designed for overclocking effectively reduces interference and noise generated by high-speed overclocking, and effectively improves the signal quality and overclocking stability.

DSC_0927.jpg
Back side of the board is equipped with a backplate to give retention to the CPU socket on the top of the board.

DSC_0921.jpg
The accessories included in the package are quite simple. A commonly used thermal paste, GELID GC-EXTREME, is included in the package. For those of you who do not use a casing, ASRock provides a set of spacers called OC Stands to put the board without a case.

Test Setup:

DSC_0972.jpg

Testbed.png
    
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post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
The UEFI BIOS:

Main page - OC Tweaker:
131125002105.png

More options in OC Tweaker:
131125002134.png

“Nick Shih’s OC Profile” - select preset setting profiles suggested by the OC Guru – Nick Shih. There is no "5.0GHz" profile, unfortunately.
131125002117.png

Load Optimized CPU OC Setting:
131125002124.png

DRAM Configurations:
131125002212.png

DRAM Presets - various IC to pick, I meant there are so many presets available:
131125002231.png

DRAM Tweaker – pick and tick RAM timing according to JEDEC and XMP specs individually:
131125002226.png

Hardware Monitor – provides information on fan speeds, voltages and temperatures:
131125002323.png

Software & Tools:

0xmy.png

1) ASRock Formula Drive - Tweak overclocking in the OS environment.
2) Timing Configurator - Display the memory timings in the OS. Unfortunately, due to Intel’s lockdown it is unable to adjust timings real-time in the OS for now.
3) Rapid OC Configuration - Allow users to apply hotkeys for each of the functions, as well as adjust how much each press of the button adjusts each of the BCLK/ CPU Multiplier/ CPU Voltage.
4) ASRock XFast USB - Instantly accelerates the performance of USB devices.
5) ASRock XFast LAN - Allow users to enjoy more speed, easier multitasking, enhanced multimedia experience, and more.

Stability Tests:

LinX 0.6.4 w/ AVX:

kcse.png
Due to the limitation of my 4770K, I could only stress the chip at 4.4GHz @ 1.295v. This overclock passed LinX without any error in about one hour. One of the cores hit 96C during loading.
Edited by owikh84 - 11/26/13 at 8:06am
    
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Benchmark Tests:

During these benchmarks, the 4770K was overclocked to 4.7GHz.

3DMark 13:
rq4c.png

3DMark 11:
wxgo.png

3DMark Vantage:
ydc7.png

3DMark 06:
x2nd.png

3DMark 05:
dwnt.png

3DMark 03:
10rp.png

PCMark 7:
s4ox.png

Super Pi 32M/ MaxxMEM/ AIDA64 Cache and Memory Benchmark:
jkoi.png

Super Pi 1M:
2wks.png

HyperPi 32M & 1M:
8wpy.png

Cinebench R11.5 & R15:
87an.png

wPrime 1.55 & Fritz Chess 4.2:
3f93.png

Unigine Heaven 4.0:
gy87.png

Unigine Valley 1.0:
lahx.png
    
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Memory Overclocking:

Hynix-MFR IC: Apacer ARES 3000C12 2 X 4GB @ 3000MHz 12-14-14-25-1T
0a8v.png

Hynix-CFR IC: G.Skill TridentX 2800C11 2 X 4GB @ 2933MHz 11-14-14-25-2T
h96x.png

Samsung IC: G.Skill TridentX 2600C10 2 X 4GB @ 2800MHz 9-12-12-21-1T
1o4a.png

PSC IC: Corsair DominatorGT GTX4 2533C9 2 X 2GB @ 2600MHz 8-12-8-28-1T
d61w.png

BBSE IC: G.Skill RipjawsX 2133C8 2 X 2GB @ 2500MHz 8-11-7-28-1T
e3tn.png

Highest Achievement: 3400MHz 12-15-15-35-1T
20130723-014033.png

Game Benchmarks:

Bioshock Infinite:
zqqq.png
1920x1080: Ultra Quality Preset, DX11 only, Diffusion Depth of Field, Built-In Benchmark

Metro Last Light:
kv9k.png
1920x1080: Very High Quality Preset, DX11, Texture Filtering: AF 16X, Motion Blur: Normal, SSAA: ON, Tessellation: Very High, Advanced PhysX: ON, Built-In Benchmark
    
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thoughts & Verdicts:

Despite bearing the micro-ATX form factor, the ASRock Z87M OC Formula proves to us that the overclocking capabilities of a mobo cannot be judged by the size of the board. Extensive tuning options, many overclocking profiles are pinned onto it, as well as dozens of presets that are included in the DRAM option, this board is more than enough to make any overclocker achieving the highest overclocking results. With the extreme overclocking features such as beefy 12 digital power phase system, LN2 mode and many more, this board is designed to survive under extreme circumstances. If you want a micro-ATX solution and are looking for overclocking features, this little monster is really deserved to go into your shopping list.

Special thanks to storm88 for sending me the board for review.
Thank you Nick for such a great board!

Performance: 5/5
Materials: 5/5
Specifications: 5/5
Appearance: 5/5
Performance/Price Value: 5/5

Pros:
+ Affordable price
+ Excellent overclocking performance
+ Unique black, yellow and gold colour scheme
+ Equipped with extreme overclocking features
+ Multi-GPU support
+ UEFI BIOS has lots of overclocking options and preset profiles

Cons:
- Laggy UEFI BIOS and not so friendly as several keypresses are needed when entering the values
- ASRock Formula Drive loading could be faster
- Lack of LucidLogix Virtu MVP software for QuickSync
- Label on VRM heatsink is peeling off easily
- Can’t adjust memory timings with Timing Configurator in the OS at the time of writing, due to Intel's lockdown
    
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post #6 of 8
Its a smoking board. Got mine for $150 shipped. Cannot beat it, especially for the price!
post #7 of 8
do u know how to let this mb work on hardware monitor cause I only see the idle vcore and not load vcore when I open it up?
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antec BP 550w SM8 ST30 240 UT60 
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickyman0319 View Post

do u know how to let this mb work on hardware monitor cause I only see the idle vcore and not load vcore when I open it up?
I didn't use HW Monitor to observe the vCore but I find HWiNFO64 is more accurate and reliable.
    
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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