EVGA Z77 Stinger mini-ITX Motherboard Review
EVGA E-LEET Tuning Utility
EVGA packaged the board with their E-LEET Tuning Utility, a Windows-based utility for both device temperature monitoring and overclocking purposes. The interface may look very familiar since it is a customized and re-skinned version of the popular CPU-Z monitoring and information application. The application provides the expect information and settings through the CPU, Memory, Graphics, and Options tabs. The customized content is housed in the Monitoring, Overclocking, Voltages, and Processes tabs.
The Monitoring tab display real-time voltage, temperature, and fan speed measurements for BIOS monitored devices. Fan speeds only show for ports with fan connected.
The Overclocking tab houses the CPU and bus frequency-related settings. The CPU ratio settings shown under the Turbo Mode Control section are user configurable only with the CPU Multiplier control option set to the EVGA ELEET Ratio setting. This option can be configured via the Overclocking tab in the system BIOS.
The Voltages tab houses voltage configuration settings similar to those offered in the BIOS via the Overclocking tab with a few notable exceptions. The application allows for fine manipulation of both the graphics die voltage (VAXG) and the CPU PLL voltage, neither of which are available for configuration through the BIOS The CPU PULL voltage can be set to aggressive operation via an enable/disable option in the BIOS.
The Processes tab gives the user the ability to customize processor affinity for system processes via assigned hotkeys. This in itself an innovative way to increase system performance for specific applications on an on-demand basis.
While the provided E-LEET Tuning Utility application offers a plethora of settings, I could not get the board to overclock any better with the applet than I could via manual BIOS configuration. The manual configuration and results are outlined below.
Using manual settings in the EVGA UEFI BIOS via the Overclocking tab, I was able to successfully stabilize the system at a 104 MHz base clock setting with a 4.36 GHz CPU speed and a 1660 MHz memory speed. System stability was tested a 7 hour period with LinX running for 500 loops with Memory set to All and FurMark running at 1280x1024 resolution and 2x MSAA in stress test mode. Additional stress testing was done over a 13 hour period using Prime95 set for Torture Test mode with In-Place Large FFTs and FurMark running at 1280x1024 resolution and 2x MSAA in stress test mode.
In testing, it was found that the BIOS VDroop settings needed to be set to Disabled in order to set the most consistent and stable CPU Voltage. With VDroop set to any other setting, the CPU Voltage setting would fluctuate wildly, causing system stability issues. Note that in terms of memory overclocking, the board would not post with the memory frequency value set to anything higher than 1600 MHz. The modules themselves have been proven to run at 2133 MHz in other systems without issue.
Overclocking tab settings
- BCLK Frequency Setting [10kHz] - 10400
- CPU Multiplier Setting - 42
- VDroop - Disabled
- OC Mode - Disabled
- EVGA Performance Tweak – Disabled
- Internal PLL Voltage Override - Enabled
- (All) Core Ratio Limit - 42
- Current VCore(mv) - 1300
- Current VDimm(mv) - 1550
- Current VCCIO(mv) - 1135
- Current PCH Voltage(mv) - 1535
Memory Configuration settings
- Memory Clock Multiplier - 133
- Memory Frequency Limiter - 1600 MHz
- tCL - 11
- tRCD - 11
- tRP - 11
- tRAS - 11
- Command Rate - 1