GIGABYTE Z87X-OC Force Motherboard Second Look Review
Power Consumption and Conclusion
Power consumption numbers were measured using a Belkin power meter plugged in-line with the system PSU. For idle power consumption, the system was left idle for 15 minutes. System load numbers were taken with the system running in stock configuration using the AIDA64 stability test in conjunction with FurMark over a half hour period. All tests were run three times with the lowest repeatable power consumption numbers recorded in Watt values.
The Z87X-OC Force's power consumption numbers are in line with expectations, matching those of the other Intel Z87-based board. With the discrete graphics card removed from the system, the power consumption number drop dramatically.
Note that the power consumption numbers are consistent with what you would see using a medium to high-end video card with the board.
The board continues to impress with its astounding port performance numbers and overclocking potential. When looked at in conjunction with its stock benchmark performance, the Z87X-OC Force looks to be a force to be reckoned with. The previous review results can be found here.
As of July 27, the GIGABYTE Z87X-OC Force was available at Newegg.com for $409.99. The board was also available from other retailers such as Amazon.com for $409.78 with Prime shipping and TigerDirect.com for $399.99.
Before continuing with our final thoughts on this board, we would like to take this opportunity to give our friends at GIGABYTE a hearty “Thank You” for giving us the opportunity and pleasure of reviewing the Z87X-OC Force motherboard. GIGABYTE did an exceptional job in designing this board. The attention to detail is apparent in the layout and design of the integrated cooling solutions, as well as in the selection of the IR PowIRstage™ 60A-rated MOSFETs for powering the board. As shown in the previous review, the board's stock performance was almost unrivaled. Taking that into consideration along with its drive and LAN performance, as well as its overclocking potential, you have a stellar board that not only justifies its price-point, but would be a performance beast in anyone's system.
From the design perspective, one of the short-comings of the board was the lack of integration between the CPU VRM and Chipset cooling solutions. In testing, the CPU VRM cooler did not run hot using air or water cooling under any conditions, while the Chipset cooler remained very toasty even under stock conditions. This heat production from the Chipset cooler can be attributed heavily to the PCIe bridge chip. The integrated water channel in the CPU VRM cooler was a nice touch, but the design of the water channel could have been better optimized for heat absorption into the flowing medium. The one other oddity was the voltage presets enacted when attempting to using the BIOS automated overclocking features. However, the BIOS related settings can be easily fixed in a BIOS update or worked around by setting values manually.
- Stock performance
- Overclocking potential
- SATA port performance across all controllers
- USB 3.0 device performance using both the Intel Z87 and Renesas controlled ports
- CMOS battery placement - accessible under most conditions
- Board layout and design
- Accessible PCI-Express x1 slot with board used with single or dual video cards
- UEFI BIOS design
- Active and Water-based cooling options on board heat pipe cooler
- 16 digital power phases just for the CPU
- 60 amp-rated IR PowIRstage™ MOSFETs for power regulation
- Dual Intel GigE NICs
- BIOS HD resolution mode
- Non-removable water barbs
- Use of 3/8" water barbs
- BIOS mouse-related issues in Windows Mode
- Lack of detail in manual on esoteric features
- Lack of combined cooler for CPU VRM and Chipset board areas
- Internal design of CPU VRM water channel
- High voltage settings for BIOS-assisted automated overclocking
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