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Review: Asus Z97-A

by Tarinder Sandhu on 11 May 2014, 08:05

Tags: ASUSTeK (TPE:2357), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacd4n

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Test Methodology

Comparison Motherboard Configurations

Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H
Chipset Revision
Intel Z97
Intel Z87
Intel Core i7-4770K
Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB DDR3 (2 x 8GB)
Memory Timings
9-10-9-27-2T @ 1,866MHz
Integrated Graphics
Intel HD 4600
System Drive
Crucial M500 (240GB)
Corsair Graphite 600T
Power Supply
Corsair AX750
Operating System
Windows 8.1 (64-bit)

CPU and Memory Benchmarks

HEXUS PiFast Our number-crunching benchmark stresses a single core by calculating Pi to 10m places
Cinebench R15 Using Cinebench's multi-CPU render, this cross-platform benchmark stresses all cores
wPrime 2.1.0 Another number-crunching benchmark that stresses all available CPU cores/threads
AIDA64 v4.30.2925 Benchmark that analyses memory bandwidth and latency

Multimedia Benchmarks

LuxMark 2.0 An OpenCL rendering benchmark
Musemage 1.9.6 An OpenCL image-manipulation benchmark (64-bit)
Handbrake Free-to-use video encoder that stresses all CPU cores (64-bit)

System Benchmarks

PCMark 8 v2.0 System-wide examination that uses the Home preset, run with OpenCL acceleration
3DMark Run at the Firestrike default test
SiSoft Sandra 2014 Aggregate score that takes a composite of 12 system-wide benchmarks

Gaming Benchmarks

BioShock Infinite 1,280x720, medium quality
GRID 2 1,280x720, high quality
Total War: Rome II 1,280x720, medium quality

Miscellaneous Benchmarks

Power Consumption While idling and when running wPrime and GRID 2


We have a four-way shoot-out for the Z97 launch. Intel's new chipset is represented in three unique flavours - Asus's Z97-A, Gigabyte's Z97X-UD5H and MSI's Z97 Gaming 5 - and all are pitted against a Z87 alternative in the form of a Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H. All four boards target varying price points, yet we don't expect there to be too much of a difference in benchmarks scores when a Core i7-4770K chip is placed at the helm.