With my current Intel i7 4770k, I am aware of what my chip is capable of and unlike most chips, mine is usually limited by the motherboard itself so this allows me to wheedle out the good from the bad. With the ASRock Z97E-ITX/ac motherboard being ITX, I wasn’t expecting world record performance or even anything close to the MSI Z97 MPOWER MAX AC that I have tested previously. I do however know that if anyone can surprise me, it is ASRock as having previously owned multiple ASRock motherboards in the past, they have had a good record with me and I hope to see the same today.
Usually when overclocking motherboards for review purposes, I tend to go for 5GHz with a maximum voltage of 1.4v as I know my chip can handle this and then some! When it came down to the crunch though, 5GHz wasn’t possible and although it would enter the Windows splash screen, I was greeted with 124 BSOD errors which relates to the need for more voltage. With me not feeling entirely comfortable with increasing the voltage, I set about the maximum multiplier I could actually achieve with this motherboard.
What I ended up with was an overclock of 4.9GHz @ 1.396v which isn’t a bad overclock by any standards and with this being an ITX motherboard, I can’t fault it one little bit. Not as strong as the MSI Z97 ITX gaming motherboard but given the price difference, the ASRock still has plenty going for it.