Overclocking & Power Consumption

The Z87 Extreme11/ac includes five preset overclocking settings that theoretically allows the Core i7-4770K a minimum of 4.0GHz and up to 4.8GHz. The previous best overclock with our i7-4770K was 4.6GHz using the MSI Z87 XPower, so we didn't expect the 4.8GHz preset to work -- and it didn't.

In fact, the 4.6GHz preset didn't work either. However, the chip did tolerate the 4.4GHz setting, which also set the voltage to 1.300v. That's a 26% frequency boost without any overclocking knowledge required.

By manually tweaking the Z87 Extreme11/ac, which involved setting the clock multiplier to x45 and increasing the voltage to 1.330v, we were able to obtain a stable overclock of 4.5GHz, just 100MHz faster than the automatic option. Given that our best ever overclock with this CPU was 4.6GHz on an overclocking-orientated motherboard, we are quite pleased with the Z87 Extreme11/ac's results.

At idle, the Z87 Extreme11/ac consumed a surprising 92 watts, or 84% more power than the MSI Z87 XPower. That didn't seem right at first but it turns out that's just the cost of having so many features.

The Z87 Extreme11/ac's Prime95 load consumption hit 166 watts, which is in line with the Fatility Z87 Killer's peak of 164 watts. Even though the former has a much higher idle reading, at least its load figures aren't off the charts.

When measuring peak consumption in x264 HD Benchmark the Z87 Extreme11/ac hit 118 watts, slightly higher than the Fatal1ty's 112 watts.

The Excel 2013 workload pushed the Z87 Extreme11/ac-powered test system to 137 watts, a bit more than the Fatal1ty again.