ECS Z97-Machine Motherboard Review


Overclocking Processor

Overclocking with the ECS Z97-Machine is fairly easy. This is the first time I used an ECS motherboards and navigating around the BIOS is easy based on my experience and as we explained in the previous page. I will show you how to overclock the processor with the Z97-Machine below. We will do a light overclock of 4.0 Ghz.

First, go to the advance tab and head to the M.I.B. X section. Here you can see the different configurations you can alter to overclock the processor. It is actually very similar to overclocking an ASUS board which I have experience with prior to this review. As you can see in the screenshot above, the CPU Ratio is set at 34 by default which means the maximum clock speed of the i5-4670k is set at 3.4 Ghz.

To overclock, simply alter the CPU Ratio with the desired multiplier which in this case is set to 40 x 100 Mhz to achieve a 4.0 Ghz overclock.

Some overclockers like to play around with voltage offsets and try to get a lower voltage with their overclock. In the ECS Z97-Machine, you can also do that by heading to the “Over Voltage Configuration” under the main menu of the M.I.B. X tab. Here you can play around the voltages of the CPU as well as for the DIMMs for overclocking memory.

Other performance enhancements found in the M.I.B. X tab includes speeding up boot performance as seen in the image above.

Overclocking/Configuring Memory

To overclock memory, you need to go to Memory Configuration tab which is also under the M.I.B. X tab in the advanced mode.

You will be greeted with what you see in the image above. By the default, settings will be set to automatic and memory will run at 1,333 Mhz.

You can check out the XMP profiles of your memory as well. Here we have a profile of the memory running at 2400 Mhz which we will be using in this review.

If you like to overclock your memory to a desired frequency, you can use the manual mode and play around with the timings.

Here our achieved overclock settings on the Z97-Machine with the processor at 4.0 Ghz and the memory at 2,400 Mhz.

Here’s a validation of the overclock using CPU-Z.

Tests and Benchmarks

General Benchmarks

PC Mark 7

PCMark 7 is a complete PC benchmarking solution for Windows 7 and Windows 8. It includes 7 tests combining more than 25 individual workloads covering storage, computation, image and video manipulation, web browsing and gaming. Specifically designed for the full range of PC hardware from netbooks and tablets to notebooks and desktops, PCMark 7 offers complete Windows PC performance testing for home and business use.

Click here for benchmark results

PC Mark Vantage

PCMark Vantage Basic Edition includes everything you need to to get a PCMark score for your system. Upgrade to the Advanced Edition to unlock the full set of test suites, custom settings and other features.

Click here for benchmark results

Super PI 1.90

Super PI is a single threaded benchmark that calculates pi to a specific number of digits. It uses the Gauss-Legendre algorithm and is a Windows port of a program used by Yasumasa Kanada in 1995 to compute pi to 232 digits.

1M – 09.01 Seconds

32M – 7 minutes 53 seconds

CPU Benchmarks


“CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more.

CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and OS X). And best of all: It’s completely free.”

Memory Benchmarks


FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.50 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business Edition 1.50 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises. The new AIDA64 update implements AVX-optimized benchmarks for the upcoming Intel Sandy Bridge processors, adds a brand new video encoding benchmark, and supports the latest AMD and nVIDIA graphics processors.

Memory Read – 29,142 MB/s

Memory Write – 35,579 MB/s

Memory Copy – 28,610 MB/s

Memory Latency – 56.6 ns

MaxxMEM 2

MaxxMEM 2 Is the little brother of MaxxPI², it contains the same memory benchmark routine as MaxxPI² does. So your reached results will be comparable to Memory / Latency benchmarks done by MaxxPI².

Storage Benchmarks

PC Mark 8 PRO

Use the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark to test the performance of SSDs, HDDs and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and a selection of popular games. You can test the system drive or any other recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices.

Storage Bandwidth: 207.04 MB/s
*Max Storage Bandwidth: 250.00 MB/s – from Kingston

ATTO Disk Benchmark

As the industry’s leading provider of high-performance storage & network connectivity products, ATTO has created a widely-accepted Disk Benchmark freeware utility to help measure storage system performance. As one of the top tools utilized in the industry, Disk Benchmark identifies performance in hard drives, solid state drives, RAID arrays as well as connections to storage. Top drive manufacturers, like Hitachi, build and test every drive using the ATTO Disk Benchmark.

On to the next page for the game and graphics benchmarks.

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