Four Z87 Express Motherboards For Three- And Four-Way SLI

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iam2thecrowe

Glorious
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Am i missing something here? I dont see the point of reviewing 3 and 4 way sli boards and not testing 3 and 4 way sli. Seems rather pointless since any average motherboard will perform well in adobe, productivity etc benches dependent on the cpu....
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Editor
This was really just about finding any board that supports Nvidia's requirements about how that third card is connected. We found some, I overclocked them, now I have enough data to pick a board for the System Builder Marathon. But that only explains why overclocking took priority!

After spending two days per board on a "one week" article, I couldn't add more tests. The general benchmark set looks for unintended overclocking/underclocking, power and memory bandwidth issues, so you can see the performance difference attributable to each board's CPU and DRAM configuration differences. It runs from a .bat file, so it didn't add significantly to the article's completion time.

The PLX bridge that these all share represents the "great equalizer" when it comes to CrossFire and SLI configuration, so that portion of all three boards should be identical. I understand that things that should be the same in theory are occasionally different in practice. My apologies for not having the extra 1-day per board for additional tests.
 

iam2thecrowe

Glorious
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I think testing 3/4 way sli would still be valid, as it doesn't always work properly, in the past there have been compatibility problems with certain gpu's/boards/firmware/controllers and certain benchmarks completely failed.
 

Kraszmyl

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"internally-mounted external USB 2.0 port for ReadyBoost fanatics" on the asus z87.

Those have nothing to do with readyboost. The internal usb ports are very common on workstations and you put CAD dongles and equivalent items in them so that you can lock them inside the case and don't have to worry about some one stealing them from the outside or them taking up an outside usb port.
 

Traciatim

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where are the sli/crossfire benchmarks and comparisons with traditional non-switched setups?

Hey guys, we have these awesome new setups for supreme graphics pumping power! Watch it zip files like every other board!
 

duramax08

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Mar 13, 2013
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Why are they still making motherboards with PS/2 connections? Its time to move on, replace those baby's with some USB 3.0!
 

SR81

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Whats the point of a triple SLI/CFX board review and no actual testing of said triple SLI/CFX????!
 

lp231

Splendid


They had the exact same heatsink design for on their P8P67 WS Revolution and P8Z77 WS but in grey not gold.
Also I thought this review as suppose to be about, is it worth getting a 1150 board that can do full x16/x16 compare to 1150 board that can only do x8/x8. Even the Asus ROG 1150 boards can't do x16/x16.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Editor
This was really just about finding any board that supports Nvidia's requirements about how that third card is connected. We found some, I overclocked them, now I have enough data to pick a board for the System Builder Marathon. But after spending two days per board on a "one week" article, I couldn't add more tests.

 

RedJaron

Splendid
Moderator

I would like to see something like that as well, but I understand if this review had some time constraints. Perhaps a future article where you can pit one of these boards at x16/x16 against a x8/x8 board and see if there's a notable difference. I wouldn't mind seeing triple-GPU on this against an x8/x4/x4 board, either.

I do have to ask if it's worth complaining about audio headers and potential short cables on $300+ boards, though. Surely if you're spending this much on a board you're planning on multiple GPUs that need good cooling. That typically means a larger, quality case with adequate cables, not some cheapo box.

And once again I see ASRock's dearth of PWM fan headers. Or perhaps I'm wrong and the majority of enthusiast builders use external fan controls for the case fans and not PWM.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Editor
The cable used to be a big deal on Thermaltake cases, but I complained enough that they fixed them. It's still an issue on some similar cases, perhaps from Thermaltake's ODM? Most recently I had the problem on one of our upper-quality value gaming cases, but before that it was Lian-Li that got called out. So you never really know where it's going to pop up.
 

MasterMace

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Can Tom's do an article comparing the 32 PCIe lanes of LGA 1150 vs the 40 PCIe lanes of LGA 2011 in 3 and 4 way SLI, using the 4770k and 4820k, respectively, at the same clock rate?

I would love to know the performance difference that the extra 8 lanes gives, and I'm sure a lot of people wonder the same thing.
 

HKILLER

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Jan 8, 2013
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actually Gigabyte claims that this mother board has 16x16x16 mod(don't know the slot order but i'm pretty sure it can run triple SLI on 16X16X16)...
 

ShadyHamster

Distinguished
What was the point of this article? Can't really see the point in spending a week testing 4 boards when any basic z87 board could do the job just fine.




Yes, lets spend a week testing 4 boards with 3way/4way sli/xfire support and not actually test that part of the board.
 

youssef 2010

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It's a great and thorough review. But there's one thing I can't stay quiet about. These motherboard's are designed for 4-way SLI or 4-way CrossfireX. And they should've been tested with four cards to expose potential flaws or performance differences
 
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