Asus Z97 Pro (Wi-Fi ac) Socket 1150 Motherboard Review

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Test Setup and PCMark 7

Test System Configuration Notes: When configuring our test system for this article, we first updated the BIOS, and upon rebooting entered the UEFI BIOS and set the board to its "normal" mode via the one-click tuning menu. We have found that the "optimized" mode overclocks the processor as high as possible, so it could give this particular chip and setup and unfair advantage over the other Z97 boards we've tested. Once we had set the board to "normal" we saved the settings, re-entered the BIOS and ensured the memory speed was set to DDR3-1333 (its maximum, officially supported speed). Our test system comprised of an Intel Core i7-4770K CPU, 4GB of Kingston DDR1333, an NZXT 850w PSU, an Nvidia GTX 780 GPU, and a Corsair Neutron GTX SSD.

Before we began testing the Corsair solid state drive in the test system was formatted, and Windows 8.1 x64 was installed. When the Windows installation was complete, we fully updated the OS, and installed the drivers necessary for our components. Auto-Updating and Windows Defender were then disabled and we installed all of our benchmarking software, performed a disk clean-up, cleared any prefetch and temp data, and ran the tests.

Futuremark PCMark 7
General Application and Multimedia Performance
Futuremark's PCMark 7 is the latest version of the PCMark whole-system benchmarking suite. It has updated application performance measurements targeted for a Windows 7 environment and uses newer metrics to gauge relative performance. Below is what Futuremark says is incorporated into the base PCMark suite and the Entertainment, Creativity, and Productivity suites--the four modules we have benchmark scores for you here.The PCMark test is a collection of workloads that measure system performance during typical desktop usage. This is the most important test since it returns the official PCMark score for the system

The PCMark test is a collection of workloads that measure system performance during typical desktop usage. This is the most important test since it returns the official PCMark score for the system.
    
   Storage
  • Windows Defender
  • Importing pictures
  • Gaming

Video Playback and transcoding Graphics

  • DirectX 9
Image manipulation

Web browsing and decrypting

The Entertainment test is a collection of workloads that measure system performance in entertainment scenarios using mostly application workloads. Individual tests include recording, viewing, streaming and transcoding TV shows and movies, importing, organizing and browsing new music and several gaming related workloads. If the target system is not capable of running DirectX 10 workloads then those tests are skipped. At the end of the benchmark run the system is given an Entertainment test score.

The Creativity test contains a collection of workloads to measure the system performance in typical creativity scenarios. Individual tests include viewing, editing, transcoding and storing photos and videos. At the end of the benchmark run the system is given a Creativity test score.

The Productivity test is a collection of workloads that measure system performance in typical productivity scenarios. Individual workloads include loading web pages and using home office applications. At the end of the benchmark run the system is given a Productivity test score.

pcm

For this benchmark, and the rest of them as well, we're comparing the ASUS board to the previous Z97 boards we've tested, and in this first system-wide benchmark the Z97 (Wi-Fi ac) was the second fastest board we've tested. Only the Gigabyte Z97X Gaming G1 scored higher, but the two of them together were the only motherboards that were capable of scoring over 6,090 in the overall PC Mark test, so overall the ASUS board scored very high on this one. Clearly the board's worst performance was its surprisingly low score in productivity, where it scored below all the other boards, scoring right around where we saw our Z77 board finish. In both Creativity and Productivity however it scored extremely well, but its leads are caused by the differences in our test setup.


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