Because overclocking can be so dependent on your settings and because we are interested in what any customer can expect we did all of our overclocking using the built in functionality in ether our boards BIOS or software. This means that in every case you could expect to get a better overclock out of these boards if you have the experience, but in this case these are the results you can expect (not counting differences in CPU’s) when using the easy overclock functionality each manufacture includes.
For the Asus boards that we are covering today, we used the AI Suite II software for all of their overclocking. With the exception of the Maximus V Gene all of our overclocking via AI Suite II went the same. We clicked extreme overclock and the software would bump up the multiplyer one step at a time until the PC crashed while testing, then it would reboot go down one step and retest again. This process was repeated with the Bclk as well. The end results were the highest overclocks we have seen using our Ivy Bridge CPU with auto overclocking software. We have seen slightly higher clocks with manual overclocking but not by much.
The Maximus V Gene was an exception to this rule. Using the exact same software we were not given this option, rather we had three different overclocks to pick from with the highest being the 4.6 you see here. There was no testing and retesting this time around, only a quick selection. You would think being an enthusiast focused board that they would have included the same option but I think they expect to see people looking to manually overclock using the Maximus V Gene. Although our results don’t show it we actually had the best luck overclocking our Ivy Bridge CPU using this board, this is why we are planning on keeping this board on our test bench for future testing. But if you are expecting an easy overclock like all of the other Asus boards you will be very disappointed.
Something else I wanted to point out here because I only brushed over it before. With the three boards having similar overclock results its easy to forget that the P8Z77-I Deluxe is a Mini ITX motherboard. Typically you wouldn’t see a mini ITX board overclocking very well due to a limited number of VRM’s but in this case, with the power riser card, the P8Z77-I Deluxe is an amazing overclocker.