Test for BIOSTAR TZ77XE4 loading with Core i7-3770K overclocking 4.8G

Dec 1, 2008
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Intel released the latest DeskTop platform in April, also known as Ivy Bridge
The CPU of last-generation Sandy Bridge is named with 2 series, while the chipset named with 6 series
The CPU of Ivy Bridge is named with 3 series, and the chipset named with 7 series, both of which are leveled up.
However, the structure of these two CPUs adopts the LGA 1155 slot, which gains better scalability than the product line before.

Same to the previous market positioning of Intel, the Ivy Bridge platform mainly focuses on the middle and high level product line at the very beginning.
Intel Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs are the first modules released.
For the affordable Ivy Bridge CPU for Core i3, you must wait until June at least.
The chipsets commonly sold on the market are the Z77 and H77, and the B75 is adopted by some basic-level MB in a few occasions.


The most advanced chipset supported by Ivy Bridge is Z77, for which BIOSTAR also releases the brand new series, namely, TZ77XE4 and TZ77XE3.
The design material for the new series is different from BIOSTAR’s other product lines.
First is the external package of the product, in which the pattern design is different from the previous pure color series.

Accessories Included:
Product manual, IO board, SLI / CorssFire X bridge, SATA wires and driver

The body of BIOSTAR TZ77XE4, DRAM, PCI and PCB slots are all colored black
PCB is specially coated to increase the texture indirectly, which is also promoted by other manufacturers for some time.

TZ77XE3 also adopts the same appearance design, but the specification is lower than XE4.
Besides, BIOSTAR has other three Z77 products, which colors the black, red and white colors.

The lower left section of the motherboard
1 X PCI-E X16 3.0 supports AMD CrossFireX/nVIDIA SLI technology at most, and the bandwidth is X8 + X8
2 X PCI-E X1
1 X PCI-E X16 2.0, and the bandwidth is X4
Network chip adopts Realtek RTL8111E
Audio chip Realtek ALC898 supports 8-channel Blu-ray Audio and THX TruStudio Pro technology at most

The lower right section of the motherboard
2 X black SATA, provided by chipset Z77, with SATA3 specification
4 X black SATA,provided by chipset Z77, with SATA2 specification
They can work together to build RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10, and the highest performance depends on the SATA device installed.
2 X black SATA, provided by ASM1061 chipset, with SATA3 specification, supporting AHCI
Power / Reset / clr CMOS buttons and debug LED, and the black section on upper side is the front USB 3.0 slot

The upper right section of the motherboard
4 X DIMM DDR3, supporting 1066/1333/1600/1866(OC)/2133(OC)/2400(OC)/2600(OC)
The maximum capacity supported by DDR3 is 32GB, supporting Extreme Memory Profile technology. The lower side is the 24-PIN power input.

The power supply design has 13 phases in total, including 10 CPU VCORE phases + 1 VCC phase + 2 IGD phases

1 X PS/2 keyboard
1 X D-Sub / DVI-D / HDMI / DisplayPort
4 X USB 2.0(black)
2 X USB 3.0(blue)
1 X eSATA2 (red)
1 X RJ-45 Network hole
6 X Audio hole
Dec 1, 2008
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The upper side of the audio chip has a metal cover with BIOSTAR Logo printed, which shines red when powered on.

With the BIOSTAR radiation module shell and cutting design, the radiation module on the upper side is orange,
which is the common color shown on the motorcycles in KYMCO Mega G5, Racing or SUZUKI NEX 8 Hours Champion.

Below are the instructions for using Intel Core i7-3770K on BIOSTAR UEFI interface
CPU information and the related technology page

O.N.E calibration page
The frequency multiplication of the CPU Ratio is 48, i.e. 3770K will be operated by 4800MHz
To lock the external frequency of CPU as 100MHz, the following two options should be done
Turn off Clock Spread Spectrum and start up Internal PLL Override

Graphics Core Ratio Limit is the frequency of the built-in GPU in CPU
The algorithm of 23 is 23 X 50 => 1150MHz. In the sample figure below, it adopts the default frequency of built-in HD 4000 for 3770K

For DRAM frequency and parameter settings, generally, smaller value will obtain higher performance.
Set it as DDR3 2400 CL10 11-11-27 1T, and adjust other detailed options to optimal setting values.
The user can increase the frequency and adjust the parameters based on the DDR3 property, so as to achieve the effect of increasing DDR3 bandwidth.

Voltage page
There are four types of CPU VCore Mode, SPEC Volgate/Auto/Offset Mode/Fixed Mode
CPU VCore Offset -0.200~+0.520V
CPU VCore Fixed 1.000~1.790V
For the purpose of overclocking, the major change here is the CPU voltage.
In the sample figure, the CPU Vcore is fixed as 1.290V.
Making slight adjustment based on the radiation ability and CPU property are the two major foundations for overclocking CPU.

DRAM Voltage 1.300~2.112V
Vcc S Voltage 0.900~1.605V
When DDR3 is overclocked to 2400~2666, generally, it needs to increase the voltage to 1.6~1.65V or higher.
The major function of Vcc S Voltage is to increase Stability when DDR3 overclocking is of high frequency.

UEFI interface provide 5 sets of functions for file access.
The users can store or read the data based on the default settings, which can save setting time.

BIOSTAR doesn’t provide gorgeous screens for the UEFI interface but in plain color instead.
The advantage is the fast startup speed, which is as fast as its own BIOS. It just takes a blink to enter the Windows7 screen.
Some MB brands use too many programs or pictures in UEFI interface, causing slow startup speed.
Whether it is shortcoming or advantage depends on the user’s preference.
Regarding the enhancement of BIOSTAR’s UEFI, windwithme thinks it will be better if the Multilanguage is supported.

Test platform
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K
VGA: Intel HD Graphics 4000
HD: Intel 520 Series 120GB
Cooler: CORSAIR Hydro Series H100
OS: Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
Dec 1, 2008
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Intel Core i7-3770K overclocking performance
CPU 100 X 48 => 4800MHz 1.290V
DDR3 2400 CL10 11-11-27 1T 1.608V
GPU HD 4000 1150MHz

Hyper PI 32M X8 => 12m 02.920s
CPUMARK 99 => 756

The performance scores of 3770KOC 4.8GHz in Hyper PI and CPUMARK 99 are almost equal to the performance around 2700K OC 4.9GHz after comparison

Nuclearus Multi Core => 33339
Fritz Chess Benchmark => 37.82 /18153

The performance score obtained by Fritz Chess Benchmark falls in the level around 2700K 4.95GHz

CrystalMark 2004R3 => 372168

CPU => 9.80 pts
CPU(Single Core) => 2.04 pts

2700K OC 5GHz causes the CPU => 9.74 pts / CPU (Single Core) => 2.03 pts
Among the CPU test items of CINEBENCH R11.5, 3770K OC 4.8GHz gets better performance in single thread and 4C8T

Running Time => 3m 55s
x264 FHD Benchmark => 28.5

PCMark Vantage => 26118

From above test, the performance of Core i7-3770K when overclocking to 4.8GHz almost equals to the performance of the last-generation Core i7-2700K when overclocking to 4.9~5GHz.
That is to say, given the same frequency and specification, the performance obtained by Ivy Bridge is 100~200MHz higher than that of Sandy Bridge.
So we can consider the Ivy Bridge of as the upgrade of Sandy Bridge.
The CPU processing is increased to 22nm, and the existent technologies are improved in the new version.
The built-in GPU support with 3-export and Virtu Universal MVP are all new useful features.

DRAM bandwidth test
DDR3 2400.4 CL10 11-11-27 1T
ADIA64 Memory Read - 24893 MB/s
Sandra Memory Bandwidth - 28733 MB/s
MaXXMEM Memory-Copy - 27807 MB/s

DDR3 2600.4 CL11 12-12-27 2T
ADIA64 Memory Read - 25433 MB/s
Sandra Memory Bandwidth - 30558 MB/s
MaXXMEM Memory-Copy - 28481 MB/s

The structure of Sandy Bridge can adjust DDR3 2133 at maximum when the external frequency of CPU is the default value of 100MHz.
If adopted with the external frequency of overclocking CPU, Sandy Bridge may reach around DDR 2300.
It is the greatest advantage of Ivy Bridge’s structure, and the Memory Controller is much better than that of last generation.
Given 3770K and 100MHz of CPU’s default external frequency, it can reach around DDR3 2400~2666.
With powerful MB and DDR3, it will possibly reach DDR3 2800.
The above two test figures are the bandwidth performance of DDR3 2400 1T and 2600 2T, showing that the DDR3 frequency is greatly improved.

Intel HD Graphics 4000 performance test
GPU frequency is 23 by default. When overclocking to 30(equal to 1500MHz), 3DMark Vantage => P5755

StreetFighter IV Benchmark
1280 X 720 => 116.13 FPS
Dec 1, 2008
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1280 X 720 => 1756

The overclocking performance of Intel HD Graphics 4000 is increased by 4~21%, which is determined by the characteristics of 3D software.
Compared with the last-generation HD Graphics 3000, the 3D performance is increased by over 60%, which is rather better.
Moreover, it catches up with the CPU of the highest 3D display performance currently, namely Radeon HD6550D of AMD A8-3850
Given that it started to improve the built-in GPU technology of CPU last year, and provided competitive 3D performance, sometimes it is even better than the basic-level VGA.
Certainly, the built-in GPU is difficult to work with middle and high-level 3D software, but the 3D performance keeps increase with each new generation platform.
In the future, the built-in CPU will be applied more widely, so it is a piece of good news to the consumers.

Temperature performance (Ambient temperature is 28 Celsius)
When system standby - 34~41

Running LinX, CPU at full speed - 74~84

Given the same frequency, the temperature of Ivy Bridge is higher than that of Sandy Bridge, which is a defect for this new platform.
The temperature performance of 3770K in 4.8GHz is similar to that of 2700K overclocking to 5GHz,
and the performance of these two CPUs at this frequency is almost the same too.
As the temperature is higher than the old platform, the CPU radiator will be one of the important factors in Ivy Bridge overclocking.

Power consumption test
When system standby - 67W

Running LinX, CPU at full speed - 175W

Compare the 103W / 239W of 2700K overclocking to 5GHz with 67W / 175W of 3770K overclocking to 4.8GHz.
With the C1E Power-Saving Function turned off, 3770K is 36W lower at system standby and 64W lower at full speed.
Intel adopts the latest 22nm processing in 3770K, it consumers less power than the last-generation Sandy Bridge when overclocking.

With the advanced radiator of CORSAIR Hydro Series H100, authenticate CPU-Z of5.1GHz / DDR3 2666 with voltage increased.

It can be seen currently that the Ivy Bridge with 4C8T running at full speed will get higher CPU temperature than before.
If using the top-level air cooler or water cooler together with the 3770K of good property, it is personally estimated that the frequency that can pass all software test is around 4.8~4.9GHz.
However, 3770K doesn’t have the limitation of 50 times for frequency multiplication like before, and the CPU can reach high frequency when it is not at full speed.
For the extreme-overclocking users, it is easier for 3770K to reach high frequency than 2700K.
For this part, it has both advantages and weaknesses. For most platforms, the maximum stable frequency reached by common radiation environment is very important.

1. The price is a little higher than the basic-level Z77, but the specification and material is similar to the middle-level Z77.
2. Japanese solid capacitor, built-in POWER/RESET buttons and simple debug LED.
3. Use UEFI interface with fast startup speed, rich options and large range of voltage, as well as excellent overclocking ability.
4. Provide two conventional PCIs, which is quite useful to the users with the related demands.
5. Built-in GPU has four types of export interfaces, MB power supply has 13 phases in total.

1. BIOSTAR has no distribution channel in Taiwan currently.
2. It is suggested using the advanced network card of Atheros or Intel.


Performance ratio ★★★★★★★★★☆ 86/100
Material ratio ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 82/100
Specification ratio ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 82/100
Appearance ratio ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 77/100
Cost/Performance ratio ★★★★★★★★★☆ 86/100

Ivy Bridge’s structure firstly adopts the 3D transistor technology, so the temperature performance is not as good as that of the last generation.
Moreover, the CPU, 3D performance of built-in GPU, maximum frequency of DDR3 and power consumption all show improved performance to some extent.
Support native USB 3.0.Virtu Universal MVP, Intel Smart Connect / Rapid Start and other new technology specification.
The price of Z77 under many MS manufacturers is not much higher than the base price of the last-generation Z68, lending a more competitive price.

BIOSTAR TSERIES TZ77XE4 is sold at US$150(NT$4380) in U.S. market.
It is just US$ 10~20 higher than the basic-level Z177 of the common ATX size.
TZ77XE4, with its material, design and overclocking performance, gains quite good C/T performance.
TZ77XE3 is sold at US$120 in U.S. market. In spite of the price of the basic-level Z77, its material and specification are the middle-level Z77.
Besides pursuing overclocking performance, BIOSTAR often gets favorable balance in C/P value.
If there will be the more advanced Z77 version that enhances the network card or audio card, it should be the better Z77 option for the users :)

Windwithme will share the performance of Intel Core i5-3450 or 3570K later.
The newest iPad hasn’t been sold in Taiwan till now, so the author asked a friend in Singapore to buy one for me.
The author will share about the comparison between iPad 1 and iPad 3 in the future :)

This review is also in my blog WIND3C, Any comments are welcome.

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