ASRock Z77 OC Formula Motherboard Review
OverviewHardware: CPU & Motherboards
WHAT WE LIKED:Styling separates the Z77 OC Formula from the rest of ASRock's line-up, great overclocking potential/performance and priced right.
WHAT WE DISLIKED:Slightly slow USB 3.0 speeds.
Discuss in the Forum
In the past few years we have seen ASRock progressively step up their game. In the past 6 months, their product has been consistantly very good, but we did not see them move as quickly as others with innovative features. It was not that ASRock didn’t have any innovative features, but we did not see much difference between their new products. That is simply not the case today.
The ASRock Z77 OC Formula jumped right out at us with a much different approach in both aesthetics and features. The look is much different than recent products. It sports an attractive black & yellow look, which perhaps the competition inspired. The color scheme may not be embraced by all but we sure like it at Pure Overclock. ASRock also adds Twin-Power Cooling that combines active air cooling and water cooling on the VRM’s and mosfet. This is a great feature for the watercooling and extreme overclock junkies. Gigabyte tried the concept in the past but ASRock’s heatsink passes the tubes to actually cool the VRM’s much better. The entire aesthetics and cooling get a major thumbs up.
To some, aesthetics do not mean as much as performance. Here is where ASRock has hit a “stoned cold” winner. Starting with ASRock’s matured UEFI bios, they have stepped up to the big game with the most extensive voltage and calibration adjustments to date. Along with the added parameters, ASRock added an overclocking profile designed by the world record overclocker, Nick Shih. The profiles are modest and not 100% stable, but we just added some voltage to the Vcore and hit 4.8GHz within minutes. They also added a Rapid Overclock feature that is built into the board via switches and uses ASRock’s Rapid OC software. This is long overdue as now the locked screens using ASRock’s old AXTU is history. ASRock has also changed AXTU with a modified interface into what they call Formula Overdrive. Formula Overdrive mostly stays the same as AXTU but ASRock adds a Thermal Sensor GUI to monitor all the motherboard temps. This will surely come in handy during extreme overclocking or on those LN2 runs. When you Add in ASRock’s 555 package, the entire ASRock Suite deserves a standing ovation. They really stepped up their game. The Z77 OC Formula has everything under the hood one can imagine.
Performance using our Intel core i5 3570K was very good and overclocking was great; however, the Z77 OC Formula showed low USB 3.0 speeds which was really the only thing negative we could find. In no way should this shy anyone away from the Z77 OC Formula. It is simply terrific. ASRock has come up with a seriously competitive overclocking board, gaming board or enthusiast’s board. Call it what you may, the ASRock Z77 OC Formula is a home run, and coming in at $239 is a seriously sweet deal for everything you get. This easily earns our Pure Overclock Editor’s Choice Award.