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ASRock M8 Mini-ITX Z87 Barebones System Review

To test the ASRock M8, we paired it with an Intel Core i7 4770K processor and 8GB of 1333MHz SO-DIMM memory in a dual channel configuration. We will be outlining the ASRock M8’s performance with the Core i7 4770K CPU at its stock frequency of 3.5GHz and standard Turbo Boost settings.

While we could have overclocked the processor, heat quickly became an issue in the M8’s confined dimensions. Overclocking a processor installed in ASRock’s Mini-ITX system would either require one of the best CPU coolers that fits inside the chassis or a chip with a lower TDP than our 4770K.

We will be comparing the ASRock M8-based system’s performance to that of our Z87 test system which is based around the ASRock Z87 OC Formula motherboard. Where possible, we use identical hardware and software on each system so that the results are as comparable as possible.

By default, the ASRock Z87-M8 motherboard allows the 4770K to operate at its default turbo settings. This will give it what seems to be a performance disadvantage against other Z87-based systems whose motherboards use forced-turbo settings for the 4770K.

with-phanteks-cooler

ASRock M8 Test System:

  • Motherboard: ASRock Z87-M8 (ASRock M8).
  • Power Supply: 450W SFX 80 Plus Bronze (ASRock M8).
  • Case: ASRock M8 with 4x 70mm fans.
  • Optical Drive: LITE-ON DC-8A2SH Slim Slot Loading 8x DVD±R/RW (ASRock M8).
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 4770K 3.50GHz.
  • Memory: 8GB (2x 4GB) Komputerbay DDR3 1333MHz CL9 (SO-DIMM).
  • Graphics Card: nVidia GTX 760 2GB.
  • System Drive: 500GB Samsung 840 Series SSD.
  • CPU Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC90LS.
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit.

Comparison Z87 Test System:

Settings:

  • GeForce 320.49 VGA drivers.
  • Intel 9.4.0.1017 chipset drivers.

Software Suite:

  • 3DMark
  • 3DMark 11
  • PCMark 8
  • Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0
  • SiSoft Sandra 2013 SP4
  • Cinebench 11.5 64 bit
  • Super Pi
  • VLC Media Player 2.0.7
  • CyberLink Media Espresso 6.7
  • ATTO
  • Battlefield 3
  • Bioshock Infinite
  • Dirt Showdown
  • Metro 2033
  • Metro: Last Light
  • Sleeping Dogs

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