When ASRock first offered to send me the Z77 OC Formula for review, I couldn’t be happier. I originally purchased the Z77 Extreme6 for my own personal use before writing the review on it, but I always kept looking at the OC Formula (or extreme9) that I’d like to eventually get to experience. I honestly was expecting to be blown away by the Z77 OC Formula, and in the end I really, really liked it.
Once everything was installed and setup, I was a little disappointed that the board seemed to be trading benchmarking blows with the P8Z77-V PRO from ASUS, a board that is $20 cheaper.. and then I overclocked using it.
Not only did I attain the same clock speeds, but I also achieved them at a lower voltage, therefore with less heat. Ivy Bridge is notoriously hot, and there seems to be endless debate about the root of the issue – but that doesn’t change the fact the chip is super hot. Attaining clocks at lower voltages not only reduces heat, it also can potentially increase the processors longevity by having a smaller voltage run through it 24/7. The OC Formula is not MEANT to be run at stock, and therefore, I don’t care about it’s stock performance – but that’s just me, and that’s why we still run benchmarks at stock settings.
ASRock’s UEFI is intuitive, user friendly and attractive. Boot times are stellar. Performance is excellent. Oh, and, the board is beautiful. This is a high-end product with a mid-range price tag. Do I recommend it? If you’re an overclocker, absolutely. If you’re running a non-K CPU, or are looking for a board just to “use”.. no, not really. There are overclocking options available to you, such as No-K OC, but really, you’re not going to be able to get the full benefits of the OC Formula without an unlocked chip.
The ASRock Z77 OC Formula is currently $239.99 at my favorite online retailer.
If it were priced higher I think I may knock a point off for the cons listed below.. but given that you get so much for the price, I really can’t fault it – therefore ThinkComputers.org would like to award the ASRock Z77 OC Formula Motherboard a 10 out of 10 and our Editor’s Choice Award!
- Overclocks like a champ
- Water cooling ready
- Unique features like Rapid OC and PCI-E on/off are actually USEFUL
- High quality
- Not the greatest stock performance
- Water cooling channel designed for 3/8″ ID tubing – most enthusiasts prefer 1/2″ ID or higher