Asus Skylake Z170 Motherboards: Maximus VIII Gene vs. Z170-A

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Test Setup:

  • Intel Core i7-6700K processor - four cores. 4.0~4.2 GHz, 14 nm, 91W, Hyper-threading, integrated Intel HD 530 graphics
  • Scythe Kabuto CPU cooler - stock fan at 800 RPM
  • Kingston Fury memory - 2x8GB DDR4-2667, C15
  • ADATA XPG SX910 solid-state drive - 128GB, 2.5-inch, SATA 6 Gbps
  • Kingston HyperX 3K solid-state drive - 120GB, 2.5-inch, SATA 6 Gbps
  • Seasonic SS-400ET power supply - 400W, ATX
  • Microsoft Windows 7 operating system - Ultimate, 64-bit

Device listing, Maximus VIII Gene on the left, Z170-A on the right. Most of the internals are identical.

Measurement and Analysis Tools

Video Test Clips

H.264/MKV 1080p: A custom 1080p H.264 encoded clip inside an Matroska container with a 22 mbps bitrate.

YouTube Flash 1080p: The Dark Knight Rises Official Trailer #3, an HD movie trailer in 1080p.

YouTube HTML5 4K: RBG Rainbow, a dead/stuck pixel screen fixer in 4K.

Testing Procedures

Before testing, certain services/features like Indexing, Superfetch, System Restore, and Windows Defender are disabled to prevent them from causing spikes in CPU/HDD usage. We also make note if energy saving features like Cool'n'Quiet, SpeedStep or S3 suspend-to-RAM do not function properly.

Our main test procedure is designed to measure the overall system power consumption at various states. We also measure the hottest points on the external heatsinks using an infrared thermometer.

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