System Performance

Not all motherboards are created equal. On the face of it, they should all perform the same and differ only in the functionality they provide - however, this is not the case. The obvious pointers are power consumption, POST time and latency. This can come down to the manufacturing process and prowess, so these are tested.

For Z690 we are running using Windows 10 64-bit with the 21H2 update.

Power Consumption

Power consumption was tested on the system while in a single MSI GTX 1080 Gaming configuration with a wall meter connected to the power supply. Our power supply has ~75% efficiency > 50W, and 90%+ efficiency at 250W, suitable for both idle and multi-GPU loading. This method of power reading allows us to compare the power management of the UEFI and the board to supply components with power under load, and includes typical PSU losses due to efficiency. These are the real-world values that consumers may expect from a typical system (minus the monitor) using this motherboard.

While this method for power measurement may not be ideal, and you feel these numbers are not representative due to the high wattage power supply being used (we use the same PSU to remain consistent over a series of reviews, and the fact that some boards on our testbed get tested with three or four high powered GPUs), the important point to take away is the relationship between the numbers. These boards are all under the same conditions, and thus the differences between them should be easy to spot.

Power: Long Idle (w/ GTX 1080)

Power: OS Idle (w/ GTX 1080)

Power: Prime95 Blend (w/ GTX 1080)


Different motherboards have different POST sequences before an operating system is initialized. A lot of this is dependent on the board itself, and POST boot time is determined by the controllers on board (and the sequence of how those extras are organized). As part of our testing, we look at the POST Boot Time using a stopwatch. This is the time from pressing the ON button on the computer to when Windows starts loading. (We discount Windows loading as it is highly variable given Windows-specific features.)


DPC Latency

Deferred Procedure Call latency is a way in which Windows handles interrupt servicing. In order to wait for a processor to acknowledge the request, the system will queue all interrupt requests by priority. Critical interrupts will be handled as soon as possible, whereas lesser priority requests such as audio will be further down the line. If the audio device requires data, it will have to wait until the request is processed before the buffer is filled.

If the device drivers of higher priority components in a system are poorly implemented, this can cause delays in request scheduling and process time. This can lead to an empty audio buffer and characteristic audible pauses, pops, and clicks. The DPC latency checker measures how much time is taken processing DPCs from driver invocation. The lower the value will result in better audio transfer at smaller buffer sizes. Results are measured in microseconds.

Deferred Procedure Call Latency

Board Features, Test Bed and Setup CPU Performance, Short Form
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  • shabby - Wednesday, June 15, 2022 - link

    Lol at the price, who buys these things?
  • Duwelon - Wednesday, June 15, 2022 - link

    It's getting a lot harder to justify these insane board prices, overclocking is almost a dead art anyway except as a nostalgic hobby to reminisce the days when you could get a ~25-50% boost with a decent board. Today it's more like 2-5% after spending $200-$500 above the basic model.
  • Tom Sunday - Wednesday, June 15, 2022 - link

    One thing for sure: “It's getting a lot harder.” I love the idea in buying one of those Z690 HERO’s when the time or my ship finally arrives. Even a used Z490 generation HERO would be welcomed if the dollars were available. Now working 2-jobs and a midnight-shift at Walmart driving a forklift! My daily lunchbox meal increased by about 50% and now $7.54 per gallon of gasoline puts me way under and elevating my credit card debt to the worst ever. All to tie me over to the next paycheck! Before all of this inflation mess started I regularly came to visit the major tech-channels to mostly dream about all the newly proffered hardware. About the absolute "must haves” and synthetic benchmarks. It appears that my dreams are now over and perhaps a nightmare is settling-in for the man on the street like me! I cannot help thinking that there must be many more people like me in the same boat facing a new reality! Overclocking indeed is almost a dead. But my reminiscing today is now clearly centered on overclocking my finances everything else has to wait in line!
  • poohbear - Wednesday, June 22, 2022 - link

    It's gonna be an ugly 2 years, but by 2024/25 we should be out of this mess.
  • Just a reviewer - Friday, August 12, 2022 - link

    As long as Democrats don’t run our country we will be out of this mess.
  • JeffFlanagan - Sunday, October 30, 2022 - link

    Just a reviewer, would you prefer the people who betrayed our democracy and the concept of rule of law with their crime President's coup? The Democrats are not to blame for global inflation, but the Republicans, who lie about everything, will try to use it to gain power and betray us again.
  • mode_13h - Thursday, June 23, 2022 - link

    If you can relocate, there should still be some better-paying opportunities elsewhere in your state or the country. Overall, the job market is still pretty tight, but I know the real estate situation makes relocation hard.

    If relocation isn't an option, then look at other career paths and figure out a plan to get yourself on a different track. Easier said than done, I know. Take care & good luck.
  • Just a reviewer - Friday, August 12, 2022 - link

    Sounds like you live in California where gas and food is extremely expensive. I would move out of California ASAP. In the mid west food and gas is much cheaper. Yes it still still expensive due to bidens policys but at least it will be less expensive than California.
  • Just a reviewer - Friday, August 12, 2022 - link

    Also good point over clocking doesn’t gain much performance.
  • JeffFlanagan - Sunday, October 30, 2022 - link

    Inflation has nothing to do with Biden's policies. Why are you lying to undermine America here of all places?

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