Ivy Bridge has not been the best launch for Intel in terms of enthusiasts. Since the release of the Core microarchitecture many overclocker’s, gamers and plain PC nuts have loved the performance and overclockability of Intel’s CPUs. However, with Ivy Bridge despite the performance improvements there are some that are not happy. We have seen countless articles talking about the difficulty of overclocking Ivy Bridge even in our labs our best non-stable OC has been to 5GHz (CPUz only) we have not hit anything above 4.8GHz with any type of stability.
We all know that both Ivy Bridge and the Z77 PCH run hotter than the P67 and Sandy Bridge. The reasons for this are not completely understood (yet) but there are some explanations out there. One of these appears to be due to the process. At 22nm there is going to be an increase in power density and also a decrease in the surface area that allows for cooling of the CPU core. The other opinion is that Ivy Bridge is hotter due to the use of Thermal Interface Material (TIM) rather than fluxless solder.
At almost the opposite end of the spectrum from the Asus Maximus V Gene (in terms of target market) we find the Asus P8Z77-M Pro motherboard. The P8Z77-M Pro is also a micro ATX board and despite being aimed at the lower end of the consumer market it shares some of the same features that the Gene has. You still get Asus’ Digi+ power controls and FanXpert+ along with Asus’ commitment to solid design and component selection. We have talked about most of these items in Part I of our review. Now we are going to focus on the performance you can expect when you pick up the P8Z77-M Pro along with Intel’s new Ivy Bridge CPU.