One of the best parts about purchasing a highly capable overclocking motherboards is the ability to tweak every minuet detail in the voltages and clock speeds to achieve the most stable overclock possible. Our particular test bench’s core is running the popular i7-920, which has been heavily reported on as a fan favorite of overclockers and enthusiasts alike. We’ve been able to reach 4GHz on our test bench with this CPU and we are hoping to get close to this mark here as ewll.
For beginners just started to learn about overclocking i7s, I recommend you read a previous article Ryan wrote on how to overclock i7s. For those of you who already browsed that write-up, please read on.
During initial overclocking, I was able to bump the base clock to 178MHz before having to increase the CPU, IOH, and QPI voltage. After upping the voltage, I was able to increase the base clock all the way to 190MHz before I noticed stability issues. So, I backed it down to 180MHz and that seemed to keep the core stable. One item to note is that Intel Turbo Boost was enabled which gave me an extra clock cycle to work with during overclocking. We enabled and disabled it, but found out that having it enabled allowed us to reach our highest stable benchmark.
After all was said and done, the highest unstable speed we received was 3.989GHz, but after a little more small tweaks to the CPU voltage we were able to achieve a 3.822GHz stable overclock. Here’s more info on the settings we used during our overclocking efforts:
We got all the way up to 3.989GHz, but had difficulties keeping it stable during load testing.
Here’s a quick look at our BIOS settings at 3.64GHz (Note: This screen won’t show the true overclock we reached of 3.822GHz because Intel Turbo Boost isn’t initiated until we truly boot the system into Vista).
CPU load screenshot using Cinebench 10 64-bit as well as Core Temp 0.99.5, Windows Task Manager, and CPU-Z to show core temps, performance, and loads.
|CPU Speed||BCLK||CPU Multiplier||QPI||DRAM Frequency||DRAM Timings||CPU Voltage||QPI Voltage||Temp (Idle)||Temp (Load)|
|3.822GHz||182 MHz||21x with Intel Turbo Boost||3276 MHz||1140 MHz||7-7-7-19 1T||1.3v||1.15v||43c, 41c, 43c, 40c
||68c, 67c, 66c, 64c