Overclocking Results

Overclocking the new LGA 1156 socket has some new wrinkles that Ryan explains in in three separate articles on the i7-870, i5-750, and  i7-860 so I won’t go into too much depth into those differences. Suffice to say, the LGA 1156 processors have been exceptional for overclocking, and the price point of these CPUs are really drawing lots of consumers toward this new socket type.

When I started overclocking our i7-860 LGA 1156 processor manually, I went through a few basic steps for setting up my test system’s BIOS settings. Here’s a quick run-down of a few settings I altered before I started to overclock the Gigabyte P55-UD6:

– Disable Intel EIST (SpeedStep)
– Disable C1E Support (power-saving feature)
– Adjust memory multiplier to 8 (1066MHz), but leave DRAM Timing Mode at Auto
– Change DMI (QPI) ratio to lowest available setting, which is x32 on this board
– change Load-Line Calibration setting to Level 1, which slightly adjusts VDroop
– Disable Spread spectrum

After those initial steps were completed, I dropped the CPU multiplier to 20x and starting increasing the base clock until I noticed stability issues. We had multiple issues overclocking this board through the base clock alone and couldn’t get anything stable over 180MHz. So, we started to increase the CPU voltage as well as adjusting our memory voltages. This helped a bit, but we still had to stability issues around 185MHz. So, the next thing we tried was adjusting the memory ratios and timings, and finally settled on 1333MHz, while still leaving the timings at auto. This means the timings were at 8-8-8-21, which is a little tighter than we would have liked, but it seemed to produce the results we were looking for.

In the end, we were able to bump the base clock to 193MHz and the DRAM frequencies to 1160MHz, which helped us get to a stable 3.86GHz on our i7-860 processor. This equated to a 27.46 percent increase in performance over this CPU’s stock settings. See below for more details on how we overclocked the i7-860 using the P55-UD6 motherboard:


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This screenshot was taken when we achieved a 3.86GHz overclock on the Gigabyte P55-UD6.

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This screenshot was taken in the BIOS in the M.I.T. Current Status dashboard. It’s a very handy summary of the main information we needed to achieve our 3.86GHz overclock.

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Advanced Frequency Settings screenshot in BIOS.

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Advanced Voltage Settings screenshot in BIOS.

CPU Speed BCLK CPU Multiplier DMI DRAM Frequency DRAM Timings CPU Voltage Temp (Idle) Temp (Load)
3.860GHz 193 MHz 20x
3088 MHz 1160 MHz 8-8-8-21 1T 1.328v 39c, 39c, 42c, 41c
66c, 67c, 67c, 71c

Overclocking Results

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