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 in the P55H-A BIOS, 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 P55H-A:

– 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
– Enable Spread spectrum

After those initial steps were completed, I dropped the CPU multiplier to 20x and starting increasing the base clock. I didn’t get very far before I noticed issues with stability that seemed to be coming from my memory settings and not necessarily the CPU or CPU voltage. After trying several things to configure the memory, I got a little frustrated because nothing seemed to work to get the memory to stabilize. I set the memory to auto, bumped the voltage to 1.65v, and even set the memory manually, but it would still reboot after booting into Windows. 

After a few more attempts to stabilize the memory, I finally succumbed to it and set the memory to manually timings and voltages. In the end, we were able to bump the base clock to 174MHz and the DRAM frequencies to 1390MHz, which helped us get to a stable 3.652GHz overclock on our i7-860 processor. This is a bit disappointing because we’ve been seeing overclocking scores well over 3.8GHz to 4GHz. See below for more details on how we overclocked the i7-860 using the P55H-A motherboard:


ECS P55H-A P55 Lynnfield Motherboard Review - Motherboards  64
This screenshot was taken when we achieved a 3.652GHz overclock on the Gigabyte P55-UD6.

ECS P55H-A P55 Lynnfield Motherboard Review - Motherboards  65
This screenshot was taken in the BIOS in the M.I.B. II menu to show our manual overclocking settings.

CPU Speed BCLK CPU Multiplier DMI DRAM Frequency DRAM Timings CPU Voltage Temp (Idle) Temp (Load)
3.652GHz 174 MHz 21x
3130 MHz 1390 MHz 8-8-8-20 1T 1.2v 34c, 33c, 37c, 35c
55c, 56c, 57c, 61c

Overclocking Results

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