With all the extra overclocking options available in the BIOS on the ASUS Maximus III Gene I knew I was going to set my sights on eclipsing the 4GHz mark on my i7-860 processor. This is slightly difficulty on air cooling alone, but I was determined to push this board and the CPU to their limits. When I started overclocking our i7-860 LGA 1156 processor manually, I went through a few basic steps to configure the Maximus III Gene’s BIOS settings. Here’s a quick run-down of a few settings I altered before I started to overclock this board:
– Set AI Overclock Tuner to manual
– Set CPU ratio to 20x
– Set DRAM Frequency to Auto
– Set Load-Line Calibration to Auto (improves VDroop)
– Disable Intel EIST (SpeedStep)
– Disable C1E Support (power-saving feature)
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 ramped up the FSB all the way to 211MHz before stability started to break down during testing. We backed it down to 207MHz and re-ran Cinebench to ensure the cores could run at 100 percent without any stability problems before we considered our overclock “rock solid”.
In the end, we were able to increase the base clock to 207MHz and the DRAM frequencies to 1245MHz, which helped us get to a stable 4.15GHz on our i7-860 processor. This equated to a 67.47 percent increase in performance over this CPU’s stock settings. I think if we spent a bit more time adjusting the CPU and memory voltages, as well as manually configured the memory timings, we would have seen a slight increase in CPU performance. Using a water cooling solution would have also helped lower the CPU temps, which seemed to hinder us during our attempts to overclock this CPU. See below for more details on how we overclocked the i7-860 using the Maximus III Gene motherboard:
This screenshot was taken when we achieved a 4.15GHz overclock on the ASUS Maximus III Gene.
|CPU Speed||BCLK||CPU Multiplier||DMI||DRAM Frequency||DRAM Timings||CPU Voltage||Temp (Idle)||Temp (Load)|
||3736MHz||1245 MHz||8-9-9-24 1T||1.392v||38c, 37c, 40c, 38c
||79c, 82c, 77c, 83c