We’ve had great success overclocking our Intel i7-860 processor with almost every LGA 1156 motherboard we’ve tag-teamed it with, and the H55DE3 was no exception. Our goal for this overclocking portion of this review was to use the built-in CPU EZ OC and Memory EZ OC options overclock this board. The CPU OC option allows users to automatically select 3.6 to 4.2GHz and the system will dynamically make all the proper changes to the BIOS to allow the user to keep these overclocked settings. The Memory EZ setting can bump the memory bandwidth up to DDR3 2600, which is more than adquate when you try to hit the 4GHz barrier.
Using the CPU EZ OC approach to overclock our i7-860 LGA 1156 processor was extemely straightforward as we went into the BIOS and tested using the EZ OC setting at 3.8GHz, 4.0GHz, and 4.2GHz. After each setting was changed, the BIOS was dynamically configured to match those CPU frequencies. Upon bootup, we ran three runs of Cinebench 10 64-bit to ensure each overclock was stable. After each CPU frequency change, I became more impressed with how stable the core was during bootup and stability testing. When the EZ OC setting was changed to 3.6 and 3.8GHz, we noticed that the CPU multiplier was dropped to 20x and the CPU voltage was automatically changed to 1.4v. This is a mild overclock, but would help the core’s stability during testing. The board passed our stability testing easily at 3.6 and 3.8GHz, so next we moved on to hitting 4.0 and 4.2GHz.
We’ve had difficulty getting any P55-based board to overclock over 4GHz consistently, but after setting the H55DE3 to 4GHz I could immediately tell that we had a good chance to break the 4GHz barrier. In fact, after successfully testing this board at 4GHz, we attempted the max setting of 4.2GHz to see if our i7-860 could be pushed past 4GHz without frying it. Surprisingly, we were able to accomplish a successful 4.2GHz overclock with minimal tweaking to the CPU core voltage and memory timings and voltage.
See below for all of our BIOS settings and Cinebench screenshot detailing how we successfully overclocked the H55DE3 to 4.2GHz.
This screenshot was taken from the BIOS to show the voltages we adjusted to overclock the i7-860 processor.
|CPU Speed||BCLK||CPU Multiplier||DMI||DRAM Frequency||DRAM Timings||CPU Voltage||Temp (Idle)||Temp (Load)|
||3200MHz||1300 MHz||7-7-7-20 1T||1.45v||38c, 38c, 42c, 39c
||76c, 74c, 78c, 77c|