We will be using several benchmarking tools to compare the difference between the overclocked performances of the processor to the stock performance of the processor.
A major concern for many who use these types of motherboards is power delivery and handling. Over the course of this testing we will be monitoring how this motherboard handles the power, and the amounts of power being consumed by the CPU itself.
We will not be measuring the total system power draw. With varying power usage from devices such as GPUs, CPUs, RAM, and add-on cards, the results can be skewed quite a bit. The purpose of this testing is to determine the power delivery for the most important component, the CPU Socket.
With Socket 2011 (X79) Chipset drawing more power than any other chipset to date, we will see some impressive voltage going to the CPU only. This is where that second 8-pin connection for CPU power comes in handy!
All CPU power monitoring will be done with the AIDA 64 application. For users wishing to check their own power usage, you simply navigate to the “computer” selection, then highlight the “Sensor” selection. Scroll down the right hand side of the screen, and there is CPU Package, which is your CPU socket power draw.
OVERCLOCKING THE SYSTEM
By all rights, this was one of the simplest overclocks that we have tested and gained stability with. The UEFI is fast and easy to understand. There are pre-selected profiles that the user can load which will give ‘generic’ settings that will allow a good starting point.
We loaded the 4.8 profile and began stress testing. Amazingly, the first shot out, total stability!
The only concern of mine was that the profile fed a little more voltage to the chip than necessary, even though it was well within safe limits. Immediately we adjusted the voltage lower, and tested again. Soon we were getting stable with 4.8 at 1.385 volts. Passing up on the opportunity to get stable with even lower voltage at this clock, we went straight for the 5.0 profile.
Again, the pre-set overclock settings were solid right out of the gate. This was really impressive, but again, it must be remembered that these are guidelines.
The utility in the UEFI set the Vcore at 1.5 volts, which is a little high for my liking. For the vast majority of motherboards, that is the amount of voltage that would be required for a solid 5.0, so this is well within established parameters. The purpose of using lower voltage is to keep heat output as low as possible, and to alleviate any undue long term voltage stress on the processor.
We aren’t really worried too much about heat, as no matter what the settings and testing parameters we never went over 55C with our extreme water cooling setup. This was with the fans at very low RPM, so there is no need to be worried about heat if the user is using custom water cooling.
Preferring lower voltages, with some modification of the Vcore lower, and load line calibration a bit higher, we were able to get stable at 5.0 with voltage of Vcore at 1.4. We also adjusted the VCCSA and CPU PLL voltage down much lower, down to 1.1 and 1.822 respectively.
One must always remember that profiles are guidelines, and usually come in with higher voltage than may be necessary. There is still a good amount of tweaking to a solid overclock.