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Assembly And Overclocking

System Builder Marathon, Sept. 2010: $1000 Enthusiast PC

This System Builder Marathon $1000 enthusiast-class PC didn't give us any trouble during the assembly process. I can’t think of a single problem that we encountered with the hardware, software, or drivers.

With that, we’re off to overclocking.


Our Core i5-750 CPU delivers a solid overclock thanks to its scalable 45 nm manufacturing process. With CPU voltage raised to 1.3625 V and the bus set to 178 MHz, this processor runs at a steady 3.75 GHz with a 21x multiplier. Secondary voltages are set as follows: IMC: 1.3 V, PLL: 1.9 V, and PCH: 1.7 V.

The only real problem we had was with the memory, which wouldn’t run stably unless we lowered the multiplier. Even when the timings are loosened to CAS 10, the memory throws up errors in Prime95 stress testing unless we lower memory speed to 1070 MHz. At this clock rate, the memory is much more accommodating and will accept faster CAS 8 timing settings.

The MSI GeForce GTX 470 graphics card handles an 83 MHz core/165 MHz shader overclock, but the memory only accommodates a small 8 MHz increase. That might not sound like much, but the net result of the CPU and graphics card overclocks is quite significant, as the benchmarks will demonstrate.

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