Intel Core i7 920
Asus P6T Deluxe BIOS 1003 (12/05/2008)
Western Digital WD5000AAKS, 500 GB
Integrated HD Audio
Integrated Gigabit Networking
Coolermaster RS850-EMBA (850W, ATX12V v2.2)
Software and Drivers
Windows Vista Ultimate SP1
AMD Catalyst 8.9
Intel INF 188.8.131.526
Version 1.70 (Memory Stability Test for Overclocking)
SiSoftware Sandra XII SP2
Version 2008.5.14.24, Test=Memory Bandwidth Benchmark
Asus has an excellent reputation for memory stability, so we used its P6T Deluxe to find the best timings and highest speeds of each module set.
The P6T Deluxe supports memory voltage changes in increments of 0.02 V. Since this particular motherboard did not support 1.650 V precisely, we chose the 1.66 V setting, which is probably within the safety factor Intel calculated into its 1.65 V "maximum" voltage recommendation.
Of course, we needed a Core i7 processor, but not just any processor would do. While most reviewers are stuck with Core i7 920 engineering samples that only support DDR3-800 and DDR3-1066 ratios (3x and 4x base clock, times two), our retail sample supports data rates all the way up to 2,133 MHz (8x base clock, times two).