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Overclocking With Asus TurboV

Seven Sub-$160 Z77 Express Motherboards, Reviewed
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In addition to its manual overclocking options, Asus TurboV offers less-knowledgeable users a chance to capitalize on the P8Z77-V LX’s impressive overclocking capabilities through an auto-adjustment utility. The program achieved a stable 4.22 GHz at 1.216 V using its “Fast” overclocking scheme, and 4.84 GHz at 1.456 V after choosing its “Extreme” alternative.

The biggest problem with the Extreme profile is that it applied far too much voltage for our Ivy-Bridge based CPU. These cores are notorious for an interface problem that prevents even the best coolers from achieving useful temperatures at moderate voltage levels, and 1.456 V far exceeds the 1.30 V we feel comfortable recommending as a safe limit for reasonable longevity. With only a little trepidation about potentially frying our CPU, we fired up Prime95 and watched as Intel’s thermal protection mechanism throttled the processor clock within about 20 seconds.

Although TurboV's Auto-Tuning feature is supposed to be easier to use for less experienced overclockers, it's unfortunate that it'd push such an aggressive voltage that isn't even useable without throttling, which inexperienced performance-seekers might not know to check for. Manual tuning became the safer choice for our efforts, then.

Picking settings ourselves, we were able to reach the same overclock using TurboV as we did using Asus' UEFI, and as we've established, some hardcore overclockers find programs like TurboV very useful for altering voltage and clock rates on-the-fly as they toy with extreme cooling methods.

Sliders are shown in their maximum position to indicate TurboV’s limits, though we never approached these in actual operation. “Advanced Mode” adds CSA, PLL, and PCH options to the basic set of voltage controls.

While we don’t believe many users will bother overclocking an Ivy Bridge-based processor’s integrated graphics core, Asus provides both frequency and voltage options in TurboV’s GPU Boost.

A separate menu provides CPU ratio selection in both synchronized and load-based settings. Though the slider is maxed, we never approached its maximum 63x multiplier in our own efforts.

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