Test Settings And Benchmarks
|Test System Configuration|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-2600K: 3.40 GHz, 8 MB Cache, LGA 1155|
|CPU Cooler||Thermalright MUX-120 w/Zalman ZM-STG1 Paste|
|RAM||G.Skill F3-17600CL9Q-16GBXLD (16 GB) DDR3-2200 at DDR3-1600 CAS 9, 1.60 V|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 1.5 GB 772 MHz GPU, GDDR5-4008|
|ASRock Motherboard||Z68 Extreme7 Gen3, BIOS 1.3 (9/28/2011)|
|Asus Motherboard||P8Z68 Deluxe, BIOS 0706 (08/05/2011)|
|Gigabyte Motherboard||Z68XP-UD5, BIOS F4e (08/25/2011)|
|MSI Motherboard||Z68A-GD80, BIOS V17.2 (07/18/2011)|
|Hard Drive||Samsung 470 Series MZ5PA256HMDR, 256 GB SSD|
|Sound||Integrated HD Audio|
|Network||Integrated Gigabit Networking|
|Power||Seasonic X760 SS-760KM ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold|
|OS||Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce 270.61 WHQL|
|Chipset||Intel INF 220.127.116.110|
Seasonic’s X760 provides the consistent efficiency required to assess motherboard power differences.
G.Skill’s RipJaws X DDR3-2200 16 GB kit provides the super-high XMP value we needed to evaluate each motherboard’s overclocking capabilities. We used two of the four modules for today’s test.
Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 580 graphics card minimizes GPU bottlenecks, allowing us to further evaluate the performance benefit of CPU and memory overclocks in games.
|Crysis||Patch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA Test Set 2: Very High Quality, 8x AA|
|Metro 2033||Full Game, Built-In Benchmark, "Frontline" Scene Test Set 1: DX11, High, AAA, 4x AF, No PhysX, No DoF Test Set 2: DX11, Very High, 4x AA, 16x AF, No PhysX, DoF On|
|iTunes||Version 18.104.22.168 x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format|
|Lame MP3||Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)|
|MediaEspresso 6.5||Version 6.5.1210_33281: 1080i HDTV (449 MB) to iPad H.264, 1024x768|
|MediaConverter 7||Version22.214.171.124: 1080i HDTV (449 MB) to iPad, SmartFit profile|
|WinZip||Version 14.0 Pro: THG-Workload (464 MB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"|
|WinRAR||Version 4.0 Beta 4: THG-Workload (464 MB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"|
|7-Zip||Version 9.2: THG-Workload (464 MB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"|
A scaled-back benchmark set keeps our charts and pages at manageable length with several additional test configurations.
1) It either is super conservative and therefore useless for any enthusiast.
2) It is insanely over-aggressive because it doesn't bother testing stability for more than a few minutes (if at all). So you end up with it thinking a 50% overclock is "stable" when it totally isn't.
Turned out that with all other settings as chosen by the utility the peak core could be set to its lowest value in the BIOS and still be perfectly stable. So is it just ramping up the voltage to be on the safe side?
I have downclocked my system to base settings on both the CPU and GPU because the wear on the system with OC'ing. None of the games I play, nor any of the other apps need a OC to perform well, so why place additional stress on the components when it is merely for bragging rights?
When I played with manual OC'ing I found, like this article, that there was only a marginal gain from auto settings. Plus ther is the additional risk of screwing the pooch entirely and bricking the CPU or mobo by overvolting.
Unless you are a real pro and are not risk adverse, I'd recommend that you stick with auto OC'ing, and for this, ASRock has proven to be the best.
I feel that Toms should have done some stability testing on their manual and automatic OCed Processors. They might have and just not posted their results. I am in the camp where I feel that if you can't take the hour or two to figure it all out you probably shouldn't be Overclocking. If we had a larger sample of Proccessors we have no idea how many would turn out badly.
It looks like a good tool to start off your own OC because it's probably gonna be in the ballpark, but on it's own it leaves much to be desired.