Power And Heat
We did not re-adjust any power settings after selecting the auto-overclocking modes of these four major brands, but instead let the “chips fall where they may." After all, the idea behind auto-overclocking is that it’s supposed to take away the work of manual firmware adjustment.
Here’s where we see the big difference between MSI and everyone else. The other three boards keep Intel’s power savings features enabled and simply manipulate the multiplier and voltage used by Turbo Boost technology, while MSI lock in the overclock. Gigabyte takes a big lead in idle power savings.
The one thing MSI seems to do better than everyone else is conserve power at its voltage regulator. Even with the voltage set manually at its highest-supported CPU frequency, the Z68A-GD80 shaves watts compared to the best of its competitors.
This editor uses a thermal probe to gauge PWM temperature at the hottest spot accessible, and heat sink design can affect the accuracy of that measurement. Gigabyte’s Z68XP-UD5 advantage is large enough that an error of a few degrees would still keep it at the top, followed by MSI’s Z68A-GD80.
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.