Asus OC Tuner
The biggest problem with pre-defined overclocking profiles is that they can’t adjust for normal variations in a CPU's scalability. One Core i5-2500K might be able to hit 4.3 GHz without a problem, while another maxes out at 4.5 GHz. Asus addresses that issue with an overclocking engine that alternates between stability tests and incremental clock increases to more precisely isolate the overclocking limit of your chip. The best part of Asus’ method is its single-step initialization.
Clicking “OK” from the OC Tuner menu initiates the process, which is followed by a reboot, around a minute of black screen, and a new set of voltage and clock values.
We were a little disappointed to see the top-overclocking P8Z68 Deluxe yield only 4.43 GHz using its automated method. But our biggest concern was that it ramped our CPU core up to 1.448 V under certain load conditions. Several of our hardcore overclocking friends have given us a 1.45 V peak instantaneous voltage limit for Intel Sandy Bridge-based processors, and our own tests have shown that exceeding 1.40 V for extended periods dramatically decreases the processor’s life.
OC Tuner ignores our memory’s XMP capability, but does increase its multiplier to the DDR3-1866 setting. Combining that with the processor’s higher 103 MHz BCLK yields an actual data rate of DDR3-1923.
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.