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Seven Sub-$160 Z77 Express Motherboards, Reviewed

Overclocking With Intel Extreme Tuning Utility

Intel doesn’t seem to want you to use its Extreme Tuning Utility. How else could we explain why it isn’t mentioned in the motherboard’s software suite, or referred to on the motherboard’s product page? How else could we explain why it isn’t even listed as compatible for recent motherboards, or that motherboards are only added to its list after they’ve fallen out of our spotlight?

XTU is likely intended for “in the know” overclocking exhibitionists and members of the press who usually get their hardware long before our round-ups are published. Most end-users are forced to search for it, and the lack of references to the name makes that search even more difficult.

XTU’s system information tab provides basic information about your software and hardware configuration, but lacks most of the status readings found in its Desktop Utilities application. The pair might be complementary.

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Manual Tuning controls primarily focus on increasing the power ceiling for overcurrent protection, with voltage increases limited to Additional Turbo Voltage. We're showing everything maxed out, but the only part of the program we really used was its base clock controls. We’ll discuss the reason for this on the next page.

Intel has its own stress-testing program, which many professional-level overclockers use to prove that their systems are stable.

As in the UEFI, a complete set of XTU values can be saved as an overclocking profile.