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Intel Performance Maximizer (IPM) Tested: One-Click Overclocking Comes to 9th-Gen CPUs

VRMark, 3DMark and AotS: Escalation

Test Notes

We tested with the Core i9-9900K in several configurations, as listed in the performance charts. The "MCE @ 5.0" entry reflects our Multi-Core Enhancement configuration that uses the motherboard's predetermined voltage and frequency profile to overclock all cores to the maximum Turbo Boost bin (5.0 GHz). The "IPM 5.0" entry denotes the Intel Performance Maximizer's auto-overclocked 5.0 GHz setting paired with a powerful custom watercooling setup. Meanwhile, the "@ 5.0" entry contains our manually tuned all-core 5.0 GHz overclocking results. 

VRMark, 3DMark

We aren't big fans of using synthetic benchmarks to measure performance, but 3DMark's DX11 and DX12 CPU tests provide useful insight into the amount of horsepower available to game engines.

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The IPM settings fall within 1.2% of our manually-tuned configuration in the DX12 CPU test and 0.72% in the DX11 physics test. That's within the noise of the benchmarks, which have a 3% expected variance, so the IPM configuration provided nearly the same performance as our painstakingly curated manual overclock.

The IPM configuration also fell within 1% of the manual overclock during the inherently lightly-threaded VRMark workload.

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

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Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is a computationally intense title that scales well with thread count. MSI's automatic MCE setting takes the lead, but we see little difference between our manually-tuned processor and the IPM-imposed overclock. In either case, we only see a maximum boost of ~3% over the stock configuration.


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Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.