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Seven $260-$320 X79 Express Motherboards, Reviewed

X79 Extreme6/GB UEFI

This editor’s second C1-stepping Core i7-3960X has the same supposedly-rare issue as his first, preventing Windows 7 from loading when the multiplier is increased beyond 36x on most motherboards. We spent days with ASRock trying to diagnose the issue. So far, though, only one manufacturer has a workaround.

As a result, the highest six-core overclock was achieved using 36 x 130 MHz. ASRock automatically implements the chipset’s 1.25x BCLK to PCH multiplier anywhere between 113 and 149 MHz. So, the chipset was barely beyond its specification as we shot the CPU to an impressive 4.68 GHz. Default Turbo Boost modes were disabled, since allowing the chip to jump to 39x with two cores active resulted in 5.07 GHz, and that wasn't a stable frequency.

Ratios, power limits, and frequency controls are followed by three overclocking profile set points on ASRock’s OC Tweaker main menu.

Found in a separate submenu, voltage controls include core, CSA, VTT, PLL, DRAM, and PCH. That covers just about everything that most overclockers need.

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The X79 Extreme6/GB has both primary and secondary memory timing controls, without the inconvenient double-setting change found on earlier ASRock boards.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.