Intel 980x Gulftown

Test Setup and Overclocking

Test Setup and Overclocking

Test Set Up

When testing a CPU like this the hardware has to do it justice so we pulled out the old faithful ASUS Rampage 2 Extreme, and after a quick flash to the latest BIOS she was ready for some 6 core abuse! At the same time its no good testing a 980X with a 3850, so the GPU of choice was a 5870, these have been tested many times on OC3D so we have many results to compare to see if the extra cores do indeed make a difference.

ASUS Rampage II Extreme
6GB Corsair Platinum @1333mhz
ATI 5870 1GB
OCZ 1000w Gold PSU
1TB Samsung Spinpoint F1
Samsung 2433 24" @ 1920x1200
Windows 7 Ultimate 64

Overclocking

Before we get on to how this Gulftown 980 overclocks let's show you the default CPUz so you can compare.

First port of call here is the base clock, but its really quite a simple affair, you drop the multiplier down low and gradually increase the base clock to see what the maximum the CPU has to offer. At a 16x multiplier our CPU managed a 220 BLCK at stock 1.25v volts, surprisingly increasing the Vcore up to 1.325v and also increasing the QPI made no difference to what the CPU was willing to relinquish.

The next port of call was to try and find the CPU's maximum MHZ overclock, 4.4ghz (22x200) came about relatively quickly but with a little more tweaking and a 1.325vcore we managed to coax out 4.5ghz (180x25).

Overclocking is a great past time to see what you can achieve from your system, but to many its no good unless its as stable as it would have been at stock. Finding the sweet spot here is a timely affair and requires the patience of a saint, and plenty of free time...... Normally. After an hour of playing around with settings tweaking this and trying that we found the sweet spot on our CPU was 4.2ghz (210x22) with a Vcore of just 1.3v and the QPI set to 1.375v the chip was happily sat playing with Prime95 like they were the best of friends.

Not quite believing that 6 individual cores on 1 die were all running stable at 4.2GHZ I decided to leave prime running overnight. 14 hours later I came back and it was still happily running at 100% across all 6 cores and 12 threads, so I was happy enough to call it stable and started our benchmark testing.   

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Most Recent Comments

04-03-2010, 19:14:44

tinytomlogan
OC3D loves a good cpu to play with, but is the 980x as good as we all hope?

Continue Reading

04-03-2010, 19:47:03

ppuff
Performs like a champ. It looks as though Intel will once again throw AMD under the bus with this one.

04-03-2010, 20:42:03

VonBlade
Fantastic review Tom. Really enjoyable read.

Blimey that's a bit of kit. Dear Santa

05-03-2010, 02:45:02

thestepster
looks like its lived up 2 the hype and its like u said its only the price thats the bad point

05-03-2010, 03:03:19

Runebeard
Dude I bloody love your analogies, "...it goes like an Essex girl on a Free WKD night." Man that cracked up

So wish I could afford to splurge on one of these, I wouldn't have to upgrade for tiiiiime.

11-03-2010, 10:38:21

tinytomlogan
Its back!

11-03-2010, 10:51:03

thestepster
ooh u got it back for more playin about

11-03-2010, 14:53:29

killablade
God I want one of those 0.o Simply amazing!

11-03-2010, 15:00:43

BloomerzUK
OT: Love the avatar Tom.

11-03-2010, 16:00:30

BbBoS
Spectacular processor

Maybe with some ATI 5870's in crossfire, or Nvidia equivalents we could see 80 frames + from crysis

12-03-2010, 02:01:08

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='BloomerzUK'
OT: Love the avatar Tom.
w00t. it may be making an appearance elsewhere soon

12-03-2010, 12:23:04

tinytomlogan
Yeah the OC3D Range Rover is in the sign shop as we speak! whooooopah

12-03-2010, 12:55:08

mayhem
850 est. come on guyes thats raly taking the piss.

No way will it be worth it buying it. and there is no way on earth any one here is going to need that much power except for good scores on test benches and braging rights wich means naff all in real world.

Thats like getting a car to compenswte for the fact you cannot be good in another department.

still good good review though but way out of my budget range and some thing ill never own unless OC3d are gving it away as a ""PRIZE"" hint hint ....lol

12-03-2010, 16:44:26

cl0ck_ed
OMG, that looks like a BEAST, didn't think there would be such an improvement in gaming. The minimum FPS for crysis warhead are 216% better!! WOW.

Great review btw.

16-03-2010, 09:42:40

Runebeard
Scan.co.uk have them on preorder for 882.74. Looks like I won't be getting one then as that takes up almost all my budget for my entire pc build xD

16-03-2010, 10:34:11

FarFarAway
Looks hawt Tomster

Out of interest, did you manage to get a Super PI 1m at all? I just want to see some pwnage

16-03-2010, 17:28:56

tinytomlogan
Super Pi doesnt utilise all the cores dude so that was one of the tests that we missed out as it wasnt a proper representation of the power the CPU had to offer.

16-03-2010, 19:04:45

MikeEnIke
6 Cores is just insane. All on the same size chip.

16-03-2010, 19:31:15

thestepster
well in memory of my grandad if i get enuff ill have gulftown and 58xx/fermi folding rockin

17-03-2010, 05:46:45

Macon Paine
Looks awesome, performance is just incredible! Well done Intel, pity about the price though this thing costs about $1700 AUD. AMDs gonna need to pull a rabbit out of the hat with bulldozer.

08-04-2010, 06:53:34

osshead
thanks for the check tom. i like your style of writing mate.

08-04-2010, 11:47:43

alexhull24
Some serious power, I enjoyed the review tom. Cost is the problem here though, but this is always the case with bleeding edge hardware. Most of us have to wait for it to trickle down into our price range, which doesn't usually take long.

08-04-2010, 13:32:51

killablade
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='alexhull24'
Some serious power, I enjoyed the review tom. Cost is the problem here though, but this is always the case with bleeding edge hardware. Most of us have to wait for it to trickle down into our price range, which doesn't usually take long.
It does for me, usually it never even happens xD

10-04-2010, 07:28:05

Rastalovich
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='mayhem'
850 est. come on guyes thats raly taking the piss.

No way will it be worth it buying it. and there is no way on earth any one here is going to need that much power except for good scores on test benches and braging rights wich means naff all in real world.

Thats like getting a car to compenswte for the fact you cannot be good in another department.

still good good review though but way out of my budget range and some thing ill never own unless OC3d are gving it away as a ""PRIZE"" hint hint ....lol
It's a real gimmick offering under that price tag, but it's subsequent spawnings will offer a cheaper alternative at a 'healthier' price. However healthy, they're going to exceed 4x pricing for some time.

6x cpus are allowing those at the top end of benchmarking to exploit their donations at this point. We've already seen this week Shamino cream the 3dMark Vantage record by some 5000 points with a single 'retail' GTX480 in one run, but my argument would be that with a 4x cpu, or his 6x with a 5870, would it only be a few thousand.

It's going to take a long time, imo, for these Intel offerings to calm down on the pricing stake. Maybe it'll take a really good AMD 8x to do it, but as far as extreme top-end cpus go for pricing, I can remember my QX9650 being priced at less than half of this.

10-04-2010, 11:26:26

tinytomlogan
The QX9770 at launch was 900, its a given the top end CPU will cost a grand tbh.

10-04-2010, 20:13:21

ppuff
Until the release of the 980x the i7 975 was $999 at my local shop, now its $799. I agree with Tom that almost all top ones seem to be 1K.

11-04-2010, 08:44:11

Rastalovich
The QX9650 was the top cpu in it's time, and it wasn't 1k. The QX9770 has the unique privilege of being unofficially the top of it's socket forever and can still be retailed for 1k2.

If ur thinking 980x will remain the top cpu for these sockets forever, then u can appreciate it being 1k - but I somehow doubt that with Intel sticking with this socket set for a good few years to come, that the 980x will be the top end for it's duration.

15-04-2010, 13:13:35

Nozbit
Alot of cash for a cpu but truly stunning performance for your money. Euro Millions will be getting played this weekend!
Reply
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