Squeal Piggy Squeal
It's important when testing components to use a system as similar as possbile to previews reviews, to enable reasonable comparisons to be drawn. Therefore the Gigabyte P55-UD5 is being reviewed with as much as possible of the OC3D LGA1156 testing kit used on previous P55 reviews.
Processor: Intel Core i7 870 (2.93Ghz)
Motherboard: Gigabyte P55-UD5
Memory: 4GB GSkill Trident DDR3 F3-16000 CL9
Graphics Card: Asus NVidia GTX275
Power Supply: Gigabyte Odin 1200W
CPU Cooling: Coolermaster 212 Hyper Plus
Hard Disk: Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB
Graphics Drivers: Geforce 195.62
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 x64
We always try to make our test setups fairly realistic. After all, it would be only too easy to just go for the highest end parts money could buy to solely obtain big numbers, but we're not just about the numbers here at OC3D. We like to give you the kind of system you might be looking to purchase, rather than just sticking a HD5970 and OCZ Vertex in and going nuts.
The Gigabyte P55-UD5 certainly seems built for a good overclock with all ferrite chokes, 12 phase power management and enough on board cooling to dampen even the most extreme settings. The i7 870 is also known as quite a beast of an overclocker in the right enviroment.
With the barest minimum of tweaks to the always easy to navigate AWARD BIOS the 870 raced past a 1GHz overclock. With the CPU mutliplier set at x19 and upping the core voltage to 1.328 volts the Gigabyte quite happily hit 215 BLCK cracking the magical 4GHz barrier with a speed of 4.085GHz.
Getting it much past that required a fair bit of tweaking. The best I could manage was 1.408v through the CPU core, 22x multiplier, turbo off and a BCLK of 204 for a speed of 4.488GHz. An amazing overclock. Unfortunately whist it was stable enough to get into Windows and at least try the run the odd program, temperatures were way out of control and much higher than I wanted to run at for even a brief period of time.
One thing the Gigabyte P55-UD5 and Intel Core i7 870 combination makes clear, they can be pushed much further than you can control merely using air cooling, and I look forward to trying her under water in the future. A veritable overclocking behemoth.
Time for our old favourites the synthetic benchmarks.