Page 6 - Overclocking and Conclusion
Before Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge, overclocking your CPU involved changing half a dozen settings to try to obtain the highest clock speed. This was because there were so many different ways to obtain your maximum frequency; things were a bit complicated even if you are an experienced computer enthusiast. Since Intel locked down the base clock on their latest products, tuning your processor now only involves changing the multiplier with K-series CPUs -- making this process intrinsically simple. On my Intel DZ77GA-70K, I was able to attain 4.7GHz at reasonable voltages. This involved bumping the core voltage to 1.305V with Load Line Calibration maxed out. 4.8GHz was bootable, but it was not Prime95 stable.
At this point, I am not entirely sure if higher clock speeds are attainable. I have not tested the processor on any other motherboard, and I did not spend a whole lot of time tinkering with the voltage and settings on my DZ77GA-70K either. As far as temperatures are concerned, the i7-3770K ran reasonably cool at stock voltages. As voltage increased, load temperature went up practically exponentially. Even with our setup -- a Noctua NH-C14 cooler, two 140mm fans on the heatsink at maximum speed, and two more 140mm case fans around the processor socket, the CPU core temperature still hovered around the 75 degrees Celsius mark. Do keep in mind I kept HyperThreading enabled, which will increase heat generation.
Performance is generally very good, as you can see in our benchmark results in the last few pages. While the "tick" part of the release cycle definitely did not bring revolutionary improvements to the table, you can expect about 10% clock per clock increase against Sandy Bridge processors. With that in mind, do expect our full review on the Intel Core i7-3770K a few weeks from now. We will also have a separate review on the DZ77GA-70K motherboard around the same time frame. By the way, before this point, I would have never considered an Intel motherboard. But five minutes on the DZ77GA-70K, and I am thoroughly convinced. What can I say? Stay tuned everyone -- and our Facebook page will always the latest tech news straight to your door.
Intel provided the processor and motherboard to APH Networks to facilitate this report.
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