Desktop Test System
For this testing, we used a performance air cooler, the Eclipse II, along with a 110CFM fan at full speed. While this setup is noisy, it provides pretty good cooling performance that is in line with AIO water-cooling units. This article only focuses on CPU performance; the memory we used was only overclocked to 2000MHz, far away from its 2600MHz XMP profile. The motherboard, a GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-SOC Force, was flashed with its latest final BIOS (F6).
We used three 4790Ks with the following batches:
- 4790K A Batch #L329C241
- 4790K B Batch #L329C241
- 4790K C Batch #L331C501
The first character in the batch number, the L, means that the CPUs are from Malaysia. The next digit designates the year the CPU was made, in this case all three are from 2013. The next two digits designate the week number. The rest of the batch number is the lot.
GIGABYTE Z97X SOC Force BIOS Settings
The GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-SOC Force is a board made for overclocking. Here it fulfills our needs just fine. In fact, we aren't even utilizing half of its features, most of which are made for sub-zero overclocking.
Memory and Uncore/Cache are set to 2000MHz and 4.0GHz respectively. Sometimes a BCLK divider of 1.25x was used; in that case, it was still possible to maintain 2000MHz memory and 4.0GHz Uncore/Cache.
Base Clock (BCLK) is changed to 100.02 to make sure it is at 100 MHz. The CPU Ratio is changed to what is needed. I like to set 45x and then increase or decrease with software or the OC Touch buttons.
I leave all the Turbo settings on auto and disable all the power saving features. This ensures I run 24/7 with my CPU ratio. This procedure may differ on other motherboards. In this menu, Uncore/Cache ratio is set to 40x to make sure it doesn't impact CPU stability too much.
I like to set LLC to Extreme, and I like to set the digital PWM to care about performance more than overall temperature.
Voltages other than VCore are set like this for boot up, but software in Windows (GTL-GIGABYTE Tweak Launcher) allowed us to make on-the-fly adjustments when needed. We kept the input voltage around 2.0v; for some higher speeds, 2.1v was required for stability (such as our 4.85GHz stability run). An increase in the Uncore/Cache voltage to 1.15v helps stabilize things.
The memory speed above was captured when the 1.25x BCLK divider was engaged, thus a 16x memory multiplier with a 1.25x BCLK divider yields 2000MHz memory speed.
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- Page 1 [Introduction & Specifications, Pricing and Availability]
- Page 2 [Intel 4790K LGA1150 CPU]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup]
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