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Intel Core i7 5960X Extreme Edition S-spec QFRA CPU Overclocking Guide

By: Steven Bassiri | Guides | Posted: Oct 15, 2014 10:03 pm
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CPU Characteristic Tests

 

Testing out different parameters and determining certain things about CPU characteristics is something I find intriguing. I like to answer my own questions about the system, and so I thought that maybe some of you would want to see how I came to those answers. Have you ever wondered whether voltage or frequency increases CPU temperatures more? Or to what extent the Uncore frequency affects system performance?

 

 

Maximum CPU Clock Speeds vs. VIN and VCore

 

I wanted to see to what extent the VIN and VCore were related and how much increasing VIN would help increase clock speeds compared to VCore. I found the maximum clocks I could achieve on the CPU core with different combinations of VIN and VCore.

 

intel_core_i7_5960x_extreme_edition_s_spec_qfra_cpu_overclocking_guide_22

 

I found that at lower voltages like 1.2v VCore, increasing the VIN didn't help much with high clocks, but as we gradually increased the VCore, the VIN started to make a difference. The ratio of the delta between VIN and VCore is one reason higher VIN makes a difference. I would recommend increasing the VIN from 1.8v when you go over 1.2v VCore, but don't increase it too much or might start having the opposite effect.

 

 

CPU Power Testing

 

In this section, I wanted to see if increasing the VCore or increasing frequency had a larger impact on power consumption of the CPU. So I used my inline 12v power meter on the 8-pin CPU power supply. The results are interesting. For reference, at stock settings, the idle CPU power draw is 9W and load power draw is 143W. The TDP for the 5960X is 140W.

 

intel_core_i7_5960x_extreme_edition_s_spec_qfra_cpu_overclocking_guide_23

 

I kept the VCore constant at 1.3v while increasing the CPU clock frequency from 3.5GHz to 4.5GHz and recorded load power while running Intel Burn Test.

 

intel_core_i7_5960x_extreme_edition_s_spec_qfra_cpu_overclocking_guide_24

 

Here I kept the CPU frequency constant at 3.3GHz and increased the VCore from 1.0v to 1.4v and ran Intel burn Test while I recorded maximum CPU power.

 

For every 0.1v of increase at constant CPU frequency, the CPU power is increased on average about 32w. For every 100MHz increase in CPU frequency with constant VCore, the CPU power is increased only 4.2w. This would point to the fact that the VCore is a biggest contributor to CPU power draw.

 

 

CPU Temperature Testing

 

In this section, I wanted to see if increasing the VCore or increasing frequency had a larger impact on the CPU temperature. For reference at stock settings, the idle CPU temperature is 30C and load temperature is 52C.

 

intel_core_i7_5960x_extreme_edition_s_spec_qfra_cpu_overclocking_guide_25

 

I kept the VCore constant at 1.3v, while increasing the CPU clock frequency from 3.5GHz to 4.5GHz and recorded maximum CPU temperature while running Intel Burn Test.

 

intel_core_i7_5960x_extreme_edition_s_spec_qfra_cpu_overclocking_guide_26

 

Here I kept the CPU frequency constant at 3.3GHz and increased the VCore from 1.0v to 1.4v and ran Intel Burn Test, while I recorded maximum CPU temperature.

 

For every 0.1v of increase at constant CPU frequency, the CPU temperature is increased on average about 6.9C. For every 100MHz increase in CPU frequency with constant VCore, the CPU temperature is increased only 1.5C. This would point to the fact that the VCore is the biggest contributor to CPU temperature. I would be very mindful of your VCore with this platform.

 

 

CPU Uncore/Cache Frequency Gain Testing

 

The majority of X99 motherboards on the market can provide an uncore/cache frequency of about 3800MHz, and beyond that they aren't stable, some boards have a special development socket that allows higher uncore clocks (ASUS OC Socket).

 

intel_core_i7_5960x_extreme_edition_s_spec_qfra_cpu_overclocking_guide_27

 

Here I chose four different CPU frequencies, and then tested each frequency with uncore clocks ranging from 3.0GHz to 3.7GHz. I then ran HyperPI with 16 Threads. I used the average time for each run above. The results show that Uncore has minimal impact on overall CPU and memory performance; it does, however, help if you are trying to get the best scores.

 

I am actually going to do a special article on Uncore, either with an ASUS board with the special OC socket or the X99 Uncore modification available on HWBot. For now, you can crank the uncore up if you like, going from 3GHz to 3.7GHz didn't have any adverse impact on stability with 1.2v cache/ring voltage.

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