Kicking the Assassin into high gear was simple enough. We started in the BIOS this time (we did not use the EZTune 6 utility). We pushed the BCLK up to 169MHz and the multiplier to 26. This yielded an overclock of 4.394GHz. This was stable through all of our testing. We did try to push over this and get up to 172 on the BCLK (our highest so far with this CPU), but it would not hold.
You can see the CPUz validation here.
If you know anything about GIGABYTE then you know about their overclocking and system tweaking utility "EasyTune6". This is a fairly complete utility, but it does have some cosmetic and navigation issues. The overall software is nice, but it can be bulky and cumbersome to navigate. When you first launch the software you get the Tuner page. This page has some quick overclocking profiles that you can click on to get a fast boost to your system (that might be why GIGABYTE calls it QuickBoost). But let's start at the beginning.
The first tab in the EasyTune suite is the CPU tab. This gives you pretty much the same information that you get from CPU-Z. It is a nice touch, but I think that it might be better as a sidebar or a button inside another tab instead of its own tab.
The next tab is a continuation of the CPU-Z like functions and provides information about your memory. Not bad information to have, but again I think it could be part of another page to keep things simple.
The next tab brings us back to the tuner. Since we have already seen the QuickBoost page, let's talk about your other options here. As you can see above, after the three choices of the QuickBoost you can click over to the easy overclocking tools. Here you can adjust only the BCLK and Ratio. Since you do not want to play with the BCLK too much, you will end up in the Ratio settings.
Of course, you know that GIGABYTE is not going to leave you with just the simple tools like we find in QuickBoost and the easy overclocking. You knew they would have something more advanced than that, and they do. This is called (unsurprisingly) the advanced mode. These tools give you some great flexibility when it comes to Windows based overclocking. You can even adjust the memory performance form here. This is something that many other boards are still missing.
Moving on from the CPU overclocking tools, we come to a GPU overclocking tool. It is interesting that this tool was willing to let us overclock our test GPU considering that it was from another manufacturer.
Smart fan settings are the cool thing to have now and if you can use tools to adjust these inside Windows then you are even cooler.
The hardware monitor tab offers a fairly functional collection of monitoring utilities that can let you keep track of voltages and temperatures. In all EasyTune6 is a pretty nice suite, but it could use an overhaul to make it even better.
As all overclocking results are dependent on the hardware you use, your results may vary. Results of our overclocking tests are included in the performance section with the stock scores.
Important Editor Note: Our maximum overclocking result is the best result we managed in our limited time of testing the motherboard. Due to time constraints we weren't able to tweak the motherboard to the absolute maximum and find the highest possible FSB, as this could take days to find properly. We do however spend at least a few hours overclocking every motherboard to try and find the highest possible overclock in that time frame. You may or may not be able to overclock higher if you spend more time tweaking or as new BIOS updates are released. "Burn-in" time might also come into play if you believe in that.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [The Box and What's Inside]
- Page 3 [The Motherboard]
- Page 4 [The BIOS]
- Page 5 [Overclocking]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup and Comments]
- Page 7 [Synthetic Tests - Part I]
- Page 8 [Synthetic Tests - Part II]
- Page 9 [Synthetic Tests - Part III]
- Page 10 [Real-World Tests - Part I]
- Page 11 [Real-World Tests Part II]
- Page 12 [Power Usage and Heat Tests]
- Page 13 [Final Thoughts]