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Intel Core i7 3970X Extreme Edition (Sandy Bridge-E) CPU Review

By: Shawn Baker | Intel CPUs in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Nov 28, 2012 5:25 pm
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: Intel



We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS, MSI, Western Digital, MemoRight and Corsair.


Looking above you can see our testbed so we won't go into too much detail. Instead we'll just get into the overclocking side of things. For almost the last 12 months our 3960X has been at the forefront of our main testbed which is used for video card reviews alongside quad channel memory reviews. It's been running at a solid 4.7GHz for literally hundreds and hundreds of hours working its way through everything from $100 video cards to multiple $1000 setups.


4.8GHz was the minimum we had hoped to get from the processor and around the 5GHz mark would've been what we really liked to see. We started at 5GHz by moving straight to a 50x multiplier and adjusting our voltages. While we managed to get into Windows we couldn't do much else. At this setting the system froze after idling for about a minute.


With that not working we headed back into the BIOS and spent some time adjusting the multiplier, voltages and BCLK to see if we could get a combination that would get us a stable 5GHz clock. While we managed to get a bit further than our system crashing after idling for a minute, we ultimately couldn't get 5GHz running 100% stable in any way with our standard cooling setup.




After a bunch of tinkering we ended up coming at just above 4.9GHz with a final clock of 4905MHz. Looking above you can see this was done with a combination of both the BCLK and the multiplier which comes in at just over 122 and 40 respectively.

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