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Intel Core i9-7980XE and i9-7960X CPU Review (Page 7)

By Steven Bassiri from Sep 25, 2017 @ 2:01 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: Intel

CPU Overclocking

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While the CPU die touches the integrated heat spreader through the same TIM as the low core count (< 10) Intel CPUs, the actual die size of a high core count (HCC) CPU is larger, meaning that the heat is spread over more surface area.

For example, a 7980XE spreads heat over more integrated heat spreader area than the 7820X, as the die is larger. That allows us to actually have a chance of cooling the die with a water cooler and overclocking. I was able to easily get up to 4.4GHz on both the 7980XE and the 7960X, but I had to use 1.2v or less VCore, while I was okay with a bit more voltage with the 7900X. Make sure to also set your VCCIN to 2.0v or higher to maintain performance.

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While cooling the CPU is of one concern, another is the amount of power the CPU will consume when overclocked. We are talking about an easy 500W when going towards 4.5GHz, and that means the VRM settings, both internal to the CPU and external through the motherboard need to be expanded, and you will also need active VRM cooling.

Power Consumption

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That is some intense power consumption, both at stock and overclocked.

Overclocking the CPU basically doubles the power consumption of the CPU, and you will need to take into account the motherboard's VRM, cooling, settings, and even the power supply to ensure you won't trigger multi-rail OCP protection. If you are aiming for 4.4GHz+, plan to pull 500W+ on a single 12v rail that goes to the CPU.

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