MSI X79A-GD65 (8D) LGA 2011 ATX Motherboard Review
MSI OC Genie II Overclocking
4GHz overclock using MSI OC Genie II
Most high-end motherboards include numerous overclocking options for beginners and experienced enthusiasts. The MSI X79A-GD65 (8D) provides plenty of options for adjusting CPU and memory voltages, ratios/speeds, and timings. Their Click BIOS II UEFI interface is easy to use to tweak the processor to the user's exact specifications to get the best overclock possible.
We opted to change up our typical overclocking method with the X79A-GD65 (8D) and use MSI's OC Genie II technology first before moving on to manual overclocking. To use this feature, we had enabled it in the UEFI BIOS and clicked the OC Genie button on the PCB. Next, we opened the Click BIOS II application in Windows 7 and headed straight for the overclocking section to monitor how the OC Genie II technology was tweaking the CPU ratio and associated voltages. Upon opening the Click BIOS II GUI, and confirming the results using CPU-Z, we noticed that the board was automatically overclocked to 4GHz by increasing the CPU multiplier to 40 without adjusting the core voltage. This is around a 10 percent increase in performance from the i7-3820's stock speed of 3.6GHz.
The second part of our overclocking tests included manually overclocking our Intel i7-3820 processor through the BIOS. To do this, we restarted the system and disabled the OC Genie feature. Then, we rebooted again and accessed the BIOS to manually configure the CPU ratio and voltages. Ryan wrote an excellent tutorial for overclocking the i7-3820, which helped me in learning the ropes to get the most out of the LGA 2011 platform. Here's a quote from Ryan's review that illustrates a key change in the overclockability of the i7-3820:
"...overclocking on the Core i7-3820 is a bit different than with any other Sandy Bridge processor out there. Because it is not fully unlocked, the multiplier is limited to 43x, about the same as the non-unlocked Core i7-2600. Unlike the original Sandy Bridge though, Sandy Bridge-E allows us to use "straps" or bus speed multipliers that still operate with the 3820."
Since the CPU multiplier is locked at 43x, I switched up my traditional method for overclocking Intel CPUs. I followed Ryan's advice for adjusting the strap options to 125MHz or 1.25x, which helped me overcome the CPU multiplier limitations. I also increased the CPU voltage to 1.45v and the SA voltage to 1.3v to help improve the stability of our overclock. After numerous attempts to increase the CPU multiplier, I eventually left it at 37x, which was pretty rock solid in terms of stability. I wasn't too discouraged by this outcome because I got a decent 4.625GHz overclock by just following these simple steps, which also kept our core temps below 50c. I'm sure with a higher-end cooling solution and more BIOS tweaks we could have gotten closer to 5GHz.
|CPU Speed||BCLK||CPU Multiplier||DRAM Frequency||DRAM Timings||CPU Voltage|
|4.625 GHz||125 MHz||
|1667.6 MHz||9-9-9-24 2T||1.464v|
Detailed Overclocking Results