Gigabyte GA-X79-UD5 LGA 2011 EATX Motherboard Review
Gigabyte Easy Tune 6 Overclocking
4.2GHz overclock using Easy Tune 6
Most high-end motherboards include numerous overclocking options for beginners and experienced enthusiasts. The X79-UD5 provides plenty of options for adjusting CPU and memory voltages, ratios/speeds, and timings. Their 3D BIOS 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 X79-UD5 and use Gigabyte's Easy Tune 6 technology first before moving on to manual overclocking. To use this feature, we had enabled it in the 3D BIOS. Next, we opened the Easy Tune 6 application in Windows 7 and clicked on the three "quick boost mode" overclocking buttons that automatically overclocked our i7-3820 up to 4, 4.2, and 4.4GHz. We confirmed the results using CPU-Z, and noticed that the board worked as advertised by automatically increasing the CPU multiplier to 42 without adjusting the core voltage or memory timings. This is around a 12 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 Gigabyte's 3D BIOS. To do this, we uninstalled the Easy Tune 6 application and restarted the system. Then, we rebooted again and accessed the 3D BIOS to manually configure the CPU clock ratio, CPU voltage, and processor per clock ratio. 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."
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 1.4v to help improve the stability of our overclock.
I left the CPU multiplier at 37x, and concentrated my efforts on configuring the CPU clock and processor per clock ratios. I adjusted the processor per clock ratio to 1.25x, and reconfigured the system memory multiplier to 1000MHz to ensure the memory timings were not a limiting factor in getting a stable overclock. After rebooting and confirming our overclock with multiple runs of Cinebench 11.5, I was satisfied with a 4.625GHz overclock on our i7-3820 CPU. I'm sure with a higher-end cooling solution and more BIOS tweaks, we could have gotten the processor closer to 5GHz or more.
|CPU Speed||BCLK||CPU Multiplier||DRAM Frequency||DRAM Timings||CPU Voltage|
|4.625 GHz||125 MHz||
|1666 MHz||9-9-11-24 2T||1.404v|
Detailed Overclocking Results