Ivy Bridge-E Overclocking With EVGA And Corsair

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It has been a while since I have personally setup a test bench, rolled up my sleeves and built a test system with top-shelf components, a fresh OS install and some overclocking mojo. However, Intel's recent release of Ivy Bridge-E gave us a hankering to do just that. We've been testing a lot of tablets, smartphones and ultrabooks, but there's a certain satisfaction that comes with building a high performance system from the ground up, that you just don't get from pre-built devices. So I decided to see if I still had the chops.

EVGA recently took the wraps off a new high-end X79 motherboard dubbed the X79 Dark and its black PCB with red accents, as it turned out, matched quite nicely with Corsair's Vengeance Pro series memory and H90 water cooler. But we needed stable clean power too, so we enlisted an EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 G2 power supply to offer up the juice.  All told, with an OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPs SSD for storage, we ended up with quite a test platform to explore the out limits of clock speed with Intel's Core i7-4960X Ivy Bridge-E six-core processor.

Pretty, isn't it? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say; and this is the computer geek's version of Elisha Cuthbert or Candice Swanepoel. Okay, maybe not quite Candice...

HotHardware Core i7-4960X Test Bench
A HotHardware Test Bench - Well endowed for blinding speed.

Intel Core i7-4960X LGA 2011
Intel Core i7-4960X gently nestled in its LGA 2011 socket and ready to sweat.

System Specs:

On the following pages, we aim to give you a glimpse of the upper-end potential for overclocking with Intel's Ivy Bridge-E processor architecture.  We'll be running with a $999 Core i7-4960X that Turbos up to 4GHz but you could just as easily get by with the much more affordable Core i7-4930K as well. For our purposes, we wanted to see the fastest clock speeds we could muster from Intel's current flagship desktop chip, but that doesn't mean you couldn't coax the same performance from its more affordable sibling.  And as always, your results may and probably will vary.  Onward then.  Let's take a closer look at the gear and our setup.

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MiguelBoulet one year ago

NANANANA evga nvidia corsair intel wd samsung cooler master yo = the best

Dave_HH one year ago

I'm not sure I understand that, at all. :)

CSummerlin one year ago

Great hardware hampered by poor BIOS engineering. EVGA should have fought to keep Shamino.

Dave_HH one year ago

I've heard that, yes. Apparently he headed off for ASUS. That said, I don't think the latest version 2.07 is half bad at all. In fact it really improved overall overclock stability. Their UEFI interface is nice too.

luigi408 one year ago

Hi. What vDroop setting did you use when running Prime 95 at 1.485v? Disable, Intel Spec, 80%, 60%...

Dave_HH one year ago

Good question... I can't recall but I think it was set to Intel spec. I will have to double check that.

luigi408 one year ago

Thank you! Let us know please. Very important setting to know when overclocking.

Dave_HH one year ago

Understood... and yes, it was set to Intel spec. Going to see how other settings react as well.

BigKihd 11 months ago

Those boards are very nice for overclocking, all EVGA's really

BigKihd 8 months ago

EVGA boards seem to overclock very nicely, I cant speak for this one though as I have never touched it.

The Colonel 7 months ago

Hi Guy,

thank you very much for your review-test. I have almost the same configuration, so I'll try to redo your tests!

Case: MicroCool Banchetto 101

Mobo: EVGA X79 Dark

Procio: Intel Core i7-4960X Processor Extreme Edition (15M Cache, up to 4.00GHz)

RAM: CORSAIR Dominator Platinum 64GB (8 x 8GB; 2133, 9-11-11-31, 1,65V)

VGA: EVGA GTX 780 Ti K|NGP|N Edition (2 SLI) (4 SLI Coming Soon ?)

HDD: Wester Digital HDD 1TB Velociraptor [WD1000DHTZ]

SSD: Samsung SSD 840 PRO 512 [GBMZ-7PD512]

PSU: Lepa G-Series 1600 (Waiting for new EVGA PSU 1550W?)

Optical Driver: Silverstone SST-SOB02 Blu-ray - Slot In

CPU Cooler: Swiftech H320 (will be converted to true watercool system in 900D)

Fans: Enermax T.B. Apollish UCTA14N-R Fan 140mm - red

Thermal Paste: Gelid GC-Extreme

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