Intel Core i7-3820 Quad-Core Sandy Bridge-E CPU Review

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Overclocking the Core i7-3820

We also spent some time overclocking the Intel Core i7-3820. Because this processor is only partially unlocked, users are only able to increase peak Turbo mode multipliers by up to 4 speed bins, which would push core clocks up to 4.3GHz (3.9GHz stock [39 x 100] + 4 = 4.3GHz [43 x 100]). Unlike LGA1155-based Sandy Bridge processors which offer minimal base clock flexibility, however, Sandy Bridge-E chips like the Core i7-3820 have additional straps available--125MHz (1.25x), 166MHz (1.66x), and 250MHz (2.5x) to be exaxt.

Overclocking the Intel Core i7-3820
Putting the Pedal to the Metal

By bumping the BCLK to 125MHz, the Core i7-3820 will Turbo up to 4.87GHz, which unfortunately wasn't stable with our particular chip when using a CoolerMaster Hyper 212 air-cooler. Droppnig the peak multiplier to 38 and increasing the core voltage by .2v, which resulted in a peak Turbo frequency of 4.75GHz was stable.  With the processor available to run at that high a frequency, the Core i7-3820 offers some strong performance, although the higher frequency isn't enough to overtake the six core Intel processors in multi-threaded workloads.

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