MSI Big Bang X58 XPower review

Mainboards 328 Page 11 of 25 Published by


A manual overclock - Core i7 980X on the XPower

A manual overclock - Core i7 980X on the XPower

With the Front Side Bus officially annihilated, things tend to change a little in the overclocking department. Only a little though. It's a little weird but the concept remains the same. After enabling manual overclocking in the BIOS you'll find a 133 MHz register called the Base clock; look at that as your 'FSB' to play around with. Of course, if you have an Extreme Edition processor, things are much easier. Just play around with CPU voltages and the multiplier and even on the stock air cooler you can achieve some pretty snazzy results.

First up, check what your current values are. The X58 mainboard applies a dynamic multiplier. A baseclock of 133 MHz times a multiplier of 25 is 3.33 GHz. That is your base clock frequency. In the default configuration it can also apply a multiplier of 26 with Turbo mode enabled. So your Core i7 processor will go beyond spec at default already.

If you want to overclock extensively by hand, first off in the BIOS please disable Speedstep, C1E and TM functions preventing the processor from clocking down or up dynamically based on diverse variables including heat and CPU load. We now simply increase the multiplier until the system crashes, then increase voltages and start over again. Inevitably we'll find our maximum frequency or temperatures simply get out of hand.

For our overclock we increase the voltage towards 1.48V on the processor and used liquid cooling on the processor. We easily booted into Windows at ~4.2 GHz with the Core i7 980X processor.

Keep in mind that overclocking draws much more power from your system and also take into consideration that your cooling solution needs to be proper as going from four to six cores should produce more heat. Also if possible, use both 8-pin CPUpower connectors on the motherboard so you know you can feed the CPU enough power.

We ended at 4483 MHz (!) on all six cores using a multiplier of 28 times a baseclock of 160 MHz CPU Voltage is increased to 1.48 Volts and the PQI voltage towards 1.4 Volts, we are using low Vdroop.

This overclock we could only recommend if you are using liquid cooling, bringing the temps down below 70 degrees C more easily.

Wanna see what that looks like ? There you go:

MSI Big Bang X58 XPower

So with good cooling and 15 minutes trying things out, we ended at 4.5 GHz completely stable. As you can see we have temperatures under control not peaking above 70 Degrees C. We did achieve 4.7 GHz as well, but temperatures where going sky-high and simply settled at 4.5 GHz.

By selecting the proper divider we overclocked the memory as well, this is now running at 1940 MHz at CAS7. Power consumption now sucks, literally ... stressing the six cores on the processor (GPU in idle) makes this PC utilize 393 Watt. To prove that this overclock as 100% stable, we'll be using it today in the entire benchmark session.

Share this content
Twitter Facebook Reddit WhatsApp Email Print