Benchmarks - Overclocked
As with all of our reviews, we pit the default speed system against the overclocked one in a head-to-head byte match. The effective overclock for these tests is 4.4Ghz using the Game Boost dial. That’s right I’m trying out some auto overclocking just to see how the other half live.
Game Boost overclocking is actually really interesting. With my Core i9 7900X the first dial went directly to 4.4Ghz. Given that Turbo Boost would run 4.2Ghz I wasn’t surprised to see this. The positions after that all changed things in the UEFI in a progressive manner. For instance position 5 actually started changed quite a few things in the UEFI and set the overclock to 4.7Ghz. My processor starts throttling at 4.5Ghz due to excessive heat so while 4.7Ghz runs fine it is no faster than 4.4/4.5Ghz.
In addition to Game Boost I broke the Game Boost rules and did set XMP for some extra memory bandwidth.
In things which are not a surprise 4.2Ghz Turbo Boost isn’t much slower than 4.4Ghz using Game Boost however there is a gain. Sandra CPU scores went up, slightly, Memory bandwidth was increased due to XMP. Both game benchmarks got a major boost in performance including COD4 which wasn’t playing nicely at stock speeds.
Both Futuremark benchmarks had a slight boost in performance and is about what you would expect from the tweaks I did to the system.
The sad thing about X-Series overclocking is that the chips are heat limited. Pushing extra Mhz into the CPU generates more heat and at a certain point they begin to throttle. That situation is compounded by the processor TIM which tends to keep the CPU hotter than it should be. For instance I’m using a 240mm AIO watercooler and while the cooler wasn’t warm the CPU was overheating, at least under an overclocking load. This limited my Game Boost overclock to position one on the eleven point dial.
This is all the more reason to explore the world of delidding using a proper tool and some guts to try something new.