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  • MSI X99A Tomahawk Motherboard Review
  • MSI X99A Tomahawk Motherboard Review


    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 4.2Ghz @ 33x multiplier and 127Mhz BCLK.  To attain this overclock I wanted to do something a little different and focused on memory overclocking.  The CPU core voltage was bumped to 1.3v and the IMC was set to 3300Mhz to have a 2800Mhz memory clock.

    SiSoft Sandra
    Unreal Tournament 3
    Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare
    Futuremark PCMark 7
    Futuremark PCMark 8
    Overclocking Conclusion

    Overclocking the Haswell-E is a lot like overclocking a standard Haswell.  All of the same controls are available and they all do what you would expect.  There are a few notable differences and all seem to be related to heat.  Given that the TDP is 140w you’re going to need a cooler that will dissipate 250+ Watts if you want to maintain decent temps. 

    To maximize system performance you have a couple options.  The first is straight multiplier overclocking or you can extract a little more by tuning the BCLK and memory settings.  This will increase overall memory bandwidth and make things faster overall.

    While doing this will increase memory bandwidth and system performance if you are a gamer it may not be all that noticeable in modern DX11 and DX12 games.  For these situations I would recommend investing in a high speed memory kit (3000Mhz+), set the XMP profile and give your CPU a multiplier adjustment until it starts to require more Core voltage.  Back it down 1x and begin your stability testing.  Leave the turbo feature enabled, this will allow your system to cool down and limit excessive heat production.