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Gigabyte Board Sets Intel X79 Overclocking Record 113

MojoKid writes "Renowned overclocker 'Hicookie' achieved a new high clock speed on the Intel Core i7 3930K processor by cranking the chip past 5.6GHz using a Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 motherboard, the first mobo in the world to achieve a mulitplier of 57x. There was a bit of a scandal with Gigabyte recently when a YouTube video showed one of its X79 boards going up in smoke. Gigabyte released a BIOS update for several of its X79 boards to prevent such incidents from happening, and there were outcries that the new F7 BIOS would ... [reduce] overclocking performance; Hicookie's achievement should erase those concerns."
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Gigabyte Board Sets Intel X79 Overclocking Record

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  • Finally (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 02, 2012 @11:05PM (#38568906)

    A way to compile Gentoo in a reasonable amount of time.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Are there any contests to see who can do the best job with the least resources? Or am I naive?
    • by Trepidity ( 597 )

      The demoscene is sort of like that, with stuff like contests for producing impressive 3d graphics in under 4k executables.

      • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

        yea its a lot less impressive when its using a metric ton of open GL and directX

        • by Anonymous Coward
          Then go look at some DOS demos. This [] and this [] were done in only 256 bytes. This [] was done in 128 bytes.
  • *facepalm*
    Someone's going to go well beyond 5.6ghz using the 125MHz BCLK strap.
    And they won't even need 57x multiplier.

  • Underclocking (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @01:18AM (#38569474)
    It would be refreshing to see some crazy underclocks too. For example, if you ran Sandy Bridges at 500MHz they would still be quite fast and not require much cooling.
    • Given that you can cool an i3 more or less passively, why would you want to underclock? Power saving? Get a refurbished laptop board...

      • Power saving would be one reason, but the other would simply be to extend the life of the computer. In fact, that would be my primary objective - increase the life of a computer by a major factor (I forget the MTBF formula, but it decreased exponentially w/ increase in frequency, IIRC). Given that the performance of all processors are generally more than adequate, to what extent is it possible to extend the life of a motherboard by underclocking the chips on it? Already, the manufacturers probably bin it
        • The problem is, some machines already run for 10 years straight (maybe with a mainboard battery swap) - so you might just be giving away performance that wouldn't have reduced your hardware's useful lifespan anyway.

        • I should probably add: For particularly failure-prone hardware, that makes sense, of course. My graphics cards are always underclocked and undervolted as far as possible during idle... because I've had 3 die on me already.

          CPUs on the other hand? Meh :p

    • I used to do this back when processors didn't have good power management.

      Now you don't have to. This is what frequency scaling (SpeedStep / Cool'n'Quiet) is for. It automatically underclocks and undervolts the processor when it's idle, then spins it up to full when you're ready to use it.

      Interestingly, it actually draws less energy to go to full speed for a moment when it has work to do. It uses more power for the burst, but it gets back to sleep sooner for a net savings. For this reason there isn't muc

    • Sandy Bridge and Bulldozer are down to 3 or 4W idle due to extensive clock and power gating. Experience has shown that slowing down a CPU with low idle power is counterproductive. You can undervolt modern CPUs at stock clock quite a bit though.

  • I was interested in this board and out of the several reviews on Newegg, several RMA and DOA stories. Too bad, I like the all black and all the pci-e and usb 3.0 slots.
  • It's briefly interesting that they can hit such numbers with LN2, but I fail to see much value in the exercise. To the best of my knowledge, increasing the core multiplier doesn't have any impact on the motherboard, it's all internal to the CPU. As long as the board's power circuitry can deliver enough voltage, you just need to dissipate the heat, hence the LN2. You could replicate this on a $100 board, as long as it's not a Biostar.

    • You get far more powerful VRMs on higher end boards. A garden variety won't be able to supply to 200+ amps.

  • by Theovon ( 109752 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @11:36AM (#38572368)

    The reason you can overclock without raising the voltage is that there is a voltage "guard band," which is like a safety margin. Some of my research has been about finding ways of reducing that guard band, because it's wasted energy. But that guard band is there for a good reason. Typically the critical paths in the chip (those with the longest propagation delay, which limit the safe clock speed) are a bit faster than the clock period. But that's only true whe the voltage is stable. If the voltage droops, then the propagation delay of those paths will increase, possibly too much, and you get incorrect computation. Voltage droops occur when circuits suddenly start switching a lot, demanding more current, or in other words, the effective impedence of the circuit drops, and by V=IR, for the current being supplied by the voltage regulator at that instant, the voltage inside the chip will drop. The regulator cannot respond instantly, so a guard band is provided so that the maximum droop never brings the instantaneous voltage below a certain margin. If you overclock without raising voltage, then your CPU will work fine most of the time, but certain workloads will cause wide swings in current demand, and if you execute one of those, you may crash your system.

    This is why memory tests are worthless for stability testing, because due to cache miss latency, the current demand is relatively low and stable. Prime number generators are also not so great, because their current demand is relatively high and stable. I know that some of the SPEC and PARSEC benchmarks have some wild behavior, like FFT, for instance, or anything that has a lot of barrier synchronization. For the regular user, what's likely going to happen is that you'll get random such events where variation in cache hits and vector computation phases will cause significant spikes in current, and your game will crash.

    • Prime95/mprime's torture test cycles between in-cache "small FFT" and larger FFTs that need memory accesses, that's why it's such a great test.
      I keep wondering what supercapacitors could do for CPUs that are not far from using kilo amps.

      • by Theovon ( 109752 )

        For the supercapacitors to do much, they'd have to be on-chip, which is impossible. Expensive voltage regulators already have big capacitors, which really keep the EXTERNAL voltage very smooth. But there's a fair amount of inductive decoupling between the pins and the silicon that makes a lot of internal voltage fluctuations invisible on the outside.

  • Okay, recreational air/water cooling overclocks? I can dig that.

    They're sustainable overclocks, something you can run the system at every day.

    Throwing a liquid nitrogen pot on top of the CPU and getting some stupid-high speed while destroying the chip, the board, and most of the components?

    Yeah. Not sustainable, and not impressive beyond a half second or so of "gee whiz".

  • ...if it still puts HPAs on hard drives without warning and offers no way to permanently disable this behavior, I don't care if it runs twice as fast as everything else on the market and mixes me a drink at the same time while cooking me a gourmet dinner, I don't want it even if it's free.

  • by v1 ( 525388 )

    looks like it took out a Fire [] Emitting [] Transistor [] in the power supply section of the board...

    Good times, seeing what happens when you let out the Magic Smoke.

  • Scandal, huh? You're overclocking to the point that you need liquid nitrogen to cool the processor, then the mobo fails and something smokes and this is a "scandal?"

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.