Overclocking has taken a bit of a strange turn with
Intel's Sandy Bridge processors. If you were savvy enough to buy an unlocked
Intel Core i5 2500K or 2600K CPU you know the unlocked CPU multiplier will let
you push these chips into the mid-4 GHz range without much fuss.
Owing to the integrated graphics on Sandy Bridge
processors, overclocking via the processor BCLK beyond about 105MHz isn't very
practical. Not all Z68 boards offer the video output jacks, but with those that
do you have full overclocking control of both the processor and integrated
graphics core clock speed.
Gigabyte's GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD motherboard offers up a full
range of CPU and IGP overclocking controls in the BIOS and from within Windows
via the TouchBIOS interface.
Since BCLK overclocking is generally limited to 105MHz,
PCSTATS left memory settings alone and focused on the CPU multiplier. Starting
from the default x33, PCSTATS pushed the multiplier to x40, then x45... x46...
and back to x45 where things were more stable. This seems to be about the limit
of the Core i5 2500K chip PCSTATS tests with.
Since the Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD
motherboard is equiped with an onboard HDMI video output we tried our hand at
overclocking the integrated graphics core.
From the stock IGP speed of 1100MHz which resulted in a
3DMark06 score of 5330, PCSTATS overclocked
the Intel HD 3000 graphics core to 1200MHz, 1300MHz, 1500MHz, 1600MHz... and
even 1700MHz without any serious issues.
With the Intel graphics core speed up 600MHz to 1700MHz,
3DMark06 achieved a slightly improved score of
5740. Better than a kick in the head I
Next up, the complete PCSTATS motherboard benchmark suite
in addition to Intel SRT and Intel HD 3000 IGP benchmark results!
Test System Hardware
We've relied on Crucial memory for PCSTATS servers for
many years now, so it was only logical to install 4GB's of high end Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24 memory into
the Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD test system.
This is some good quick DDR3 RAM and it features thermal monitoring too!
Storage devices have changed dramatically in recent
years, you'll notice PCSTATS to retired the faithful old Western Digital
Raptor's for a super quick OCZ Vertex 2 SSD
(120GB, SATAII). The effect on system-wide benchmarks is dramatic!
Thanks to Crucial Memory, OCZ Technology and Intel for help
outfitting this test platform.