The test system and overclocking
Playing with a new CPU is always fun. Especially when everything is different like it is with Sandy Bridge. We found that we could not rely on our old notions of overclocking or even trouble shooting in some cases. Thankfully the board we chose is not using the new BIOS layout that other are, it did make learning how to overclock again much easier in the long run. We also were happy to find that our existing 1156 coolers worked without a problem on the new 1155 boards. Here's what our test system looked like:
- Processor: Intel Core i7 2600K and Intel Core i5 2500K
- Mainboard GIGABYTE P67A-UD7(Supplied by GIGABYTE)
- Memory: 6GB Corsair CMT4GX3M2A2000C8 (Supplied by Corsair)
- Hard Disk: Corsair Force F120 120GB SSD (Supplied by Corsair)
- Graphics Card: Asus EAH5870 S.T.A.L.K.E.R (Supplied by Asus)
- Cooling: Corsair H70 Water Cooling (Supplied by Corsair)
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
- Drivers: Catalyst 10.12
Overclocking was a snap, all I really had to do was find a multiplier that would allow me to boot into the system and then push up the voltage until I had stability from there it was an interesting game of "leap frog" with voltages and multipliers. We ended up with a nice OC of 4.7GHz on both the Core i7 2600K and the Core i5 2500K these were both at 1.42V in the BIOS. Not bad at all really.
For our performance testing we like to have a combination of synthetic and real-world testing. For Synthetics we have the usual bank of tests from FutureMark, Maxon, Sisoft, and HyperPi. These tests cover raw performance and potential. This side of testing brings out the basics of the CPU on its own while our real-world testing covers actual usage.
We have decided to throw this one in to illustrate a point. At one point in time AMD was the undisputed king of memory bandwidth. There was just no other CPU that could manage the same memory performance that AMD could. Then starting with the AM2 series something changed.
AMD dropped from being the king to just on par with Intel. Once Phenom came out that difference was even more obvious. Now with Phenom II we still see that type of poor memory bandwidth. This can only hurt the PII X6 as now there are six CPU cores that will be begging for work to do. So for the numbers crowd, let's get started with two of the industry standards for benchmarking system and gaming performance.
These numbers are very good for this CPU and put it right up there at the top with even overclocked CPUs.
Other Sandra CPU Functions
Of course we would be remiss if we did not show you how the 875K performed the other CPU tests in Sandra. So we ran the usual gamut of benchmarks including the Crypto benchmark.
As you can see the 875K performs as it should at stock speeds but really shines when we push it a little.
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