Gigabyte GA-X58-USB3 Reviewgotdamojo06 - January 30, 2011
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Testing the Gigabyte GA-X58-USB3 motherboard will consist of running it at the baseline clock speeds to get an idea how it performs in stock trim and then it will be overclocked to see if putting the screws to my well worn DO stepping 920 will result in a higher clock speed than some of its contemporaries. To keep the results consistent and have a measure of repeatability, Intel's power savings and performance enchanting technologies will be disabled in the BIOS. The video card control panel settings will be left at the factory default settings with the exception of disabling PhysX for the 3DMark Vantage testing. How well is the new Gigabyte X58 motherboard going to do when its put to the ultimate test? There's only one way to find out!
- Processor: Intel Core i7 920 150x20 3.0Ghz
- Cooling: Air:Noctua NH-U12P SE 1366
- Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58-USB3
- Memory: Mushkin 996805 Redline PC312800 6-8-6-24 1500Mhz
- Video Card: Sapphire HD 5870 1GB
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800watt Modular Power supply
- Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 1TB SATA
- Optical Drive: ASUS DVD-RW
- Case: NZXT Beta Evo
- OS: Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
- CPU Overclock: 190 x 20 = 3800Mhz
Overclocking in itself is always a time consuming process that takes patience and a lot of testing. Add in a stubborn processor that does not clock very well, and you've got a recipe for a long night! Well overclocking on the GA-X58-USB3 motherboard is pretty much similar to overclocking on any other motherboard - go into your BIOS and begin moving up your bCLK until you are unstable, restart with higher voltages, you get the point. Well I was easily able to hit a maximum of 3.70 GHz with out going over 1.3 volts in the BIOS and 1.56 volts on the memory (when at 1480MHz). Going beyond 3.70 was quite a task, 3.8 was stable at 1.38125 volts and 1.56 volts on the memory (clocked to 1520MHz); however, anything past this point was not working out with the processor that I have, it wasn't a motherboard issue. So that's going to be a total of a 26% overclock over our baseline and a 42% overclock over stock speeds, not too bad. Better speeds could have been had with a different chip.
Note: As I mentioned before, the i7 920 C0 stepping processor that I have is hitting a wall when the bCLK gets close to hitting anything near 200MHz. I decided to go out and grab an i7 950 and throw that in the motherboard to ensure that it was not the motherboard that was also limiting a chip from reaching 200+MHz on the bCLK. All I simply did was drop the chip in the GA-X58-USB3, go into the BIOS and change the bCLK to 201MHz and adjust the multiplier down to 15x which will give me 3015MHz for the clock speed. I had done this on the i7 920 as well; however, it would not pass the Windows loading screen.
Maximum Clock Speeds:
Each CPU has been tested for its maximum stable clock speeds using Prime95. To gauge the maximum stability level, each processor had to be able to perform at least a one hour torture test without any errors.
- Scientific & Data:
- Office 2007
- POV Ray 3.7
- PCMark Vantage Professional
- Sandra XII
- ScienceMark 2.02
- Cinebench 10
- Cinebench 11.5
- HD Tune 3.50
- Far Cry 2
- Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
- Batman Arkham Asylum
- 3DMark 06 Professional
- 3DMark Vantage