This has been an interesting week to say the least for those of us stuck in the labs and not at AMD's DX11 GPU press briefings. Based on feedback from the Lynnfield launch article we have spent the last couple of days running additional benchmarks to address overclocking and clock for clock requests. Yes, we do listen and respond to the comments no matter how outlandish (you know who you are) some may be at times.

I will interject a personal note here, the emails/private messages that outlined a strong case for additional research and testing certainly held a lot more weight than comments like "You are on Intel's payroll...", "Worst review ever...", and the moonshot , "Illegal benchmarking methods..". First off, if we were on Intel's payroll we would not be working here (a logical conclusion, right? ;) ) As for the other comments, everyone is entitled to their opinions. We do our best to keep an open forum and let the comments fall where they may, but offering constructive criticism and facts to back up those comments is what actually causes change, not endless shock posts or attention grabbing statements. I still have hope in people abiding by the rules of Internet Etiquette, but apparently we are still a long ways off from that happening. I will step off the soap box, well, until the next article....

Just to set this up now, our overclock comparisons will be at 3.8GHz for the Core i5/i7 and Phenom II x4 965BE processors. Why 3.8GHz, well it is an easy number for all of our processors to hit on fairly low voltages with retail or mid-range air coolers. It is also an ideal clock range for the "set it and forget crowd" interested in 24/7 overclocking. Certainly we could go higher on air or water cooling and actually ran most of our Core i5/i7 numbers at 4.2GHz for the motherboard roundups. Our Phenom II x4 965BE is the hold up for higher numbers in our clock for clock comparisons.

AMD continues to have serious problems with their Phenom II processor range clocking above 3.8~4GHz on air with a 64-bit operating system. Unfortunately, there is nothing AMD can do to correct this in the current stepping, but they are actively working on improvements with each processor release. In fact, the latest Athlon II x2 processors are the first products we have that allow for 24/7 stable operation at 4GHz under Windows 7 x64. The quad cores are still lagging although our latest retail 965BE is showing promise around 3.92GHz in early testing. I state this now so it does not come as surprise later.

I will post several benchmark results later today based on our motherboard test suite. Anand will provide a more in-depth analysis next week along with an updated look at the Core i7/860. He might even have a surprise announcement from AMD. In the meantime, I have just about completed this additional testing and will return my focus on completing the first (of many) P55 motherboard article(s) that will be up in a couple of days. Our first review will cover the Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2 among others. We recently received several other micro-ATX P55 motherboards and will look at those shortly. For now, this board is a perfect match for the Core i5/750 for our mainstream audience looking to upgrade an older platform.

Our graph below is an example of the information we will provide late today. Hopefully, this type of information will be useful for your purchasing decision along with our commentary about the results. I know there is not a Core 2 product listed, that will be forthcoming in the near future.

Application Performance - Maxon Cinema 4D R11 x64

9/11 Update - I am still working on the FarCry 2 and H.A.W.X. benchmarks so the short update will be delayed until tomorrow morning.



View All Comments

  • moshpit - Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - link

    When I read the part about somebody complaining about "illegal benchmarking methods", I had to sign up, JUST to complain about the person who would make such a silly comment. Then, I saw snakeoil's name involved in the comments section and him throwing around a bunch of FUD and using the word illegal down there as well.

    At that point 1+1 suddenly became clear and I realized that the plague of stupidity known as snakeoil is as much of a problem on this site as he is over on the techreport where I frequent more often.

    Knowing that now, I want to apologize for any time the author of this update spent addressing that moonshot complaint as it's obvious you didn't know what you were dealing with. snakeoil is known on many forums for being a FUD spewing fanboy with delusions of grandure. Don't waste any more time worrying about comments about "illegal benchmarking procedures" when that little snot wouldn't know what the term "legality" even means.

    Looking forward to further updates. And the numbers in this one are exactly as expected, no surprises for anybody with REALISTIC expectations.
  • snakeoil - Monday, September 14, 2009 - link

    needs to much voltage and temperatures are almost 100 degrees centigrade.

    ''Cons: 1) Lotsa of voltage increase needed to go past 3.6
    2) no good coolers *yet* (I purchased coolermaster hyper 212 plus, better than stock but....)

    Other Thoughts: Everytime i get a processor from newegg its like i'm destined to get the bottom of the barrel. after seeing initial reviews from various websites i was thinking 4ghz would be easy to obtain. Well i hit 3.6 ghz on stock voltage stable with prime 95, took 1.336 volts to get 3.8 ghz, and finally took me 1.375 volts to get to 4.0 ghz. Could run prime95 stable @ 4.0 ghz temps hitting mid 90's but i guess i'll back off 4.0 ghz til i find out more on this processor. initial reviews stated you wanted to stay under 1.4v, but i'm iffy on that if i want this thing to run for 6 months. kinda wish i woulda opted for the i920, i recommend anyone does if that can get a d0 stepping.''">
  • Scalarscience - Friday, September 18, 2009 - link

    Comparing a product just off the assembly line with a d0 stepping in an 11 month 'mature' process...? Of course the latter will typically have much more headroom due to its refinement (ie, what is your point?)

    As for newegg, they're the same as any other vendor. You either get retail or OEM, and I highly doubt Intel or AMD are sorting lesser binned parts specifically for them. The fact that newegg often has parts in advance of other retail outlets might suggest that you're often choosing earlier samplings from the production line though?

    And I agree with the below poster, your crossover from isn't going unnoticed.
  • CB434 - Monday, September 14, 2009 - link"> Reply
  • Konstantineb - Monday, September 14, 2009 - link

    A full review of overclocking the lynnfield processors on stock voltages would be extremely useful.

    A couple of questions for the reviewer:

    Is it possible to set the Cpu mulitplier of the Core i5 750 at higher than 20x, 22x for example?

    How high can the memory multiplier be set with a Core I5 750 processor?

    And lastly, in the previous review of the lynnfield processors you mentioned that the PCIe controller on Lynnfields can't be supplied by power seperately, and that you need to increase the processors
    vcore on high clocks to achieve stable overclocking.

    My queston is: If we can set the multiplier at 22x and and FSB at 160MHZ, "160 x 10 = 1600MHz frequency of the memory", aka rasing the multiplier and keeping the base clock as low as possible, will we be able to achieve stable stock voltage overclock?

    A response would be greatly appreciated.

  • maxxcool - Monday, September 14, 2009 - link

    I think you did a great job. i think the review is perfect in that you took the chip EXACTLY as a consumer would see and use it.

    That's it. and its fair.

    I love it. Good job and good work. and Ban those fools who keep trolling on the issue.
  • Scalarscience - Friday, September 18, 2009 - link

    I agree about the 'how an average end user would use it' perspective, and have posted such elsewhere (where we were discussing Lynnfield benchmarks and this site's were included.)

  • Nomale - Monday, September 14, 2009 - link

    I find it kind of important that Lynnfield seems to require added voltage to do even modest oc, since added voltage affects temperature and life expectancy of the CPU. From what I understand this is due to the on-die pcie controller which isn't separated from the rest of the CPU "voltage wise" and needs more more voltage when overclocking. Anyway, do you at present have any indications if/when this is going to change in future revisions? Reply
  • Alberto - Monday, September 14, 2009 - link

    We have a test on a particular SW, still it's interesting.
    In a clock to clock comparison at 3.8Ghz thanks to a good cooling, K10.5 is 16% slower than Nehalem without HT, 34% slower than Nehalem with HT.
    This meas that, under this SW, the Nehalem cpus are now pretty limited to stay in the power limits of 95 W/130W from the cpu power management. The 3.4Ghz Phenom has not problems with it's own 140W power budget.
    The upcoming Intel 32nm cpu line looks a killer !!!!

  • oc3an - Sunday, September 13, 2009 - link

    I noticed that the P55 chipset has an integrated Intel Ethernet MAC, yet all of the boards I have seen so far make use of a 3rd party (i.e. Broadcom or Realtek) chip.

    Does anyone know why this is?

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