|ASUS Sabertooth P67 B3 TUF Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Monday, 02 May 2011|
Page 6 of 16
ASUS Sabertooth P67 Overclocking
The Intel P67 Express chipset brings major changes to the overclocking process. Here are the bullet points:
Overclocking by raising the motherboard's base clock is now all but impossible. With the Sabertooth P67 motherboard, I was able to get the base clock up to 103MHz stably. This isn't a lot, and I have heard of attempts to get up to about 110MHz, although previous testing on other P67-Express motherboards here at Benchmark Reviews has netted only 102MHz. Because the base clock on the P67-Express chipset is the base for nearly every other clock, even the SATA and USB clocks, overclocking here is expected to be very limited. All this really means is that we need to find a new way to overclock.
Intel compensates for this by giving all Sandy Bridge processors unlocked multipliers: K-series processors get "fully unlocked" multipliers with no limits, while non-K series processors are "limited unlocked" CPUs that can only have their multipliers increased by a maximum of 4. All Sandy Bridge processors have fully unlocked video cores, RAM multipliers, and power settings. Notice, however, that you can only use and overclock the integrated graphics core on a motherboard with the H67 Express chipset, and only overclock CPU cores, power, and memory ratios on a motherboard based on the P67 Express chipset.
So, as it says above, the CPU base multiplier can't be increased at all. Technically, that means you can't overclock the base speed of the CPU at all. What you can increase is the Turbo Boost multiplier, thereby increasing the amount to which the CPU can be stressed when utilizing Turbo Boost. If you were to disable the Turbo Boost function, as many enthusiasts have been prone to do in the past while overclocking, you will be unable to overclock a Sandy Bridge CPU at all. When increasing the Turbo multiplier, you can set the multiplier that you want to be used when Turbo Boost is using any number of the 4 available cores.
This is the UEFI area where you can increase the base clock and the Turbo Boost multiplier. Right under the BCLK Frequency you choose on how many cores you want to apply the Turbo Ratio. You can set this to be tuned in Windows using the Turbo V utility available with the ASUS Sabertooth P67 software DVD.
With the Sabertooth P67, I was able to get the base clock to a stable 103MHz. I then gradually increased the Turbo Clock on all four cores at the same time until I found the highest possible stable overclock with a multiplier of 46. This gave me a potential Turbo Boost speed of 4738MHz. I reached this same stable overclock using the auto function for regulating voltage and when I manually increased the voltage to 1.35v. It seems that the automatic voltage regulation on the Sabertooth P67 is much better than I have experienced with motherboards in the past, perhaps due to the DIGI+ VRM.
When I allowed the ASUS Sabertooth P67 to overclock itself, in Extreme mode, it decided that a base clock of 103MHz with a Turbo Boost multiplier of 42 was a good match, putting the max Turbo Boosted CPU speed at 4326MHz. That's actually a pretty decent overclock itself! So, if you are not familiar with overclocking, or comfortable enough overclocking the new Sandy Bridge CPUs, the auto OC Tuner will give you a good place to start. Mine gave me an overclock of nearly 17% on the Turbo Boost. Of course, I was able to pull out an overclock of 27% when I tuned the features myself.
Below are the average increases in performance throughout the tests used in this review when the maximum overclock was applied.