|ASUS P9X79 WS LGA2011 Workstation Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Tuesday, 17 January 2012|
Page 15 of 17
P9X79 WS Overclocking
Overclocking is less important to the professional user than it is to the gamer or enthusiast; professional users are understandably more interested in stability and reliability than in wringing the last iota of performance out of a CPU. That said, ASUS includes their standard one-button overclocking on the motherboard as well as "tuned" overclocking facilities in both the BIOS and AI Suite utility, so we might as well test it.
Overclocking is of course never guaranteed; that said, Benchmark Reviews has found that Intel's Sandy Bridge CPUs, in both "regular" and "extreme" flavors, overclock very well. But a number of components can impose limits on overclocking, which is why we test motherboards as well. With the ASUS P9X79 WS, I was able to obtain only a 4.5GHz maximum Turbo Boost frequency on all cores with a CPU core voltage of 1.35 volts (as set in the BIOS).
I say "only" because I've had better results with every previous ASUS X79 motherboard I've tested, ranging from 4.6GHz to 4.8GHz at just over 1.5 volts. However, in this case, I wasn't able to get past 4.5GHz; at 4.6GHz, the board would crash in the SPECapc Lightwave test. Raising the voltage didn't help, and CPU temperature didn't appear to be an issue, since I was using an Antec Kühler 920 equipped with two high-speed Delta fans and CPU temperature didn't get over 80 degrees Centigrade under load at 4.6GHz.
I suspect the overclocking limits were those of the processor, a very early C0 revision of the 3960X (my previous tests had been run with a C1 revision CPU). Since the power circuitry on all the ASUS motherboards I've tested has the same specifications (albeit the Sabertooth uses "military spec" chokes, capacitors, and MOSFETs), I think the overclocking ability of the P9X79 WS will be the same as other ASUS X79 motherboards using the same CPU.