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Intel Core i7-920 Processor BX80601920 E-mail
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Written by Miles Cheatham   
Thursday, 20 November 2008
Table of Contents: Page Index
Intel Core i7-920 Processor BX80601920
Features and Specifications
Core i7-920 Features con't
Testing Methodology
Intel Core i7-920 Overclocking
PCMark Vantage System Tests
3DMark Vantage and 3DMark06 Tests
SANDRA 2009 System Tests
EVEREST Ultimate System Tests
CINEBENCH and SuperPi Tests
Crysis and WIC Tests
Core i7Power Consumption
Intel Core i7-920 Final Thoughts
Intel Core i7-920 Conclusion

Intel Core i7-920: Overclocking

In recent years Intel has become much more understanding that the enthusiast community has grown quite large and that raw performance ranks number one with this consumer group. For that reason Intel has softened their view significantly regarding the overclocking of their processors and motherboards. In fact with the materials provided with the Core i7 review kit Intel even included a rather in depth 22 page document entitled Intel Extreme Motherboard DX58SO ...Performance Tuning Process. This document elaborates quite freely on the best way to overclock the Core i7 family of processors. In the document Intel states that there are four multipliers on the motherboard which are used to set the system speed:

  1. CPU Speed: When multiplied by the system base clock speed (default 133.33 MHz) gives the CPU frequency. Four multipliers are used to define different speeds based on the number of active CPU cores.
  2. Memory Speed: When multiplied by the system base clock speed gives the memory frequency. For example a memory multiplier of 10 times the base clock of 133.33 MHz results in a memory frequency of 1333 MHz.
  3. Quick Path Interconnect (QPI) Speed: Selectable transfer rate of data transferred between the CPU and the IOH.
  4. Uncore Speed: This multiplier applies to the non-CPU related items in the processor. The limit on this multiplier is set by the memory multiplier.

In the case of the Intel Core i7-920 only one of these methodologies applies, increasing the base clock. Upping the base clock with small increases in VCore proves to be quite efficient in skyrocketing this product to the next performance level.

Intel Core<sup>TM</sup> i7-965 Extreme Edition

Being the curious sort we tried a variety of different memory and base clock settings coupled with various changes to the VCore remaining. We found that the best overclock for the Intel Core i7-920 was quite easily obtained by setting base clock rate to 180 MHz and using a 250mv default voltage override. This resulted in a clock speed of 3.6 GHz which proved to be rock stable. We were able to attain significantly higher clock speeds that approached 4.0 GHz but we had to use voltages that were a bit to close to the 1.65 Volt limit for our liking. We feel that this is a good starting point and as supporting equipment, motherboard BIOS, and drivers mature this overclock will be significantly higher. We feel that his processor should be able to easily run very close to 4.0 GHz 24-7 with the voltage staying well under the 1.65 Volt limitation and cooling the processor with a quality aftermarket cooler.

You will note in the CPU-Z images below that the multiplier is showing 21 and the core speed reflects 3.7835 GHz. We had inadvertently left turbo mode enabled and the conditions were right for it to boost the multiplier to 21, thus the increase in speed. We kept these image intentionally to show how turbo mode actually works and how confusing it can be if you don't pay attention.


We at Benchmark Reviews feel that to prove the stability of our overclocking results they need to be fully tested. Therefore we run all of our benchmarking tests using not only the stock processor speeds but also the overclocked speeds as well.

Intel Core<sup>TM</sup> i7-965 Extreme Edition

NOTE: We included overclocked results in our benchmarking tests utilizing results from our i7-965XE overclocked to 4.035 GHz. These results are fresh from our detailed review of the Intel Core i7-965 Extreme Edition.



# Mr.Jim Thwaites 2010-11-26 11:14
I checked on prices the i7-920 is almost the same price as the i7-950. Why? It is hard to find the 920. I assume that the 950 is better then the 920.
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# No More SupplyBruceBruce 2010-11-26 11:53
The free market sometimes behave s with random stupidity, and this situation is quite common, especially for CPUs. They are no longer producing the "920", so there is limited supply, but the "950" is a direct replacement, so what does it matter?
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# :D\nerd 2011-07-20 05:23
whata hell is that ? ? mhz ? :D
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