core_i75960x_5930k_5820k_overclocking_performance - 1 HARDOCP - Introduction - Core i7-5960X 5930K 5820K Overclocking & Performance

Core i7-5960X 5930K 5820K Overclocking & Performance

We headed out to Microcenter and purchased two new Haswell-E processors, the Intel Core i7-5930K and Core i7-5820K CPUs. We have spent some time overclocking those and figuring out where the headroom is. Today we discuss overclocking these and what to expect with rock solid stability in mind.

All that is Haswell-E

As many of you are probably aware that Intel launched its new Haswell-E processors a few weeks ago. On launch day we only had the flagship Core i7-5960X processor complete with 8 cores and HyperThreading. Since then we have gone out and purchased a new Intel Core-i7-5930K and Intel Core i7-5820K. We have used Hover Hound to track street prices on the i7-5960X and those are at the lowest online pricing currently of $1049.99 with free shipping. We have however been watching our [H]ot|Deals forum and seen prices as low as $888.00 when purchased at a brick and mortar location.

Seeing that a thousand dollars, give or take a hundred, is outside the budget of many enthusiasts, we of course wanted to give our attention to the other two Haswell-E architecture processors, the Core i7-5930K and Core i7-5820K.

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As you can see spelled out on the chart above, the i7-5930K and i7-5820K have been neutered in terms of cores and cache, but with those snips you get what amounts to a healthy savings on the cost. Both the i7-5930K and i7-5820K have been reduced to being 6 Core / 12 Thread processors, and both the i7-5930K and i7-5820K have reduced caches by 5MB giving a total of 15MB for each processor. The i7-5820K processor's final snip hits it directly in the PCIe 3.0 lanes reducing those lanes from 40 to 28.

As should be expected from the "K" in the model numbers are that these processors are multiplier unlocked allowing you to overclock these CPUs as you see fit. So while these new Haswell-E parts do of course have an assigned base clock and Turbo Frequency, we are simply not concerned with these values.

The Intel Core i7-5930K is currently selling for $584.29 with Prime Shipping and the Core i7-5820K is currently selling for $389.99 with Prime Shipping at Amazon.

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Our X99 Express Chipset Motherboards

All of the overclocking benchmarks and screenshots we will be sharing with you are gathered using the ASUS X99-Deluxe motherboard which we have reviewed here. Instead of give our readers a narrow look at results on one motherboard, I have spent the last couple of weeks working with the GIGABYTE X99-UD4 as well as the MSI X99S XPower AC motherboards.

All three of these motherboards have worked out very well in testing and have shown to be solid platforms for the Intel Haswell-E processors. We have had somewhat different experiences with the processors on each motherboard however. Some have taken different voltages to get to our idea of "stable," and I will comment on some of that later.

As it stands currently, all of these motherboards' BIOS support DDR4 clocks speeds up to 2666MHz. The ASUS X99-Deluxe supports up to 2800MHz, albeit with the slower bus of 100MHz. We have been expecting to see BIOS from all three ODMs with support for DDR4 speeds in excess of those noted above. At this time we have not though. It seems as though DDR4 speeds beyond 2666MHz are going to take a fairly good deal of work in terms of tuning, bclk, and actually a microcode update from Intel. Beyond that, we have been advised that speeds in the 3300MHz range are also going to rely on the "quality" of your CPU's integrated memory controller.

It is also worth passing along to our readers that code updates from Intel for running dual GPU cards in CrossFire and SLI only surfaced a week ago and now surely AMD and NVIDIA will be having to deal with driver optimization. That all said, we know that many of you are looking towards an X99 platform to do exactly that; gaming with more than two GPUs. Once all this is honed and tempered, the X99 platform will likely walk all over the Z97 platform in terms of gaming with Tri-Fire and 3-Way SLI, and Quad configurations. That is surely an article for another day when AMD and NVIDIA get the final touches on driver optimizations.

Benchmark and Overclocking Test Setup

All the benchmark data in this article for the Core i7-5960X, i7-5930K, and i7-5820K was taken with our ASUS X99-Deluxe motherboard and the 0801 BIOS. We have been hoping to get our hands on the 0802 BIOS which is supposed to support higher DDR4 speeds, but that did not work out in time for the publication of this article. We have used 2666MHz DDR4 which allows for a faster memory bus which is working very good now. (Of course the day we go to edit this review, the new 0904 BIOS appears.)

Our processor clock speeds have been based on clocks that we could get stable by HardOCP standards. By stable we mean that we could put full Prime95 workloads on these specified clocks for hours at a time. There is no doubt that we could run these benchmarks at faster clocks speeds than we have here, but should you ever put full core workloads on these particular CPUs for long periods of time these would fail.

The Core i7-5820K was the most resilient allowing us fully stable operation at 4.6GHz/2666MHz. Both the Core i7-5960X and Core i7-5930K were only stable at 4.5GHz/2666MHz. These are the clocks shown in the following benchmarks.