Overclocking greatly varies due to what hardware is being used and who is doing the overclocking. Always remember that no two pieces of hardware will perform the same, so our results will differ from what you might be able to get.
With stock BIOS settings, the Intel Core i7 980X Extreme Edition processor runs with a 133MHz bus speed (base clock) and an x25.0 multiplier that is used to reach the final core clock of 3.34GHz. At idle the processor is at an idle state of 1.6GHz as seen above, but then under full load with turbo mode enabled the 980X operates at nearly 3.5GHz.
Since the Intel Core i7 980X Extreme Edition processor is an unclocked enthusiast part you can increase the multiplier and bus speed for better performance. By increasing the CPU Core Voltage 1.300V and increasing the multiplier to 29 we were able to read 3.9GHz with ease. This is a great start, but we always try to get a 1GHz overclock.
In order to break the 4GHz mark we needed to increase the CPU Voltage from 1.300 to 1.350V in order for the system to be 100% stable.
To increase the multiplier from 30 to 31 we needed another slight voltage increase, so we were running the 980X CPU Voltage at 1.3875V. This was enough juice to give the Intel Core i7 980X an impressive clock frequency of 4.185GHz. This is nice, but remember we want to reach that 1GHz overclock!
By pumping up the voltage to 1.425V we were able to get the Intel Core i7 980X processor up to 4.32GHz, which is 10MHz shy of exactly a 1GHz overclock. With this much voltage running through the Intel DBX-B retail boxed heat sink we are very pleased with the results.
To try out the overclock we fired up POV-Ray 3.7 Beta 35 and a number of other applications and found that the system was rock solid. With the Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition processor running at 4.3GHz we were able to put down some serious numbers, as you can see above. This is an improvement of 20% in this benchmark thanks to the clock frequency increase.