ECS X79R-AX Black Series Motherboard Review
ECS X79R-AX Overclocking
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.
The Intel Core I7 3960X features a Bclk of 100MHz and uses a x33 multiplier to achieve the final processor speed of 3.3GHz. In the above CPUz 1.59 screen shot it also has a Turbo Mode. With all of the cores loaded it will increase the multiplier to 36 and all the way up to 39 depending on the system load. The Intel Core i7 3960X is the latest in a long line of Extreme Edition processors. Being an Extreme Edition processor means that the i7 3960X has an unlocked multiplier. Unlike the previous LGA1155 Sandy Bridge processors, LGA2011 processors can also be overclocked by increasing the Bclk. Though we will be sticking to increasing the multiplier of the Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition Processor.
The ECS X79R-AX Intel X79 motherboard offers a couple of profiles that will automatically overclock our processor. We started out with the ‘Light’ profile to see what it would do for us. The ‘Light’ profile simply increased the Bclk of the Intel Core i7 3960X to 102MHz. This increases the processor clock by only 72MHz, not exactly a great overclock, but we still have two more profiles to go. At least it’s advertised that way, and the option is in the BIOS for it. We reset the system and set the ECS OC Profile to medium, saved and reset the system. That was as far as we were able to get with the ‘Medium’ profile as well as the ‘Heavy’ profile. Once the system was rebooting we weren’t able to complete the P.O.S.T. sequence successfully.
Once we gave up on the ‘Medium’ and ‘Heavy’ profiles we decided to see how far we could push our Intel Core i7 3960X. Without adjusting anything in the BIOS we were able to hit 4.5GHz by simply increasing the system multiplier. Beyond 4500MHz, things started to get interesting. If you remember back to the BIOS page, in order to adjust the system voltages you had to switch to manual from the default automatic. We would do this, set our desired voltage, save and reset like normal. When we needed to adjust the CPU VCore again, we went back to the BIOS. The problem we ran into, everything was switched back to automatic. For a reason unclear to me, the ECS X79R-AX BIOS wouldn’t save our voltage settings. After a few rounds of losing our settings we left it at 4.5GHz which was the only setting we could maintain any stability.