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 overclocking by increasing the multiplier of the Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition Processor.
The MSI Big Bang XPower II has a little feature on it call OC Genie II. The OC Genie II is a way to overclock the second generation Intel Core i7 processor automatically. By simply depressing the OC Genie II button on the motherboard and booting up the system you will automatically overclock your system. Trying this out, we were able to bring our system to 4.0GHz. It’s not a bad overclock but we would have liked to see more of an overclock from the OC Genie II. We have looked at boards that have pushed us beyond 4.2GHz automatically in the past.
Of course we couldn’t leave the MSI Big Bang XPower II overclocking session with out pushing it just a little bit. After a little bit of voltage to the CPU VCore we were able to hit 4.8GHz! We had to set the VCore to 1.485 Volts and the multiplier to x48 to hit 4800MHz but it was quite solid and we were able to complete multiple runs of wPrime to test stability.
Since we tested the system stability with wPrime we decided to include the performance differences. At default settings the two tests were completed at 4.878 seconds and 146.111 seconds. Using the OC Genie II on the MSI Big Bang XPower II brought our completion times down to 4.79 seconds and 142.368 seconds. We saw the biggest difference when we manually overclocked the Intel Core i7 3960X to 4.8GHz. The system was able to complete the tests in 4.073 seconds and 119.245 seconds. That is an improvement of 16.5% on the 32M results and 18.4% on the 1024M results.