Overclocking has changed a lot since the launch of Intel’s Sandy Bridge architecture. Before that, base clock was usually the thing you would increase to overclock your processor. Intel Extreme Edition processor had unlocked multipliers that you could increase along with base clock but with Sandy Bridge everything is dependent on multiplier and processors having ‘K’ suffix have unlocked multiplier only (e.g. Core i5-2500K or Core i7-3770K). Overclock-ability of a motherboard really could be a deal-breaker or deal-maker these days. Let’s see how ASRock Fatal1ty Z77 Professional fairs up in this segment.
Intel Ivy Bridge processors have amazed the overclocking community, both in a good and a bad way. Ivy Bridge processors are expected to become favourite processors for those overclockers who are into hardcore overclocking and use aggressive ways of cooling like LN2 (Liquid Nitrogen), Phase Change etc. as the new processors scale really well with low temperature and Intel has also raised the maximum possible multiplier. On the other hand, overclockers who use air and water for cooling are kind of disappointed with Ivy Bridge because the new processors run very hot and achieving high clocks is not possible on air or water. Maximum you’ll be able to get on air or water for everyday use will be around 4.6-4.8 GHz.
We were able to achieve 4.7 GHz on our Intel Core i7-3770K with ASRock Fatal1ty Z77 Professional motherboard. The vcore needed for this overclock was around 1.27v. Apart from voltage and LLC adjustments, nothing much was needed to achieve 4.7 GHz. LLC was set to Level 1, that’s the most aggressive load line calibration option in ASRock motherboards. System was not stable with any other load line calibration options. As far as the base clock is concerned, even with a minute increase in the base clock system refused to boot.
I am pretty much sure that this motherboard can push the CPU further but our cooling isn’t enough for higher voltage. Overall, the overclocking experience on this motherboard was pleasant.
Let’s have a look that what kind of performance gain do we get with the Intel Core i7-3770K overclocked to 4.7 GHz:
Overclocked Power Consumption:
Let’s have a look at the power consumption number with CPU overclocked to 4.7 GHz.