Intel just announced their new Haswell-E platform a few days ago. It comes accompanied with the new X99 chipset. This combo also brings new LGA 2011-3 socket. Prior to this, Intel’s HEDT platform (X79) came with LGA 2011 socket. This socket lasted for two CPU generation; Sandy Bridge-E and Ivy Bridge-E. Now with Haswell-E, the new LGA 2011-3 socket came. It’s a new iteration of the original socket and it comes 2011 pins same as the LGA 2011 socket. It comes with slightly different pin layout hence the new socket is not compatible with old processors. However, ASUS has taken one step further. They have developed a new socket called OC Socket which comes with 2071 pins and they claim that this proprietary socket brings several benefits.
ASUS OC Socket:
As mentioned, the ASUS OC Socket comes with 2071 pins; that’s 60 extra pins as compared to the original LGA 2011 socket. The extra pins are laid out in 6 different zones. There are some extra contact pads on the Haswell-E CPUs which remain unused when the processor is installed in a normal LGA 2011-3 socket but the ASUS OC Socket make use of these extra pins to bypass some voltage restrictions put by the Intel. The extra pins are enhance the CPU and memory performance.
The OC Socket provides stable and clean power to CPU. ASUS’ claims that their socket immensely minimizes the voltage drop under high load. Their testing reveals that with normal socket, if voltage is set to 1.825, it drops to 1.728v under 100% load but with the OC Socket, it sees a slight drop to 1.824v. This increases the stability of CPU under high overclocks. This is pretty useful for everyday overclocks as well as extreme LN2 overclocking.
There are some advantages on the memory side as well. ASUS claims that with all 8 slots populated, reaching 3000 MHz memory frequency requires 1.6v+ on memory with normal socket but in case of OC Socket, this memory frequency can be achieved with as low as 1.35v. Again, this opens up passage to higher and more stable overclocks.
Furthermore, ASUS also claims that using the OC Socket brings around 22% advantage in memory performance and 7.5% advantage in CPU performance.
There were some reports that using ASUS OC Socket will void processor’s warranty but we’ve confirmed with Intel that using the OC Socket will not void processor’s warranty. ASUS is currently offering this socket in all their X99 motherboards including the Rampage V Extreme, X99 Deluxe and X99 WS along with the upcoming X99-A and X99-Pro.
Its been only a couple of days since the launch of OC Socket and the new X99 platform but we’ll obviously get to know more about ASUS’ implementation with time and if its even close to how good ASUS claims it to be, it could be a game changer. Company has filed a patent for this socket and they can earn quite a lot of money if this becomes successful.