This past weekend we had a chance to go to GIGABYTE’s US HQ to take a sneak peak at some of their new 8 series products. The NDA this time is extremely strict, so there are a few things missing from this preview that would be in other previews. Because of this restriction I can only show you pictures of the boards and go over some of the GIGABYTE only features, so I won’t be listing how many different types of ports are on the motherboard. However I will be showing you their new high-end lineup and I will even show two boards which haven’t been leaked yet, the Z87X-UD5H TH(Thunderbolt) and the Z87N-Wifi. I will also go over the OC and Gaming features as well as touch base on some of the new GIGABYTE features.
So today IDF in Beijing took place and Intel posted the presentation for Overclocking Enthusiast platforms. However in some slides they showed more steamy details about overclocking Haswell. We can see different settings, voltage ranges, and new features. There were a total of 7 slides that displayed details on overclocking and there was a live demo too.
Here is an interesting slide of different operating modes that the FIVR can provide, some are interesting.
Now this part is pretty interesting, different operation modes for the FIVR to operate the CPU voltage. Looks like Intel's style of VRM design. Many more slides like this detailing frequencies and ratios are provided below. A lot of this is new information.
So there is no hiding the fact that all the manufacturers are bringing out their A-Game with the Z77 platform as Ivy Bridge is currently the platform to have if you want to compete in professional overclocking. Thus many manufacturers are bring out boards which have a rich history and a family tree as long as 5 generations ago. In my opinion the Z77X-UP7 is a mixture of the X58A-UD9 and the X58A-OC, two top notch boards GIGABYTE made during the X58 era, some say the best boards GIGABYTE has ever made. Well today I have something to show you, a board of mixture of both the OC board and the UD9, taking lessons from both and integrating them into a final product that actually has come to market. When many saw the Z77X-UP7 at Computex no one thought GIGABYTE could actually make it happen with its 32 phase power design, as the VRM costs as much to make as a mid-range ASRock board. On top of that GIGABYTE added full PLX bypass to re-route all lanes to a single slot or route them all to the PLX, in both cases providing the least amount of latency in single card or multi-card configurations, however requiring so many traces that the PCB had to add two more layers. Thus at launch we now have a 10 layer PCB, after 4 revisions GIAGBYTE has worked out many kinks to provide top notch memory overclocking with 4 DIMMs as well as top CPU overclocking ability and BCLK prowess. So today I will give you a first-hand physical review (preview) of the already famous Z77X-UP7
Ivy Bridge Overclocking is almost identical to Sandy Bridge overclocking in that it is basically a CPU which is meant to be overclocked through the multiplier and not the base clock (BCLK). Sandy Bridge overclocking brought a whole new level of simplicity to the overclocking realm, a user only needed to change a few voltages, and change some ratios and they were easily granted a huge performance increase. With Ivy Bridge things get a lot easier as the CPU overclocks a lot further with better cooling and is more optimized towards higher memory and base clock speeds, thus making ambient overclocking much simpler and easier for the average overclocker. There is almost no need to increase the secondary CPU voltages, such as VTT, with Ivy Bridge on air/water cooling as the memory controller can already push the memory up to its limits without this. The same thing goes for base clock, while with Sandy Bridge the max base clocks we saw were pretty limited, around 105-107 on average, almost all Ivy Bridge CPUs will do 110mhz easily with LN2 cooling, and will scale way above that with the cold. With Sandy Bridge we same some very odd clock walls, as well as limitations with the IMC in which the memory controller couldn’t readily handle the maximum memory multiplier and BCLK increase over a few MHz from stock, and this limited overall memory performance. However Ivy Bridge is more unlocked than Sandy Bridge, it offers many more memory multipliers and even adds in a second divider so that you can run memory at different speeds in more friendly increments (like 2000 MHz and 2133 MHz). Ivy Bridge also doesn’t have the invisible clock walls which Sandy Bridge possessed, the CPU can overclock under the cold and scales very well in all aspects with cold temperature. However under air cooling Ivy Bridge exhibits much higher temperatures during full load due to its 22nm process, which will probably only get better though cooling optimizations and better contact between the IHS and the CPU Die. We will explore why Ivy Bridge has such high operating temperatures on air OC. This guide can be used for all "K" series Ivy Bridge SKUs, I used a GIGABYTE board and a lot of what I explain and show is on GIGABYTE boards, but I will help anyone with a question and I write the guide so the principles can transfer.
- Ivy Bridge Basics
- The Science Behind Ivy's Thermals
- Step #1 CPU Overclocking
- Step #2 Memory Overclocking
- Step #3 OC Optimizations and In-Windows Tuning
- LN2 OC Preperation
- LN2 OC Hints Tips and Tricks
So if you read up on my preview of the Z77X-UD5H you saw a physical review in which I went over every section of the motherboard, top to bottom I examined its every chip and described what to expect when you toss a CPU into the board. So today that is exactly what I will do, toss in a Sandy Bridge 2600K into the UD5H, first to gather how the system performance, how the BIOS acts, how the overclocking is, and examine many of the Z77 chipset’s new goodies.
LGA2011 boards have been out for a few months now, let's take a look at how the GIGABYTE G1.Assassin 2 rumbles under my purview. I will dissect every aspect of this monstrous motherboard and reveal all of its secrets. I will compare it directly with its OC counterpart, the X79-UD7, and put it through its paces at 4.5GHz. I also have some nice surprises for my readers today, some things to spice up quality as well as showcase the product better. So take the G1.Assassin 2 review for a spin and let us know how you like the board!