I am very fond of the ASUS UEFI bios configurations. The first screen we see is the basic overview, shown above.
The main overview of the UEFI bios. We installed 16GB of 2,400mhz DDR3 memory, although the board defaulted to a 1,600mhz setting.
The main AI tweaker panel. We will look at this more, shortly.
The advanced panel has settings for various components on the motherboard, including the CPU, SATA drives and USB. The Monitor panel is used for checking temperatures and voltages, a wise first check after building a new system.
The Boot menu has options for disabling the graphic enabled boot screen, as well as options to switch drive positions. The Tool menu can be used to save and load overclocking profiles, and to flash the bios without having to set up a complex DOS enabled USB flash drive.
The first thing we fixed was the 1,600mhz memory speed.
We loaded the X.M.P. profile and this successfully corrected the speed and timings to 2,400mhz at 11-11-11-31.
The system posted at 4.6ghz with each core ratio set to 46, however it needed a voltage increase to improve our chances of stability.
We raised the voltage to 1.24 and changed the CPU Power Duty Control to ‘extreme’.
Validation at 4.6ghz is available over here.
We tried to push the 3770k further and managed to get the system posting at 4.8ghz. Achieving stability required 1.33 volts and temperatures would rise to around 96c under load, which isn’t an ideal situation for a long term real world environment, we immediately backed down.
We were only using a £20 Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 mind you, so switched to the hardcore Noctua NH D14. The temperatures dropped to 82-83c, but I still feel this is a little high for long term reliability. My colleague Henry pushed a 3770k to around 5ghz in another review we published this week using a Phanteks cooler, so check out our review index.
This i7 3770k sample was easily overclockable to 4.6ghz, but any higher required a significant voltage increase, from 1.24 volts to 1.33 volts. If you want to get every ounce of performance from this processor you are going to need a high end air heatsink, or liquid cooling.
Validation at 4.8ghz is available over here, however we didn’t use this setting for any testing today.