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Sapphire Pure Black X58 Motherboard Review – overclocking performance

We have several Intel Core i7 980x and Core i7 970 processors and most of these have limits around 4.4ghz on air. One of the 970’s can reach 4.6ghz with a Noctua NH D14, but it requires a slightly unhealthy level of voltage to get there. We managed to get our 980x to 4.45ghz on this board before we encountered instability with Prime.


After 4.45ghz it took some time to reach our limit of 4.5ghz, requiring 1.5v with the IOH at 1.95v. With these settings we managed to achieve 2,100mhz with the Kingston H20 modules at timings of 10-10-10, although increasing the DIMM voltage to 1.67 allowed us to tighten the timings to 9-10-9 (below).

System Validation available over here.

Main Test System:
Processor
: Intel Core i7 980x Extreme Edition
Motherboard
: Sapphire Pure Black X58
Graphics
: Sapphire HD6970 x 3 (gaming tests) / Sapphire HD5770 Flex Edition CFx (productivity tests)
Memory
: Kingston H20 6GB
Cooler:
Noctua NH D14 (with extra 140mm Noctua fan)
Power Supply:
Enermax Modu87+ 700W & Corsair AX1200
Hard Drive:
Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB & Kingston HyperX Max 3.0
Optical Drive:
Asus BluRay SBC-06D1S-U
Chassis: Silverstone Raven 02
Monitors: 2x Prolite B2712HDS & Dell U2410

Intel Core i5-2500k System:
Processor: Core i5-2500k
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB 1600mhz
Power Supply: Antec High Current Pro 850W
Motherboard: ASRock P67 Extreme4
Cooler: Noctua NH D14
Thermal Paste: Noctua NT H1
Chassis: Thermaltake Level 10
Graphics: Gigabyte GTX460 OC
Drive: Intel X25-M SSD (160GB)
Operating System: Windows 7 64 bit

Intel Core i7-2600k System:
Processor: Core i7-2600k
Memory: GSkill Ripjaws 4GB 2133mhz
Power Supply: Antec High Current Pro 850W
Motherboard: ASRock P67 Fatal1ty Pro
Cooler: Noctua NH D14
Thermal Paste: Noctua NT H1
Chassis: Thermaltake Level 10
Graphics: Inno3D GTX570
Drive: Intel X25-M SSD (160GB)
Operating System: Windows 7 64 bit

Intel Core i5-655k System:
Processor: Intel Core i5 655k
Memory: Kingston 4GB DDR3 1600mhz
Motherboard: AsRock P55 Deluxe 3
Graphics Card: Sapphire HD6850
Power Supply: Thermaltake ToughPower Grand 750W
Chassis: Antec Dark Fleet DF-85
Cooler: Noctua NH D14
Drive: Kingston 128GB SSD

Intel Core i5-760 System:
Processor: Intel Core i5 760
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Tracer 4GB 1600mhz
Motherboard: AsRock P55 Extreme4
Graphics Card: AMD HD6870
Power Supply: Thermaltake ToughPower Grand 750W
Chassis: Antec Dark Fleet DF-85
Cooler: Noctua NH D14
Drive: Kingston 128GB SSD

Intel Core i7 950 System
Processor: Intel Core i7 950
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Tracer 6GB 1600mhz
Motherboard: AsRock X58 Extreme6
Graphics Card: AMD HD6850
Power Supply: Thermaltake ToughPower Grand 750W
Chassis: Antec Dark Fleet DF-85
Cooler: Noctua NH D14
Drive: Kingston 128GB SSD

Software:
Windows 7 64 Bit Enterprise Edition
Catalyst 10.12
Aida 64
Super Pi 1.5 Mod
Fraps Professional
SiSoft Sandra
CPUz
GPUz
CPUID Hardware Monitor Professional
Cinebench R11.5 64 bit
CyberLink PowerDvd 10 Ultra
Cyberlink Media Espresso
CrystalMark
HDTach
HQV Benchmark V 2.0
PCMark Vantage
3DMark Vantage
Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Games:
Alien V Predator
Far Cry 2
Resident Evil 5
Lost Planet 2
Colin McRae Dirt 2
Crysis Warhead
F1 2010

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