in: Overclocking - Processors | January 7, 2011 | by: Oik Yusuf Araya

Breaking the Speed Limit: Intel Sandy Bridge i7-2600K (Retail Version) Overclocking Preview

Intel’s newest CPU lineups, codenamed “Sandy Bridge” are based on their latest, 32 nm architecture. Far before it was officially announced just a couple days ago, many overclockers have actually gotten their hands on a Sandy Bridge processor. Later on, it was rumored that the Sandy Bridge family of CPUs wouldn’t go pass a certain speed mark due to architecture limitation. If it’s real, this could potentially drive away some discriminating buyers (overclockers) who are mostly interested with the overclockability aspect of a CPU. Using a Core i7 2600K, the Jagat Review OC Team attempted to confirm the rumor through a series of short tests. Let’s see what they found out!

Test Platform

These are the hardware components used in the test:

  • CPU : Intel Core i7-2600K (Retail D2 stepping)
  • Motherboard : Gigabyte P67A-UD7, F6x BIOS
  • RAM : G.Skill PerfectStorm DDR3-2200C8 2x2GB
  • Graphics Card : MSI GT430 1GB DDR5
  • Storage: Seagate 250GB SATA Hard Drive
  • PSU : CoolerMaster SilentPro Gold 800W
  • CPU Cooler : Noctua NH-D14

BIOS Setting

Setting adjustments made to the BIOS parameters are as follows :

  • Base Clock : 100Mhz(Default)
  • DRAM Frequency : DDR3-1600Mhz & DDR3-1866Mhz
  • DRAM Timing : Auto
  • CPU Voltage = 1.6 V
  • CPU IO Voltage = 1.3V
  • System Agent Voltage = Auto
  • DRAM Voltage = 1.65V

i7-2600K + Noctua NH-D14 = 5.4Ghz

How about the results then? This processor is quite a jaw dropper: our i7 2600K had no problem running at well above 5 GHz with just the Noctua NH-D14 HSF attached on top of it.

At 5.2 GHz, the CPU managed to chew its way past our multi-threaded benchmark softwares, including Cinebench R11.5, 3DMark Vantage CPU Test, and 3DMark 11 Physics Test. It could even finish single-threaded benchmarks such as the SuperPI and PiFast at 5.4 GHz!

Click here to see a CPU-Z screen shot of our Core i7 2600K running at 5.4 GHz

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