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Intel Core-i3/i5/i7 LGA1156 Overclocking Guide E-mail
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Written by Servando Silva   
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Intel Core-i3/i5/i7 LGA1156 Overclocking Guide
Why Should I Overclock?
Overclocking Applications and Utilities
Processor Stability Testing
Understanding OC Variables
OC Testing Methodology
Overclocking Frequency vs. Voltage
Overclock vs Power Consumption
Overclock vs Temperatures
Final Thoughts

Intel LGA1156 Core i3/i5/i7 Overclocking Guide

Editor's Note: Before starting, you should know that any kind of overclocking normally invalidates your product's warranty. While many products come pre-overclocked, brands usually don't accept you to get extra performance for free. In this case, 3 components will be overclocked: CPU, RAM and motherboard. If you're a beginner, read the whole guide before starting, or (better) print it to have it around while your PC is being tested. Benchmark Reviews won't be responsible for any damaged component caused by overclocking.

I know, the first paragraph makes it look like a very dangerous action, but don't be scared, it isn't. In fact, I can tell you that every CPU tested in this article is completely alive and running 100% stable at the moment of publishing this article, even I tested with "dangerous" voltage levels. If you're a beginner or you haven't overclocked any LGA1156 (or similar) platform before, you need to understand the basic concepts of the commonly-used variables and the process of overclocking: raise frequency, test stability, confirm and raise frequency again until you can't complete this sequence.

In our Intel LGA 1156 Overclocking Guide, we're not covering performance's change obtained by raising your CPU/RAM speed. That has been covered a lot in every CPU Review we've done in the past. It's your duty to read them and find out if overclocking is worth to you depending on your daily applications/uses by reading our past articles. But if you want it resumed, all I can say is that there's a sweet point where overclocking won't take lots of extra potency (watts) to increase MHz. If you're looking for a basic (but decent) frequency, you should overclock without applying extra voltage and find your sweet point. We're doing some extra analysis regarding CPU voltage, temperatures and power consumption, but again, performance difference won't be shown in this article.


Benchmark Reviews recently launched our Opinion & Editorials section. The reason I'm telling you this is because we published a little article called: "Desktop Platform: Killed by Overclocking". What it mentions is true. PC brands have taken control of overclocker's market and have evolved it to make it a feature/product which nowadays is a "must" for any PC component. I can't say overclocking has "died" with this kind of evolution, but many people consider it not as "pure" as it was before. Overclock has been made easy and there are big chances of watching people overclock their PC without knowing how does it works. Heck, many brands already include a basic overclock function/button in their motherboards which you just need to press and voila, you've overclocked your CPU/RAM in 2 minutes without any effort.

If you really love to overclock, you'll quickly start reading guides and comments about your components, as we always do it at first. Chances are that you'll be interested on getting extra performance with the best setup and you might start buying a new heatsink and super-featured (and expensive) components to reach your desires. Reality is, unless you're a "true" overclocker or love benchmarking every component, you'll stop at a point where you'll just want to get the best value for your money without buying expensive Extreme Edition CPUs or $700 USD motherboards with $300 RAM kits. This guide will show you how to overclock your Core i3/i5/i7 processor in a modest setup to obtain interesting gains without selling your kidneys to afford it.

I normally think we (people) need to take any advantage possible in our lives. If something is going wrong, just give it a 180º turn and learn what you need to learn from it. While brands have done overclocking as a "feature" of them, keep in mind they won't care about some people not wanting to take advantage of it, especially since they've got to compete between each other to produce the best products. So, let's take that advantage and overclock the hell out of our PCs while keeping them "safe" and to the point where you increase your efficiency instead of reducing it just for a few more MHz. Should we start now? Follow me to the next page...



# Wow!fr0hzn 2010-08-25 05:00
I just bought an i5 recently and I have to say that I will definately try to overclock it, after I've read here what I can achieve :)
Very informative, thank you!
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# Glad to help.Servando Silva 2010-08-25 17:18
That's great. Post your questions/results in our forums!
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# Great InformationGorham4 2010-08-25 07:48
Very nice article full of great basic information. For those interested there are numerous groups that hold overclocking competitions. If you do a google on Forum Wars it will lead you to some interesting forums where you can gain additional knowledge and try you hand at basic and advanced overclocking with supportive groups.

Again thanks for a great article on what should be every computer owner's for activity when buying or building a new computer.
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# Nice work, but would have been great with benefits (or not)baldheadeddork 2010-08-26 16:59
Really nice comparison between the dual and quad core i-Series, but what's the payoff in applications? If you can make a second part showing these three in game performance and media encoding - that would bring it home.

It would also be interesting to see how the dual cores compare to the quads.
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# RE: Intel Core-i3/i5/i7 LGA1156 Overclocking GuideServando Silva 2010-08-26 17:39
As I've said in the article, I was focusing on how to overclock and variables involved. Perhaps, this review could help you make a decision:
I'll consider doing a second part focusing on performance though...
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# Very helpful guide!ulsar 2010-10-08 11:20
Great article for those newbies (and not so newbies) in this matter, like myself. I've got an i5 750 on a P7P55D EVO for about two months and it's time to enhance its performance a bit, so this guide will be really helpful.

Thanks a lot!
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# p55-usb3christian 2011-12-20 04:55
hi, i have p55-usb3 motherbord, but the same fan and a i7-860 cpu, i hope can use this great article anyway?
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# i3 330MChristian Conefery 2011-12-26 17:08
Is This possible with i3 330M or is it not powerful enough
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