ASRock Z68 Extreme 7
We dropped in a core i7 2600K but we wanted to point out a few things. Always check for updated BIOS on ASRock’s website. We did not check causing a small period of grief; Auto settings were adjusting very high voltage settings and we also noticed large drops in Vdroop along with the motherboard struggling to find stable settings. That said, the latest BIOS posted on ASRock’s website at the time of the review was used for an update flash, and this cured every ailment we experienced and was a breeze with ASrock’s instant flash utility in the BIOS. Simply save the new BIOS to a USB flash drive and click on instant flash. The utility takes you through the rest.
Stock core speed on the 2600K is 3.4GHz.
As mentioned earlier, each Sandy Bridge CPU will have an overclock limit. Also, overclocking the platform is as easy as 1-2-3. The Bios has a manual option for the multiplier so dialing in 4.8GHz and leaving the voltage settings on auto allows the system to select somewhat stable voltages. In the case of our 2600K, 4.8GHz is the maximum wall of the chip (And we tweaked for hours). So 2600K chips are pretty much the luck of the draw. Some of the original D1 revisions achieved 5GHz but with the D2 revisions it is a crapshoot.
We achieved 4.80GHz fully stable without much effort, but pushing things further wasn’t terribly successful since this chip doesn’t have much more left in the tank. Clearly, the CPU is the limiting factor here, not the motherboard.
Here is a stable 20 pass run with Lynx at 25,000 problems.
Our temperatures at 4.8GHz at a toasty 1.51V peaked in the mid 70’s which is great for the platform. Custom water cools the best but it is not necessary, however, using air cooling at these voltages would not be recommended. Temperatures will be much higher and be dangerous.
Let’s wrap things up.