When it comes to overclocking, it’s always best to do research on your chip and board to see what is safe. Overclocking can be risky if you don’t know what you are doing. Be sure to read about the processor and motherboard limits before you start overclocking aggressively. We always like to start out slow and then advance in stages. However, if you do plan on overclocking, please be sure to do it at your own risk. Results can vary from board to board and chip to chip.
Our test set-up:
Case: Dimastech V2.5 test bench
Motherboard: ASUS Z97 Maximus VII Hero Motherboard
Processor: Intel i7 4770k
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB 2133mhz
PSU: Corsair HX1050 PSU
Graphics: Gigabyte GTX670 2GB
Hard Drive: 120GB Kingston HyperX 3K SSD
Swiftech Apogee HD
Swiftech MCR320-XP – x3 – XSPC 2000RPM fans x9 (in Danger Den Rad Box)
Swiftech MCP35x Pump – XSPC Res
3/8″ ID 1/2″ OD Tubing
Swiftech XP Fluid – UV Green
Overclocking the 4770K Haswell chip has been proven to be a bit of a challenge during its Z87 chipset launch, and we don’t expect to see a big improvement with the Z97. Before we dive into our results, let’s first take a look at some of our CPUZ Screen shots and Validations with the 4770K at stock settings and the AI Suite auto OC feature settings so you know what we are working with.
Here is our first set of CPUZ with the 4770k running at its stock settings, but with Turbo enabled. This boosted our processor to 3.9GHz.
3.9GHz (turbo) Validation
4.2GHz AutoOC CPU
4.2GHz OC Validation
Now that you have taken a look at the tabs above. The ASUS AI Suite’s Auto OC was able to push the CPU core clocks to 4.2GHz. While this isn’t anything extreme this was a great start which is 300MHz faster than its already gracious 3.9GHz in Turbo mode.
However, as any overclocker would say, that just isn’t enough, so we did some manual overclocking. For manual overclocking we played around with the settings quite a bit. We spent a few hours running through every setting possible and familiarizing ourselves to a few changes to its power management.
On our first attempt, we aimed high and started out at 4.8GHz, however we had no success as we would BSOD upon booting into Windows. This was even while pushing Vcore as high as 1.45volts. Despite these adjustments, it didn’t do us any good and temps were getting into the red danger zone. Over the next hour or so, we would drop it slightly lower and lower to get the best optimal performance. We got to 4.6GHz and were able to boot to Windows and run a few stress tests to make sure everything was stable. This was where the system seemed to gain system stability. The system even ran some games without issues. This was under full load with Hyper-Threading enabled. You will notice that voltages were at 1.35 which is a bit high for the 4770K, but with our water cooled set up, temps were under control and didn’t peak past 70c.
Let’s take a look at the CPUZ, validations and SuperPI Test!
Now that we have covered the Overclocking arena, let’s jump in and take a look at some benchmarks.