[section_title title=Overclocking]


With Skylake being the new and improved 6th generation of Intel’s highly popular i5 and i7 CPU’s, it has been no secret that overclocking has been a huge factor in this. Of course there are non-K CPU’s with lower TDP limits, but for those who want performance for things like video rendering and gaming, an i5 or i7 is pretty much the consumer’s go-to so to speak.

With the switch from the 22nm to 14nm manufacturing process (Haswell to Skylake), quite a bit is changed in terms of overclocking and the way it’s done; it isn’t as easy as setting a voltage and changing a multiplier anymore! Well it is, but not AS easy as it was, with the goal posts in power usage, voltage regulation and of course the addition of cache overclocking, there are quite a few variables to deal with now. With DDR4 operating at a lower voltage and with a slightly “higher” threshold available on Skylake compared to the 4th generation Haswell processors, it is very similar in my opinion to X99 and Haswell-E overclocking.

So what about the ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming motherboard? Well, as you will have probably guessed, it isn’t specifically designed for overclocking, but it is the mainstream Z170 chipset which of course allows for unlocked multiplier chips (AKA K) to be used. ASUS have upped their specs from their last Pro Gaming board in terms of Digi+ VRM design, power circuitry etc., and have an all-round better board from their Z97 efforts.

I managed to nail a stable maximum overclock of 4.7GHz with a maximum voltage of 1.5v (what I would consider the maximum safe voltage in regards to temperatures). Obviously people have been speculating 5-5.2GHz widely as average overclocks, but this claim is absolutely rubbish! It all relates down to the silicone lottery and although this particular i5 6600K isn’t record breaking, it is still more than average and 4.7GHz is a good indication of Skylakes potential, but also shows the calibre of the components on the ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming.


I also managed to further this overclock with some BLCK overclocking and managed a nice 200MHz boost; this equated to a clock speed of 4GHz with a x20 multiplier.  Do however take into consideration that this also increases memory frequency so bear that in mind when overclocking with the BLCK; it should be a fantastic chipset for overclockers, especially on top tier boards such as the ASUS Rampage Extreme!

200 blck

To show overclocking performance, we overclocked our i5 6600K to 4.5GHz with a cache overclock of 4GHz/BLCK of 100MHz (should be easily achievable by “most” Skylake CPU’s, but of course not guaranteed). The results are below in the way of graphs:

3DMark 11 Performance OC

3DMark Fire Strike Normal OC

Cinebench 11.5 CPU OC

PCMark 7 Overall OC

PCMark 7 Computation OC

SiS Sandra Processor Arithmetic OC

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