In recent years, overclocking on Intel platforms has been relatively straightforward for the most part as K CPU’s have unlocked multipliers and the differential has been an adjustment of the multiplier + increased voltage = overclock. Of course enthusiast platforms have been a little different and X99 (socket 2011 v3) is no different; there are a lot more variables to take into consideration this time round. First of all the latest range of retail Intel Core i7 Haswell-E processors begin with a 6 core and end with an 8 core; more cores usually means less overclocking potential, especially with an 8 core CPU. Whereas 5GHz is an achievable overclock on a lot of 4 core processors, 4.5GHz-4.6GHz is a more substantial achievement on a core i7 5960x processor.
To test the overclocking ability of the MSI X99S Gaming 7 or any other X99 motherboard in fact, the maximum overclock I will attempt is 4.7GHz due to the limitations of the CPU and of course cooling method; our test bench is equipped with a Corsair H80i so we don’t really want to damage our chip or blow anything up due to high temperatures. The maximum I have had this particular CPU at on any board has been 4.7GHz so I feel I have reached the limit of the chip; it is still very impressive for an 8 core CPU and there aren’t that many out there that will do past 4.5GHz.
The BIOS features a massive array of options for adjusting and tweaking and due to this, I was able to achieve my Intel Core i75960x’s maximum overclock; a hefty 4.7GHz. Now one thing is the BCLK is set to 100MHz but still waves down to 99.98MHz; this isn’t a major problem and any performance difference is non-existent anyway. The MSI X99S Gaming 7 delivers plenty of power and doesn’t falter at all; with the i7 5960x being the flagship processor, this board seems to be the mustard and I am more than happy with the overclock achieved!
In the interest of recreating testing scenarios, the overclocks are rolled back to 4.2GHz in addition to the stock clocks of 3.5GHz on the boost of the i7 5960x. Let’s check out the performance and see how it compares to other models on test…