Gigabyte Overclocking with Easytune6


By: BuckeyeBH
December 10, 2010

For awhile now motherboard manufactures have been including features in the BIOS to enable us to overclock our CPU's to make our systems go faster. But for people new to overclocking this can be a very frustrating experience learning how to adjust all the settings so they have a nice stable system.

Gigabyte has included a utility bundled with their motherboards for sometime now called Easytune6 which makes this a very simple process. You can find Easytune6 on the disk that came with your motherboard or you can download it here: Easytune6 Download

Before we start using Easytune6 lets take a look at things that should be considered before overclocking your computer.

  • The type of heat sink used will greatly effect how far you can overclock your CPU safely. I will show what you can expect from a stock Intel heat sink and two other after market coolers.
  • What type of case do you have everything installed in, with cooling case fans, good or bad air flow inside the case will also effect how far you can overclock.
  • The environment your computer is located in, a nice air conditioned room vs one that is small and hot will also effect your CPU temp.

Before we begin lets talk about why we would want to use EasyTune6.

  • First its very easy to use, that's why its called EasyTune6
  • Second if your system can handle overclocking why would you not want to get a extra boost from your CPU ?
  • Third, modern CPU's have a great deal of head room in how fast they can go so why not take advantage of that.

The system I will use to test my results on will be a open air bench, that is the whole computer will be running on a flat table with no enclosure. The room I will be running this system in is at a temp of 68F, yup its winter time here and my room does not have a heater turned on … yet

System specs are …

  • Gigabyte X58A-UD3R motherboard
  • Intel I7-920 D0 CPU
  • Corsair 2000mhz 8-8-8-24 DDR3 Memory
  • EVGA 280gtx graphics card – I had no spare Gigabyte graphics cards on hand so I will be using a EVGA card
  • 1 32gb MTRON PRO SSD for installing the OS on
  • Corsair TX950W power supply
  • Windows 7 64bit

The first round of of using EasyTune6 I will be using a stock Intel heat sink on this. This is not the best heat sink to use for this as it really does not have the cooling capacity of aftermarket air coolers. But as you will see it does ok and should be able to get you a small boost in performance if you have a good case with plenty of air flow.

Here is a picture of this setup.

IMG_1844

For these tests I will be using a Intel I7-920 D0 CPU and the Easytune6 screen looks like this.

Easytune #1

Fire up Easytune6 and you will see the screen I show. Notice the 3 colored circles with the numbers 1,2 & 3. These represent the level of overclock you will get by selecting those settings.

  • The Blue bar is the default or stock settings that this 920 will be set at if you go with a stock setup.
  • The Green bar & colored circle shows a I7-920+ or level 1 overclock. This is a small boost in CPU speed.
  • The Yellow Bar & colored circle shows what the overclock would be equal to if a I7-940+ CPU was used.
  • The Red Bar & colored circle shows what the overclock would be equal to if a I7-965+ CPU was used.

Using these Quick Boost 1,2 & 3 options we can increase the CPU speed from stock 2.66ghz to 2.8ghz, 3.0ghz and 3.2ghz. Keep in mind that by using each option your heat level of your CPU will increase and might cause your system to become unstable or crash if it cannot handle the extra heat load.

So lets start off slow by first checking what our stock setup heat loads are.

We will need a few tools for this.

The first tool to download is CPUz so we can check our CPU speed and settings. CPUz Download.

Next we will need a program to monitor temps with, download HWMonitor.

We will also need a program to stress the CPU so we can put a load on it. I use wPrime for this as it uses all the threads a CPU has and pushes it to 100% usage. So download wPrime 1.55.

After installing CPUz and HWMonitor lets get wPrime setup. wPrime does not need to be installed, but it does need to be run in Admin mode so here is how you do that.

Right Click the wPrime program Icon and select Properties, select the Compatibility tab and check the square that has "Run this program as an administrator" and hit Apply.

wPrime #1

Now fire up wPrime and you will see this screen. Notice I also have CPUz and HWMonitor running here so I can watch CPU speed and temps. At the bottom of the wPrime screen you will see "Advanced Settings", go ahead and click that.

wPrime #2

this is where you enter the number of threads that you wish to use. As the 920 is a 4 core CPU and Hyper Threading is turned on we see Cores 4 Threads 8 in the CPU screen. Enter 8 for the number of threads to run in wPrime so we can stress all threads. Hit the save button. You will need to do this set each time we run a new Easytune6 option.

wPrime #3

Ok we are ready to go now. Run the 1024 Benchmark stability test in wPrime. This will take a little bit of time to run. I also took a screen shot of the run at 75% completed to show what temps I am getting, these generally do not change from 75% to 100% completed.

Here it is at stock settings and a stock Intel heat sink.

wPrime #4

You can see at 75% completed we are seeing temps as high as 65c. This is ok but it might be higher if your system is installed in a case.

Lets set EasyTune6 to option 1 and see what our heat output is. We will be running the CPU at 2.9ghz now.

EasyTune #7

And here is the test run

wPrime #9

At this speed of 2.9ghz we see a temp of 71c

Lets set EasyTune6 to option 2 and see what our heat output is. We will be running the CPU at 3.1ghz now.

EasyTune #5

And here is the test run.

wPrime #15

At this speed of 3.1ghz we see a temp of 86c

Lets set EasyTune6 to option 3 and see what our heat output is. We will be running the CPU at 3.3ghz now.

EasyTune #9

And here is the test run

wPrime #6

At this speed of 3.3ghz we see a temp of 86c

Let's run a few tests with different coolers to see what effect they have on our temps.

This is with a Prolimatech Mega Shadow CPU Cooler with 2 fans installed. This is one of the best Air Coolers but it is rather large like many of the after market coolers so you will need to make sure it will fit your setup, clearance with the fan next to the RAM sticks can be a problem. Here the bottom clip would not snap into place because its to close to the RAM sticks. It also is some what complex to install for the first time user. But it really does a good job of cooling the CPU and worth the time to install it.

Here is a review and install guide of the Mega Shadow here

2010-11-13 11.10.41

For these tests I won't bother with Options 1 & 2 but go straight to Easy Boost Option #3 or max overclock.

Here is the test.

wPrime #11 Mega Shadow

At this speed of 3.3ghz we see a temp of 63c, that's a 20c drop over the stock air cooler and puts this setup in a nice safe temp range for this overclock. This heat sink is performing even better than the Intel Stock Heat Sink at stock settings which is impressive.

Let's look at the Corsair H70 Water Cooler now. This is a big cooler and installing it for the first time is also not easy. The radiator can be mounted to the top case fan areas or on the back wall. Clearance might also be an issue for this unit so be sure to check out how much space you have to install one of these.

Here is a review and install guide for the H70 here

SAMSUNG

Let's run this at Easy Boost Option #3 and see what the results are.

wPrime #12 H70

At this speed of 3.3ghz we see a temp of 61c, that's a 22c drop over the stock air cooler and puts this setup in a nice safe temp range for this overclock. It is also a little better than a Mega Shadow.

So there you have it, let's list the temp differences and see how all these stack up.

Intel Stock Heat Sink
Stock Settings – 2.8ghz – 65c
Easy Boost Option #1 – 2.9ghz – 71c
Easy Boost Option #2 – 3.1ghz – 86c
Easy Boost Option #3 – 3.3ghz – 86c
Mega Shadow
Easy Boost Option #3 – 3.3ghz – 63c
H70
Easy Boost Option #3 – 3.3ghz – 61c

Its pretty clear how much better after market heat sinks like the Mega Shadow and H70 are, even at Easy Boost Option #3 temps are better than a Intel Stock Heat Sink at Stock settings. So take this into consideration when using Easytune6 to overclock your system.

Another note here, you will notice that Quick Boost says an overclock speed is lower than what is shown in CPUz, this is because Turbo Boost is turned on in the BIOS which give a 1 Multiplier bump in settings.

When using Easytune6 you will also notice that for each CPU type you will get different CPU ghz numbers for Easy Boost Options. For example here is my main rig using a Intel I7-975e CPU

Easytune 975xe

The 975e stock speed is 3.3ghz and with Easytune6 you can go all the way to Easy Boost Option #3 and 4.0ghz. On my main rig I am using a Cooler Master V8 for a heat sink and it cannot handle Easy Boost Option #3 even on a open air bench setup. I can only go as high as Option #2 and stay in safe temp ranges.

So to finish this up I suggest that if you are planning on using Easytune6 to overclock your CPU make sure that you have a good after market heat sink and adjust your settings slowly. Try using Easy Boost Option #1 first, check your temps with wPrime and if that seems ok run some of your favorite programs and games to see how temps hold up. If all seems good try the next option and test again.

Good luck and enjoy using Easytune6 !


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