To overclock our 980X we went down the manual route of configuring the CPU bus, multiplier and voltage. The starting point was 3.33GHz using 133×25 at 1.25v. Our final overclock was 147×29 at 1.4v which gave us a 4.26GHz CPU on Intel’s new DBX-B heatsink, speaking of which…
Intels New Cooling Solution – DBX-B
Anyone who has bought a retail boxed Intel CPU in the past few years will be familiar with their standard cooler. It is a very basic model which adequately cools the processor with average, at best, noise levels. With the 980X Intel have attempted to take on some of the more reasonably priced after-market coolers; bundling their new DBX-B cooler with the processor.
The DBX-B has aluminium fins connected to four copper heatpipes and it features a 4pin connector with 9" braided cable. The CPU plate is also copper and is highly reflective. Attached to the front is a blue LED 8cm fan which is controlled via a switch on the top of the heatsink. Set to Q the fan runs up to 1800 RPM; at P the RPM is 2600. Intel state the dB rating at 800RPM is 20 and at 1800RPM this increases to 35dB.
Intel provide a motherboard back plate with the cooler and when installed using the screw down retention method the cooler has been tested to 50x gravity shock force. It also has a 3-year warranty and Intel provide a syringe of Dow Corning TC-1996 thermal interface material.
To test the performance of the DBX-B we took a mainstream aftermarket cooler and ran it on the 980X. As the results show the new Intel cooler is very competitive in Q/Low mode, offering similar performance to Thermaltake’s £22/$40 cooler. When we move up to P/High setting on the Intel cooler the load temperature is 9 degrees cooler than the Contac 29 which is a great result.
Last month Intel launched their Z97 chipset, essentially an evolution of Z87, which in many cases brought new features such as SATA Express and M.2 compatibility to the mainstream desktop market. There was of course no new CPU at that time with the existing socket 1150 processors working without issue in the new boards. Since then though Intel launched (along with some lower spec models) the Core i7-4790K, a model which sits at the top of their mainstream platform. Today we see how it compares to various other models when installed on Gigabytes Z97X Gaming 5 and paired with PowerColors new dual core 290X Devil 13.
Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming G1 WiFi-BK vs. MSI Z97 Gaming 5 vs Asus Maximus VII Hero
It is probably fair to say that Intel don't stealth launch their products... sure they have NDAs but by the time those expire we know pretty much everything about a new product. Part of this is of their own...