Overclocking and Thermal Performance
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.