On Friday me and Massman arrived at Tones. Not only because we knew it was french fries day ( yes belgians have certain rituals we strictly adhere too) but also to setup and pretest the brand new Gigabyte X58A-OC boards. Myself already had a week to play with one of the G1 series boards : The Sniper.
Idea was to setup 4 platforms with identical hardware. Though I suggested to use the available CPUs : i930, i975X and two i990X CPUs. As the participants could get a better idea of the performance difference, OCability,... Plus for the 930 CPU, it requires a bit more work as you need to play with the Bclock too. Giving you a better idea of overclocking in stead of just increasing the multiplier and Vcore.
The available hardware was :
3 x Gigabyte X58A-OC boards
1 x Gigabyte G1 Sniper board
1 x i930 , i975X and two 990X CPUs
6gb Kingston HyperX 1600C9 rams per setup ofc
GPUs were ASUS infamous GTX580 Direct II Cu cards
SSDs Vertex 2 80Gb from OCZ
PSU provided by Antec : High Current Gamer 750W series
Cooling 3 setups on Scythe Mugen2 and one on high end watercooling ( EK waterblocks )
Pretty clean setups to play with. Even Massman surprised friend and foe as he even cable tied the PSU cables.
Gigabytes provides some cool backgrounds, which we kindly used... Pieter Jan giving thumbs up coz the food arrived. Bert ( the "I look more intelligent then you guy" on the right ) kindly assisted us with installing the software. Windows 7 64 bit ultimate, latest Nvidia drivers. Software allowing to OC the CPU was Gigabytes own Easytune soft and MSI's afterburner (non extreme version) for the GPU overclocking.
All setups were pretested in OCability. The 930 reaching up to 4.3Ghz stable in Vantage, 975 around 4.5ghz and both the GulfTown 990X setups topping out at 4.7-4.85Ghz. The GTX 580s were only allowed to be overclocked via the Afterburner software up to 1150mV. One card did 975Mhz, the worst 925Mhz.
To be sure about the air coolers performance, Bert opted to swap the original boxed cooler with a higher RPM rated version.
Filling up the dewar and as usual loads of food. Testing the setup for the Tones Grid 3 launch date. The setup was not yet configured correct for triple monitor usage (so I had an excuse for my bad performance :p)