To upgrade the motherboard or not?


Limp Gawd
Nov 30, 2009
Hey all, I'm wondering if a newer motherboard will help me achieve better overclocks than the board I'm currently using? This eVGA board is a 1st generation X58 that I purchase with a i7 920 CO back in the latter half of 2009.

I'm also enticed by USB 3 & SATA 6Gb/s, but not certain if those features are really enough to justify the switch.

I'm having minor issues with my current board as some of the USB ports have been acting up on me, most are fine but the two that sit towards the top of the tower have become unreliable if I want to hook my KB & Mouse up to them. Not a huge issue as the other ports work just fine, so I can't be arsed to send this one in for RMA and have at least a week of downtime.

My overclocks though, have been a struggle. I'll seem to find a stable OC with Intel Burn Test and Prime95 reporting well, but then about a week later with those settings the clocks appear to become unstable (Games crashing, rerun IBT and it will fail, etc). Note, I'm not pushing it much, 3.6-3.8GHz is where I'm sitting right now. Adjustments to voltage will sometimes resolve the issue but not always. Leading me to lowering the clocks to regain stability. It's been a cat & mouse game for both my 920 & also the 950 I'm currently using.

The ram never get's above it's rated speed/timings, and memtest doesn't report errors, so I'm pretty certain the memory is fine. Again because of the intermittent issues with my USB ports as well, my gut is pointing to a some-what faulty motherboard. If I get a new board, I'll probably RMA this one at that time and build a 2nd machine with my 920.

I don't plan on upgrading to Sandybridge, but Bulldozer and Ivy-Bridge might be an upgrade path, so I'm a little bit at an impasse.

I'm looking at the Gigabyte GA-X58-UD3R, but am open to other recommendations. I tried the Asus x58 Sabertooth a little earlier this year, and that's a no-go due to the placement of the PCI slot (not giving up my soundcard).

Thanks for any help all. :)


Limp Gawd
Sep 28, 2009
Are you using a manual core voltage? Does your motherboard allow for an auto core voltage?

What I would suggest is to (if you can) put the core voltage on auto, then do your stability tests (prime95, intel burn in) and everything else you can throw at it. All the while monitor the core voltage (w/ cpuz) and look for the highest it has to go to keep it stable. Once you get that, goto your bios and manually put the voltage a step or two above that. See how that goes, this has done wonders for the few i5/i7 systems that I have o/ced. Also what are some of the other voltage setting that you are currently running?

Don't know if that will help but it sure did for me.