Overclocking Intel’s Xeon E5620: Quad-Core 32 nm At 4+ GHz

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Jan 9, 2009
Has anyone ever noticed the the i7-970 and Xeon E5620 have a flatter finish for heatsinks to sit on then a i7-920 and i7-930, also seems more smooth. More surface area and better contact for cooling. Screams a cheap way to make a slower chip run hotter so people are not overclocking these higher without sanding and potentially killing the chip.


Sep 27, 2009
I'm very impressed with this setup. I've always wondered why I never see writeups on Xeon performance when they consistently have models at the top of, for example, the Passmark CPU list. It would be nice to see a rundown of which X58 boards support (and at what detail level as far as OC'g and memory speeds) the Xeon chips. I also second gorillateats in that I'd love to see more comparisons and benchmarks including GTA IV. It's the only game I play that requires Windows (well almost, there are some folks who have disabled the SecuROM and Live Games to make it run on Ubuntu) and it is very CPU intensive. It definitely tries the patience of my wife's i7-920 overclocked to 3.6GHz with an HD4890.

One thing about this comparison, it absolutely solidifies my desire to get the i7-950. $300* and it'll see 4GHz just as easily as a 920/930.

*Micro Center has them for $229...just sayin'


Jan 22, 2007
occupant writes:
> ... It would be nice to see a rundown of which X58 boards support (and at what detail level
> as far as OC'g and memory speeds) the Xeon chips. ...

It's surprising how many boards do support various XEONs, and remember there are also
Lynnfield XEONs aswell, so even P55 can use them (though a more restricted range of course).

On the flip side though, it does appear that dual-socket boards don't really come with
the range of oc features that one is used to seeing on gamer/enthusiast (G/E) boards.
But then again, what constitutes a G/E board? Some are over 400 UKP ($650+), yet -
for example - the Asrock X58 Extreme6 is less than 175 UKP (under $300), supports
numerous XEONs including the 6-core 2.93GHz Westmere and 3.33GHz Gulftown,
and has the usual wide range of oc features (very good slot spacing aswell for SLI).

What would be nice is a dual-socket board which also has the familiar range of oc features.
Does anyone make something like this? I couldn't find anything by ASUS.

One other downside of dual-socket boards is they often have a very limited PCIe setup.

It's just a pity XEONs are so expensive. These days though, what are the real architectural
differences between a XEON i7 and a normal i7? Anyone know? I seem to recall many years
ago the old XEONs were at least partly defined by having their cache running at the same
speed as the core, but I don't think that's the case now (not sure), in which case what does
having a XEON really mean?

> ... and it is very CPU intensive. ...

Anyone know if GTA IV is able to exploit more than 4 cores? Does peformance improve
with a 6-core i7? Would certainly be interesting to know how it behaved on a dual-socket
system, assuming such a board exists which supports SLI, etc.

> ... my wife's i7-920 overclocked to 3.6GHz with an HD4890 ...

What RAM speed are you using? Perhaps DDR3/2K could help. Also, a 4890 isn't really that
fast I would have thought for something like GTA IV. Depending on the gfx features used by
the game, and the resolution of your display, it might not fare any better than an 8800GT. The
lower the resolution, and the more the game uses older visual features, then the slower it will
be than one might expect.

> ... my desire to get the i7-950 ...

For X58, definitely the best choice atm IMO. I've just started building another P55 with an
i7 870, but if I'd known about Asrock's X58 Extreme6 earlier I'd have probably bought that
instead and indeed bagged a 950. As it was though, their P55 Deluxe was available for
the ludicrously low price of 75 UKP; hard to beat...

Good luck with your 950 plans! And try faster RAM if you can - I found the 4GB GSkill Ripjaw
DDR3/2000 kit to be very affordable.




Dec 25, 2013
What if you had on hand a box full of es es5620 and they are unlocked. How much could you push them. What if in a dream you buy them for $100 or so each. Would it then be worth spending the $$ on a rampage mb.

Anyone used a es chip yet? I just wonder if you could raise it sky high?


May 7, 2009

Usually I've heard they cap out at about 4.0 Ghz or so on air or water. If you meant the newest E5 chips, those are locked and can not be OC'd.

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