Why does my XPS 730x processor show as only 3.20GHz?

The Desktop Liaison Dell-Chris M told me that some XPS 730x customers had questions about why their systems are running at 3.20GHz since the system is supposed to be overclocked. Here is what Chris had to say on the topic:

The XPS 730x H2C with the i7-965 Extreme processor will be factory overclocked to 3.73GHz.

The XPS 730x Air Cooled with the i7-965 Extreme processor will be factory overclocked to 3.46GHz.

The system bios, Windows System Properties, and Windows Device Manager will only show the CPU as 3.20GHz. The only way to verify the overclock settings have worked is to view them in CPU-Z.

XPS 730x Core I7 Extreme 965 overclocking

CPU Configuration Screen
XD Bit Capability = Enabled
SpeedStep = Enabled
C-STATE Tech = Enabled
C State package Limit = C6

Frequency/Voltage Control Screen
QPI Frequency = Auto
Memory Ratio = Auto
XMP Support = Disabled
CPU Core (Non-turbo) Ratio = 24

Overclock Configuration Screen
Adjust CPUBC1k (MHz) = 133
Spread Spectrum = Enabled
Adjust PCI Frequency (MHz) = Auto
Adjust PCI-E Frequency (MHz) = 100
Intel TurboMode Tech = Enabled
1 – 4 core turbo speed limit = 28 H2C, 26 Air Cooled
Tdc = 180 H2C, 160 Air Cooled
Tdp = 200 H2C, 180 Air Cooled

Overvoltage Configuration Screen
Dynamic CPU Vcore Offset = +120mv H2C, +80mv Air Cooled
DDR3 Memory Voltage = Auto
I0H Voltage = 1.10V
QPI and Uncore Voltage = Default

CPU-Z and fluctuation of CPU Core Speed
It has been observed that from the time the CPU-Z application is launched, the Core Speed starts up as 3716.1 MHz, however, it drops down to 1604.0 MHz immediately and stays there.

This is OK and expected. Under normal conditions, the CPU sets the speed based on demand, unless, the power management settings are set for high performance mode.

About the Author: Lionel Menchaca