One of the most exciting things for PC enthusiasts is the launch of new hardware, but that excitement comes from a different point for those that like to overclock. The launch of a new platform is an opportunity for overclockers to explore tweaking from a different, new angle by traveling down the path of an "early adopter" and achieving never-before-seen performance. Being the first to discover new tricks, mastering the platform's greater options, is a temptation many enthusiasts fail to fight, and I myself have fallen victim to it time and again. Playing with settings is something I cannot get enough of, and Intel's latest Haswell CPUs pose an interesting mix, tempting me with new options and challenges. Word across respected review sites is that Haswell's overclocking performance might be a bit underwhelming, with most reviewers being rather unimpressed by what it offers, and in general, I have to agree.
Be that as it may, I do think Haswell has been underestimated, and part of that is due to the huge complexity of Intel's latest. So to see if I couldn't find something to help us "normal" users get a little more, or at least as much as was offered by Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge, I got myself a few chips and set to finding the limits of what is offered. I read every overclocking guide companies would give me, watched all the marketing information, spoke to high-profile overclockers spending their time on attempts at breaking world records, and even started a thread here on our forums to poll normal user results in an effort to get the most amount of information in the shortest possible time. I managed to kill a few chips too, which I hadn't done in some time, but Intel has thrown down the gauntlet and a war takes casualties. With the market dwindling in size according to many, a war it definitely is, and today's victories were the results of only a small battle, not the whole war itself.
Here is what I've come up with after retreating, counting my casualties, and bandaging the wounded. My results are a bit different to those you might find in other guides, but those guides have proven to be valuable sources of information, a base I've built my own guide on. The guys and gals that contributed to those guides deserve to be thanked. However, I didn't have much luck when it came to Intel, though I did approach them for support through the avenues available to anyone. Hard to reach up to, hard to get their ear, Intel really is this big goliath of a company, but I managed to get the necessary information through the help of other reviewers. Without direct help from Intel, I only had a limited number of samples to play with, which may have some parts to this guide not work with all CPUs.