In our original review of the Core i3-530 CPU we loved the chip but found overclocking wasn't quite as fruitful as we'd liked. We thought the BIOS of our favourite Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2 motherboard wasn't yet optimised for the new chip, so we made a note to come back to it a few weeks and updates later - and so we did, and it was still giving us the same result. Hmpf!
We tried another Gigabyte board: the P55M-UD4 - and there was still no joy as any attempt at serious overclocking rendered a failed POST. Unfortunately all our budget P55 boards have gone back to their respective manufacturers but instead we've been inundated with H55 boards. It's not all bad news for Gigabyte though, the H55M-UD2 works great with Core i3 so we've also featured this board and our OC settings over the next few pages.
We've included a basic setup guide for newer overclockers, and then a BIOS guide for several motherboards before benchmarks of how much extra performance overclocking can get your versus other popular CPUs. We rounded up a couple more H55 motherboards from Biostar and Gigabyte in order to test and show you the overclocking capacity with a Core i3-530.
The questions remain then: what potential does an Intel Core i3-530 buy you? Is it £100 worth of upgrade over that aging Q6600 or E-series Core 2 Duo CPU? What about compared to AMD's Athlon II or Phenom II series whose price-performance ratio is also quite impressive around this range?
ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card (Catalyst 9.11 WHQL)