Timid To OC ASUS P8Z77-V with Intel i7 2600K

Hello folks,
I have always sought overclocking as an option to boost performance of my system in an effort to improve my gaming experience. However, I admit to being very timid. I have read so much information, some so technical it has scared me even more. I would feel more comfortable with information specific to my setup ... an ASUS P8Z77-V with an Intel i7 2600K chip, rather than try to adapt procedures of other "similar" configurations. In my reading, I find it difficult to relate, as nothing is familiar ... ie BIOS terms etc. Since conceptually I'm not 100% in understanding, I foresee myself making bad assumptions.

So, that said, I would be very grateful to anyone who would be willing to support me in setting and achieving a reasonably satisfactory goal. Anyone that is familiar with the ASUS Bios for this MB and has had success with OC this chip will be a great asset. If I've overlooked specific documentation, I apologize for not having found it on my own, but search results are only as good as search criteria.

Here are some additional specs of my system:

CPU: Intel i7-2600K @ 3.4 GHz
RAM: 8GB Kingston DDR3 PC3-10700 (667Mhz) 4096Mb (Part #KHX1866C9D3/4GX)
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX660ti; Nvidia GeForce 8500GT
Corsair H60 CPU cooler.
1200watt PSU
WD 1TB Caviar Black SATA3

17 answers Last reply
More about timid asus p8z77 intel 2600k
  1. i have the 2600k chip and i am keeping it @ 4,2GHz.. Some say that it is a mild OC. Yes, it could be, i did a max 4,4 Ghz stable OC with HT on but i found that the temps go beyond 60 - 65C while gaming, and i dont like that. I have a decent cooler (Titan Fenrir Evo 2).
    And considering that i dont like the simple way to OC (fixed vcore) i used offset. I have to admit aswell that i didnt have the motivation to go highr because diminishing returns kick in.
    4,2 Ghz is more than enaugh for me...
  2. I agree 100% with crisan_tiberiu. I had mine at 4.5ghz but the additional voltage settings and temps were not worth the minute increase in performance and risk to the CPU's lifetime, and I also wound up with 4.2ghz. I'll keep 4.5ghz in my hat when games can take better advantage of it.

    I can sympathize with your situation, as the worst part in overclocking was trying to determine what all of the jargon meant and what it was called in my BIOS.

    Luckily, with a minor overclock there's typically not too much you need to mess with. In fact, if you wish, you could just increase one setting, the cpu multiplier, until you find the maximum speed on stock voltage. That could possibly get you to 4.0-4.4ghz with minimal risk to your hardware or OS.
  3. Thanks folks for your replies. I think a goal of 4.4 sounds reasonable unless 4.2 is safer with comparable performance improvement. Now ... how to do it is the remaining question.
  4. Thanks crisan for the link .... 71 pages of reading. I just hope all the advanced questions and statements don't overwhelm me, as I have found with other guides. My other challenge is adapting the author's bios terms to mine. I'm already trying to relate in Step 1 LOL.
  5. So, I've decided to jump in. But I admit, I'm confused.
    My understanding is I have an i7-2600K CPU at 3.4Gz. When I go into Bios, this is what I see:

    It says "All Cores Target CPU Turbo-Mode Speed: 4300MHz" (4.3Gz). Does this mean I'm already overclocked?

    With my BIOS set to perform in "Performance Mode", I ran a stress test to get an idea of temperatures etc using the default setup.

    Correct me if I'm interpreting this wrong.
    It appears at 100% load I was running at 4.3Ghz (although when I wasn't stress testing, like as I write this ... it would fluctuate between 1.6Ghz and 4.3GHz ... how odd IMHO). I see that the multiplier says x43 which I assume comes from the Turbo Ratio value in the bios.

    Question #1 - If I'm running at 4.3Ghz, is their any room for improvement through OCing?
    Question #2 - Are my temperatures within a reasonably safe limit? Considering the temps at 4.3GHz, will I be pushing the envelope of danger by trying to get more out of the CPU?
    Question #3 - If I wanted to start the trip into OCing, is it as simple as changing the Turbo Ratio value of 43 to some other number ... knowing of course that 50 would be a very unlikely target.
    I would also consider these changes in my bios:

    Question #4 - Hyperthreading Enabled or disabled?
    Question #5 - What about Ai Overclock Tuner? It has the options "AUTO, MANUAL, XMP" XMP has two profiles, #1 DDR3-1867 9-11-9-27-1.65v; and #2 DDR3-1600 9-9-9-27-1.65v. Should this be set to XMP Profile #2 based on my RAM specs?

    Thanks for any help!
  6. 1. "AI Overclock Tuner" sounds like an automatic overclocking utility in the BIOS. You can often get much better results by NOT using this.

    You are actually at 4.4ghz. 4.4ghz at 1.312v is pretty good. Your BLCK might be overclocked from 100 to 103. There is some concern that an overclocked BLCK can damage the CPU.

    There's always room for improvement but will you notice the difference from 4.4ghz to 4.8 or 5 ghz? Probably not, as most games can't take advantage it. Your CPU will likely not last as long from the elevated temps/voltage though.
    2. Everyone has an opinion on this. If you are concerned with CPU longevity, I'd stay under 65C, definitely under 70C when gaming. Check out your max temps after playing a resource intensive game. 80C when benchmarking is not ideal, but not abnormal either.

    I prefer to be under 1.3V, because I'm cheap and don't want to buy another CPU anytime remotely soon. Many agree that 4.5 ghz is the sweet spot, as most CPUs can reach it on modest voltage.
    3. You can do that, yes. By default the voltage is "auto" which many don't like, preferring "offset" or "manual." I've had good luck with auto myself. CPU current capability probably needs to be increased, you are correct.

    So you know, in my experience 4.5ghz or more requires more tweaking, but your chip could be less demanding. I needed load line calibration (llc) 3, and pll overvoltage on auto to get there.
    4. I'd leave it enabled. If you decide to do a high overclock (~4.7ghz+ I'd say), disabling it can help.
    5. From what I'm reading, your memory spec is #1: DDR3-1867 9-11-9-27-1.65v.

    However, after the CPU is overclocked, the memory may become unstable and no longer run at those speeds. Because of this, I highly recommend backing up your PC, and creating a rescue disc (I like Macrium Reflect Free for this). I also like running Memtest 86 last, after I'm done overclocking, to make sure the memory is stable. Prime 95 blend should find memory errors, but I like to be certain.
  7. Thanks bebop for your reply ....

    I went into the bios just to do some minor tinkering just to see how things worked. But for the life of me, I was not able able to boost my multiplier (as observed in CPU-Z) bast x43 despite what I set in the TurboRatio of the bios.

    With ASUS Muliticore Enhancement disabled, and
    The Ai Overclock Tuner set to AUTO (no ability to change the block), and
    Manually setting the Turbo ratio in all 4 cores to 45 (default 43)

    There was no change in the multiplier so my speed remained at 43MHz under load. (At some point in my tinkering the BLCK was dropped down from 103 to 100 ... which according to bebop's message is probably a good thing)

  8. I would disable AI Overclock Tuner, or at least put it on manual. Again, people often get better results NOT using utilities like that.

    Why can't you hit over 4.3ghz? Is it blue screening, or it just refuses?

    I'm assuming you are on auto voltage. If it's bluescreening, as I mentioned, you probably need load line calibration (llc) of 3 or more (5 being the most mild, 1 being the most aggressive). For my CPU, around 4.5ghz it was unstable without LLC 3 and PLL overvoltage on auto.

    If it refuses to run past 4.3ghz, you probably need more current capability. AFAIK it will only draw what it needs, so don't be afraid to raise that up to 200-250.

    PS: Be mindful of your Vcore on auto voltage. Some people have reported that auto, for them, uses way too much vcore.

    Also, this may be of interest to you: http://www.overclock.net/t/968053/official-the-sandy-stable-club-guides-voltages-temps-bios-templates-inc-spreadsheet/2240#post_14466483

    munaim1 seems to be extremely knowledgeable on SB CPUs. He suggests:

    "For Asus Mobo's
    CPU Current Capability - 140%
    Phase and Duty Control - Extreme
    EPU Power saving - Disabled
    VRM Frequency - Manual - 350"

    I would try configuring it per his suggestions before doing anything further.
  9. Hi bebop ... thanks for your continued support.

    No blue screening ... just refuses. Although I've set it to 45 for example ... CPU-Z only reports a multiplier of 43.

    I'll take a read of the link you provided (I believe I came across this at one point in my initial searches), and see if the suggestions provided make a difference.

    Here are the bios changes made as suggested. Hopefully I found all the settings in the bios ...

    And the results under a 100% load . . .

    Still no joy.
  10. Your settings look good. Next, I would try increasing the current capability.

    I had a similar issue; I set the frequency to 4.5ghz, but it refused to go over 3.5ghz for more than a split second. Increasing the current capability fixed that, which I have set at 250. I'd recommend bumping it up a few notches and see if your overclock goes higher.

    PS: So you know, increasing current capability won't raise your vcore. Your vcore is appropriate for 4.5ghz.
  11. This is where the terminology differences throw a curveball.
    If your reference to "current capability" equates to my "CPU Current Capability" (as seen in the second image of my last post) ... it is set now as high as I can set it at 140%. I haven't found anyplace (not to say there isn't someplace) to adjust a value.
  12. You are correct; I was referring to your CPU current capability. I was unaware that 140% was the highest available setting.

    Is there an overclocking utility that is starting with Windows? It could be effecting your overclock.

    I'll look into the configurations further and see if there's anything amiss.

    EDIT: I found this: http://rog.asus.com/129672012/maximus-v-motherboards/asus-z77-motherboard-uefi-bios-tuning-guide/

    Your BIOS is quite detailed, but also, therefore, complicated. It's going to take some tinkering to figure out what is holding you back.

    Supposing there is no overclock utility messing with your BIOS config.s, next I would try setting the "turbo ratio" to "Manual." You can see an example of this at the link above.

    This will allow you to define how the turbo is handled, and display each core as "1-core ratio limit, 2-core, ratio limit, etc." Change them to "by all cores."
  13. Hi ...
    If I have an overclock utility starting with Windows, I have absolutely no idea what it is. I certainly haven't provided any such application. If Windows itself is locking it, I have no idea what to adjust.

    The link you provided bebop provided a few more tweaks.

    EPU Power Saving ::: Disabled
    CPU Spread Spectrum ::: Disabled

    The website suggested to "disable" the OC Tuner. However, that is not an option. OC Tuner only provides "CANCEL" or "OK" ... Cancel only closes the option window.

    I applied them, with the ones already discussed, but sadly .... still locked at 43MHz.

    Frustrating . . .
  14. All I can say it's a great CPU and Motherboard for overclocking.
  15. Your BIOS settings look flawless to me. There's no config. that should stop the CPU from running at your overclock.

    That means the overclock utility within Windows is most likely the culprit. Can't you load the application and see which one it is?

    Its probably the Asus AI Overclocking software (or a similar product), which has been known to alter your registry and cause severe issues. It probably installed with the driver disc that came with the mobo, or perhaps somehow auto installed.

    You have 2 options:

    1. Configure the utility to match your BIOS configurations and check the results.

    2. Rid yourself of the application.
    You can uninstall it via add/remove programs, or, preferably, an uninstaller utility (such as IOBit Uninstaller) to remove any remnants that the Windows uninstaller could leave behind.

    Alternatively, you can do a fresh install of the OS. If you don't have too many programs installed, and it won't be too much of an inconvenience, I would go this route to be sure of 100% removal.

    To wipe the HDD, the best way is to write zeros (NOT very good for an SSD) from elevated command prompt. This will clean the HDD; you will lose all data. If you go this route and want instructions, let me know.

    PS: So you know I'm not full of s***: http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1697018/overclock-failed-error.html


    Other possible fixes that come to mind for your issue would be updating your overclocking software and/or flashing the BIOS to the latest version (which I wouldn't do unless necessary).

    *EDIT: Oh, I misread your post. I thought you said you had overclocking software installed. I'd still suggest first checking that nothing was installed inadvertently, perhaps from the driver disc that came with the motherboard.
  16. Don't let this hiccup discourage you. There's only a few possible issues that could be holding you back.

    You were possibly on to something when you noticed that the OC Tuner should be disabled. Check this out: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/319809-30-unable-shut-tuner-sabertooth

    So apparently if you click the tuner and see only "Cancel" or "OK" it means it is enabled. When enabled it automatically determines your overclock per its best judgement, I assume overwriting your other settings.

    It seems you can go into advanced mode and load optimized defaults. It sounds like this can reset your SATA settings, so be sure you know how they are currently set.If that doesn't fix the issue you'll have to "CLR CMOS".
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