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Need help with my CPU please

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May 2, 2014 4:05:59 AM

Hi guys, sorry in advance for my essay like explanation but I like to explain everything in details so you guys have all the information needed to give me a good solution.

So, I just built my own PC and here are my specs:

Motherboard: Asus z87 Pro
CPU: i5 4670k
2X4 GB Corsair Vengeance RAM
GPU: MSI Gtx 670 PE

Fyi, the BIOS was updated to the latest 1802.

I remember that when I was monitoring my performance in the task manager, my CPU was running at variable Ghz. What I mean is that under low load and at idle, it would be running at a pretty low Ghz but when I'll start using application such as photoshop, browsing or play games, it would then kick in and run at the near to max Ghz. Also, I was not overclocking the CPU at start so everything was at stock settings.

Afterwards, I tried overclocking my CPU using the 4 Way Optimization that comes with the AI Suite III but unfortunately that didn't go so well because even though it would tell me that my CPU could be overclocked up to 4.6 Ghz and have a 27 something % increase in performance, my PC would keep crashing. Therefore, I went into the BIOS and reset everything.

Since my motherboard has a TPU switch, I wanted to give it a try and set it to TPU_1 to enable the CPU ratio boost. I was pretty satisfied because my PC wouldn't crash at all after reboot and I was getting a stable 4.2 Ghz overclocking for a 17% performance boost. I was happy with that because I didn't want to overclock my CPU too much. I just wanted a subtle overclock to give me a nice performance boost so nothing over the top. Again when monitoring my CPU in the performance tab of the task manager, it would only go up to 4.2 Ghz when using apps or installing a program.

Now to my problem. I just noticed yesterday that my CPU was now running at a fixed 4.2 Ghz no matter what I was doing. Even though nothing CPU intensive was running, the CPU would run at a fixed 4.2 Ghz with a low utilization %. Of course, the % utilization would go up when I would start doing stuff like browsing, downloading, etc..
I was pretty concerned because even though I was not getting any errors or crashes, I wanted to know what is causing this because to my knowledge, I didn't change anything to the BIOS, installed any program or software that would affect the CPU nor did I change any settings in AI Suite III. Also, when I launched AI Suite III, I saw that it was now showing me that my CPU performance boost under TPU was --% instead of the usual 17% performance boost. My guess is that the 4.2 Ghz was now the stock speed or something so that's why there was no performance boost.

This continued to bother me and since the CPU temperature was getting pretty high since it was running at a fixed 4.2 Ghz, I decided to turn off the TPU switch on my motherboard and afterwards put everything to Optimized defaults in the BIOS so that everything would run back at stock. However, after reboot, I saw that the problem was still there because now my CPU was running at a fixed 3.71 Ghz no matter what the CPU load is. Here's a screenshot of task manager for reference.

Also, when I launched AI Suite III, it would still show me that my CPU performance boost is --% instead of 0%.


Furthermore, I noticed that the frequency was set to 80 Mhz. I'm not sure but I think that it was 100 Mhz when I was not getting that problem.
Here another screenshot of the TPU tab in AI Suite III.

Here's what I tried to do to solve the problem but unfortunately, the problem still persist.
I tried to go back to the BIOS and set everything to optimized defaults again but nothing.
I cleared the RTC Ram on my motherboard by moving the jumper cap from pin 1-2 to 2-3, waiting 10 secs and move it back but still the same problem after reboot.
I uninstalled AI Suite III, rebooted and installed again but still nothing.
I tried to see if there was a program that may be was the cause of the problem but I don't think there is any.

Since that I'm now out of option, I would really like you guys to help me on this because even though I'm not getting any errors and crashes, this still bothers me a lot.
I hope that someone will take the time to read my somewhat long explanation and help me find a solution.

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May 2, 2014 4:31:04 AM

This is a weird one. The one screenshot shows a BCLK of 80 with a multi of 38 which should be 3040. However at the bottom it shows Core 1 @ 100 X 37 for 3700.

Are you sure your BIOS reset when you did the procedure. Meaning had you changed something prior to resetting it and noticed it was at default following the reset. It's always advisable to be sure that it resets back to defaults after a reset. You could make a small insignificant change in the BIOS that you know will go back to Auto in the BIOS following the reset. Something like manual specifying BCLK at 100, then resetting and making sure it was back at Auto. Something along those lines. I know in my manual it says that if the reset doesn't work, to make sure it's unplugged and the battery is removed. Then jumper if for 10 seconds.

As for the consistent clockspeed rather than the SpeedStep working, I would have sworn you were running Manual voltage control in the BIOS if you hadn't said you loaded optimized settings. Once Manual is selected, the motherboard no longer adjusts the multiplier and voltage to lower power use.

It's possible that the TPU switch is stuck or faulty.

Also another thing that's weird is Ai Suite III is displaying your core voltages at impossibly low values. I think the lowest the BIOS would adjust these is to 0.800V, so something is off there as well. However I think its a situation of the software displaying it incorrectly since I doubt your computer would boot with a Vcore that low.

I would go through the longer reset procedure (removing the battery) and make sure that it resets. So prior to resetting it, change something small that you know will change back when you reset the CMOS.
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May 4, 2014 4:35:29 AM

techgeek said:
This is a weird one. The one screenshot shows a BCLK of 80 with a multi of 38 which should be 3040. However at the bottom it shows Core 1 @ 100 X 37 for 3700.

Are you sure your BIOS reset when you did the procedure. Meaning had you changed something prior to resetting it and noticed it was at default following the reset. It's always advisable to be sure that it resets back to defaults after a reset. You could make a small insignificant change in the BIOS that you know will go back to Auto in the BIOS following the reset. Something like manual specifying BCLK at 100, then resetting and making sure it was back at Auto. Something along those lines. I know in my manual it says that if the reset doesn't work, to make sure it's unplugged and the battery is removed. Then jumper if for 10 seconds.

As for the consistent clockspeed rather than the SpeedStep working, I would have sworn you were running Manual voltage control in the BIOS if you hadn't said you loaded optimized settings. Once Manual is selected, the motherboard no longer adjusts the multiplier and voltage to lower power use.

It's possible that the TPU switch is stuck or faulty.

Also another thing that's weird is Ai Suite III is displaying your core voltages at impossibly low values. I think the lowest the BIOS would adjust these is to 0.800V, so something is off there as well. However I think its a situation of the software displaying it incorrectly since I doubt your computer would boot with a Vcore that low.

I would go through the longer reset procedure (removing the battery) and make sure that it resets. So prior to resetting it, change something small that you know will change back when you reset the CMOS.


Hi techgeek, sorry I was not able to reply right away. I was out and really busy these past 2 days.

Anyway, I followed your instructions and went into the BIOS to manually change something that would go back to auto. In fact, I did as you said and changed the AI Overclock Tuner from Auto to Manual. It then showed me the BCLK/PEG Frequency which was set to 100. When I re-booted my PC however, I saw in the AI Suite III that the BCLK was still at 80 though. What other software would you recommend me in order for me to check if the BCLK frequency?
I turned off my PC and reset the RTC Ram again. Btw, I always follow the instruction in the motherboard manual when I reset the RTC Ram, that is, I completely turned off my PC, unplugged the power cord, waited a bit and moved the jumper, waited another 5-10 secs (actually, I waited like 30 secs just to be sure lol) and then moved the jumper back. In the BIOS everything was set back to Auto but when it rebooted, there was no change because the problem was still there. If you want I can post some screenshots of the BIOS for more information.

I'm just learning from you that it is the voltage control/frequency that would give the consistent clockspeed so No, I didn't change it to manual and everything was set back to default in the BIOS but yet I still get the consistent clockspeed. I really hope there it is more of a software problem rather than hardware because I had a cousin bought the motherboard for me in another country and I can't return it back.

I don't think or I hope that the TPU switch is faulty because I tried to move it to TPU_I and TPU_II and it would successfully do as it says in the manual but the since I'm getting this problem with the persistent clockspeed, I can't allow my CPU to run at a consistent clockspeed of 4.2 Ghz since I'm getting higher than usual temperatures. I don't think the TPU switch is stuck either because there is a LED on the motherboard that indicates if the TPU or the EPU is on and when I turn the switch off it doesn't light up. Also the AI Suite III shows that when the TPU switch is off, the CPU Core voltage and the CPU cache voltage is set back at default. The BCLK frequency is still stuck on 80 no matter it's back at default or the TPU is on.

I already answered it above but I also did the longer reset procedure (removing the battery), my PC would show me to set up the BIOS on restart but still the problem persist.

Any other thoughts on what might be the problem?
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May 4, 2014 9:51:10 PM

I don't think your BCLK is actually 80. As I mentioned in my post, it shows 80 with a multi of 38 which would be a clockspeed of 3040, but in the lower left hand corner of the same screenshot it shows 37 X 100 for 3700. Since Windows is also displaying this clockspeed, BCLK can't be 80. I think this might either be a hardware problem, or more likely a AI Suite problem. AI Suite doesn't always behave. I am including a link for a cleaner which removes all traces of AI Suite III:

AI Suite III Cleaner

First you uninstall it normally through the Control Panel, then run the cleaner.

Then download the latest AI Suite III:

ASUS AI Suite III

Looks like you have to grab everything, no individual download for it. If you have this version already you "could" skip this step.

Install this version and see if it straightens out your problem. Of course there may be some reboots between the steps above.

Hopefully that sorts it.
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May 5, 2014 1:55:18 AM

techgeek said:
I don't think your BCLK is actually 80. As I mentioned in my post, it shows 80 with a multi of 38 which would be a clockspeed of 3040, but in the lower left hand corner of the same screenshot it shows 37 X 100 for 3700. Since Windows is also displaying this clockspeed, BCLK can't be 80. I think this might either be a hardware problem, or more likely a AI Suite problem. AI Suite doesn't always behave. I am including a link for a cleaner which removes all traces of AI Suite III:

AI Suite III Cleaner

First you uninstall it normally through the Control Panel, then run the cleaner.

Then download the latest AI Suite III:

ASUS AI Suite III

Looks like you have to grab everything, no individual download for it. If you have this version already you "could" skip this step.

Install this version and see if it straightens out your problem. Of course there may be some reboots between the steps above.

Hopefully that sorts it.


Thanks a lot. That actually helped solved the problem of the BCLK and it was indeed an AI Suite III problem that was displaying the wrong figures. Must have been some left-over files which was causing the wrong figures to be shown.
Now everything is back to normal in AI Suite III as you can see below.



Now only one problem remains and it is the consistent clockspeed instead of the Speedstep that I had before. I went into BIOS and saw that the CPU Core voltage & CPU Cache voltage was set to Auto. I changed both to Adaptive to see if that would solve the problem of the consistent clockspeed but nothing changed.

Do you know what I can do to get back the Speedstep instead of the consistent clockspeed? or what might be causing this?

Thanks again for taking your time to help btw, I really appreciate it.
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May 5, 2014 3:19:52 AM

One place you could check is your Power Options, make sure it's set to Balanced. Then click Change Plan Settings and click Change Advanced Power Settings. In that window scroll down to Processor Power Management and expand it, and check Minimum Processor State. See what it has for this, if it's 100% that will be your problem. That or it's set to High Performance instead of Balanced.
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May 5, 2014 11:21:05 AM

techgeek said:
One place you could check is your Power Options, make sure it's set to Balanced. Then click Change Plan Settings and click Change Advanced Power Settings. In that window scroll down to Processor Power Management and expand it, and check Minimum Processor State. See what it has for this, if it's 100% that will be your problem. That or it's set to High Performance instead of Balanced.


Thanks a lot again. I wouldn't have been able to guess that the power settings could cause the constant clockspeed. Then again, I never changed the power settings since I built this PC so I don't know how it got changed to High performance.

Anyway, thanks for the help. Now the clockspeed is back to the speedstep mode. Just being curious though, is the speedstep clockspeed better than the constant one or vice-versa? I guess the power bill will be higher if I keep using the constant clockspeed but is there any advantage to having speedstep over constant clockspeed?

Also, should I change the CPU Core and Cache voltage back to Auto or should I keep it to adaptive?
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May 5, 2014 10:10:01 PM

Last question first, yes I would set it back to Auto. Adaptive, Offset and Manual are really only for overclocking. Adaptive and Offset can be quite scary to use under certain loads (AVX/AVX2) where they shoot Vcore very high. Fortunately for anyone using Adaptive or Offset, there aren't many applications using this instructions set yet.

The obvious benefit to Speed Step is lower power use. Speed Step will lower the multi and Vcore. So power usage is quite low. Beyond that a byproduct of lower power usage is a cooler CPU which in turn means that your fans (if set on Auto) won't have to spin as fast meaning a quieter computer. There are rare instances where Speed Step can cause issues. I have read that some people have had trouble when playing games, and some applications where the clockspeed was slow or wouldn't come up to full speed when CPU usage went up. Like I said though these issues are rare and I'm not sure if Speed Step was the problem or it was something else in their setup that was causing the problem.

Personally I don't use Speed Step. I overclock, so I'm using Manual which automatically disables Speed Step. Beyond that, even if I were to use Adaptive, I use my computer to crunch WCG work units while I'm not using it. Therefore my CPU usage is pegged at 100% across all cores (physical and logical) so Speed Step would never have an opportunity to lower my clockspeed.
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