Overclocking my i5-4670k

Hey guys. Over the past couple of days, I have decided to go for overclocking my CPU. I am wondering a few things. Firstly, any tips for a beginner? I'm brand new to overclocking, and I don't know much about it at all. Secondly, what is a good and stable clock to reach? I have a GTX 780, and I also have the H100i cooling system, so I know I would be able to reach a nice clock. However, I am not sure about what I should go for. Thirdly, depending on how much I clock my CPU, how much of a performance increase (in FPS, I guess) am I looking at in games?

Thanks for your time.
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  1. In my opinion over clocking is not worth the risk. I have fried a couple of processors trying to squeeze a little extra power out of them. But that was a while back. To answer your question, you would get a performance benefit for sure, but not significant. The 780 has been made to handle very mean 3d games and does so fluently. I would always suggest getting better equipment such as a more powerful CPU or going sli. because of the fact that companies have already pushed the envelope of cards they make. If they could do it without causing instability, they would and THEN sell it. Now if you have liquid cooling and keep your temperatures below 50° degrees. Then by all means forget what I have said and over clock. But be ready to buy another in case it fries and voids warranty.
  2. Best answer
    Today, Intel spends a substantial amount of their development time making the CPUs OC friendly. Outta the box, the CPU OC's from 3.4 to 3.8 Ghz and they make it as easy as possible for you to get more outta it.

    The H100i cooling system won't be much of a factor my experience 1) They don't substantially outperform the better air cooler sand 2) peeps soon tire of the noise and after a while change out the fans resulting in less performance than those coolers. Things to recognize are, your CPU has built in protections....Intel did this because they expect their customers to OC. So if your CPU gets up anywhere near where it can hurt itself thermally it will throttle itself making the procedure relatively fail safe. The one area where ya can hurt ya CPU is with too much voiltage.....even though it might be difficult to "fry" the CPU as the old now achronistic saying goes, too high a voltage may result on degradation over time.

    So, this is my personal "Minimalists Guide to Haswell Overclocking on Asus Boards". I don't have the patience to invest 100 of hours but I admire those who do. Using this method, most can knock it off in a weekend. While it's is somewhat specific to Asus Boards, the concepts hold true for any board.

    1. Stop using AIDA, Prime 95 or anything else like that. Download RoG Real Bench, HWiNFO64 and Intel ETU.

    Usage of testing and monitoring programs:

    When you open Real Bench, move both windows to left side of screen. Open HWiNFO64, run "sensors only", you will get a pop up asking whether to disable reading the Asus EC chip, click "Disable this sensor". Move the HWiNFO64 window to upper right hand corner of screen. Stretch bottom of window to full screen height. Make the following changes:

    -Right Click on "System" right at the top, select hide.
    -In the next section, hide the last 4 lines starting "Core CPU Thermal Throttling" (if you watch temps, this is useless)
    -Skip over the next section and Hide the section after that (section includes CPU Package thru DRAM Power)
    -Now the whole reason we did that was so you could see everything you wanna see at same time. You should be able to see Vcore 0, 1 and 2 at -the bottom of the window. If not hide a few more lines. Save and Quit will save your edits.

    2. I am going to assume that you want your PC to power down and reduce voltages when not needed so for this we'll use Adaptive settings. Adaptive will throw an extra 0.10 to 0.13 volts at your CPU. Again, I would NOT use P95 or AIDA on this setting without constant attention.

    3. After setting BIOS to defaults, Input the following settings and then right click on them to add them to your favorites page. This will allow you to access all the settings you need to without bouncing all over the BIOS:

    AI Overclock Tuner = Auto
    1-Core Ratio Limit = 42 (all others should automatically change with Sync all cores selected above)
    Max. CPU Cache Ratio = Auto
    Min. CPU Cache Ratio = Auto
    Fully Manual Mode = Disabled
    Core Voltage = Adaptive
    Additional Turbo Mode CPU Core Voltage = 1.200
    Core Cache Voltage = Adaptive
    Additional Turbo Mode CPU Cache Voltage = Auto
    Eventual CPU Input Voltage = 1.90
    DRAM Voltage = Auto

    I'd suggest taking a screen shot (F12) of the favorites page when ya have successfully passed the stress tests.

    4. Open Real Bench, select Benchmark Tab Check only the last box. Open HWiNFO64, run "sensors only" as described above. Start Real Bench and don't touch mouse till finished. Observe voltages and temps. If you can get thru these 2 minutes, your close.

    5. Then try checking all 4 boxes and run again NOTE: During the 3rd test Open CL will send AVX instructions to CPU; pay close attention to Vcores as they will spike as described above. If passes.....

    6. Switch to the Stress Test Tab and select the amount of RAM you have in your system and 2 hours..... (Note: If you plan on raising cache and / or RAM after a run, I will usually save the two hours and skip this step until I have Multiplier / Cache and RAM speed at my targets.

    7. If at any point you fail, up Core Voltage to 1.225 (+0.025). ....Always watch temps and stop tests if you reach temperatures of concern (> 85C in my book). Record the following:

    42/A/A/Auto - Shorthand for 42 Multiplier / Auto Max. Cache / Auto Min, Cache / Auto DRAM setting
    Actual RAM Speed - i.e. 1600
    Ambient = Room Temperature
    Coolant Temp at Idle = Requires a sensor
    Idle Core Temps Before Test on Each Core = i.e. 25, 26, 24, 22
    Average Core Temps for Each Core During Test = i.e. 59.6, 58.2, 52.7, 49.4
    Max Core Temps During Test on Each Core = i.e. 65, 62, 59, 54
    Settings you input in BIOS for VCore, VCC Ring (Cache), VCCIN (Eventual), DRAM i.e. 1.2000, Auto, 1.900, Auto
    Actual Readings in BIOS for VCore, VCC Ring, VCCIN, DRAM i.e. 1.040, 1.122, NA, 1.671
    Actual Readings in HWiNFO64 for VCore, VCC Ring, VCCIN, DRAM i.e. 1.296, NA, 1.920, 1.681
    Highest Voltage Reading on any Core During each of the 4 Benchmarks, i.e. Image Ed. 1.200 / Encoding 1.216 / Open CL 1.296 / Multitask 1.248

    7. If at any point you fail, up Core Voltage to 1.250 (+0.025). If ya fail again, go another notch (1.275) but I'd stop there.

    8. Once you pass, it's time to consider cache voltage. Some are content to leave at Auto (39) as it affects very, very few applications (skip to step 9 if this is you), others try and get as close as they can to the CPU Multiplier. If you want cache up, go to 42/42/42/Auto. If ya fail, bring up cache voltage in same 0.025 increments.

    Settings will look like this when starting:

    Max. CPU Cache Ratio = 42
    Min. CPU Cache Ratio = 42
    Additional Turbo Mode CPU Cache Voltage = 1.200

    9. Once stable, it's now time to get ya RAM up to its rated 2133, 2400 or whatever. Change 1st setting above to XMP

    AI Overclock Tuner = XMP

    Referring back to step 6, this is the point I normally do the 2 hour test when I am "done" with a given multiplier. So run the 2 hour test here, followed by an 8 hour test w/ Intel ETU.

    10. If ya fail.... up ya voltages as per above..... as long as things don't get two hot.....see limits below. If ya pass, it's time to see if we can lower temps and voltages. I dunno if it matters what order ya do it in but I did VCCIN 1st till I failed then bumped up till I got lowest table setting. Then did VCCring (Cache Voltage Setting in BIOS) till I got lowest stable setting....and finally VID (BIOS CPU Voltage setting) last. I leaped in "half" amounts.

    For example.... Default VCCIn is reportedly less than 1.8 .... so if 1.9 worked, i went "half way" to 1.85 .... if 1.85 failed, I went halfway between known good and bad to 1.875 ....same deal with VID and VCCring.

    11. With the 42 series if tests complete, "rinse and repeat" with steps 3 thru 10 after moving up to CPU Multiplier to 43, then 44 or as high as you are willing to go. At 46 multiplier I found 1.9 VCCIN to be inadequate.... this is the one voltage I found that going too high or too low is problematic (other than heat and maximum upset voltage limits of course). I went to 1.98 (last yellow setting) and it was too low..... 2.08 was too high. 2.04 worked for me w/ 46 multiplier,

    12. These are my settings to give ya an idea of luck I had .... your mileage will vary. Asterisked ones are those I didn't go back and try and get better temps / voltages.

    42/42/42/XMP (2400) *
    VCore 1.200
    VCC Ring 1.200
    VCCIN (Ev) 1.880
    DRAM 1.700

    43/43/43/XMP (2400) *
    VCore 1.225
    VCC Ring 1.225
    VCCIN (Ev) 1.880
    DRAM 1.700

    44/44/44/XMP (2400) *
    VCore 1.260
    VCC Ring 1.260
    VCCIN (Ev) 1.880
    DRAM 1.700

    45/45/45/XMP (2400)
    VCore 1.325
    VCC Ring 1.325
    VCCIN (Ev) 1.880
    DRAM 1.700 *

    46/43/43/XMP (2400)
    VCore 1.385
    VCC Ring 1.385
    VCCIN (Ev) 2.020
    DRAM 1.700

    46/46/46/XMP (2400)
    VCore 1.385
    VCC Ring 1.410
    VCCIN (Ev) 2.040
    DRAM 1.70

    I'll try 47 OC this weekend.

    13. As for cooling / heat / voltage concerns

    Here's Asus recommendations:

    A very good air cooler is required for voltage levels above 1.15V.
    1.20V-1.23V requires use of closed loop water coolers.
    At 1.24V-1.275V dual or triple radiator water cooling solutions are advised.

    My thinking is:

    Up to 1.200v = Very Good Air Cooler (Hyper 212)
    Up to 1.250v = Best Air Coolers (Phanteks PH-TC14-PE, Silver Arrow or Noctua DH14) ....... Dual 140mm CLC / AIO Cooler w/ 1500 rpm fans (Corsair H110)
    Up to 1.275v = Extreme Speed Dual Fan CLC / AIO w/ 2600 rpm fans (too noisy for most folks)
    Up to 1.325v = Custom Loop w/ 15C Delta T (3 x 120mm / 140mm) *
    Up to 1.400 = Custom Loop w/ 10C Delta T (5 x 140mm or 6 x 120mm) *

    At this level having the GPu(s) also under water is assumed

    Also, if you are not running AVX, you can add as much as 0.10 to all those voltages.

    14. NEVER WALK AWAY from your machine while stress testing until you are sure that temps have stabilized.
    Be AWARE if test uses multiple instruction sets like Real Bench who throws out its hardest load voltage wise with the 3rd test in the Benchmark but the 4th test results in higher temps.

    Remember some AVX instructions are present during RoG Real Bench type loads which will raise VCores by 0.10 to 0.13 for short periods.
    I would not suggest running Prime 95 w/ AVX under adaptive under above conditions.

    15. Having 4 sticks of memory will hinder ya OCs a bit.

    16. If ya want the best OCs ya machine can get, this is not the guide to use. If ya wanna get it done over the weekend in between taking work home, course work, Honey-Do Lists, Daddy Taxi and other life demands, this may get it done in a weekend :) .

    WORD OF WARNING: Some of us are having problems with the BIOS clock freezing and a suspected cause is the use the saving, loading and backing up of OC profiles in the Tools section of the BIOS. I would avoid use of that feature until such time as the cause is confirmed or a fix is available.
  3. Thanks for your replies!
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