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Overclocking vs. temp - anything to gain?

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October 27, 2011 2:32:10 PM

Hi! I'm currently running a i7 960 @ stock speed/settings at 3.2ghz (or 3.34 - with the turbotech enabled) on an Asus p6x58d-e mobo with 6 gigs pc12800 Mushkin ram. I've already invested in a Coolermaster Hyper 212 plus, and my core temps are 41 (the warmest core) at idle and 58 at full load (prime95).

What I'm wondering is, how much will cpu temps increase with overclocking (I'm afraid to fry the CPU)? And is there something to be gained from this? The heaviest CPU load are games. I've got a Asus Geforce GTX 560 TI which I've succsesfully overclocked to 970 mhz (and I'll try if I can get it even higher). Is the CPU a bottleneck for this in games that are hard on the computer? The memory timings are 9-9-9-24 btw. Dunno if this can be a bottleneck as well.

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a b à CPUs
a c 100 K Overclocking
October 27, 2011 2:44:09 PM

Depends on the games but generally it shouldn't really be much of a bottleneck. You might notice an increase in the minimum framerate.

The thermal threshold for first gen i Cores is 72C recommended. Anything up to about 75C is ok (though I'd suggest keeping it under 70C). Max voltage on yours is, IIRC, 1.55V - I'd keep that under 1.4V though. Basically within those limits you can get yourself a pretty decent overclock that should at least remove the possibility of a bottleneck, and be a fairly long lasting OC. I've been at 4ghz on my i5 750, 1.33V for around a year now without issues.

The other option for you - and this is something I did for quite a while - is just try to increase the base clock and leave Turbo enabled. I was able to achieve 177 base clock with turbo still enabled, which put me at 3.7ghz->4.25ghz. Temps were still low too, and I found it best to leave Load Line Calibration off for a turbo OC. If going for a straight OC (like 200x19 3.8ghz) it'd be better, generally, to enable LLC.
October 27, 2011 3:07:03 PM

Ok, thank you :)  But any idea of how much the core temperature will rise? Thinking about overclocking to 4.0, or just below (any less than that isn't worth the effort, is it?) My Vcore is currently at 1.5, and QPI at 1.325
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October 27, 2011 3:16:28 PM

Like I said, I'm just worried that the core temps will somehow go through the roof, that's why I'm asking :p 
a b à CPUs
a c 100 K Overclocking
October 27, 2011 3:46:57 PM

Well it depends on a lot of factors. Case air flow, ambient temps, heat sink performance and fan speed, CPU OC-ability... The only way to find out is to try.

Even 3.6 or 3.8ghz is worthwhile IMO and should be easy to obtain. 4ghz is where you start to see a more dramatic increase in voltage and temp requirements and a loss of efficiency.

When overclocking you should follow proper procedures - make small adjustments, then test and monitor. Then repeat over and over until you find a stable OC that works for you.

Also, your Vcore is currently at 1.5V?!? At stock speed??? That's seriously messed up man. It should be something like 1.2V.
October 27, 2011 3:53:05 PM

I'm sorry, I mean 1.15 of course :p  That's the second time I've written wrong on this forum about that :p 

I don't think I've ever overclocked the CPU before... if so, it's got to be ages since. Do you have any newbie guides? I know that bclk affects RAM and chipsets also, and the QPI and Vcore has got to be upped, but other than that, I'm pretty blank...
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
October 27, 2011 3:53:58 PM

:hello:  Dont worry that temp is fine and you can overclock your CPU and try to maintain CPU temps less than 80C while doing CPU stress programs like Intel Burn Test, Prime 95 etc. If you can maintain a CPU temp of less than 80C in Burn Test then no program in this world can come close to that temp means you are fine in all usage scenarios. Good Luck and happy OCing.........
a b à CPUs
October 27, 2011 4:07:32 PM

Systems are so fast today that, IMHO, over clocking has become something of a urinating contest.
a b à CPUs
a c 100 K Overclocking
October 27, 2011 5:40:50 PM

Abstinent said:
I'm sorry, I mean 1.15 of course :p  That's the second time I've written wrong on this forum about that :p 

I don't think I've ever overclocked the CPU before... if so, it's got to be ages since. Do you have any newbie guides? I know that bclk affects RAM and chipsets also, and the QPI and Vcore has got to be upped, but other than that, I'm pretty blank...


You can start here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/263043-29-1156-core-c...

Quote:
Systems are so fast today that, IMHO, over clocking has become something of a urinating contest.

Depends what you're doing, really. Saves a lot of time on video encoding and ensures peak gaming performance when needed. It's like a free upgrade, especially as the CPU ages.

And like literally anything else, there's always going to be that "pissing contest" type thing going on with some people. Why do you think there's people running i7 990X and SLI GTX 590 with 32GB of RAM and RAID 0 256GB SSDs?

Anyway, it's free performance once you learn to unleash it. There's really no reason to not overclock at least a bit - obviously if you start taking risks with voltage and temps then you're making it a liability, but if you just follow safe guidelines then there isn't much of risk at all.
October 28, 2011 12:39:43 PM

spp85 said:
:hello:  Dont worry that temp is fine and you can overclock your CPU and try to maintain CPU temps less than 80C while doing CPU stress programs like Intel Burn Test, Prime 95 etc. If you can maintain a CPU temp of less than 80C in Burn Test then no program in this world can come close to that temp means you are fine in all usage scenarios. Good Luck and happy OCing.........


Thank you :)  I looked around for a newbie guide to overclocking last night, and found this;

http://www.techreaction.net/2010/09/07/3-step-overclock...

A really good and informative article/guide if you ask me :)  So after testing max bclk (or testing that it's stable at 200), and adjusting memory stability and vtt, I've gotten the CPU stable at 4ghz (190x21) ^_^ (still testing, but seemingly so) at 1.25 vcore. Would really have liked to get it at 4.2, but the temps are a bit too high for my taste. Now they're at 80 (core) exactly, with the OCCT Linpack test, and I don't know if I want it to go any higher than that. And I have to increase vcore quite a bit once I reach the 4ghz barrier, as people say. But 4.0 (or 3.99 :p  ) is not bad at all :)  And I've already gotten the GTX 560 TI to 970 mhz. So I'm pretty satisfied with the system so far ^_^

I'm wondering though if the memory might be a bottleneck now. If so I guess it's not much, but I've put a lot of effort, money and time into getting things fast and stable. So if I can get more performance by better timings...
My memory is 1600 mhz 9-9-9-24. Is there a noticeable/worthwhile increase in performance (gaming first and foremost) by upgrading to 8-8-8 or 7-7-7?
October 28, 2011 12:42:52 PM

wolfram23 said:
You can start here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/263043-29-1156-core-c...

Quote:
Systems are so fast today that, IMHO, over clocking has become something of a urinating contest.

Depends what you're doing, really. Saves a lot of time on video encoding and ensures peak gaming performance when needed. It's like a free upgrade, especially as the CPU ages.

And like literally anything else, there's always going to be that "pissing contest" type thing going on with some people. Why do you think there's people running i7 990X and SLI GTX 590 with 32GB of RAM and RAID 0 256GB SSDs?

Anyway, it's free performance once you learn to unleash it. There's really no reason to not overclock at least a bit - obviously if you start taking risks with voltage and temps then you're making it a liability, but if you just follow safe guidelines then there isn't much of risk at all.


My thoughts exactly :) 
a b à CPUs
a c 100 K Overclocking
October 28, 2011 2:21:17 PM

Abstinent said:
Thank you :)  I looked around for a newbie guide to overclocking last night, and found this;

http://www.techreaction.net/2010/09/07/3-step-overclock...

A really good and informative article/guide if you ask me :)  So after testing max bclk (or testing that it's stable at 200), and adjusting memory stability and vtt, I've gotten the CPU stable at 4ghz (190x21) ^_^ (still testing, but seemingly so) at 1.25 vcore. Would really have liked to get it at 4.2, but the temps are a bit too high for my taste. Now they're at 80 (core) exactly, with the OCCT Linpack test, and I don't know if I want it to go any higher than that. And I have to increase vcore quite a bit once I reach the 4ghz barrier, as people say. But 4.0 (or 3.99 :p  ) is not bad at all :)  And I've already gotten the GTX 560 TI to 970 mhz. So I'm pretty satisfied with the system so far ^_^

I'm wondering though if the memory might be a bottleneck now. If so I guess it's not much, but I've put a lot of effort, money and time into getting things fast and stable. So if I can get more performance by better timings...
My memory is 1600 mhz 9-9-9-24. Is there a noticeable/worthwhile increase in performance (gaming first and foremost) by upgrading to 8-8-8 or 7-7-7?


Hi, first off congrats on the OC! I'd say 80C is a tad hot for my liking but of course just keep an eye on it in daily usage for a while and make sure you're under that normally. Intel states a max TJ of 72C.

That Vcore is nice and low at 1.25V, but what is your VTT? I don't exactly get how they relate, all I know is that you can actually use either one to get the CPU stable. I find it's good to go by how it is at default, which is to say VTT is around 0.1V lower than Vcore.

As for your memory question, the timings aren't going to make much difference at all. I did some benchmarking on my memory and had interesting results. I have 1600mhz 8-8-8-24 1.65V Patriot Viper II Sector 5 RAM. I ran it at 1400 CL7, 1600 CL8, and 1800 CL9 and had my fastest speeds at 1600 CL8. I then upped it a touch to 1632 CL8 and it was even faster. It seems like, at least with Patriot, they bin the RAM to it's peak performance speed. I also tried fooling around with timings while leaving the speed the same and found that it had basically no affect on transfer speeds, and only a slight one on overall latency. Speaking of which, in my speed tests, 1600mhz CL8 also had less latency than 1400 CL7. I also found that a faster CPU speed lowered the RAM latency. Unfortunately I don't know whether I made a thread on my results but I should have the data at home if you're interested.
October 28, 2011 5:02:45 PM

wolfram23 said:
Hi, first off congrats on the OC! I'd say 80C is a tad hot for my liking but of course just keep an eye on it in daily usage for a while and make sure you're under that normally. Intel states a max TJ of 72C.

That Vcore is nice and low at 1.25V, but what is your VTT? I don't exactly get how they relate, all I know is that you can actually use either one to get the CPU stable. I find it's good to go by how it is at default, which is to say VTT is around 0.1V lower than Vcore.

As for your memory question, the timings aren't going to make much difference at all. I did some benchmarking on my memory and had interesting results. I have 1600mhz 8-8-8-24 1.65V Patriot Viper II Sector 5 RAM. I ran it at 1400 CL7, 1600 CL8, and 1800 CL9 and had my fastest speeds at 1600 CL8. I then upped it a touch to 1632 CL8 and it was even faster. It seems like, at least with Patriot, they bin the RAM to it's peak performance speed. I also tried fooling around with timings while leaving the speed the same and found that it had basically no affect on transfer speeds, and only a slight one on overall latency. Speaking of which, in my speed tests, 1600mhz CL8 also had less latency than 1400 CL7. I also found that a faster CPU speed lowered the RAM latency. Unfortunately I don't know whether I made a thread on my results but I should have the data at home if you're interested.


Thank you! ^_^ Yeah, the temp is with Linpack-testing, so it doesnt' bother me at all... it gets a few degrees hotter than other CPU stress-testers, and there's now way in hell I'll see those temps from anywhere else :)  I know the max TJ is 72 (or 73?), but I've also seen a lot of controversy on this, and personal preferences. Somebody doesn't get over 70 at all, while others juice it up to the mid 80's. I've even seen one guy (the one who wrote the guide I posted actually) using the absolute max temp of 100 as a threshold. Anyway, when it's 80 with linpack OCCT testing, I know it won't go a tad over 70 no matter what I do (except for maybe folding, or a looooot of video-encoding. Neither is something I do).

My VTT is surprisingly low! As a matter of fact, just at 1.25 (actually it was stable at 1.225 it seemed, but I've read somewhere that it's good to crank up the vtt to juice up the speeds a little, and it just seems strange that it's stable so low). Or maybe this isn't so low? I just know that it's Mushkin memory, and stock vtt is 3.250 to 3.750. Obviously overvolting quite a bit? The memory is at stock speed and timings anyhow.
As far as I know, the VTT relates too the memory controller and l3 cache on the CPU. I know that you need more VTT if you up the memory speed and the system becomes unstable. But can you use VTT to get your CPU stable? Perhaps hard to tell when it's all integrated. Anyway, my experience so far tells me that if you're pc doesn't boot into Windows, restarts or gets a bluescreen while testing stability, it's vcore related. And if you get "errors", it's vtt (I separately tested l3cache/memory/uncore and CPU speed as the guide suggested - specifically to isolate the problem. Seems to be a good way too deal with it :)  )

Sure, would be interesting to see :)  Been googling timings vs. speed, and generally gaming performance enhancement from faster/tighter RAM just now, and from what I've read so far I haven't gotten much wiser.

Hmm, maybe the timings didn't have an effect (on this kind of RAM) when you stray from stock/peak timings/speed, but what about stock 1600 9-9-9-24 vs stock 1600 7-7-7-20 f.example? Get my thinking (I'm from Norway (and I've just woken up... generally that's leaves the mind just as disoriented in Norway as in USA I think :p ) so you'll have to excuse my english :p  )?



a b à CPUs
a c 100 K Overclocking
October 28, 2011 5:13:18 PM

Well VTT is often called IMC on many mobos, which is the Integrated Memory Controller. So yes it is RAM related but also just about everything else that feeds into the CPU. It's good to have a bit of juice there. However, just for "fun" I spent an afternoon screwing around with voltages and quite literally if I reduced Vcore and increased VTT, it would remain stable. I found out that it's good to find a balance as it can reduce temps to have them optimized, and also the GFlops output (in Intel Burn Test) can actually increase a tad if you get it dialed in. It's a pretty small amount, though, but there did seem to be a relationship there.

Unfortunately there's no way I could test as you say stock 1600 CL9 vs 1600 CL7, I could only change those timings on the RAM I have but of course that would end up as stock vs not stock. When I go home I'll try to find the screenshots/data from my tests. I should have it... somewhere...
October 28, 2011 6:07:29 PM

Maybe it will... the biggest amount of performance increase I've heard about in memory timings has been about 2 or 3 frames. Maybe a tad extra. But it does seem kinda weird when I think about it. Anyway, graphics aren't so important to me that I'll buy a whole set of new ram (don't think there's a lot of tightening I can do on my ram, and I doubt if anything more than 1600's going to increase performance?) for a "possibly" 2 fps increase :p 

Waiting for the tests :) 

Ok, didn't know that about vtt/vcore relationship. But i guess it makes sense when you say it :)  Maybe I'll try to mess around and see if I can get the temps a couple of degrees down (Vcore is meaner on the temps than vtt, right?)
a b à CPUs
a c 100 K Overclocking
October 28, 2011 6:33:43 PM

I'd be surprised if there was an FPS difference at all. It might help with the minimum FPS but the average, probably not. I think if you're looking for more FPS then OC the GPU more. I know you have the core up to 970, but the memory is where you'll make big gains.

Again, I have the data somewhere so I can find it tonight, but anyway, I did a bunch of FurMark runs. I tested it at different core speeds, mem speeds, and settings.

What I found was that with 0xAA, core speed made a huge difference. However, once you bring in 4xMSAA, suddenly increasing the core didn't make a difference. Only increasing the memory speed increased the FPS. Obviously this is just a benchmark and not representative of actual gameplay, but I think it should be fairly obvious that you'll want to get your memory speeds as high as possible on the GPU.

Your system ram isn't going to make near as much of a difference to gaming because most textures and such are going to be stored in the VRAM. You might find load times a little faster, or when the game has to swap textures from VRAM to system RAM, but on the whole it won't really matter if you get your system's RAM speed and timings to be faster.

*Ok so did a little searching and found a couple of my threads :D 
core vs memory:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/259144-29-ocing-depen...
PCIe frequency improving FPS:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/260686-29-pcie-freque...
Multicard benchmarks:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/289809-33-single-5850...
October 28, 2011 6:46:47 PM

wolfram23 said:
I'd be surprised if there was an FPS difference at all. It might help with the minimum FPS but the average, probably not. I think if you're looking for more FPS then OC the GPU more. I know you have the core up to 970, but the memory is where you'll make big gains.

Again, I have the data somewhere so I can find it tonight, but anyway, I did a bunch of FurMark runs. I tested it at different core speeds, mem speeds, and settings.

What I found was that with 0xAA, core speed made a huge difference. However, once you bring in 4xMSAA, suddenly increasing the core didn't make a difference. Only increasing the memory speed increased the FPS. Obviously this is just a benchmark and not representative of actual gameplay, but I think it should be fairly obvious that you'll want to get your memory speeds as high as possible on the GPU.

Your system ram isn't going to make near as much of a difference to gaming because most textures and such are going to be stored in the VRAM. You might find load times a little faster, or when the game has to swap textures from VRAM to system RAM, but on the whole it won't really matter if you get your system's RAM speed and timings to be faster.

*Ok so did a little searching and found a couple of my threads :D 
core vs memory:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/259144-29-ocing-depen...
PCIe frequency improving FPS:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/260686-29-pcie-freque...
Multicard benchmarks:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/289809-33-single-5850...



Thank you very much :D  Useful information indeed ^_^ Actually, I haven't gotten around to ocing the VRAM just yet - thought I'd see how high I could get the core first. But Will surely try the VRAM after that :)  WIll check out more of this threads also :) 

Is it the same principle with VRAM as with the core btw? Increasing voltage, testing stability etc?
a b à CPUs
a c 100 K Overclocking
October 28, 2011 6:52:00 PM

No, most cards will not allow you to increase the VRAM voltage. You're kind of stuck with what you get. Often, a slightly lower Core clock will allow a slightly higher Mem clock but that's about it. To change the VRAM voltage - and this only works with a few cards - you can sometimes do it through the BIOS. I was not able to do it with mine, though.
October 29, 2011 1:35:26 AM

wolfram23 said:
No, most cards will not allow you to increase the VRAM voltage. You're kind of stuck with what you get. Often, a slightly lower Core clock will allow a slightly higher Mem clock but that's about it. To change the VRAM voltage - and this only works with a few cards - you can sometimes do it through the BIOS. I was not able to do it with mine, though.


Ah, I see :)  I'll check if I can do it with mine, but I don't think so... haven't seen it in the BIOS menus. Hmm, that sucks. But at least I can up it somewhat, hopefully :)  Thanks for the advice :) 
a b à CPUs
a c 100 K Overclocking
October 29, 2011 6:16:52 PM

FYI when I said BIOS, I actually meant the VBIOS - as in the one on the video card and not the motherboard BIOS :) 
October 30, 2011 1:50:23 PM

wolfram23 said:
FYI when I said BIOS, I actually meant the VBIOS - as in the one on the video card and not the motherboard BIOS :) 


The video card has its own BIOS? :o 
a b à CPUs
a c 100 K Overclocking
October 30, 2011 3:26:54 PM

Yeah you bet! There's programs to edit it. If you run GPUZ you can download your VBIOS (perfectly safe) and then I think Techpowerup.com has the editors. I've modified my 5850 VBIOS' to run the cards at 870/1200 (stock is 700/1000) and it does it without any other programs running (MSI afterburner or CCC Overdrive). The cards just think that's how it's supposed to run :D 

A little warning though, if you go in and make the edits, the BIOS flash process can be a bit sketchy. Sometimes it doesn't quite work and you need to redo the process - but if you have only 1 GPU then you might not be able to see anything and therefore can't run the program. It's definitely not something I recommend doing.
October 30, 2011 4:22:53 PM

Aha :) 

Oh, scary. But do you have to flash the BIOS to edit?
a b à CPUs
a c 100 K Overclocking
October 30, 2011 6:37:35 PM

Well it depends on the card. Generally speaking if the option is available to be edited, it would appear in MSI Afterburner or other similar programs. I haven't heard of a GPU capable of having the VRAM voltage edited in a while though. So in that case if it's possible at all it would be through editing and flashing a new VBIOS.

For example when people flash their 6950s to unlock to a full 6970, I've heard that it not only increases the clocks and unlocks the full core, but it also increases the memory timings and voltage a bit too. That's why some people can't do the full flash.
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