Newbie to OC seeking help with i7 2600k OC on new gaming rig.

Hey, so I recently built my first computer and it just arrived today, I'm looking to overclock it from it's stock 3.4ghz to at least 4, possibly 4.5 if my machine can support that with stability. My rig is as follows:

Intel Core i7 2600K Quad Core Unlocked Hyperthreading Processor LGA1155 3.4GHZ Sandy Bridge 8MB
Corsair Cooling Hydro Series H80 High Performance CPU Cooler System LGA775 1366 1156 1155 AM2 AM3
ASUS Maximus IV EXTREME-Z Rog LGA1155 Z68 4PCI-E16 PCI-E4 PCI-E1 Lucidlogix Virtu Motherboard
Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1866C9 Vengeance 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1866 CL9-10-9-27 Memory Kit
GeForce GTX 580 772MHZ 1536MB 4GHZ GDDR5 PCI-E Dual DVI-I Mini HDMI
Cooler Master Haf 932 Advanced Full Tower EATX Case 7X5.25 2X3.5 5X3.5INT USB3.0 eSATA 1394 Black
Corsair Professional HX850W 850W ATX 12V 70A 24PIN ATX Modular Power Supply Active PFC 140MM Fan
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64BIT SP1 DVD OEM
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM 64MB SATA 6Gbps 3.5IN Internal Hard Drive - OEM
Intel 510 Series 120GB Solid State Drive SSD 2.5IN SATA 6GB/S Elm Crest

I was hoping someone might be able to provide insight suited more particularly to my machine. This is my first higher end machine and I'm looking to do this properly, so if possible I'd like some 'pro' insight so I don't just wing it based on my own research and risk damaging my machine.

I appreciate any and all advice, thanks in advance.
Also, I assume I'll want to get prime95 for temperature / voltage monitoring / management?

Also, after doing some reading apparently my motherboard is supposed to be made for easy over clocking however I didn't quite understand everything it said, if someone could elaborate that would be fantastic!
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More about newbie seeking 2600k gaming
  1. Yes I read the guides, but if you read my post I actually asked for more specific advice, if theirs anything I may additionally want to know or anything else.
  2. You will want to use HWmonitor for temps/voltage/mangement for frequency/voltage use cpu-z.
  3. These instructions were for the ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3, should work fine for your board:

    Download CPU-Z (monitor speed and voltage), RealTemp (monitor core temps) and Prime95 (CPU stress test):

    Visit this page:

    Scroll down to the post by "SimpleTech" and follow those exact instructions.

    After tweaking in BIOS open all 3 programs and start the Prime 95 blend test.

    Leave that on for 1-2 hours (longer if you want) and watch the temperatures - I'd worry if it hit 75+C. Make sure you turn off sleep mode in Windows.

    Then, you basically repeat the process but each time, you reduce the voltage by 0.1V without changing the Turbo Ratio. Once you get a BSOD (I got mine within 15 mins of not having enough voltage), you revert to the last CPU voltage that Prime 95 ran stable for 1-2 hours.

    Then, you can run Prime 95 for a longer time (24 hours is not surprising) to confirm stability.
  4. Overclocking is increasing the cpu ratio multiplier 47 or over up to 53, increasing the CPU vCore not more than 1.40V . Download and run CPU-z and HW monitor to monitor the system behavior(core temps) and run prime 95 for a minimum of 2 hrs and if the system does not crashed then the O'CD CPU is somewhat stable.
  5. This is the best OC guide I have found so far ... and it's official advice from Asus with screenshots of BIOS settings ... it's for P67 but works just fine for Z68 also dispels lotta myths.

    1. For K series parts, the stock voltage supplied will allow for consistent overclocking generally up to a multiplier of 43x. There is potential for the multi to be raised to 44x depending on the load induced. This default voltage range be approx 1.240 to 1.260 under load.
    2. Increased range between 44 to 47x multipliers will generally require a voltage range between 1.30 to 1.375V with an LLC recommended setting of high to ultra high.
    3. Increasing the range between 48 to 50x multiplier will generally require a voltage range between 1.40 to 1.500 with a LLC recommended setting of ultra high.
    4. Increased range between 50 to 52 (52 generally considered peak max multiplier except for rare 54x parts) will generally require a CPU voltage range between 1.515 to 1.535V with LLC at Ultra High and potential fine adjustments to the CPU skew range.

    Personally, I haven't gone beyond 1.408 - 1.416 for 4.8 to 5.0 Ghz
  6. Here's Asus' recommendations for 4.7 Ghz and below from the above thread

    All bios values to Auto except for those noted-
    CPU Turbo Multiplier
    Dram Voltage to specification
    Internal testing has shown Auto Values will allow for stability in all forms of testing including high synthetic high load applications (Linx, Prime95, Occt ). In the event general stability is not achieved in these synthetic high load applications, you can adjust the noted values for improved stability.
    Digi + VRM options
    VRM frequency to 350 – Requires setting to manual adjustment and entering the specified value.
    4.7GHz and above
    CPU Turbo Multiplier – To desired value
    Dram Voltage to specification
    Digi + VRM options
    VRM Frequency change to 350 – this value will allow for scaling to 50+ multi without issues
    Phase Control change to extreme – this value will allow for scaling to 50+ multi without issues
    Duty Control change to extreme - this value will for scaling to 50+ multi without issues.
    No other values need to be changed. Unless otherwise noted all other UEFI values used are AUTO.
    K series overclocking and its affect on subsystem performance especially HD performance
    Quick note regarding options that can affect subsystem performance
    It is NOT advised to make adjustments to Cstates as this can considerably affect hard drive throughput performance ( especially SATA6G SSD or Sandforce 2 based SSD ). It is recommended that all CPU power configuration states be left on their default parameters. Overclocking tests have shown internally no increase in multiplier scaling when adjusting these values. * under special cases with high multi capable CPUs and synthetic high load applications ( Linx, Prime, Occt ) it may required C states to be disabled. This has generally only been confirmed for some 51-54 multi capable CPU’s.
    K series overclocking benefits from adjustments to Digi+ VRM options
    Advanced Digi+ VRM options recommendations
    This has shown in internal testing not to improve overclocking, yet may still maintain the same level of stability while being lowered from its default value in order to keep the CPU cooler.
    The adjustment of this voltage may help to slightly improve the overclocking capability of the IMC / DRAM, even though the default voltage is enough to run at a 2133MHz DRAM frequency. A 1.20v setting is more than adequate to maximize Memory overclocks in most cases.
    This setting did not improve overclocking, yet the user can maintain the same level of stability while lowering its default value in order to keep the CPU cooler.
    PCH Voltage
    This setting did not improve overclocking, yet the user can maintain the same level of stability while lowering its default value in order to keep the CPU/PCH cooler.
    This setting did not improve overclocking, yet the user can maintain the same level of stability while lowering its default value in order to keep the CPU/PCH cooler.
    K series overclocking and how BCLK is affected and how to best optimize BCLK scaling
    Quick Note for BCLK tuning
    BCLK clocking is considerably reduced with this new CPU architecture and as such it is recommended to focus on Turbo Multiplier adjustments for overclocking. With that noted should you choose to make adjustments to the BCLK, ASUS has enabled extensive control to maximizing scaling.
    Internal testing shows BCLK ranges from 102 to 109.1 with the largest level of scaling dependency placed on the quality of the CPU. CPU Frequency and speed is also directly tied to BCLK scaling. Internally we know that BCLK tuning largely depends on the CPU with approximately but we have noticed up to a 20% dependency on scaling potential based on the board design and PWM utilized.
  7. Here's another set of advice:

    Overclocking to 4700MHz (4.7GHz) ~ 4900MHz (4.9GHz)@ 1.35v.

    Ai Overclock Tuner - Manual
    BCLK/PEG Frequency - 100

    Turbo Ratio:

    By All Cores (Can Adjust In OS) - 48

    Memory Frequency - Set to AUTO or 1333MHz for now - If you are using high speed memory, please still leave this setting low while we find out what the CPU can do.

    CAS Latency - 8
    RAS to CAS Delay - 9
    RAS Pre Time - 8
    RAS ACT Time - 24
    DRAM Command Mode - 1T

    CPU Voltage - Manual Mode
    CPU Manual Voltage - 1.35v - This is our maximum voltage for this section of the guide.
    DRAM Voltage - 1.5v - Same as last time!

    VCCIO Voltage - 1.0v - This voltage is for the memory controller, at this stage, you may not need to increase it, but by taking it off Auto, you remove the board's ability to over-volt it at high clock speeds, which it does do. Lower clocks are fine on auto.
    VCCSA Voltage - 0.9v - This is the System Agent voltage (part of the CPU that isn't the cores), and after extensive testing, there is no real need to adjust this much, at least not at this stage.
  8. Did you look through this guide?

    Posted by Brian@ASUS:

    Maximus IV Extreme Bios, Sandybridge CPU Overview, and CPU Overclocking Guide
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