Overclocking Problem... PSU's fault?

Specs (new build):
CPU- i5 3570k w/ Hyper 212 + 120mm fan for pushpull
GPU- asus hd7870
PSU- XFX Core Edition PRO550W
MB- ASRock Z77 Pro4

RAM- GSkill RipjawsX 8g (4x2)
Case- NZXT Phantom full tower
DVD- some asus OEM standard dvdrw
HDD- WD caviar blue 500g

Ok, here's the problem.

I overclocked the i5 3570k ivy at 4.4ghz @ 1.2v, tested stable for a bit in prime 95.
I tried a bit of OCing on the card but I got artifacts/BSOD so I stepped it down.

Went into some games - Starcraft 2, Dota 2 - and got stuttering / freezes / crashes.
So I stepped the GPU OC all the way back down to factory - still stuttering / crashes in-game.

I tried re-installing drivers, installing old drivers, etc. Nothing worked.
Then I read that if your PSU isn't putting out enough power, you will get stuttering/crashing/etc.
So I reverted my CPU OC back to factory and rebooted... and everything worked perfectly.

Then I tried to get the CPU as high as possible on standard volts / -0.005v offset. Got it to 3.8 / 3.9, don't want to go any further.

So that's where I am right now. If I put more volts into the CPU to bring it to 4.0+, I start getting stuttering in-game.
It isn't the temps, I monitor them and they are perfectly within range of expected temperature.

Also I've noticed that while running Prime95 and Kombustor at the same time to test CPU + GPU load, It only allows the GPU's load to fluctuate around 65% - 70%.
When I turn Prime95 off, GPU load properly goes to 100%.

This leads me to believe that it must be a lack of power, because the individual stress testing of the CPU and GPU's overclocks are perfectly fine. But when tested together in a game, or together in a benchmark, they can't run at full power without stuttering/crashing/sacrificing load on one or the other.
17 answers Last reply
More about overclocking problem fault
  1. IB runs really hot. Is it possible that the CPU is throttling with the OC? That PSU is pretty good, so i don't think that is the problem.
  2. That power supply is plenty powerful enough to run an IB CPU and GPU with them both overclocked. Maybe the mobo can't handle the stress? Try reducing the overclock on both until you can get it to run stable. It could be the RAM, too.
  3. yes, I've heard ivy bridge is inferior to sandy bridge for overclocking and behaves differently, as well as the heat/power issues. might want to check some guides.

    I doubt its bottleneck a 7870 at stock anyway though so why bother. focus on the 7870. You did adjust the powertune slider all the way over when you pushed its clock up right?
  4. here two reviews of that PSU:
    so i have some doubt about a flonky PSU but of course it is not outside the realm of possibility.

    a maxiumu power consumption for a 7870 asus DCII is 233 watts:
    even adding 150 watts for the i5, which is a huge overestimation, that is putting 32 amps on the 12 volt rail; under specs.

    we can guess all day long though until you test with another PSU.

    btw, lower your volts!
    Undervolting and Overclocking on Ivy Bridge
  5. It is reliable now with 3.8ghz @ -0.005v offset, and the GPU at stock.
    In-game everything is fine, but that is because I don't have any games that actually challenge this system.

    However, if the CPU and GPU are both under 100% load in benchmarking, it stutters + kicks the GPU back down to like 70% load.

    There must be a setting I'm missing in the bios somewhere that will fix this problem.
    I'm pretty new to overclocking so I was just experimenting with voltage, ratio, and LLC levels.
  6. Quote:
    There must be a setting I'm missing in the bios somewhere that will fix this problem.
    I'm pretty new to overclocking so I was just experimenting with voltage, ratio, and LLC levels.

    please state your motherboard so maybe someone can help navigate the bios if that is the problem.
  7. It is an ASRock Z77 Pro4
  8. lol, op beat me to it
  9. BIOS Settings:
    Advanced Turbo 30 - Disabled
    Load Optimized CPU OC Setting - Disabled
    Load Optimized GPU OC Setting - Disabled
    CPU Ratio - All Core 38
    Spread Spectrum - Auto
    Intel Speedstep - Enabled
    Intel Turbo Boost - Enabled
    Additional Turbo Voltage - Auto
    Internal PLL Overvoltage - Disabled
    Long Duration Power Limit - Auto
    Long Duration Maintained - Auto
    Short Duration Power Limit - Auto
    Primary Plane Current Limit - Auto
    Secondary Plane Current Limit - Auto
    GT Overclocking Support - Disabled
    DRAM Timing Configuration - DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24 1.50v
    Power Saving Mode -Disabled
    CPU Voltage Offset - Offset Mode -0.005v
    CPU Load-Line Calibration - 100%
    DRAM Voltage - 1.500v
    VTT Voltage - 1.076v
    PCH Voltage - 1.059v
    CPU PLL Voltage - 1.832v
    VCCSA voltage - 0.925v
  10. WHOA!
    that load line calibration is too high, please google LLC to find out that could spike your cpu. have you read any guides? or are you "sorta" guessing?

    though this really isn't on topic . . . do you have the ability to test with another PSU?
  11. No, I can't test with another PSU.

    I'd like to get a proper overclock. I read this guide (http://www.overclock.net/t/1198504/sandy-ivy-bridge-complete-overclocking-guide-asrock-edition), but the LLC instructions are different. My only three LLC options are 0%, 50%, and 100%.

    LLC at 4.2ghz:
    100% - 1.160v
    50% - 1.192v
    0% - 1.248v
  12. edit: fixed monitor issue.

    Ok, I'll buy another PSU to test with.

    I'm guessing 650w would be best?
  13. it would be wise to step up though is there a brick and mortar store around so that you can return the PSU if it isn't the problem?
  14. Is V-sync on? You may be getting tearing. :/
  15. Its more like FPS lag spikes, where it will dip down 20 or 30 fps for a second, then return to normal.
  16. What is your RAM and vRAM usage?
  17. Now I'm trying OCCT's Power Supply test and it is extremely laggy/stutters a lot.
    Is it normal for the PSU test in OCCT to be laggy?

    Here's what appears to be happening: The GPU will get to 99% or 100% load for a few secs, but the system kicks it back down, thus causing a stutter/lag spike for a second. It will keep repeating this process.

    RAM and VRAM usage seem to be normal, fluctuating depending on the game.
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