[CPU] Need advice on overclocking i7 2600k to 4.5 GHz

Hey guys,

So I just built my new computer yesterday, played around on stock (games and prime95) and everything works nicely. Today I decided to start overclocking since I've been doing some research on the subject and it looks like it's worth the effort.

First I'll go over my specs:

i7 2600k
asrock z68 extreme3 gen3 motherboard
radeon 6950 graphics
ocz 550ZT PSU
8 gigs G.skill ripjaw ddr3 ram 1333
cooler master 690 ii case
cooler master 212 plus heatsink with arctic silver 5

My starting goal is 4.5 GHz stable, with HT on. I do a lot of gaming and live video streaming which is pretty CPU intensive so I think having an overclocked HTed rig will really make a difference. That being said, I don't plan on doing any crazy overclocking and I would like for my CPU to last me about 3 years so I want to keep the voltages down wherever possible.

Right now I'm stable with +.050V offset and I successfully ran P95 for an hour (didn't crash, I terminated it). I started by adding .005v from auto and got to like .03 but I was getting fed up of it BSOD after 8ish minutes of P95 so I just jumped it up to .050v to see what was going on. I suppose I should scale back a bit to see if there is a sweeter spot between .03v and .05v.

As for temps, for the first 18 minutes of P95 my cores were hovering in the mid-60s but then they shot up to the mid-high 70s when it started a new test. One of the cores hit 80c for a second but for the most part they hovered in the low-mid 70s for the next 40 minutes. I'm not too familiar with overclocking so is this a safe/ expected result for my setup?

There are a few things still confusing me, like how in my BIOS the CPU core voltage is reading around 1.34 (slightly fluctuating) but during the P95 tests it stayed at around 1.30-1.32v. I have a feeling this has to do with the LLC, which I have set to level 3 out of 5, but I'm not sure if I should be concerned about it.

Another weird thing I've noticed is that whenever I tried to set a fixed voltage in BIOS (say, 1.28 or 1.3) I would either BSOD immediately or run P95 only to have it crash a few seconds later. I also noticed that the voltages seemed to be sitting around 1.22-1.24 (about stock) so I'm not sure if this is another LLC related issue or something else entirely.

My BIOS settings are as follows:

Advanced turbo 50 -- disabled
load optimized cpu oc seting -- disabled

cpu ratio setting -- manual
max ratio -- 45
internal PLL overvoltage -- disabled
intel speedstep technology -- enabled
turbo boost power limit -- manual
short duration power limit -- 250
long udration power limit -- 250
long duration maintained - 1
additional turbo voltage -- auto
core current limit -- 250

host clock override (BCLK) -- 100.0 MHz
Spread Spectrum -- disabled

DRAM config:

everything on auto, ddr3-1333 9-9-9-24-1N

voltage control:

power saving mode- disabled
CPU core voltage- ~1.34
offset voltage - +.050v
cpu load line calibration (LLC) - level 3 (out of 5)
DRAM voltage - 1.499v
pch, cpu pll, vtt, vccsa volatge are all auto

in advanced CPU configuration:

Intel Hyper Threading tech. -- enabled
active processor cores -- all
hardware prefetcher -- enabled
adjacent cache line prefetch -- enabled

enhanced halt state (C1E) -- enabled
CPU C3 State Support -- disabled
CPU C6 state support -- disabled
Package C State support -- disabled
CPU thermal throttling -- enabled

intel virtualization tech. -- enabled
no-execute memory protection -- disabled

I read somewhere that I should turn off c3, c6 and package c state support if I am using a voltage offset, but turn them on if I have a fixed voltage. Don't really know too much about that or even if it changes anything for me.

Any clarification on these points is greatly appreciated! Like I said before I'm pretty new to overclocking but I think my goal of stable 4.5 GHz is pretty reasonable. I just want to be sure I'm doing everything properly!
2 answers Last reply
More about advice overclocking 2600k
  1. Well, I just did 4.5 stably but I don't have your mobo. The only changes I'd suggest to your bios setting are to disable speedstep and c1e. HT isn't a problem.
    Your heat seems high to me, but I'm not familiar with what to expect with that cooler. With my noctua NH14 cooler I'm seeing 61 C on 100% load 24/7 folding. Your voltage is more than sufficient to have 4.5 run stable. I'm doing it with 1.31 hard set in my bios.

    As for turning off c3, c1e and c6, I believe the stickied guides here recommend turning all that off.
  2. Read this guide:
    Follow the EXACT settings, however.

    Try 1.31V for VCORE and 45X multiplier!
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