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Fluctuating CPU frequency driving me bonkers!

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October 20, 2012 8:09:44 PM

Hi Folks,

I just finished building my new rig and wondered if you could give some advice on overclocking.

Asus P8Z77-V
8 gig Corsair vengeance 1600mhz
i5-3570K

I am having some issues (i think) with power-saving. I tried using the auto overclock tuner software, but when i reboot and get to the post screen
it always shows the same default cpu speed and no mention of the new overclocked frequency. Also i went in to bios (reluctantly), changed the
cpu ratio to manual and inputed 44 and checked BLCK to 100, but the frequency in win 7 (64bit) is fluctuating and all over the place. I am checking
details using 'cpuz' and 'real temp', but it isnt staying at a set 4.4mhz.

I have turned off the things in the bios that i think are power saving features but its still changing. What am i missing maybe?

I tried setting the vcore voltage to 1.25 but the pc kept shutting down/starting up over and over until (i think) it set the right voltage. This shutting
off and turning on again makes me nervous lol. Makes my think ive done something drastic. Not used to it in this new bios. I just want a stable OC
that i can try with a stress test.

Any help would he awesome.


P.S Is i it ok to overclock the cpu but keep the ram at 1600?
a b å Intel
a b K Overclocking
a c 139 à CPUs
October 20, 2012 8:23:13 PM

In ai tweaker, cpu power management there is options for long duration power limit, long duration maintained, etc, put those up. None of the power saving features affects this so you should turn on speedstep and c states if you turned them off.

You can have ram speed at whatever you want, it doesn't make much difference.
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October 20, 2012 8:26:07 PM

Despite the vcore being changed, cpuz is now saying the vcore is 0.92v. It looks like powersaving to me. Do you agree? for it to keep changing. Also i set the the BCLK was set to 100 and now the asus software is saying its back to 102 again.

Why does the motherboard keep changing settings back. Surely 100 x 44 should warrant a revert backwards.

The core speed and multiplier are going up and down.. x16 then x41 etc.

If someone could maybe give there Uefi settings, i could try them. Just not sure what to do. This new bios is so new, i'm not used to it. Took me ages to work out that you type the settings in. I was half expecting a drop down list of frequencies to choose from.


a b å Intel
a b K Overclocking
a c 139 à CPUs
October 20, 2012 8:33:04 PM

Ah you mean going down to 1.6ghz. Well it doesn't affect performance so why care. Unless you are at full load and it's going down, then that is another issue. Although you can force it to stay full clocks in windows if you change the power settings to minimum 100%. OC software in windows sometimes will override the bios and bios is better anyways so don't ever use the software or even uninstall it.
a b K Overclocking
a b à CPUs
October 20, 2012 9:07:44 PM

ymo1965 said:
Despite the vcore being changed, cpuz is now saying the vcore is 0.92v. It looks like powersaving to me. Do you agree? for it to keep changing. Also i set the the BCLK was set to 100 and now the asus software is saying its back to 102 again.

Why does the motherboard keep changing settings back. Surely 100 x 44 should warrant a revert backwards.

The core speed and multiplier are going up and down.. x16 then x41 etc.

If someone could maybe give there Uefi settings, i could try them. Just not sure what to do. This new bios is so new, i'm not used to it. Took me ages to work out that you type the settings in. I was half expecting a drop down list of frequencies to choose from.


you really need to read more guides before OCing. all the things you have said are completely normal. you should never use auto overclocking either. the motherboard companies tend to overvolt the cpus at any given clock speed.
a b å Intel
a c 121 K Overclocking
a c 309 à CPUs
October 20, 2012 9:34:51 PM

Not to worry.
When there is minimal load on the cpu, speedstep or EIST reduces the multiplier to 16.
That is normal. It saves power without affecting performance.
If you push the cpu to full load, say with prime95, it will peg at 41, your overclock number
October 21, 2012 12:38:07 AM

Many thanks to all who replied. I thank you so very much for your time. All i really want is to overclock and for it to stay consistent. My main issue is that when people overclock using this mobo, i never seem to read about issues such as mine (fluctuating frequencies). Surely if change settings like other fold, with the same bios then i should (of sorts) get a similar result?

I understand that each CPU is different, so final OC result will differ... but i am referring to set frequencies CHANGING and i never seem to read about similar issues with other people with same hardware.

I now know that OC settings are not shown in the info reported from the chip itself, i.e 3.5mhz chip does not show the over clock value (only AMD does that it seems). I just want an overclock that is consistent.

Someone above mentioned about using win 7 to keep the settings the same. I tried this and i cant seem to get what he/she means.

I am the type to love to see even the OC value so i know its overclocked. With AMD an overclock is shown when you right-click 'my computer' in win 7. With intel it doesnt seem to be the same (bugger). All this fluctuating frequency might not mean much to the pro's, but to someone like me i have doubt whether playing a game is using 4.4 ghz instead of much lower(as it keeps changing). Theres no way of telling as you play a game what speed your game is running at.

Very frustrated!!
October 21, 2012 12:49:08 AM

In response to GEOFELT,... hello and thank you friend for your kind advice. The problem i have is that for some reason i set the CPU to 4.4 and when i get into win 7 the utilities are showing 4.1. Its like the mobo is changing things,

When i have tried to copy settings from websites like youtube, i make a list of the settings they have made, but some of the settings they have are missing, making me thing there BIOS version is different to mine. This doesnt help matters
October 21, 2012 1:03:42 AM

In simple terms... why is it people with the same rig as me never complain about roaming cpu frequencies? i just want to set the speed and for it to stay there till i change it again.

IS it normal for these motherboards to shutdown (after a reboot or bios change) then pause... and then fire up again? its real weird watching it. Never know whether its changing something i inputed wrong, or if its just normal.

Please put this trouble mind at rest lol

a b à CPUs
October 21, 2012 1:04:56 AM

Here is the thing your fluctuating frequency is based on the load on the processor caused by programs (running a cpu intensive program like Folding at Home or similar that gives a consistent load would keep it from fluctuating). The can also fluctuate if the CPU starts to overheat to keep it from cooking itself to death. The best thing you could do if run CPU-Z along with a CPU intensive application that loads up all of your CPU cores and see if it fluctuates then and what frequency you get this will also help you see if your overclock is stable.

Other then that keep your power saving features like speedstep on they allow your CPU to cool down after you use it and also increase the life of your CPU (considering Overclocking lowers its lifespan a bit).
October 21, 2012 2:14:32 AM

I have a similar build. Run Asus ui tools. Run the system tuner, get ur CPU to 4.4-4.6 it will say oc successful. Your of will always be there but the CPU and voltage will ALWAYS throttle. Its a power and efficiency feature.
a b å Intel
a c 121 K Overclocking
a c 309 à CPUs
October 21, 2012 2:31:57 AM

ymo1965 said:
In response to GEOFELT,... hello and thank you friend for your kind advice. The problem i have is that for some reason i set the CPU to 4.4 and when i get into win 7 the utilities are showing 4.1. Its like the mobo is changing things,

When i have tried to copy settings from websites like youtube, i make a list of the settings they have made, but some of the settings they have are missing, making me thing there BIOS version is different to mine. This doesnt help matters


The bios will change settings that are not working in order to be able to start.
In this case, I think it is changing from 44 and the delay in startup is trying to find a setting that will work.
44 may be too aggresive.
I suggest you back off everything to default or auto.
Then raise ONLY the multiplier from the default 34 gradually by 2 steps at a time and see how you do.
Leave the voltages on auto and don't fiddle with them.
Leave the ram at whatever the auto speed is. Increasing ram speed is worth perhaps 1-2fps or 2% in real app performance.
Test for stability with prime95.
Let it run long enough for the temperatures to stabilize. Use realtemp to check.
verify with cpu-z that you are running at the multiplier that you set.

Not all chips will OC to the same levels. 4.0 or 4.2 might be right for you.
That is more than enough for most any gaming.
a b K Overclocking
a b à CPUs
October 21, 2012 2:53:32 AM

The reason no one ever complains about the clock speeds going up and down is because it's not a problem. You use less energy when you don't need it, create less heat so components last longer, and you won't notice any difference at all, there is absolutely no reason to disable the power saving features on your CPU.
And yeah that pause and then restart again during initial boot is a weird, but common thing the sandy bridge boards do.
a b å Intel
a b K Overclocking
a c 139 à CPUs
October 21, 2012 5:14:30 AM

Alright I believe there are 2 different issues. 1) Going down to 1.6ghz when idle. 2) It is set to 4.4 in bios but is only 4.1 in windows. Issue 1 is not important. Amd has cool n quiet, intel has speedstep, they do the same thing downclocking your cpu when idle. Your phenom x4 should also downclock when idle even if it is overclocked.

For issue 2, you need to be running something like prime95 so you cpu is full load to be in full speed. If it is fluctuating from 4.1 to 4.4 while it's running, change the duration settings I said in my first post. If it's only going to 4.1 I suspect the asus windows software to be conflicting with the oc and just uninstall it. As geofelt said, you really don't have to change any setting but the multiplier when overclocking. Youtube is not really a good place for info as amateurs doing the wrong thing will post and you wouldn't know.

Windows saying the correct speed is inconsistently correct for both amd and intel. So this is not an amd/intel issue.

The multiple reboots is an asus issue, I thought they had fixed that, but it's not bad.

Just an fyi, the power thing I was talking about: control panel > power options > change plan settings > change advanced power settings > processor power management > minimum processor state 100%. But this will increase power and heat and there is no point in having it stuck in full speed all the time.
October 21, 2012 11:16:42 AM

Thanks for all your much appreciated advice and time. I am beginning now to see how this new UEFI bios is working. I did try to set the BCLK to 100, but the mobo for some reason doesn't like this ratio and change to 102/103. One thing i don't like with this mobo/bios is that i can never really experiment with many settings (including vcore) because if i do, the pc powers down...pause...restarts for a few seconds... shuts down... rinse and repeat until it (Seems to me) to find something stable and after several restarts and goes into windows.

Is this some sort of fancy ASUS safe-guard against newbs like me? lol
well, what i did was (shock horror) use the Asus overclock utility and now i am running stable at 4385mhz with a vcore of 1.232v. I have read many OC experts don't like these utilities because they tend to up the vcore too much. I can understand this, but 1.232 doesn't see seem bad for a 4.3 overclock.

Temps on 'Real temp 3.70' are currently 24c 24c 29c 27c idle, 65c 69c 68c 66c full load using Prime95 for the past 55mins.

I did try 4.5 and even 4.4 but i kept getting bsod and also that restart/shutdown syndrome and it was doing my head in. If it keeps stable with the current 4.3 setting then i am more than happy.

There are so many little functions in the bios that might have a slight tweak on the performance. Do you recommend any favourites features that might help things? Many of these new features really do go over my head, I am trying my best to learn what i can but in the past two years since i bought my last asus motherboard, they really have moved things forward in terms of complexity and features.

Just a few other questions...

(1) In the UEfi bios on the first screen you see are 3 performance settings shown as 3 graphical sicons. If i change it to max (3rd option far right) and then go back into the bios at a later date, it seems to of disabled/unselected the option i chose. Is this normal?

(2) I can see now that under full load the chosen overclock is reached, but is this same speed achieved when playing a game for example when the pc is not fully stressed? will it be only partially overclocked for applications that down push to full load?

Many thanks to all

October 21, 2012 11:33:43 AM

Forgot to mention that i am using the Noctua NH-D14. What an awesome/mind boggling heatsink/fan. Its a monster. Inside my Coolermaster Storm Enforcer Mid Tower its looks the business. The dogs danglies as my dad would say :) 

a b K Overclocking
a b à CPUs
October 21, 2012 11:44:25 AM

If it keeps restarting and changing settings, it is because you have selected some setting that is causing instability, or simply won't allow it to boot at all, so it in fact does start resetting things until it finds a setting that will allow it to boot. Just because all those settings are there, and other people are getting them to work, does not mean they will work with your CPU. Every CPU is different, and people will achieve different overclocking success to some degree or another.

And once again, we will tell you that the downclocking and power saving features on your CPU will have no effect on your PC's overall performance. It will clock to full available speed, and use as many cores as the program needs, actual or virtual, (hyperthreading, although your particular processor does not have hyperthreading) in the background without you ever noticing a thing.

The only thing you really need to do in the BIOS is set the XM profile for your memory, and then where the option to manually set the highest turbo rate the processor will overclock to when the demand is called for, just enter a value manually. I have mine set at 44, which gives my CPU a maximum turbo boost of 4.4ghz, and if that is what you are doing, for whatever reason your processor may simply not like that much. This is where you really have to start tweaking, and in my opinion, if you need to start messing with everything else, like voltages, buss speed, memory speeds, ect, then you are trying to push things too far, and stability will always become an issue. Always. Just back it off a little, and be happy. You aren't going to see any real world difference anyway, just in benchmarks and benchmarks don't mean everything.

It is also a fact the ivy bridge does not overclock nearly as well as the sandy bridge counterparts did, but they are slightly faster clock per clock anyway, along the lines of 4-6% in most situations.
a b å Intel
a c 121 K Overclocking
a c 309 à CPUs
October 21, 2012 3:29:29 PM

ymo1965 said:
Thanks for all your much appreciated advice and time. I am beginning now to see how this new UEFI bios is working. I did try to set the BCLK to 100, but the mobo for some reason doesn't like this ratio and change to 102/103. One thing i don't like with this mobo/bios is that i can never really experiment with many settings (including vcore) because if i do, the pc powers down...pause...restarts for a few seconds... shuts down... rinse and repeat until it (Seems to me) to find something stable and after several restarts and goes into windows.

Is this some sort of fancy ASUS safe-guard against newbs like me? lol
well, what i did was (shock horror) use the Asus overclock utility and now i am running stable at 4385mhz with a vcore of 1.232v. I have read many OC experts don't like these utilities because they tend to up the vcore too much. I can understand this, but 1.232 doesn't see seem bad for a 4.3 overclock.

Temps on 'Real temp 3.70' are currently 24c 24c 29c 27c idle, 65c 69c 68c 66c full load using Prime95 for the past 55mins.

I did try 4.5 and even 4.4 but i kept getting bsod and also that restart/shutdown syndrome and it was doing my head in. If it keeps stable with the current 4.3 setting then i am more than happy.

There are so many little functions in the bios that might have a slight tweak on the performance. Do you recommend any favourites features that might help things? Many of these new features really do go over my head, I am trying my best to learn what i can but in the past two years since i bought my last asus motherboard, they really have moved things forward in terms of complexity and features.

Just a few other questions...

(1) In the UEfi bios on the first screen you see are 3 performance settings shown as 3 graphical sicons. If i change it to max (3rd option far right) and then go back into the bios at a later date, it seems to of disabled/unselected the option i chose. Is this normal?

(2) I can see now that under full load the chosen overclock is reached, but is this same speed achieved when playing a game for example when the pc is not fully stressed? will it be only partially overclocked for applications that down push to full load?

Many thanks to all


Do not use the automated bios overclocking option. They are more agressive than they should be. The default BCLK for ivy bridge is 100. The chip is very sensitive to exceeding this base number. The increase on performance of 2-3% is not worth it.

You cooler and temperatures are excellent. The 3570K will overclock nicely up to the poiunt where the voltage needs to be increased. Under higher voltage, the chip does not dissipate heat very well, and you soon reach your stable limit.

To answer your questions,
1) Before the introduction of the newer bios'es, an unusable overclock would have resulted in a frozen cpu requiring a clearing of cmos and starting all over. Today, there are fail safe recovery options, and that is what you are seeing. That is normal and even good.
2) The change from the lower to higher multiplier is very fast, and has no impact on performance at any load.

Lastly. Don't be greedy. Limit yourself to a good stable overclock. Intel only guarantees 3.4 when using the stock cooler.
With a good chip and a superior cooler, they allow you to see how much better you can do. Anything past 3.4 and you are a winner.
!