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Core i5-2500 (no k)

I've got an ASRock H67M mobo with an i5-2500 CPU. I had been running a utility I copied from one of my laptops, "Intel (R) Turbo Boost Technology Monitor 2.5", a little gadget that displays the instantaneous processor speed. Typically it shows 3.3 GHz (base) and every few seconds bumps up to 3.4 or 3.5 then back down again (the higher numbers are in a lighter shade of blue than the base 3.3 GHz).

So for some reason I decided to be stupid, and I ran the ASRock Extreme Tuning Utility, since I was encoding with Handbrake and thought I'd see if I could give it a little boost. Even though I'm not supposed to be able to overclock a non-k CPU.

As I recall when I first ran the ASRock utility, my default CPU ratio was set to 16. So I bumped it up to 17 and everything seemed fine. Except the Intel monitor utility showed nothing, no bar. Instead of the blue bar sitting at 3.3, it was gone. Then I ran the 64-bit version of TMonitor, and it showed me a flat 1600 MHz across all four cores. So I eventually discovered that if I used the ASRock utility to bump up the CPU ratio to 33, the Intel monitoring utility looks normal again while encoding with Handbrake. The blue bar is there at 3.3 GHz.

But I shouldn't have to overclock the utility to get back to 3.3 GHz, the i5-2500 is supposed to run at that by default, especially when Handbrake is pegging all four cores to 99.9%. And I seem to have lost all TurboBoost, as the CPU sits at whatever the ASRock OC'ing utility has the CPU ratio set to. I've checked in the UEFI/BIOS and the OC section is set to "Auto", overclocking not "Enabled" in UEFI/BIOS.

Have I screwed things up, or is this behavior normal? For one thing I thought the non-k version of the i5-2500 wasn't overclockable, so how come I can take it from 16 to 33? And why do I have to overclock it to 33 just to get it to run like it should?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Worst case, I'll clear the CMOS/BIOS and start from scratch, but if anyone knows what's going on, I could use some enlightenment.
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  1. Best answer
    You can go down just not up on the cpu. 16 is what the cpu would do at idle.

    I would restore the default settings in the software and the bios if needed.

    The software may want to mess with the base clock, but you have to take care with it.

    As for turbo, as long as you stay within the thermal limits, it should still work.

    I have never been a fan of in windows overclocking, but I did play with some Asus software to tweak my voltage.
  2. Yeah, thanks, I recently found on Intel's website that 33 is the default clock, so I guess I was underclocking my CPU without realizing it! Not sure why I don't see the turbo boost showing up on the Intel monitor, but at least it shows it briefly going down to 1.6 occasionally. That's what I get for casually screwing around.
  3. Best answer selected by mbreslin1954.
  4. The non-K i5s aren't completely locked: they have 4 ratio settings (400MHz) of OC room. They have limited overclocking, but not none.

    16 to 33 isn't actually an OC. The base clock is set to 100 MHz for the second gen I series. 16 x 100 = 1.6GHz is the base IDLE clock speed; 33 x 100 = 3.3 is the default clock at full load. Remember, CPUs for a while have automatically underclocked at idle to save power (Intel SpeedStep / AMD Cool&Quiet).

    It sounds to me like this utility you're using is just taking over the CPU speed from the normal setting which varies the speed (up = turboboost or down = speedstep) on demand. Nothing appears to be "damaged" :)
  5. Well that was quick: the whole thing gets wrapped up while I was still typing!
  6. as SchizTech says, you did NO harm. Hell you may be able to touch those higher multis if you stay within the limits, but in general turbo will take care of you.

    For instance, you you are only hitting one core, the others will sleep allowing that single core to clock it self higher(3.7) all on its own. with 2 cores loaded it will not be quite as high and with 3 less. The cpu will take care of it self for you.
  7. I noticed that the ASRock software messed with the OC settings in UEFI/BIOS, so I went into UEFI/BIOS and loaded the defaults, then customized them (AHCI, turning off parallel port, etc.), and everything's back to normal now! Turbo boost seems to be running fine. Thanks for the help everyone!
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