Looking for some feedback on a mild dilemma that I'm having. Take a look at my system in my signature line. Does it actually make it worthwhile from a performance perspective to chase a higher OC on the CPU? I am at a stable OC with 4.2Ghz, at offset voltage -0.065 (temps ranging from ~30c idle to ~60c P95), but going to 4.3 still isn't stable even though I'm already down (or up?) to offset -0.030. When I decided on this system, I pretty much settled on going up to 4.2Ghz and keeping that as my OC, but I'm reading so much on people easily going up 4.4Ghz that I'm more inclined to go up there - but currently my voltage and heat are at such good levels I'm not sure if it's even really worth moving up from there. Intel is still new to me, so I'm not confident on making educated decisions with such things.
Also, just as an FYI, my UEFI settings for the current OC are:
CPU Ratio: All Cores
All Core: 42
CPU voltage: Offset Mode
Offset Voltage: -0.065
CPU LLC: Level 5
Everything else not mentioned above are on the default settings. I want all power saving features enabled as I care very much about saving on my electricity bill!
Looking forward to all replies, long or short! Thanks in advance.
What cooler are you using? those temps are completly fine, on the intel side, everything under 70ish ºC per core is great. And @ 4.2ghz is plenty for todays use and gaming. A friend using a watercooling loop could push his i5 3570k to 4.5ghz for every day use, of course he had a triple rad + doal rad set up and room temps kinda low.
Going past 4.2Ghz with offset on the SB/IB chips can be more of a pain in the butt than you would ever imagine. I can boot 4.4Ghz at -0.050 however not be stable. At -0.035 I can boot and be stable at high load until I drop to an idle and get that low voltage drop that just irritates me, even at high LLC as it's not the droop causing it but exactly how low it drops. Now if I run 0.020 or so I can easily hit 4.4Ghz completely stable and run temperatures into the high 70's which draw over 1.35v into my 2600k which I don't personally like. I prefer to stay under 1.3 myself.
Now the funny thing? At 1.215 I can run stable all day with a fixed voltage at 4.4Ghz. So finding that fine line with the voltage offset is a pain in the butt. And if you're wanting to see max temperatures, use IntelBurnTest/Linpack. That isn't the best stability test in the world but will find major instability fast as well as push your chip to a higher temperature than anything you'll personally do with it. At 4.0Ghz @ -0.050v offset and LLC at it's lowest setting (hardly any LLC) I run perfectly stable and IBT only gets me to 60C max and prime can only push it to about 54C.
So the chip can be very finicky after 4.0-4.2Ghz with the offset voltage. But that is the price we pay for wanting to save on the electric bill at the end of the month. I say try it and see where you can boot at and be stable with a fixed voltage and then work around that with the offset. You'll probably have to have a higher voltage pumping at load to keep it from backing off and idle bsoding.
Is the electric bill really that big of a deal when deciding to OC your cpu...... I use a kill-a-watt meter and only pull 289W tops while gaming with an i5-3570k @ 4.2Ghz and a EVGA GTX 660 2GB SC @ +75, +500 110% power target with 1025mV.
I'd rather go to firstname.lastname@example.org while it's sitting there for 15-16 hours a day at an idle. Then when I need the 4.0+Ghz, it's there on command. Overall since I've switched to the offset style of voltage from fixed, I have had about a seven dollar decrease in my electric bill in an average of three months without changing my normal other habits. So it's most likely this PC being so low clocked/voltage during idle as it's on 24/7 as my home file server as well as my main desktop.
Even 10 dollars over 3 months doesn't seem like it is worth it to me; however, that is a cool idea since home servers usually don't need much power. I still have an underclocked/volted Q6600 acting as my server.
I never put much thought into saving energy. Heck most of the time our TV is on with no one watching it. Although our son (just turned one) enjoys watching mickey mouse club house over and over lol. We did stop using the surround sound because he has a tendency to play with the buttons and turns it up then cries. Every time he'd have a holy sh!t look on his face which was priceless.
Thanks for all the feedback. I settled on 4.2Ghz simply because it seems to be the optimal option. At 4.3, I'm already looking at considerably higher voltages and heat, and considering that at 4.2 I'm already at solid gaming performance and, of course, way over-kill in terms of normal system use, I'm simply not interested in synthetic outcomes at the cost of higher temps and lower power efficiency. If the choice was, say, between 4.2 and 4.6, then I'd consider it, but honestly at 4.3, the extra 100Mhz don't justify the ~15c temperature increase... I could OC AMD chips quite well, but this being so new to me (Intel and UEFI), I asked for help and I appreciate the feedback!
As for the electricity bill savings debate, actually, it's not even so much the $20 or the $1 savings - it's the fact that I try my best to be environmentally conscientious. Yes this can open a whole new can of worms, but oh well, I do care.