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I7 3770k Overclock trouble :(

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January 6, 2013 1:56:05 PM

Hello,

I'm new around here and also new to overclocking.

First my new system setup:

CPU: i7 3770K
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77 - V Deluxe (Bios Updated to the latest Version)
Ram: Kingston HyperX KHX2133C11D3K4/16GX 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 RATED @ 1.65V :( 
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i
GPU: Gtx 680
PSU: Corsair AX1200 (Overkill but I got it cheap as brand new,so could not say no).

As you can tell this system is built purely for gaming at max settings with no less than 60 FPS.

Now, since I built the system few days ago my goal was to overclock the CPU to 4.5 Ghz since I have been told/read 4.5Ghz is what I should aim for gaming wise. My Problem is that I got one of the worst i7 3770K chips or so I believe. I have reached stability after 3 days of testing and lowering the cVolt as much as my CPU accept. Tests were done using Prime95 running overnight, Intel Burner 20 Standard runs and 3D Mark 11.

Before O.C my 3d Mark score is 10800, after O.C it is 11466.

Mobo Settings:

X.M.P: Profile 2 (My rams are rated 2133 but I used the second profile for 1866 @ 1.65V)

LLC: High (50%)

CPU power response Control: Fast (200)

CPU phase Control: Standard (Did not touch this)

CPU Current Capability: 140%

CPU VOLTAGE (vCore): 1.360V :(  <<< My problem

As you can see my CPU need lots of Voltage to stay stable at 45X multiplier. I have done everything I could to lower it as much as possible, and searched the net upside down for a solution to this but I could not find any. I want to stay at 4.5Ghz but this voltage is too high and makes my CPU with H100i under full load gets up to 80-90 Celsius using performance settings on H100i. Mind you with no load I'm at 27-30 degree according to RealTemp.

Since I know I'm stable now at this Voltage I'm using offset function so on idle/normal use I'm only using 1 Volt with SpeedStep active and 1.360V exact when I'm under full load or when my CPU needs it.

Please do help me and advice on what should I do. As I said I'm for gaming since I got another PC for Auto Cad.

1- Is it safe to stay at X45 when I need this much Voltage to stay stable?

2- Is it safe to reach 80-90 Celsius degree when I'm under full load?

3- Is there any settings I should change? Even if I did not mention it please do advice me since I'm still a nub at this.

4- Is there any hidden magic which could help me lower my vCore and stay stable?

5- Should I just give up on this overclocking thing and just set it on stock settings?

Note: I plan to run this 24/7, that's why I'm using offset function. I do shut down my PC when I go to sleep unless I'm downloading something.
a b å Intel
a c 108 K Overclocking
a c 265 à CPUs
January 6, 2013 2:18:18 PM

My thoughts:

1. High voltage is not good, and perhaps not safe.

2. Yes, TJMAX is 100c or so. Under normal loads, you will not reach max temperatures anyway.
Your nominal idle temperature indicates that the cooler is working properly.
It seems that each chip has a maximum OC regardless of how good the temperatures are.

3. My take is to use a conservative OC, where everything is left to default except for the multiplier.

4. No. Possibly deactivate hyperthreading. More than 4 threads are not usually of any benefit to games.

5. This question might well have been asked first. You bought a "K" to allow overclocking. A conservative OC is in order.
Where that ends up, I don't know. Chips are different. You could do some testing to see what the actual gaming performance changes from 4.0 to 4.3 to 4.5.
I am betting that the last .2 is not much worth it.

6. I suggest that you use sleep to the S3 sleep state(to ram, no hibernate) instead of shutting down,
The power usage is minimal, and you will wake very quickly.

7. Ivy bridge does not benefit from fast ram. I would stick at 1.5v and 1600 speed.
1.65v is the limit before you do permanent damage to your cpu.
Read this:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-...
a b K Overclocking
a b à CPUs
January 6, 2013 3:05:37 PM

Definitely high voltage running into that Ivy bridge. Though I have seen people run more. The H100i isn't that high of performance however so I definitely wouldn't be running that high of a voltage with that chip. Just because you're under the max temperature for the processor doesn't mean it's safe. The Ivy bridge does throttle itself back to reduce heat at certain temperatures and running near the 90C range is a surefire way to hit that.

Back your clock down to about 4.2Ghz and drop your voltage. Ivy bridge processors aren't the same as others but I assure you that you don't have a "bad" chip. Just the H100i with your processor isn't going to break any speed records. This is the reason many people tend to stick with the Sandy Bridge processors as they run a LOT cooler than the Ivy Bridge.

Some things that cause the heat issue, first I've noticed with a lot of people that the core temperatures vary greatly even with different thermal paste applications. This denotes poor heat transfer from the actual processor die to the heat spreader. If you search in google "delidding ivy bridge" or similar you'll get an understanding of what I'm saying there.

What it sounds like to me is that you got a mediocre chip that probably will run 4.2Ghz just fine with only little voltage boosts. I personally don't recommend much over 1.25v with the Ivy Bridge, but you can take it or leave it. Intel hasn't really released much information on max voltages on the SB/IB chips but there is good reason for this. At stock settings the voltages are variable and change as needed. This somewhat says that even they can't tell you what the chip will use at max as each wafer from the pile is going to be different as some will be higher quality/bins and some will be just poor and need higher voltages.

So your best bet...

Conservative approach :

Back down to somewhere with nice cool temperatures with normal usage. (Remember IntelBurnTest will heat you up hotter than anything you will ever do, at least 5C hotter than Prime95)

Run a decent overclock/offset voltage that keeps you low in temperatures and higher in performance. The difference from say 4.2Ghz to 4.5Ghz isn't that big, especially risking the processor.

Aggressive approach :

Look into custom water cooling loops like the XSPC RX240 line of kits and learn about real water cooling. These kits offer a lot more performance than the best closed loop coolers like your h100. With these kits you could at least drop the temperatures at load and the higher voltage wouldn't be so scary for temperatures at least.


Just remember, the performance of the 3770k vs the 2600k is like this....

3770k@4.2Ghz = 2600k@4.4Ghz

And for the most part, I can tell you that beyond that speed, most games see almost no difference unless they are completely CPU reliant.

As for running your ram at 1866, that's not a bad choice, but honestly, the performance difference between 1600 to 2133 isn't much and in real life performance you will not see a difference.
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January 6, 2013 7:44:27 PM

I thank both of you for your great input. I have changed stuff around as follow:

1- rams set to 1600 @ 1.5V.

2- LLC set to 75% (Ultra)

3- CPU power Duty Control: Extreme ( Current Balance).

4- CPU power phase control: Extreme (Full Phase Mode).

5- Turbo Mutliplier is at 43.

6- Voltage offset - 0.125 so I can get 1.240 vCore (4.3 for me needs only 1.28V but I could not get that in offset mode).

My system is now cool and very silent since I don't need the cooling power I needed before for 4.5Ghz.

Please do comment on what I have done.

I also have read that I need to turn off C-States stuff but I did not need to do that at all since my system is stable when idle at 0.98V.



a b K Overclocking
a b à CPUs
January 6, 2013 7:52:49 PM

0.98v at idle seems a bit high.

Offset can be completely weird as the chip wants more power. I just barely break 1.3v at -0.025v and hold 4.4Ghz stable on my 2600k. The Ivy bridge is different, but offset works the same. I idle down below 0.95v which at stock it would idle at 0.925 usually. Why the offset is higher at idle is simply because the chip wants more at idle. It's a LOT easier getting stability with offset. I'd honestly say that the only reason a person should run fixed voltage on any Sandy or Ivy processor is simply for max overclocking.

Also, that LLC is high, I wouldn't want that extra stress on my VRM's. I'd definitely check into seeing if you can back that off a bit and remain stable. The processor does a good job keeping up with power demands with the offset so the LLC should really only be needed during load drop-off.

I didn't disable and C-States, so you don't have too in reality. But it can help stable out a system that's bouncing off the walls. :) 
January 6, 2013 8:00:25 PM

steddora said:
0.98v at idle seems a bit high.

Offset can be completely weird as the chip wants more power. I just barely break 1.3v at -0.025v and hold 4.4Ghz stable on my 2600k. The Ivy bridge is different, but offset works the same. I idle down below 0.95v which at stock it would idle at 0.925 usually. Why the offset is higher at idle is simply because the chip wants more at idle. It's a LOT easier getting stability with offset. I'd honestly say that the only reason a person should run fixed voltage on any Sandy or Ivy processor is simply for max overclocking.

Also, that LLC is high, I wouldn't want that extra stress on my VRM's. I'd definitely check into seeing if you can back that off a bit and remain stable. The processor does a good job keeping up with power demands with the offset so the LLC should really only be needed during load drop-off.

I didn't disable and C-States, so you don't have too in reality. But it can help stable out a system that's bouncing off the walls. :) 


Will I really did not try lowering my LLC. I just followed what Asus recommended in their official guide for offset and few forums posts here and there. I will give it a shot and see what happens at 50%.

As for my idle voltage I just checked. It is, 0.96V @ x16 multiplier. I might be able to get that even lower if I can lower my Offset but I'm already at - 0.125 :( .

January 6, 2013 8:35:33 PM

Lowering my LLC = crash.

Btw there is one setting I did not find info about it over the net, not enough at least. CPU power response control, I have it set on fast atm since the only useful post I found about it said I can crank it up high with no trade off.
a b å Intel
a c 108 K Overclocking
a c 265 à CPUs
January 6, 2013 9:40:29 PM

I really think it best to keep things simple.
Leave everything including ram on the default or auto bios settings.
OC only by raising the multiplier to where you want so long as you are stable.
January 7, 2013 1:54:29 PM

geofelt said:
I really think it best to keep things simple.
Leave everything including ram on the default or auto bios settings.
OC only by raising the multiplier to where you want so long as you are stable.


Alright I did just so and my system is stable full load using Intel burner it does not cross the 77C mark and while gaming max I get is 55~degree in the lowest cooling settings..

I have returned everything back the default value except LLC. As far as I have read it should not damage my system so long my mobo temp is stable.
a b K Overclocking
a b à CPUs
January 8, 2013 1:55:00 AM

It's the VRM's that take the heat. That's why newer motherboards actually have cooling sitting on the VRM's just like some video cards do these days. Most "mother board temperaures" simply come from a sensor in the northbridge which lies a good ways away from the VRM's. Overheating the VRM's can cause swelling/exploding in the capacitors and failure in the motherboard. There's no "physical" proof that I've found that LLC can cause these failures; but best guess says it's not good to add any more stress on them than needed.

Biggest thing to remember is to tinker with settings. You may be stable at -0.125v on the offset with high LLC and completely stable at -0.100v without LLC. I currently am set to the lowest setting which actually disables it on my board and am fat and happy with my settings to be honest. But remember, each chip is different and finding that "sweet" spot you want can be hard on occasion. :) 
!