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First Timer on i7-2600k/ ASUS P8Z68-V for the sole purpose of running Witcher 3

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New Member
Mar 8, 2017
Hello to all! This is my first post on the overclockers forum.

Background on myself: I have had this PC for almost 6 years now(bought it 2nd-hand), but have been afraid to overclock it. All games up until the release of Witcher 3 have been alright but this game in particular I can't run smoothly (Microstutters while running/on Roach). I just purchased my GTX 1060 last November for the purpose of playing the Witcher 3 but it seems my CPU can't handle it at turbo (3.4GHz). I play on 1080p 60fps and have no particular interest in trying 4k or 1440p that is why I bought the GTX 1060, based on benchmarks and reviews the card can handle atleast HIGH settings 60fps.
I recently applied new thermal paste so as to prepare for overclocking which is why I am here to ask you guys for advice on how to get 4.4GHz :) Thanks so much.

I will provide any info you request if I can, although I am pretty noob in some aspects of benchmarking and overclocking.
Hello fellow new guy :D

My first advice (will help you get better help, faster); give us an overview of your system, and also put it in your signature. That way the people who know their sh*t can tell you what settings to use or if there are some weird things in your setup that could explain the microstutters :D.

Now I'm not really familiar with the 2600K (heck I'm barely even familiar with my own 4790K), but you'll need a better cooler, quality air cooler at the least.
Hello to you too! Here I think I updated my signature. Thanks for replying.
1. Download and install stress testing software (eg, Prime95 v. 27.7 or OCCT), temp and voltage monitoring software (HWMonitor non pro version) and frequency/voltage/bios settings reporting sofware (CPU-z). These are the common software "helper" tools we use.

2. Open HWMonitor on the desktop and leave it open while you run the Prime95 "just stress testing" "blend" option test (it's the default testing option) for 20 minutes. Run this stress test before you do any overclocking so we can see what your baseline temps are and see how much headroom you have temp wise for overclocking.

3. After having done that, post back with an attached pic of HWMonitor so we can take a look at your max temps and voltages at the end of the stress test. Use Windows Snipping Tool to crop and capture the image. Use the Go Advanced button at the bottom right corner of any new post window to load and attach the pic.

More instructions forthcoming. Don't worry. Overclocking an Intel is easy compared to AMD. Not so many variables that need adjusting. Basically just core speeed multiplier ratio and core voltage. Later on that.
I see that Prime95 has a newer version 28.10, should I still use v 27.7 or the new one?
For 4.5GHz overclock you can use Prime95 28.10. I would set the Vcore to 1.35v for a start, then sync all cores to 45, see how that goes with prime95. With the i7 2600k temperture limit 90c and Vcore 1.44v
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Your temps are fine and you have more temp headroom for overclocking if you want. Your safe up to a core temp of 90c and a core voltage of anything up to about 1.325 for 24/7 operation if temps allow.
Alright thanks for that trents! What is the next step?
Can attempting to overclock damage my SSD/HDD?
So increase your core speed ratio in 1x increments until you can no longer complete the 20 minute stress test. Then add voltage in .01 increments until you can pass it again. Repeat the process until your core voltage gets to 1.325 or your temps during stress testing exceed 90c. Then run the Prime 95 stress test for two hours. If you can't pass the two hour stress test then back off one notch on your core speed ratio and try again. Realize that each additional 1x ratio increase in core speed will likely require a larger voltage increase than the one before it. It's by no means linear.

When you are satisfied with the intersection of overclock frequency, voltage and maximum core temp that will be it. Then post back with a pic of HWMonitor as before.