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I need help stabilizing my CPU overclock

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SickBeast

New Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2003
Hi Guys,

I have an Intel i5 4690k CPU that has been overclocked to 4.5ghz for a long time now. Recently I upgraded to 32gb of DDR3 2133mhz RAM and that's when my instability problems started. I did some reading and apparently Haswell can become unstable when you overclock the CPU and the memory at the same time.

What's really strange is that my computer passes all the stability tests that I run (Aida64, Prime95, Intel Burn Test, OCCT, ROG RealBench, plus 12 hours of Memtest86+). What's happening is the computer will give me a BSOD about once a week. Sometimes the BSOD says "memory_management" and when I look in Event Viewer it's kernel related.

If any of you guys have any tips on how to stabilize Haswell I would really appreciate it. I have tried giving more voltage to the ring bus, more system agent voltage, plus a few others. I went through every possible option in the BIOS and tried to give it a little bit more juice but my system is still a tiny bit unstable.

Right now I have the CPU at 4.4ghz at 1.2v. I was running at 4.5ghz at 1.25v for months and I never had a BSOD until I upgraded the RAM. I am getting BSODs with the RAM at stock and also when it's overclocked to 2400mhz. The RAM passes Memtest though at both settings.

Here are my system specs if that helps:

Gigabyte Z97MX Gaming 5 (latest bios)
Intel Core i5 4690k
32gb G.Skill DDR3 2133 RAM @ 2400mhz (1.65v, standard timings)
Thermaltake 750w PSU
Sapphire Radeon 280x

My system seems completely stable when I set the RAM to 1600mhz. I'm wondering if there is a way for me to stabilize my system with the RAM running at a higher speed.

Thanks guys I hope you have some ideas for me!
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Can't say I would bother overclocking the ram honestly... little to no performance gains in most things.

That said, try adding some system agent voltage. That is A LOT of ram (do you use it???) and the memory controller needs some help. Since you are overclocking the ram, the 1.65V may not be enough either. Those are the two things I would play with out of the gate... one at at time (I'd start with SA).
 
OP
S

SickBeast

New Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2003
Can't say I would bother overclocking the ram honestly... little to no performance gains in most things.

That said, try adding some system agent voltage. That is A LOT of ram (do you use it???) and the memory controller needs some help. Since you are overclocking the ram, the 1.65V may not be enough either. Those are the two things I would play with out of the gate... one at at time (I'd start with SA).

I tried adding a 0.3v offset to the system agent voltage but it made no difference.

What seems to help is 0.05v of extra voltage on the memory voltage. The RAM seems stable at stock 2133mhz speed at 1.65v and I seem to be able to overclock it to 2400mhz at 1.7v. The thing is, shouldn't my RAM run stable at 1.6v? That's the stock voltage for the RAM. It doesn't seem right that I'm having to give it extra voltage just so that it's stable at its rated stock speed. Is this normal when running with 4 dimms? I know it puts more strain on the system. I'm just wondering if I need to RMA the RAM.
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
This seems to be more of a budget board with only a 4 phase power section. My guess is the board is simply struggling with all 4 dimms occupied. As wingman suggested you can try to stabilize with just 2 sticks at stock and see, or just run with the slight bump in voltage. It won't hurt the ram at all and as long as you have good airflow and your temps are good the board should be fine to. You can always mount a fan directly over the VRM's just to be sure also.
 

wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
The memory runs on a separate phase on all board because of the voltage difference from the CPU.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
I tried adding a 0.3v offset to the system agent voltage but it made no difference.

What seems to help is 0.05v of extra voltage on the memory voltage. The RAM seems stable at stock 2133mhz speed at 1.65v and I seem to be able to overclock it to 2400mhz at 1.7v. The thing is, shouldn't my RAM run stable at 1.6v? That's the stock voltage for the RAM. It doesn't seem right that I'm having to give it extra voltage just so that it's stable at its rated stock speed. Is this normal when running with 4 dimms? I know it puts more strain on the system. I'm just wondering if I need to RMA the RAM.
Can you post CPUz screenshots of the SPD tab for your memory please? With the information given we cannot be sure what voltage it needs at what clockspeed.

Again I ask, do you need 32GB in your system? Do you use more than 16GB? I am asking/saying this because less ram means less stress on the IMC. If you have more ram than you use, it doesn't help anything.
 
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SickBeast

New Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2003
Can you post CPUz screenshots of the SPD tab for your memory please? With the information given we cannot be sure what voltage it needs at what clockspeed.

Again I ask, do you need 32GB in your system? Do you use more than 16GB? I am asking/saying this because less ram means less stress on the IMC. If you have more ram than you use, it doesn't help anything.



I am running 32gb of RAM because DDR3 memory has reached an all time low price and I got a really good deal so I bought a couple of kits. I'm not interested in running only 16gb even though it will probably give me a slightly higher overclock. I realize it's overkill but I'm sure I will find a good use for it all one day. :)
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
Having 32GB of ram when your only using 8-16GBs is like having 24TB of hard drive space when you only have 4TBs of data.

The difference here is it could be causing your instability.
 

wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
I would test each memory stick one at a time to see if you have a bad memory stick, check them at there rated speed.
 
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SickBeast

New Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2003
Thanks guys! I will definitely test the sticks one at a time when I have some free time. I really appreciate all your help with this!