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i5 7600K Overclock Cooling Recommendation

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Hunter-W7NUK

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May 20, 2018
So for my first time overclocking I have just overclocked a new i5 7600K! I had an i3 7100 before and am currently trying to sell it. But I was wanting some opinions on cooling for this puppy. My overclock is 4.8GHz at 1.28V. It has been super stable with minimal problems. I've seen some people say that anything under 1.3-1.35V is conservative, but when I test using Prime95 my CPU does hit in the low 90's. And within a few minutes, mid 90's even with all fans at max! These temperatures are not comfortable with me! I'm thinking that it is due to my cooler. I have a Silverstone slim 240mm AIO cooler. The pump is set to max speed 24/7. And my idle is around 40-45C with bounces to mid 50's with light web use. I have not been able to get good measurements while gaming so far. But, I don't like the temperature being that high. And I don't want to back the overclock down! The processor got my boot times cut by 10 seconds! That is a huge improvement for me! So I want a better cooler so I could maybe even hit 5GHz! And drop my temperatures of course. But maybe after I hit the mythical land of 5G's.

Some of the coolers I was currently looking at:
Arctic Liquid Freezer 360mm
Deepcool Captain 360ex RGB (And yes, I don't care for the RGB but it's all that I can find)
Noctua U12 with the Chromax cover kit and fan to spice it up!
Fractal Design S36
Thermal Take Water 3 360mm

So yes I'm looking at 360mm radiators. My case can support one on top and in front. Although I don't like the up top position, and my motherboard agrees with me as the VRM heatsinks block it. Even my slim AIO I have now! I currently have a 240mm installed but think its cheap quality is holding me back too much in terms of thermals. I might consider going air if the cooler isn't too big but can support my overclocking adventures. I love the look of the Noctua U12 with the white Chromax cover but, I'm unsure if it can handle the heat output from my CPU. And the bigger Noctua coolers look funky and are not quite my style. They are fine, but I don't like the look of them as they are too big. But I'm open to other suggestions as I really have very little on coolers and heat output as this is my first PC I built and overclocked.

My motherboard is a MSI Tomahawk Arctic Z270. I have a Gigabyte GTX 1050 (Overclocked of course), Corsair Value Select 2133MHz overclocked to 2266. And my case is a EVGA DG-7. Just the basic black with tinted but not painted windows. Love this case! Got it for $76 on sale! The white accents on the black case with my white motherboard and Corsair Sp120 RGB fans set to static white. It looks so good to me! And I don't need to debate the case airflow. I'm not changing from this case anytime soon. So I am happy with my setup but, I just want some advice on what cooler to choose to help drop my temperature and maybe even overclock slightly more. I don't have a super high budget. Maybe around $150 for now. I still might need a power supply upgrade. Rocking a EVGA 500W. So I need some funds to upgrade that should my CPU give it any troubles! So far it looks like it can handle the cpu as running Prime95 my 12V and 5V rails barely dip. But they so sit higher than I would like. I already have a replacement picked out.

But any advice will appreciated! Look forward to having help!
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Youd get more from delidding, honestly. With that low of a voltage and a 2x120mm aio, id expect better results. What is your ambient temperature as idling in the low 40s also seems a bit warm.

Psu is fine... barely knows its on with that system. Even overclocked youll be lucky to break 250w. Voltage rails being slighty above spec is normal. There is a 5% variamce allowed anyway. If its outside that, id follow your reasoning, otherwise its nothing to worry about.
 
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Hunter-W7NUK

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May 20, 2018
I'm not sure on the ambient temperature here. My roommates like to stick the AC on around 68. So I sometimes close the vent and the room seems to like to get around the low to mid 70's. I only close the vent when the AC is too cold and blowing right on me. However, it could be warmer idling because of the case. I may stick the fans to 100% tomorrow for awhile and see what the temp drops to. I have my fan curve set to be quiet. That's left over from the i3. But good to know about my PSU. When I upgrade my graphics card I'll look into it more. Thanks for the reply!

And as for delidding, I would like to as everything shown online with Intel seems to drop at least 10C. But I don't have the balls to tear my CPU up. At least not right now. But I sure would like to see the temperature drop from it!
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Temps will likely drop a couple of degrees with fans cranked. They arent miracle workers either.

Is the radiator clean? Intakes on the case?

I just dont think its (remotely) worth the cash when at this point the suspect, to me, isnt the radiator. I can run a 8700k at 5ghz on corsair 2x120 aio. Its a decent chip, i get it..but a 7600k and that voltage should have lower temps imo.
 
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Hunter-W7NUK

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May 20, 2018
Everything is pretty clean minus a touch of dust. When I put my i5 a few days ago in I gave my dust filter and insides a quick blow out. The insides had very little dust even for being mostly on. And my radiator was cleaned really well little more than a month ago, but that was when I built into the EVGA case. Since then it has had a good dust filter in front. So far, running all fans at max, the temperature while doing web browsing with 7 tabs open has dropped. Not much, but it is sitting pretty much on the average of 36-37C. But it does spike up every so often as I do stuff to 40-45C. It's a little better, but running all my fans at max isn't reasonable! I think it is my cooler. I just think it is poor quality, not so much the radiator but the pump leading to my higher than normal temps. It is Silver Stone. Not the best or highest quality. That's why I'm looking at upgrading to a much better cooler!

Thanks for the help so far!
 

maxfly

Member
Joined
May 7, 2005
check your pump and make sure its running all of the time. with aio youll just have to put your hand on it to see if it seems to be running like it usually does. those temps do seem high for that chip, aio and oc. you can also check the mount or just remount and make sure your getting good contact.
check out the thermalright true spirit 140 if youve already made up your mind to move on. its one of the best price to performance youll find.
https://www.amazon.com/Thermalright-True-Spirit-140-Power/dp/B00IYEEOMO
 
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Hunter-W7NUK

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May 20, 2018
My pump is always running. And I can hear it running sometimes when everything is quiet. And my MSI Command software shows the pump rpm to be about 2700rpm. I just think it isn't a good water cooler. I will of course keep it. it will work fine on a computer project I'm looking to do for my brother. That won't be overclocked.

Looking around I still have no idea what cooler to get. I do love the look of the Noctua U12 withe the white Chromax cover, but I am unsure if it could handle the heat of my CPU. Then there is the larger Noctua, which while too big seems to show it would work with my CPU. But I don't like the larger size and it might be too tight in my case. Are there any other good air coolers that would be able to handle the heat but aren't huge? What about a high quality water cooler? Any good 360mm AIO's that can be suggested?
 
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Hunter-W7NUK

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May 20, 2018
So I picked up a Corsair H100i. Didn't really want a 240mm but the prices of anything bigger are too much. And I don't care for the Corsair Link software. I would prefer the H100X! Dumb and just works. My temperature when running Prime95 is hitting around 81C max! and it idles around 24-30C. It is higher now cause of Prime95 having ran for a few minutes. Since my temperature dropped a good 15C when running Prime95 with the same overclock it was definitely the old AIO that was my limit. I will still use it, but stick it into an older PC that is only a Core 2 Duo as a cheap older gaming PC for my brother. Might even see about overclocking higher now that I have a little more headroom!

Does anyone know if this Corsair H100I unit is compatible with DC powered fans? I have my Corsair SP120 RGB fans plugged in and no matter what I try setting in the Link software, they seem to be stuck at max speed. Any idea on how to change that? I can always just buy a splitter cable and run them off the motherboard again. Just would prefer the pump to run them if it has the capability.
 
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Hunter-W7NUK

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May 20, 2018
So my idle temperatures are still around 38-40C. I can drop it to around 35-38C with most fans running half to max speed. And I placed my Corsair Sp120 RGB fans back onto the CPU fan header as I couldn't stand the loud noise of them running of the pump. So for now I have set the pump to max speed in the Corsair Link software and then removed my USB cable. It looks a lot better without the cable hanging off the pump block.

So at least the high end has improved! The idle is still a little high but I guess I can live with 40C. My graphics card does sit around 36C with its overclock so I guess it shouldn't be too worried about. But I definitely trust the Corsair AIO a lot more then the cheap Silver Stone Slim I had in previously. And I love the robust hoses! They feel premium and like they can withstand some abuse!
 
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Hunter-W7NUK

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May 20, 2018
Quick update. I fiddled with my overclock a little more. I adjusted my LLC to mode 4. As CPUID reported my Vcore reaching up around 1.33V under load with Prime95. This is why my temperatures were so high even with the voltage set to 1.28. I currently have my overclock set to 4.8GHz at 1.28V. The LLC set to mode 4 leads to my voltage not excedding 1.288V. I have not measured the voltage actually at Vcore. I don't want to short something on the board so, for my uses, CPUID is accurate enough.

I also set my switching frequency to 250KHz, cause why not? The mosfet heatsinks barely gets warm and as soon as a load is placed on the CPU my fans above the motherboard come on (sometimes quite high), so it never gets remotely warm. I also set the ring frequency to 4.6GHz as I don't want to bother finding the max, and as I read online, it really doesn't make much difference.

But currently running Prime95 for 30 minutes, my overclock is nice and stable. My temps as read by CPUID have not exceeded 90-91C on core and package. Corsair Link shows the water temp at 37.8C with some Corsair ML120 Pro's running at 1400RPM and the pump at max speed! So it is staying nice and cool! I have tried bumping the frequency up to 4.9GHz. But I didn't set the voltage higher and it crashed! This was after a worker stopped, and then I tried adjusting the voltage about 25mV higher with the MSI Command Center. But my reset button didn't work! So 4.8GHz is fine for now. My voltage is sitting at 1.28V consistently. I don't want to set the voltage higher than 1.3V. From what I've read online, yes, the "safe" voltage is slightly higher but is still unknown what the true value is. And for the sake of my processor, and time, it may as well be 1.3 or there about for now. I don't really care what the true safe voltage is. I just don't want to kill my processor, even 20 years out. So for now I just don't want to set over 1.3V.

But at least the system is nice and stable, and runs a lot cooler now with the better water cooler and the LLC set "right" It ran at 95-98C before! Way too high for my likes! So where it is makes me happy, maybe one day I will bother getting it into the 5GHz land. Or just buy a i7 7700K if they would ever sell for a reasonable amount! And in the time it took me to write this (around 20 minutes), the water temperature has dropped to 31C with the fans set to the minimum. They work good!
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Those temps still seem a little high on that modest vcore to me with that nice cooler. Do you have your radiator fans pushing cool air through the radiator or exhausting warmed case air through the rad? What is the temperature spread between your coolest and your hottest core under full stress test load? You might want to look at re-pasting and re-seating the water block/pump.

With my 7600k being only cooled with a Corsair H55 (quiet push/pull fans) on full load Prime95 26.6 (No AVX) total vcore of 1.323 I was getting max temps of 75c. I hadd delidded my CPU, however which makes a huge difference.
 
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Hunter-W7NUK

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May 20, 2018
I will try reapplying the thermal paste. I used the stock pre-applyed stuff Corsair uses. And my fans are set to push cool air in thru the radiator. I will test again later when I get the chance. I will also link to Imgur where I got a few pictures of my build posted.

 

trents

Senior Member
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Dec 27, 2008
Yes, please directly attach pics to your post using the "Go Advanced" option in the lower right corner of any new post window. Crop them first, please. Snipping Tool in Windows is good for this.
 
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Hunter-W7NUK

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May 20, 2018
So some reapplied thermal paste later and..... no change. The temperatures are still hitting 90C. And worker 2 stopped! A few crashes later seeing if blender would run. So kinda annoyed at it right now. But I will continue messing with it later. So no idea why it goes so high while testing. Everything shown seems to say it should be a lot lower. Is the Intel tooth paste really just that bad? I really am considering getting a tool to delid my processor to put real thermal paste in there. And as for the pictures, I can't seem to be able to post them on here. Don't know why but it won't attach or even give a failure.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Have you implemented an AVX offset in bios yet? Try a value of 2 for that. Then rerun "blender". I assume you mean the Prime95 "blend" stress test? The newer releases of Prime95 use AVX2 instruction sets in testing which are rarely found in real life applications - mostly niche scientific apps. They create an enormous amount of heat and stress that make it difficult to pass a stress test when your overclock level is pushing the chip's envelope. If you implement an AVX offset the CPU will run slower when it encounters AVX instructions by the value of the offset. So if you have the CPU multiplier set to 49x for instance, an AVX offset of 2 would cause it to run at 47x whenever AVX instructions sets were encountered. I would also advise downloading and installing Prime95 v.26.6 which does not contain AVX instructions so you can dial in your max non AVX overclock.

By the way, a lot of people have abandoned using the newer versions of Prime95 because they cause the CPU to generate so much heat which causes cooling issues. Many people have moved over to Realbench or to AIDA64 Extreme for stress testing Intel CPUs since the Haswells came out.
 
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Hunter-W7NUK

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May 20, 2018
I have set the voltage to 1.29V. Added an AVX offset of 2. And changed my ring frequency back to 4.5GHz. This allows me to run all the Prime95 tests without any crashing. The small FFT test still heats up to 85-90C with single cores jumping from 83-87C and the package from 83-90C typically. In the large FFT and blend tests, the temperature will hover around 70-75C. Unsure why the temperature is so high. I guess Intel really does just use such bad TIM. However, when gaming in Bioshock Infinite or other games, my temperature will typically sit around 65C. I would like to see it lower as it should be lower according to everything I've seen. Guess delidding isn't so bad now! Probably start looking online for more information about it.

My temperature when running Cinebench is around 65-75C.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
What was your ring frequency before? Overclocking the cache (ring) gives little to no benefit in actual real life performance (some gain in benchmarks) and can create instability. It can also cause the chip to run hotter. You had better run some stress tests that don't have AVX like Prime95 26.6 to make sure it's stable at the higher, non AVX frequency.
 
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Hunter-W7NUK

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May 20, 2018
I was just screwing around overclocking the ring. It seemed unstable at 46 with my voltage settings but at 45 it's fine. Just feel like overclocking it. Not much performance increase but it doesn't seem to hurt anything set at 45. But even with it at default I noticed no change in the heat output. Running Prime95 V 26.6, my temperature is around 70-78C. It bounces around so it is difficult to get the real number. The temperature spread isn't more then around 5C at anytime. It seems to be running stable right now, but the temperatures still seem kinda high. If you think they are normal then I guess I will take your word, having no experience overclocking. But as it stands, my temperatures seem too high.