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Is LLC still necessary on modern Intel boards??

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Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Dec 15, 2008
As the title asks, is LLC still necessary on MODERN intel boards? I ask this as on both X99 and Z170 boards I reviewed lately, the voltage I have seen in the bios, in windows, and on load, has been remarkably stable for me, even at high clockspeeds/voltages. Like literally between the BIOS and load in windows, I haven't seen but maybe .02V at most.

I just see people still suggesting it out of the gate, but, if there isn't a reason to use it, why use it? It started out to prevent vDroop and to closer match your BIOS settings, but now it seems like its part of the overclocking when in reality, its an option to use in the first place. I can see for giggles and to match even closer to what you set in bios, but, it just seems like its now part of the common advice and I am not sure I understand why.

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I use it on the MaxHero. I find if left to auto it overvolts a bit too much for my liking under load.
I haven't seen a board yet that while LLC is left on Auto, it does that ('vRaise')... good point for use!
On my Hero VIII if I leave it on Auto it undervolts as much as 0.08v, the 5 setting i use does 0.02v, small difference ;)
So some boards need it still. I was about 0-6 and counting so I asked, LOL.

(you know you can edit your posts instead of deleting and adding a new one right K?)
oh my gosh all this new techie stuff, now i need a business license to overclock my cpu?! :mad:
Absolutely still needed. For those that are not completely aware, LLC is used to balance the output voltage based on the load. The conversion and resolution of LLC has matured over the years, and we can see voltages drop less and less. I would suspect that we will have less control over the option as the tech matures, but for now it is still very needed.
Its "need" is dependent on the voltage sags on each given board, not a broad swath type of rule. If I don't use it, my system (read most) works fine, particularly at stock speeds.

I really see it as more of a want in most cases these days... It seems like its only a need when you board is jacked out of whack like Kenrou's or one just wants to be OCD and have the voltage match (which I certianly understand).
The entire power plane is designed around the CPU and the voltage controller. The voltage controller dictates what the parts can tolerate, the CPU dictates the energy it requires from the parts. LLC is also set by the voltage regulator.

5.8 VR Tolerance
5.8.1 Load Line Definitions REQUIRED all segments
The PWM chip should not preclude programming any load line slope or AVP gain from 0
to 10 mohms. The individual processor or load specifications will set the load line and
current level specification. Over current protection and 0 mohms load lines are
required to be independent. IE setting a 0 mohm LL will have no effect on OCP trip
Load line settings are platform specific and will not be changed with SVID command
nor will Master attempt to read the load line setting over the SVID bus.

Your posted was edited above mine. I thought you were referencing the requirement of LLC.

Stock speeds LLC probably wouldn't be noticed because the power planes are very well designed these days. But its certainly seen under load (but most likely not seen by human eyes). Stick an oscilloscope on the feedback and Vout lines and you will see it working over time :)
I didn't edit anything?

Anyway, I didn't notice it when overclocking either in the boards i have recently reviewed (hence why I created this thread... to see if it was still needed/others were seeing the same stability I have been lately). This is at 4.7Ghz+ on the 6700K and 4.4GHz on the 6950X...

Most people don't have scopes, so its hard to measure off that when its impossible for 99.99999999% of people to use.
I'm aware of it, but not trying for big overclocks I've never actually fiddled with it. My 6700k on VIII Hero idles around 1.25v+, and under load drops below 1.20v. It is stable, so I haven't felt a need to fiddle with it. At worst, it means I'm using a bit more power than needed when idle. I can imagine the case if I were going for a much bigger overclock, needing higher voltages under load, it could help prevent the need to set higher nominal voltages off load.
The Z170 Stinger could have benefited from better LLC control, it took more vCore for me to stabilize at 4.7GHz than any other Z170 board I've run.
Everything else, it was unnecessary to remove from Auto unless benching at enough vCore to give a pucker factor.

Like I said, LLC has matured very well. You shouldn't see Vdroop because CPU power rails have a very tight tolerance (around 1%). As the voltage level shifts based on the SVID commands sent from the CPU to the Voltage controller, the voltage will very. Inside that variance, there is a 1% tolerance of Vdroop. If you see a drop or rise in voltage these days, it is most likely the CPU telling the voltage regulator the value it wants (you shouldn't see this when benching). Once the Voltage level is set, the voltage must meet the tolerance before being sent to the CPU. If tolerance cannot be met, the voltage will drop and the voltage controller will try to work with the CPU to find a stable level.

The only way to tell LLC is working is with a scope. If you turn it off you may see an increase in instability but this is very dependent on the system setup; airflow, temps, motherboard quaility, and more can help keep the voltages in tolerance without the need of LLC.
Here is the LLC testing from the three boards I've had... IMO, it's definitely still needed if you know what voltage your CPU is stable at and you want to keep it there without it dropping (causing possible instability) or increasing (more power consumption) while idle/loaded.





ASUS Maximus VIII Impact

That's what I get for being a hipporcrite and using a small data set to base my opinions off of, LOL!
To really know, you need to use a multimeter on the bottom of the CPU socket. Software is as accurate as software ever is, and relying on the voltage controller to report the current vcore is potentially silly. If the controller notices droop, it'll bump it up.

Now it may have really gotten better, or it may just be that modern motherboards sense vcore via the controller instead of a dedicated tap for the BIOS/software.

Also, Hi! I'm still alive and well. Just busy and not overclocking. (I live in workstation/server land now. Very different!)