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Need help with i5-4670k overclock

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easye

Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2017
Hello, long time lurker, thank you for all the resources so far.

CPU: i5-4670k
CPU Cooler: CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO 120MM fan
Case: Antec 902 (only the 200MM on top, and the 120MM fan are working right now)
MOBO: BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Z87X 3D
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) (is this outdated? can it be upgraded? Worth it?) DRAM freq says 1066.5 so I assume it is functioning properly.
GPU: XFX GTR Black Edition (stock for now)

I don't want to push the chip to the brink, I would like a safe overclock where I can benefit.

I was hoping someone would be able to provide me guidance or show me a dummies guide to overclock this chip.

Thank you,
Chris
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Download and install some stress testing, monitoring and reporting software like Realbench, HWMonitor (non pro version) and CPU-z.

Keep HWMonitor open on the desktop whenever you are stress testing. It will monitor max, min and current voltages and temperatures of various elements in your system. The critical ones to watch are: core temps and vcore (voltage used by the cores).

In bios, set the CPU core voltage mode to "manual" and give the "override" an the amount of 1.25 to start with. I'm shooting in the dark here because I cannot see your exactly what adjustments your board has and the terminology it uses.

Set the Core Ratio to 40x. Stock is 34x I believe.

Boot into Windows, open HWMonitor and run the Realbench CPU stress test for 15 minutes. Watch core temps. You don't want them to exceed 90c.

Report back to us with results and an attached picture of HWMonitor after the stress test. You can used the Go Advanced button at the bottom of any new post window to attach a picture. Use Windws Snipping Tool to crop the picture before saving.

That should get you started. The voltage I have recommended to start with is safe and should not produce enough heat to overwhelm your cooler.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
By the way, you likely can capture screenshots of your bios pages with the F12 key. Plug a USB flash drive into the computer and go to the overclocking section of the bios. Navigate to the area you want us to see and then press F12. The image captured will only include what you see on the screen so if there are other settings above that or below that you would need to scroll down or up and make a new capture.

Then go into Windows and attach the pics with the built in forum tool I referred to in my first post using the Go Advanced option.

Most likely, the images you want to upload would need to be resampled as their is a file size limit on attachments. My experience is that images captured in bios are a little too large and don't fit that limit. A free program called irfanview is real handy for resampling pictures. Resampling just removes pixels and you can use irfanview to do that and under the Image tab. Your can customize the size as needed. 80% of original size should work.
 
OP
E

easye

Registered
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Feb 11, 2017
Just changed the voltage to 1.25v and 40x CPU ratio. Stress test went well? Looks like highest core went to 72 C.


Benchmark 15mins up to 4gb ram.JPG
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Now, don't change anything else, but start increasing the core ratio multiplier by 1x increments, stress test, and monitor core temps after each increment of increase until you fail the 15 minute Realbench CPU stress test. Then add core voltage in 0.01 increments until you can pass the stress test again. Then run a longer stress test, say 4 hr. If it won't pass the long test, add another core voltagte in 0.01 increments until it does.

Post back when you are done with that with a pic of HWMonitor taken after that 4 hr. test. You're doing good so far. Temps are well-controlled.

By the way, uninstall the pro version of HWMonitor you now have installed and replace it with the nonpro version which doesn't have some of the bells and whistles but has no limitations. Right now we can't see what your vcore readings are in HWMonitor because you are using the pro version. The bios will likely supplement the value you supply manually so we need to see what the total amount of vcore is.

I wouldn't advise exceeding 1.375 for total vcore. But I don't think your cooling will permit getting up to that amount anyway.
 
OP
E

easye

Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2017
Now, don't change anything else, but start increasing the core ratio multiplier by 1x increments, stress test, and monitor core temps after each increment of increase until you fail the 15 minute Realbench CPU stress test. Then add core voltage in 0.01 increments until you can pass the stress test again. Then run a longer stress test, say 4 hr. If it won't pass the long test, add another core voltagte in 0.01 increments until it does.

Post back when you are done with that with a pic of HWMonitor taken after that 4 hr. test. You're doing good so far. Temps are well-controlled.

By the way, uninstall the pro version of HWMonitor you now have installed and replace it with the nonpro version which doesn't have some of the bells and whistles but has no limitations. Right now we can't see what your vcore readings are in HWMonitor because you are using the pro version. The bios will likely supplement the value you supply manually so we need to see what the total amount of vcore is.

I wouldn't advise exceeding 1.375 for total vcore. But I don't think your cooling will permit getting up to that amount anyway.

I don't really need to push the CPU to the limit... how do I find a middle spot to where I feel like this is a good spot to be? Is that where I am now? 4 ghz?
 
OP
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easye

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Feb 11, 2017
So I tried bumping it to 42X and it BSOD after I started the stress test (maybe like 60 seconds later).... I put it back down to 40X. Ran it again. Temperatures went up a little bit.

This was attempt 2. This was after my PC was running for a few hours so it had time to heat up.

Benchmark 15mins up to 4gb ram attempt 2.JPG
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
So I'm a little confused. You failed at 42x but instead of adding a little more vcore you went back to 40x? In the pic your total max vcore is 1.272. That's pretty conservative. Your temps show you have more room for overclock. Give it a little more vcore and try 42x again.

When you fail the stress test which can be a small fail which give the testing program a chance to notify you, or a big fail as in blue screen, it's telling you there is not enough core voltage to keep the system stable under stress at that level of overclock.

Most 4670k CPUs will do 4.3-4.4 without excessive core voltage on a good motherboard and with good aftermarket cooling. What you want is to find the "sweet spot" where it takes a lot more voltage to get stable at one more increment of core ratio multiplication. So for instance, let's say you are stable at 4.3 ghz on 1.3 vcore. But to pass the stress test at 4.4 ghz adding 0.01 or 0.02 won't get you stable like it previously did. Instead, you have to add 0.06 to the vcore in able to get it stable again. Do you see what I'm saying? There comes a point where you have to bring the vcore up to the point where you're putting a lot of electrical stress on the CPU just to get a smidgen more overclock out of it. And how much performance will you gain by doing so? Not very much. Just bragging rights maybe.

So this sweet spot would be my definition of a "moderate" overclock. And that would involve no more than 1.325 total vcore even if temps permit. You will get different input from different people about what is safe voltage. I think what I am telling you is on the conservative side.
 
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easye

Registered
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Feb 11, 2017
So I'm a little confused. You failed at 42x but instead of adding a little more vcore you went back to 40x? In the pic your total max vcore is 1.272. That's pretty conservative. Your temps show you have more room for overclock. Give it a little more vcore and try 42x again.

When you fail the stress test which can be a small fail which give the testing program a chance to notify you, or a big fail as in blue screen, it's telling you there is not enough core voltage to keep the system stable under stress at that level of overclock.

Most 4670k CPUs will do 4.3-4.4 without excessive core voltage on a good motherboard and with good aftermarket cooling. What you want is to find the "sweet spot" where it takes a lot more voltage to get stable at one more increment of core ratio multiplication. So for instance, let's say you are stable at 4.3 ghz on 1.3 vcore. But to pass the stress test at 4.4 ghz adding 0.01 or 0.02 won't get you stable like it previously did. Instead, you have to add 0.06 to the vcore in able to get it stable again. Do you see what I'm saying? There comes a point where you have to bring the vcore up to the point where you're putting a lot of electrical stress on the CPU just to get a smidgen more overclock out of it. And how much performance will you gain by doing so? Not very much. Just bragging rights maybe.

So this sweet spot would be my definition of a "moderate" overclock. And that would involve no more than 1.325 total vcore even if temps permit. You will get different input from different people about what is safe voltage. I think what I am telling you is on the conservative side.

I guess you could say I am kind of confused on what the next increment is. I didn't really understand the next step.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Stock core ratio is 34x with stock"Turbo" taking it to 38x but only on one core at a time. Turbo frequency doesn't happen on all four cores at the same time. It rotates among them. Since the BCLK is 100, stock base frequency is 3400 mhz (34x100) and stock Turbo frequency is 3800 mhz (100x38). Overclocking generally takes all four cores past the stock Turbo frequency so that, essentially, Turbo function is eliminated.

I had you start the CPU ratio at 40x which is 2000 mhz beyond stock turbo frequency. At 40x, all four cores are operating simultaneously at 4000 mhz (4.0 ghz).

I also had you increase the vcore to 1.25 as a first overclock step.

So as a first overclock step, I had you increase the the baseline CPU ratio to 40x and manually set the baseline vcore to 1.25x. Why did I start with these numbers? Because from experience I knew that was a very easily attainable overclock frequency and a very safe vcore.

You see, when you increase the frequency of the CPU you must also at some point increase the core voltage (vcore) to support the higher speed, just like you must give a car engine more gas if you want it to run faster. From experience I knew that 1.25 vcore should easily give you a stable overclock at 4.0 ghz.

The next thing I instructed you to do was to do a 15 minute stress test of these settings while monitoring temps and voltages with HWMonitor. I wanted to see how high these settings would push core temps so I asked you to attach a pic, which you did. Thanks.

Then I instructed you to leave the vcore at the current level but increase the CPU core ratio by 1x. In other words, increase it from 40x to 41x. Retest with Realbench and monitor temps. If you passed the 15 minute stress test again. Then move the CPU core ratio to 42x and retest. If you did not pass the stress test at 41x then add 0.01 to the vcore.

If you did pass the test at 41x, then move the CPU core ratio to 42x and retest. What I'm saying is don't add another 0.01 increment of vcore unless you need to in order to pass the stress test. And if it takes more than one 0.01 increment of vcore to pass the stress test at the higher frequency, then add two of them or whatever it takes until you can pass it unless your core temps begin to exceed 90c when stress testing.

The goal is to get a as high an overclock frequency as you can with no more vcore than you need to make it stable while not exceeding safe temps and voltages. 15 minutes of stress testing is not long enough to prove you are completely stable but it is time efficient. When you think you have found that "sweet spot" frequency then you need to do a much longer stress test and also stress test with some other tools. But you aren't there yet.

Does this help?
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Thanks for the correction on the Turbo function, ED. The main point I wanted to get across to the OP was that turbo was not a monolithic boost to all cores.
 
OP
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easye

Registered
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Feb 11, 2017
Stock core ratio is 34x with stock"Turbo" taking it to 38x but only on one core at a time. Turbo frequency doesn't happen on all four cores at the same time. It rotates among them. Since the BCLK is 100, stock base frequency is 3400 mhz (34x100) and stock Turbo frequency is 3800 mhz (100x38). Overclocking generally takes all four cores past the stock Turbo frequency so that, essentially, Turbo function is eliminated.

I had you start the CPU ratio at 40x which is 2000 mhz beyond stock turbo frequency. At 40x, all four cores are operating simultaneously at 4000 mhz (4.0 ghz).

I also had you increase the vcore to 1.25 as a first overclock step.

So as a first overclock step, I had you increase the the baseline CPU ratio to 40x and manually set the baseline vcore to 1.25x. Why did I start with these numbers? Because from experience I knew that was a very easily attainable overclock frequency and a very safe vcore.

You see, when you increase the frequency of the CPU you must also at some point increase the core voltage (vcore) to support the higher speed, just like you must give a car engine more gas if you want it to run faster. From experience I knew that 1.25 vcore should easily give you a stable overclock at 4.0 ghz.

The next thing I instructed you to do was to do a 15 minute stress test of these settings while monitoring temps and voltages with HWMonitor. I wanted to see how high these settings would push core temps so I asked you to attach a pic, which you did. Thanks.

Then I instructed you to leave the vcore at the current level but increase the CPU core ratio by 1x. In other words, increase it from 40x to 41x. Retest with Realbench and monitor temps. If you passed the 15 minute stress test again. Then move the CPU core ratio to 42x and retest. If you did not pass the stress test at 41x then add 0.01 to the vcore.

If you did pass the test at 41x, then move the CPU core ratio to 42x and retest. What I'm saying is don't add another 0.01 increment of vcore unless you need to in order to pass the stress test. And if it takes more than one 0.01 increment of vcore to pass the stress test at the higher frequency, then add two of them or whatever it takes until you can pass it unless your core temps begin to exceed 90c when stress testing.

The goal is to get a as high an overclock frequency as you can with no more vcore than you need to make it stable while not exceeding safe temps and voltages. 15 minutes of stress testing is not long enough to prove you are completely stable but it is time efficient. When you think you have found that "sweet spot" frequency then you need to do a much longer stress test and also stress test with some other tools. But you aren't there yet.

Does this help?

This helps a lot. Thanks I will try to toy around with it when I get free time. appreciate the detail. For now the 40X/1.25v is running stable.