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Please Help With Overclocking CPU (i5 2550k) and RAM in Intel Visual BIOS

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LetoAtreidesII

New Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2017
I recently "upgraded" to a new motherboard, CPU, CPU Cooler, and PSU after I damaged my old CPU and motherboard. It wasn't much of an upgrade because I wasn't sure what components were damaged and I wanted to swap as few parts as possible so I tried to stick to my old LGA socket. Unfortunately, it turned out that I had to replace both the CPU and motherboard (nearly everything). Still, I did net an upgrade from an I5 2400 to an i5 2550K CPU.

I've never overclocked before, but I'd like to now to get the most out of this CPU. I also learned that the RAM which I had was underclocked by default and I'd like to "overclock" it to run it at its stock rates. My new motherboard is an Intel DZ77BH-55K whose BIOS I updated to the latest version which is Intel Visual Bios.

Intel Visual Bios seems to be designed to make overclocking easy. But as I've never overclocked before and I'd like to be as careful and informed as possible, I'd like as much advice and information as possible first.

For CPU overclocking the Intel Visual Bios overclock assistant provides a simple slider which ranges from 3.8 GHz (default) to 4.5 GHz. As near as I can tell, however, overclocking with this slider ONLY affects the Turboboost speed. Is this a good way to overclock or the best way to overclock - to only change the Turboboost speed? If not, how would I go about it? I plan to run Prime95 for 30 minutes afterwards to test stability and use Speccy to monitor temps. Is there anything else I should do as part of the overclock process (I've never overclocked before)? Also, should I increase fan speed in Bios (and how do I do this - there is a cool simple setting in visual bios I'm considering)? At stock speeds it's already running in the 70's under load.

This is my RAM: 4x4GB https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16...
There is a slider in BIOS for RAM which I could slide to 1600. But there's also a Performance Memory Profile drop-down box which has an option for an XMP-1600 profile. That profile and the slider at 1600 have very different values. Which should I use?

Finally, how much will these overclocks increase my power usage? I only care because I actually downgraded my PSU from 750W to 650W (b/c a 650 was the spare I had lying around). Fortunately, I think 750 was way more than I needed before and 650 might be more than enough now. Thanks all for any advice you can give.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
No one on this forum would advise using either bios wizards or Windows overclocking software to overclock. The reason being they usually assign much more voltage than is necessary for a stable overclock and they often downclock the memory.
Overclocking Intel CPUs from bios with any "k" CPU is quite simple. As far as basic overclocking goes you only need to be concerned with manipulating the core frequency multiplier and the core voltage. Of course, you also need to stress test your overclock settings to make sure they give you a stable platform and as well as monitor temps.

To start with you would need to change your overclock mode from Auto to Manual and do the same for CPU frequency and CPU voltage which we call "vcore".

What are you cooling the CPU with? Please give us more details about your system: make and model of case, GPU, cooler, PSU.

Download and install Prime95 (stess testing software), CPU-z (bios settings report software) and HWMonitor (temp, frequency and voltage reporting software).
 
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LetoAtreidesII

New Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2017
No one on this forum would advise using either bios wizards or Windows overclocking software to overclock. The reason being they usually assign much more voltage than is necessary for a stable overclock and they often downclock the memory.
Overclocking Intel CPUs from bios with any "k" CPU is quite simple. As far as basic overclocking goes you only need to be concerned with manipulating the core frequency multiplier and the core voltage. Of course, you also need to stress test your overclock settings to make sure they give you a stable platform and as well as monitor temps.

To start with you would need to change your overclock mode from Auto to Manual and do the same for CPU frequency and CPU voltage which we call "vcore".

What are you cooling the CPU with? Please give us more details about your system: make and model of case, GPU, cooler, PSU.

Download and install Prime95 (stess testing software), CPU-z (bios settings report software) and HWMonitor (temp, frequency and voltage reporting software).

My (just installed) CPU Cooler:
Noctua Low-Profile Quiet CPU Cooler for Intel 115x Based Retail Cooling NH-L9I
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod...95&cm_re=noctua_nh-l9i-_-35-608-029-_-Product

My GPU:
EVGA SuperClocked 02G-P4-3662-KR G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130810

My PSU:
CORSAIR TX Series CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply & New 4th Gen CPU Certified Haswell Ready
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005

My Case:
Antec Three Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with Upgraded 2 x USB 3.0
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod...H2708&cm_re=antec_case-_-11-129-180-_-Product

You can see exactly what settings are available in my BIOS here:
https://sites.google.com/site/visualbios/advanced/performance/processor

As for RAM, should I use the XMP-1600 profile or do something else?
 
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wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
Increase the Big slider where it shows 2.6Ghz also the votage offset 5-10 mv at the same time. You can go up to maximum total 1.44v and 90c while stress testing.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Yes, use XMP for the RAM.

Your limiting factor will be the CPU cooler. That cooler is intended for an HTPC or small form factor computer. It will not get you very far with your overclock. Once you start stress testing you will see what I mean. You should be running 20 minute Prime95 blend tests at the first part of your overclocking effort. You want to see max core/package temps under stress testing not exceed 90c. Max safe vcore is 1.35-1.375.

You really need to pick up a big tower style cooler like the Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo or the Cryorig H7.
 
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LetoAtreidesII

New Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2017
Yes, use XMP for the RAM.

Your limiting factor will be the CPU cooler. That cooler is intended for an HTPC or small form factor computer. It will not get you very far with your overclock. Once you start stress testing you will see what I mean. You should be running 20 minute Prime95 blend tests at the first part of your overclocking effort. You want to see max core/package temps under stress testing not exceed 90c. Max safe vcore is 1.35-1.375.

You really need to pick up a big tower style cooler like the Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo or the Cryorig H7.

Yeah after researching it a bit, I think I should get a better cooler. I plan on getting the NH-U12S. I thought about getting the cheap Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO that it seems everyone is using, but ease of installation is a big thing for me, especially since I wrecked my last CPU/motherboard/fan because I couldn't figure out how to remove/install my (Intel stock) cooler.

Anyway, I might as well figure everything else out so I'm ready to go when I get my new fan. These are my BIOS settings for my CPU (all default except for Processor VR Droop Control):

Processor VR Droop Control - High, Medium, or Low - defaults to High, I set to Low
Voltage Offset (mV) 0
Turbo Ratio 0
Maximum Non-Turbo Ratio 34
Host Clock Frequency 100

Runtime Turbo Ratio - Checked
Intel Turbo Boost Technology - Checked
Burst Mode Power Limit - 118 Watts
Sustained Mode Power Limit - 95 Watts
Sustained Mode Time - 1.5 seconds
TDC Current Limit Override - 97 Amps
Active Processor Cores - ALL
Processor PLL - 1.85V
Internal PLL Voltage Override - Unchecked
Processor Idle State - Low Power
Processor VR Droop Control Low V-droop (performance)
Processor I/O (V) 1.050
PCH Core (V) 1.050

You can see all the settings I have here:
https://sites.google.com/site/visualbios/advanced/performance/processor

One modification I made was to change VR Droop from High to Low since saving power isn't a priority for me. Was this a good idea?
I take back what I said earlier about the OC assistant slider only affecting Turbo Boost. It doesn't. It actually changes the Voltage Offset, Burst Mode Power Limit, Sustained Mode Power Limit, and TDC Current Limit Override. Someone recommended that I overclock by modifying primarily the core ratios and voltage offset only a little bit (+.1V). If I use the slider, the turbo core ratio stays at 0 no matter where I move the slider. So, should I overclock with the slider or by manually adjusting the ratio/voltages? And what voltages? As you can see above there are lots of different voltages and power limits. Overclock guides reference stuff like Vcore (lots of people talk about this but I don't see it in my BIOS), QPI/VTT(VCCIO), and System Agent Voltage (VCCSA) that I don't see in my BIOS.
 
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trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
When you overclock past the stock Turbo speed, turbo is disabled.

Not sure what Processor VR Droop Control is but it sounds like what we just call vdroop. There is vdrop (voltage sag with idle conditions with respect to what it is set to in bios) and vdroop (voltage sag under load). I think that is right but I get them confused.
 
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LetoAtreidesII

New Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2017
So, I haven't overclocked my CPU at all yet, waiting to install a new cooler as you recommended and still researching/gathering info. BTW, decided to get the Cryorig H7 instead. I did load the XMP 1600 profile for my RAM, because I figured out that's what the RAM manufacturer wants me to do (it reads the profile right off the RAM sticks).

There is one alarming thing I discovered. As I said, I still haven't overclocked my CPU at all. Running at BIOS defaults for my CPU, CPU-Z reports my Core Voltage at 1.32 V under load (while running CPU-Z's own Stress CPU test from its Bench tab). It fluctuates between 1.312 V and 1.32 V but is at 1.32 V most of the time. Temps gradually rise to about 75 C. Like I said, this is at stock settings - 3.8 GHz Turbo @0 voltage offset. I didn't change anything in BIOS related to CPU except Vdroop. So I thought maybe my Vdroop change was to blame, so I changed Vdroop back to the default value of High. There was no difference - it was still at 1.32 V while running the CPU-Z stress test.

The reason this bothers me is because these Vcore values are basically overclock Vcore values for other people with the same processor. Also, since it's pretty close to the max safe Vcore, it doesn't leave me with much room to increase voltages for when I do overclock.

So, my questions are, is this normal? Is this good or bad? What Vcore values should I be getting at stock (non-overclocked) settings for my i5-2550k? Since Vcore is already so high, does this mean that I can try increasing my core multipliers without increasing voltage?
 

Johan45

Benching Team Leader Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
That's all normal. Typically "stock" voltage is higher than it needs to be to cover all CPUs and environments. As for increasing multi yes you probably can but I would wait for your new cooler. CPUz test isn't very stressful. If you were to run something like P95 with that stock cooler Your temps would likely be closer to 95° than 75°
 
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LetoAtreidesII

New Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2017
That's all normal. Typically "stock" voltage is higher than it needs to be to cover all CPUs and environments. As for increasing multi yes you probably can but I would wait for your new cooler. CPUz test isn't very stressful. If you were to run something like P95 with that stock cooler Your temps would likely be closer to 95° than 75°

So if I ran a P95 or IBT test right now, without any overclocking at all (which I will do eventually to provide some control data for any overclock tests), would my temperatures likely be too hot and/or the test would fail/crash? If so, does that mean that my current cooler (which is actually an aftermarket NH-L9I, slightly better than a stock cooler), is insufficient to cool my CPU at stock speeds?
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Have you tried it yet? Won't hurt anything. Just monitor core temps with HWMonitor or some other tool and don't run a stress test for hours if the hottest core's temp exceeds 90c.

You need to understand that P95 and IBT are going to drive the temps up much higher than almost any real world app. An OEM or aftermarket small cooler will be adequate for an i3 when stressing with P95 or IBT but probably not with an i5k or an i7k.
 
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LetoAtreidesII

New Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2017
Have you tried it yet? Won't hurt anything. Just monitor core temps with HWMonitor or some other tool and don't run a stress test for hours if the hottest core's temp exceeds 90c.

You need to understand that P95 and IBT are going to drive the temps up much higher than almost any real world app. An OEM or aftermarket small cooler will be adequate for an i3 when stressing with P95 or IBT but probably not with an i5k or an i7k.

Nope, haven't tried it yet, but I figure if I'm going to get a new cooler anyway I might as well wait. I guess I should run P95 and/or IBT right now at stock speeds for control data though, if it's safe. Any advice on whether to run P95 or IBT or both?