[SOLVED] Advice on small overclock

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jay.archard

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tbh when I made the switch from intel a few years ago, I was blown away by AMD. The price to performance ratio is unreal. And the Ryzens are something special. But for now, I am happy my system is working well, cooler, and I can work better in confidence. Thanks again mate, I appreciate you taking the time to help me try this .
 

jay.archard

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I'm going to reopen this if that's OK, @Darkbreeze after all your help, I am currently running a 4.4 mhz clock that just passed the 10 mins thermal test, I had 30 degrees thermal margin and all cores were stable (10 mins small fft no avx)

THis isn't the same system as before, and all i've done is reseat the heatsink with thermal grizzly and change the fan direction on the radiator and upgraded to RX 580 from 560. THe system was stable and cool idle temps were 12 degrees. so I decided to try the overclock again. I have it stable for thermals at 1.35V and 4.4Mhz I am tempted to try 4.6 and find the VCore for that, and get a stable 10 min thermal test, BUY my next question is, for a stability stress test, what is the best thing to run , OCCT ? Realbench ? and for how long is recommended to test stability ? 1 hr ? 12 hours ? 24 hours ?

Thanks in advance.
 

jay.archard

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This IS or IS NOT the same system as before?
Exactly the same system , all I did was reseat the heatsink and use grizzly , and change my gfx card.

I managed 4.6 with Vcore 1.43V

Stable p95 small fft no avx , 10 minutes thermal margin was 23 degrees.

Aida64 1 hour passed
OCCT medium data 1 hour passed.

I was wondering how long to run stress testing for to assume the system.is stable ?
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Might have been that the GX card was the problem, but unusual to say the least.

Full testing procedures are outlined towards the end of my overclocking guide, but I'll post them here again just for the sake of convenience. There are as many opinions on what is appropriate and what constitutes "stability" as there are hardware combinations though, so be aware that what I like to see may not be what the next guy recommends. My recommendations are based on input from dozens of system builders, overclockers and a handful of long time very experienced systems engineers, as well as some overlapping opinions by some of the better known reviewers as well. In addition of course, to my own testing and experiences.




Testing thermal compliance

Once you get to the Windows desktop, the first thing you will want to do is open HWinfo (Sensors only option), Core Temp or Ryzen Master and take a look at what your core and package temperatures are doing. At idle your core temps should be somewhere below 40°C in the majority of cases. Preferably somewhere in the mid to low 30’s. On some newer very high core count models, or if you are using the stock cooler (In which case you shouldn't be overclocking anyhow), then it might not be below the 40°C threshold.

If you are not overclocking and are ONLY testing the thermal compliance of the stock configuration, then don't be TOO concerned by a high idle temperature UNLESS you also have a high load temperature that is outside of spec. This WILL be affected by whatever the ambient temperature is in the room where you are, so if your are in a very warm region and have no air conditioning going you may have an idle temp that is a bit closer to 40. For cooler ambient rooms or regions it will likely show low 30’s-ish. Be aware that unless you have excessively high idle temps, say, above 40°C, then what your actual idle temps are is practically irrelevant. Cooler idle temps are not indicative of much of anything specific.

Very HIGH idle temps however DO indicate that there is likely a problem with an incorrectly installed CPU cooler heatsink, too high of CPU core voltage or some other cooling or voltage related issue. If you are using one of those other utilities I warned about in the beginning of this tutorial, it may also be that the utility is reporting falsely. In that case, go get HWinfo or CoreTemp and check again.

If idle temps seem fine, then leave your monitoring application open and run Prime95 (Either version 26.6 or the latest version with AVX/AVX2 disabled).

Choose the Small FFT option (NOT "Smallest FFT") and allow it to run for fifteen minutes. If you are using the latest version of Prime95 (Version 29.8 or newer) then you NEED to be sure to disable the AVX and AVX2 options in the main options window. When you disable AVX2 the option to disable AVX will become available. If at any point your core or package temperatures exceed 80°C for Intel or AMD Ryzen platforms, then click the “Test” menu at the top of the Prime95 window and select “stop” or “exit”. Do not simply click the "X" in the top right corner as that will NOT stop the stress test, it will only minimize it to the tray.

You MUST click Stop or Exit from the drop down TEST menu at the top left of the window to stop the stress test.


If you have an older AMD system that is pre-Ryzen, then measuring thermals is going to be a little different. If your AMD system IS a Ryzen based system, then testing will be the same as for Intel based systems.

On pre-Ryzen AMD systems they did not make, by any definition, measuring core temps accurate or reliable. On the low end of the scale their thermal sensor readings have long been laughable, sometimes showing temps that are well below what the ambient temperature is, which of course is not possible without some kind of Peltier cooler or active refrigeration. At the other end of the thermal range it’s not much better.

This is because AMD does not actually implement their sensor designs to be determined in the same way that Intel does. AMD uses a method known as distance to Tjmax. Tjmax being, in this case, the temperature at which AMD has determined bad stuff will start happening such as thermal throttling, shut downs and damage.

For this reason when you are testing thermal compliance, or just monitoring for general purposes, you need to be aware of this difference and purposely either use applications designed for use with AMD processors or make some settings changes in other utilities that will allow you to see distance to Tjmax rather than estimated core temps.

There are a couple of ways you can do this. First off, HWinfo generally has the appropriate fields which are labeled as Distance to Tjmax. I feel like the better choice though is either CoreTemp or AMD overdrive for monitoring Distance to Tjmax on AMD platforms. In CoreTemp you will need to go into the Options tab, click on Settings and on the Advanced tab check the box next to the setting for “Show distance to Tjmax in temperature fields” in order to change from the default and likely inaccurate core temperature display.

AMD overdrive shows Distance to Tjmax by default, and I don’t think there is any other way to monitor CPU thermals in that utility anyhow. Either of these is probably a good choice, but it’s also likely worth checking either CoreTemp or AMD overdrive against what you see for Distance to Tjmax in HWinfo and if the readings are pretty close to the same, just use HWinfo as there is a lot of other information available in the sensors display that is not available with these other two.

Regarding the actual Distance to Tjmax sensor readings, what you do NOT want to see is anything closer than 10°C Distance to Tjmax, ESPECIALLY if you are only in the first phase of your overclock configuration and have only made minor changes to the CPU multiplier and voltage at this point. If it drops below ten degrees to Tjmax you are getting very close to your thermal ceiling and need to revisit either your cooling solution or voltage settings.

If you can run the Prime95 version 26.6 or 29.8 (With AVX/AVX2 disabled) Small FFT (NOT "Smallest FFT". ONLY use the "Small FFT" for our purposes.) torture test for 15 minutes without exceeding 80°C for Intel/AMD Ryzen or dropping below 10°C thermal margin (AKA Distance to Tjmax) for AMD, then you are to some degree or other within specification for thermal tolerance.

It's important to note that when stopping or attempting to exit Prime95 that you MUST use the drop down file menu and choose either "Stop" or "Exit". Simply clicking the X in the top right corner like you would for most programs will not stop the test, and will leave it running in the system tray.

If you are very close to the edge however, this may be a warning sign that you don’t have much overclocking headroom since we’ve only barely set our multiplier to what is basically the all core equivalent of the default single core Turbo frequency (Speed). IF that is the case, you will want to either be very careful going forward or stop and think about upgrading your CPU cooler and perhaps looking at whether your case and case fan situation is really sufficient for what you are trying to do.







Stability testing

So, if you passed the thermal compliance phase the next step will be to test stability. I cannot over stress the importance of not cutting corners when it comes to stress testing. Do not listen to naysayers who try to tell you that if you simply run this or that for 15 minutes, or an hour, or can pass a specific benchmark without errors, that your system is stable. Do not listen to people who say that if it is only a gaming system then stability isn’t important so long as it doesn’t crash. This is unreliable.

It IS important, no matter WHAT you do on the system. Unstable CPU or memory configurations can thoroughly degrade an operating system, game files or other parts of your file system to the point of eventually making them unusable. Instability is also probably not the best thing for the hardware itself.
Do the tests. Do them for the length of time they should be done for and do not cut corners even though it is tempting to do. You will only be hurting yourself in the long run.

Open Realbench and run a 1 hour stress test to begin with. Choose the Stress test option by clicking on the Stress test button. Choose the one hour option. Set the memory option to approximately half of your total installed memory. We are not worried about testing memory right now. If you have more than 16GB of memory, choose the up to 16GB option. If you have 16GB of memory, choose the up to 8GB option. If you have 8GB or less, choose the up to 4GB option.

If you pass the 1 hour stress test and plan to try increasing your overclock a bit higher, then you can start again just as you did in the beginning but bump the CPU core frequency up by another 100-200mhz. If it will post and boot into windows, repeat the thermal test and the stress test.
If it will not POST and boot into windows, or if you get errors or bluescreens at any point, then you will need to bump up your CPU core voltage a bit and try again. We went over that in the beginning so that should be self explanatory at this point.


If you were not able to pass the one hour stress test, then also, you will want to go back into the bios and bump the voltage up a small amount. By small amount, I mean whatever minimal increment the BIOS will allow you to adjust it upwards in. If the voltage was at 1.32v and did not pass, or would not POST, or there were errors or bluescreens or the screen went black and (**)restarted then try bumping the CPU core voltage up to 1.325. If it was at 1.3v try 1.31. Etc.

(**Assuming it did not do so because of a low quality power supply. Very important to have a high quality power supply if you are going to be overclocking. Watts are not the only consideration. A unit with good, clean power that has low ripple and electrical noise is very important in order for the motherboard and voltage regulators to remain stable and not overheat as well.)

Every time you make a change in the bios to increase the CPU core voltage, YOU MUST RUN the thermal tests again to verify you are still within tolerance.

If however you passed the one hour stress test with no errors, no problems of any kind, and do not wish to raise the level of your overclock, or at any time if you get to the point where you are happy with the speed you have achieved up to that point, then you can go ahead and run the Realbench stress test again except this time run it for a full 8 hours.

If it passes that, then close Realbench and open Prime95 again. Choose the Blend test and run that for 8 hours. If it passes that, your system is probably about as stable as can be expected under almost any circumstances and you can call it a day if you are able to pass both of these tests and are still within thermal compliance. It’s worth noting that you may want to periodically check your maximum thermal readings on your monitoring software which you should leave running alongside any stress tests, just to make sure that you don’t exceed thermal limits while testing.

If you remained below the thermal ceiling when you ran the Small FFT Prime95 torture test though, you should not have any issues with thermals on either of these other tests anyway.
If you wish to take the stability testing one step further IN ADDITION to having passed both the Realbench 8 hr test and the Prime95 Blend mode 8 hr test, you can run Prime95 Small FFT for 24 hours and if you pass that there is little else you can do to assure that your system is stable in regard to your CPU overclock settings.

At this point you can move on to using your system normally again, or, if you wish to push things a little further to see how much more you can squeeze out of it, then you can simply start the whole process over again moving up incrementally from where you left off but it is terribly important that you always perform the thermal and stability tests after any changes so you don't end up creating tremendous problems for yourself later on or inadvertently damaging your hardware with an overclock that is beyond what your cooling system, motherboard and CPU are capable of sustaining.

If you have successfully achieved the overclock you were hoping for, then congratulations and at this point you can reconfigure your memory XMP settings or continue on to either tightening your memory timings or overclocking your memory, if you plan to do so.





Quick and dirty overview of overclocking validation procedure.

Set CPU multiplier and voltage at desired settings in BIOS. Do not use presets or automatic utilities. These will overcompensate on core and other voltages. It is much better to configure most core settings manually, and leave anything left over on auto until a later point in time if wish to come back and tweak settings such as cache (Uncore) frequency, System agent voltage, VCCIO (Internal memory controller) and memory speeds or timings (RAM) AFTER the CPU overclock is fully stable.

Save bios settings (As a new BIOS profile if your bios supports multiple profiles) and exit bios.

Boot into the Windows desktop environment. Download and install Prime95 version 26.6.

Download and install either HWinfo or CoreTemp.

Open HWinfo and run "Sensors only" or open CoreTemp.

Run Prime95, either version 26.6 OR the latest version WITH the AVX and AVX2 options disabled in the settings menu that pops up when you start up Prime95, and choose the "Small FFT test option". Run this for 15 minutes while monitoring your core/package temperatures to verify that you do not exceed the thermal specifications of your CPU.

(This should be considered to be 80°C for most generations of Intel processor and for current Ryzen CPUs. For older AMD FX and Phenom series, you should use a thermal monitor that has options for "Distance to TJmax" and you want to NOT see distance to TJmax drop below 10°C distance to TJmax. Anything that is MORE than 10°C distance to TJmax is within the allowed thermal envelope.)

If your CPU passes the thermal compliance test, move on to stability.

Download and install Realbench. Run Realbench and choose the Stress test option. Choose a value from the available memory (RAM) options that is equal to approximately half of your installed memory capacity. If you have 16GB, choose 8GB. If you have 8GB, choose 4GB, etc. Click start and allow the stability test to run for 8 hours. Do not plan to use the system for ANYTHING else while it is running. It will run realistic AVX and handbrake workloads and if it passes 8 hours of testing it is probably about as stable as you can reasonably expect.

If you wish to check stability further you can run 12-24 hours of Prime95 Blend mode or Small FFT.

You do not need to simultaneously run HWinfo or CoreTemp while running Realbench as you should have already performed the thermal compliance test PLUS Realbench will show current CPU temperatures while it is running.

If you run the additional stability test using Prime95 Blend/Small FFT modes for 12-24 hours, you will WANT to also run HWinfo alongside it. Monitor HWinfo periodically to verify that no cores/threads are showing less than 100% usage. If it is, then that worker has errored out and the test should be stopped.


If you find there are errors on ANY of the stability tests including Realbench or Prime95, or any other stress testing utility, you need to make a change in the bios. This could be either dropping the multiplier to a lower factor or increasing the voltage while leaving the multiplier the same. If you change voltage or multiplier at ANY time, you need to start over again at the beginning and verify thermal compliance again.
 

jay.archard

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Thanks Darkbreeze , I'm happy at 4.6 so I'm going to run the stability tests overnight realbench 1st followed by prime 95 blend. Thanks for all your help but whatever changes , made the system work.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
When running Realbench, use only half of the amount of installed memory in the field where it asks how much memory to use. Something in Realbench has been causing errors on all systems I've been testing, even ones not overclocked, when selecting the full amount of installed memory. Since this does not really affect the CPU stability test it doesn't really matter. If concerned about memory stability you'd want to use Memtest86 first anyhow.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
If we're being honest, I think the voltage is too high for a daily driver. I think you will see electromigration problems at some point if you need that much voltage to remain stable at 4.6Ghz. I'd rather, MUCH rather, see a 4.5Ghz OC, since the 100mhz difference is not all that big a deal, considering it's only a 2.16% decrease in clock speed.

I'd try 4.5Ghz and see if you can be stable at 1.356v, if not bump it up by one + increment and try again. If you can get stable under 1.4v, that would be good. Then, try 4.6Ghz at the same voltage. It probably won't be stable, but then increase voltage. If you can't get it stable at 4.6Ghz with 1.4v or less, I'd forget about going past 4.5Ghz. The performance gain of 2.16% is not worth it.
 

jay.archard

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Ok thanks, I had seemingly stable results at 4.4 1.35V but I am sure the only reason I had issues was vdroop , I'm not sure LLC in this bios is good at 50 I'm going to try 75 , see if I can't get a more stable voltage with that . I'll aim for 4.5
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
If you make ANY changes to Vcore/Core voltage or LLC you MUST do the thermal compliance tests again BEFORE moving on to stability. Keep that in mind, and rest assured that THAT is a very important thing to remember. Small changes to core voltage or LLC can result, especially LLC, in MUCH higher thermal responses. Also, changes of frequency, ie, going from 4.5 to 4.6Ghz, ALSO requires that you retest thermal compliance, because it IS going to affect it.
 

jay.archard

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Well I am happy with the overnight results. 4.5 Ghz which is stable at 1.38V I couldnt complete full 8 hours, it did 6, before I had to leave , i'll run the full 8 hour test tonight, but 6 hours, thermals were fine, over 20 degrees to Tjmax , system idles at around 50 degrees to Tjmax , that's a 300mhz increase on the clock and using 0.4V less than the stock clock, as it runs at 1.42V for Turbo boost.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
If it did 6 hours of Realbench, it's probably good to go.

I'd go ahead and run the Prime95 blend mode for a couple of hours, longer is obviously more of an assurance of stability, although, the only way to assure complete stability is by running an indefinite length stability test and it never erroring out, ever. LOL. We'll take six to eight hours of Realbench and maybe four hours of Prime95 Blend mode as a real good basic assurance of stability though. If you want further assurances, you can also run many other stability tests.

Aida64 on the CPU selected test, Cinebench R20, Memtest86 (Four passes). Those are all good secondary opinion tests, but generally if you've passed many hours of Realbench and Prime95 Blend or small FFT, you are going to pass those as well but it never hurts to have a little extra assurance AND once you are pretty sure you are fully stable, it is OFTEN a good idea to bump the vcore by one increment to further stabilize the overclock, however, that does mean an additional fifteen minute thermal compliance verification at the end of things AND since you are already so close to 1.4v I am inclined to not say to do that. If you can get it to pass the stability tests at a lower voltage than 1.38, then you can be pretty damn sure it is going to be rock solid at 1.38 and can move it back afterwards. Or you can just do the stability tests, call it a day, and be done with it.

Or just be done with it after running Realbench. It's always your call, of course.
 

jay.archard

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Thank you, I will run the Prime95 on blend later tonight, and see how that goes, I will run AIDA64 again, for longer than an hour. But I won't be pushing the OC any further, and if it is stable at this VCore i'll leave everything alone, it will , of course get another stress test during the day in the fact i'll be using it for other things, so any wierd crashes and errors i'll at least know what to do next. I am happy at 4.5 tbh ,and my thermal margins are well within tolerances with some to spare.

I think you were right tbh about the graphics card, since I swapped it out, the whole system seems to be smoother, more responsive, I think the 560 was causing a bottleneck so the 580 now at least can deal with stuff I do. The real test for me will be Saturday when I do all video rendering all day.

Again, I want to thank you for all your help, originally for trying to help me when the system wasn't ready, but also for giving me the knowledge and confidence to try again once the system was ready, 4.5mhz on a FX8350 will do me until it fails, and then it's time to upgrade the board , RAM and chip. The cooler is decent enough (When you use a good quality paste and get the seating right) I blame the previous bad temperatures on the corsair paste that came on the heatsink, Grizzly really is as good as they say.

I've learned a lot about OC'ing and generally how things work so my next build will be a lot more powerful leaving me the option to OC as it gets older.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
The video rendering is the ultimate test, and as I was going to mention, the h.264 and h.265 tests are what some people swear by in terms of stability testing. Nothing can take the place of real world usage and all the rest is really just to gain SOME MEASURE of assurance, before putting it into the reality of real world testing in daily usage, especially in cases where the system is used for far more stringent usage than gaming.
 

jay.archard

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Definitely , and I'll run more tests today and overnight and if I'm happy it's stable , I'll be doing my work tomorrow and hopefully a bit quicker than previously. I use the PC for music production and video rendering as well as gaming. I only play older games like Battlefield 4 and battlefront 2 tbh just to take my mind off other things I do.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Cool man, hopefully it is at least a little better for you now, but being honest, even a bone stock entry level Ryzen 3600 at the default settings will outperform any of the 8 core FX parts, by a LOT, even if the FX parts are heavily overclocked, so upgrading should be a priority for you at some point when it is possible.

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/AMD-FX-8350-Eight-Core-vs-AMD-Ryzen-5-3600/1780vs3481

I mean, we're talking like almost THREE times the performance in anything that has moderately decent multithreaded support, and almost twice the single core performance.
 
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jay.archard

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Indeed , but the chip was the best I could afford at the time as the older one , the phenom 2 was really struggling. 2hrn finances allow I will upgrade. Thank you again
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Very unusual that handbrake caused instability, but Realbench didn't, since handbrake is one of the primary components of the stability stress test in Realbench.

You might just have a faulty board or CPU. Did you get these parts used or new?
 

jay.archard

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Both were brand new. All components are brand new. The 1.39V setting seems to have fixed it , handbrake rendered the video . Still running at 4.5mhz . Thermals are well within limits. If it happens again I get blue screened , I'm going back to stock , and just accept this chip won't overclock. Or the board is just not good enough. Either way I've given it a good go. Im pretty sure it's being undervolted , HWinfo MWmonitor both say 1.38V BIOS is showing 1.39V , so could this be VDroop? The LLC settings in the BIOS are not easy to understand . And I can't find any info on it anywhere for this particular BIOS
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Nah, if it happens again, just drop the CPU to 4.4Ghz. 4.4Ghz all core is still a lot better overall than the stock configuration of only 4.2Ghz on all cores. And, you could then probably also drop the voltage a bit, say 1.365-1.38v, BUT, the maximum safe voltage for ANY FX platform regardless of CPU model is 1.55v. You would need a custom loop to keep any FX CPU cool at that kind of voltage, plus a very highly rated top shelf 990fx motherboard, and probably also a really good case airflow situation, but it could handle it, at the very edge of acceptable.

I would never recommend doing that though, but what it means, is that so long as you are absolutely able to keep your thermals in check running Prime Small FFT for 15 minutes, then any voltage it takes to get your 4.5Ghz OC stable up to say 1.4v, should be ok. If you have to go more than that to stabilize a 4.5Ghz OC on that CPU, then you simply have a poor piece of silicon, because as I say, I have what should be a much lower binned FX 8320 here right now on my work bench running at 4.5Ghz (Normally has a lower base and boost clock than the 8350, so takes a BIGGER overclock to reach that same 4.5Ghz) on a Sabertooth 990fx motherboard with only 1.36v.

You can increase LLC as much as you want. The thing to remember is, the higher you raise LLC, the more, SUBSTANTIALLY more, you will increase the "all the time" AND "full load" temperatures because of the fact that there is going to be a much higher static voltage under a load. Honestly, you want the lowest vcore and LLC you can get by with and remain stable. Sometimes, that might mean REDUCING the vcore and INCREASING the LLC.

A CPU might be unstable at 1.38v (Just as a random example, not specifically on THIS configuration) with an LLC of 5/medium but be completely stable with a vcore of 1.35v and an LLC of 7/high. And those LLC numbers/settings are fictitious as well, only meant to be comparative. A lower vcore with a higher LLC might in some cases be more stable than a higher vcore with the same or lower LLC. This is why tweaking and playing around with configurations is a necessary part of dialing in an overclock and if you thing THIS is hair pulling, you should try overclocking or tightening the timings on a memory kit sometime. Jebus.
 
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jay.archard

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Yes, of course, that makes more sense, 4.4 is better than nothing, and I think you are right, I think if this fails at 1.39V then I have a suspect chip.

tbh LLC really confuses me on this BIOS, I input 25 it says low, 50 and 75 medium , and there are no ranges set anywhere, I should badger Gigabyte about that really, find out for sure how the values work.

So far so good at 4.5 at 1.39V and thermals are fine, so fingers crossed this is fine, I won't go any higher with VCore as you have advised, that could cause more issues.

Looking at HWMonitor, VCore max's at 1.404V and then settles on 1.392V and stays there. Clock running at 4521Mhz . I have to say, doing my work yesterday, rendering the videos was quite a lot quicker. Apart from the blue screen with Handbrake, rendering out of Vegas was so much faster. So I can do my work in a day now, over 2 days. Really happy with that.

Hopefully it will remain stable at this, im going to run realbench again overnight, and see how that goes.

I saw on a facebook post, the new AMD processors are on the way. This should be a good thing as prices should drop on the other Ryzens ?
 

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