CPU Overclock Suddenly Unstable: Prime 95 Stable - but Games Crash to Desktop!

Ransome

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Hello.
My main specs:
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64bit
GPU: Asus 1080 Ti Strix OC Edition
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K
MB: Asus Sabertooth Z77
RAM: 16GB G.Skill Ripjaw-X DDR3 1600MHz (XMP profile)
PSU: Corsair RM850i


I used a CPU overclock of:
XMP Profile
4.4GHz x44 multiplier
Voltage: Offset -0.005 or +0.005
LLC: Extreme

One day, after months of running smoothly and with good temps and gaming stability...
BOOM. Games start to crash to desktop consistently, frequently and fairly quickly.
Thought it's my GPU OC, so I tried setting to default and even closing MSI AB but it didn't help.

Tried upping the Voltage to +0.005. Worked...after a few days. BOOM not stable again.
OK so I tried +0.010. Same thing. Fixed...then after a few days it is suddenly not stable and inexplicably crashes.

Tried different voltages like +0.020 with LLC HIGH 50% instead of Ultra High. Worked for a week then one day stopped. Tried going back to OC that were stable before and it didn't work.

So I tried upping the voltage more but it only generates excessive voltage without real stability.

I also tried 4.3GHZ at -0.030 0.040 yesterday, with LLC HIGH - and it worked well - only to stop working this morning.

The way I test it is using Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition Benchmark.
It will almost always crash in the final stage's final seconds of the benchmark. Seemingly for no reason because the clocks and temps are flawless. (50s-60s C CPU temps).
Also tried to run The Witcher 3, stand in Novigrad crowded area and wait - it will CTD after a while.
Other benchmarks work without a crash:
Supervision, Valley and 3D Mark FireStrike & Spy Demo.
Games like Dishonored 2 might crash unexpectedly.

Everything used to be so smooth.
The PC is super clean - I cleaned it so freaking thoroughly a while ago and yesterday again.
Tried clean installing multiple Nvidia Drivers.
Tried Windows Memory Diagnostic tool
I don't understand what's wrong and it drives me crazy.
Been like that on and off for weeks. I can't properly Game when my games will CTD so often and so quickly.
 

Ransome

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Definitely seem to be the CPU OC. Everything points out to it.
By the way I even tried to flash the BIOS to the same version (latest from the website, from 2013 I think).

Already did as you suggested, but tried it again with The Witcher 3 this time.
The CPU OC even without the GPU Oc- crahses to desktop.
It even did a system freeze and black/blue screen of Death and restarted my system. I wasnt nearby but when I came back it was in a clean desktop.
Found critical error: kernel-power 41.
Also Event 19 WHEA Logger Warning: Reported Component: Processor Core
APIC ID: 4.

What can I do now?
I need some kind of OC.

I haven't changed anything in months, maybe a year. How come nothing works with stability in games?

These CTDs and system failures are getting out of hand, but without CPU OC it seems stable and randomly stable at wide range of OC settings.

I can't play anything remotely demanding.
I need assistance please.
Out of ideas. Tried fixing this for well over a month, on and off.
 

Ransome

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Almost seems to be getting worse. I PUMP more
And more voltage and it's not stable.
Tried 4.4GHz at +0.25 Offset LLC High and it crashes after 5 minutes. This bring voltage to 1.288 at load or more.
Used to work at 1.240 MANUAL at 4.4GHZ voltage for many months. Or at Minus offset -0.010.
Now I reach 1.29 with offset at + 0.030...
And it's not getting stable...
WHAT THE HELL???
Not overheating, not even overloading at times. Voltage seems rather decent without fluctuations I think.

Maybe its the PSU or something smaller than I can imagine. Makes no sense.
 

Ransome

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Damaged games? I tried verifying cache multiple times and even reinstalling some games.
Clean reinstalled windows a few months back so I don't really wish to go there again, it's a huge hassle for an extremely huge gamble. Even my last clean install was basically just for "safe good measure" back then. So I rather avoid it.
It's basically as clean as new.
I can try repair or reset maybe. If nothing works.

Even so- what about the overclock? How can I make it stable again? Now it's not stable at all.
Even if I reinstall windows which spunds very far fetched solution... I would bot know what to do with the OC.

Plus read my 2nd message above,please.

All my OC were tested by running Prime 95 version 26.6, Short FFTs for small 15 minute tests. Running a 1080/4K at 60fps YouTube Video. And measuring temps with Real Temp and CPUZ for clocks and voltages.
- As suggested by some CPU expert here in the forums.

And like I said games used to work rather flawlessly.
 

Ransome

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1. Little chance I fried any hardware since I never gave my CPU or GPU for that matter any more voltage than recommended-heck not even close.
Usually wouldn't touch tge 1.3 which is still very safe.
Temps are at worst high 60s or 70s at.Prime95 onl6 -but even Prime 95 would give it 50s or 60s with the mentioned OCs .
Idle can be from 30 to 40s. Even at a hot er day. And heavy games from 40 to 50s or 60s at the summer.
Perfectly reasonable temps.
And my voltages were usually 1.24 1.256 1.260 etc give and take. Even less than 1.000 at idle.

2. I already tried disabling all my OC - it runs.
 

Ransome

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Well like Perer said, I didn't want to fry my hardware, or over cook it,and normal use never gets anywhere close to Prime 95. Even games with 100%cpu load are not as heavy as Small FFTs.
And I can't remember who it was but he had a really high Tom's ranking.

My real test was games and normal use.

Anyway, I never done any crazy temps, clocks or voltages. So I don't get it.
 

Ransome

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PSU is fairy new. Got it as a replacement for my Corsair 850AX Gold that died. Had to pay a little but basically got a new one and 7 uear warranty of sorts.
It has an annoying electrical buzz or coil whine even though the fans are never spinning, I can't really remove it. And I don't feel like gambling with shoddy customer service and lab tests for RMi (in Israel warranty usually sucks). And the thought of disconnecting all the cables and cable management just to give it back to them, hurts my head. It's a crappy store so I don't want to deal with them if I can, I think the RM850i and other PSU just have these random electric/buzzing/coil whine noise. It's faint but my ears pick it up.

Anyway I HIGHLY doubt it has ANYTHING to do with it. It's extremely far fetched.

What else can I do?
Keep raising voltages.
Change other OC settings besides Offset and LLC?

Maybe lower voltage and change something else?

What about Manual Voltage? I hear it's more stable. Should I try that? Is it safe for long term? Better maybe? Please help me figure this trouble out. I'm pulling hair out already:/
 

Ransome

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Hey guys, thanks again for the help and sticking up with me so far.

After hours upon hours of work - I believe I found a stable CPU OC at last. At least for the quick tests in TW3 and DMC4 SE. And short Prime 95 runs. No WHEA Warnings too. Or an crashes to desktop/reboots so far.

At first I got to a +0.030 and LLC Ultra at 4.4GHz which resulted in 1.288-1290 Voltage and seemed stable.
Yet, I didn't like the higher than usual voltages. Decided playing it safe and backing a way a bit might help longer term.
So I settled to 4.3GHz. Still, getting stable 4.3 was complicated.
After many hours of tedious unnerving trail and error attempts, I have set my OC to:
XMP Profile. 4.3GHz. Negative Offset of -0.010. LLC set to High (50%). Everything else untouched at default.
This gives Voltage of around 1.216 +/- full load after Vdroop.
Load voltages seem to alternate between 1.240 and 1.232 momentarily when loading up. At load 1.224 then 1.216 with Prime95.
Idle voltages are 0.984, 1.000~ and temps between 20-30c. Higher without room AC lol.
I can't go party just yet...but I think that's enough fiddling for one day! I will need to do some daily usage testing.
Because for all I know it might have been a temporary fluke.

OK, now that I THINK I got a stable OC, I went on and did as Peter suggested and restored to a two-week prior manual restore point.

Bmockeg, I'm definitely considering a Clean Install or maybe a Reset. But I'm exhausted for the time being, and I want to playtest it with actual proper Gaming sessions. Then maybe if I get spare time I might do a reinstall. That is, if I still find it necessary. If it's not broken, I probably shouldn't fix it, right? We'll see.

So what do you think? Should I still Clean Install given everything I said to be safe - if games run well without serious crashes?

Also, what do you guys think regarding Clean Install with USB Vs Windows Reset with Keep Nothing + maybe Clean Drive? (through Recovery)
 

zebarjadi.raouf

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CALM DOWN. I get panicked reading your posts. Too much energy for my heart. Also, sorry for the late reply, different timezone.

If an OC is unstable no matter what you do, just back down a little. 4.3 or 4.2 should do. Older chips can start losing performance as they age. Especially an 8-year-old one that was running near the max performance.
Also, it's a freaking core i7. Even without an OC it can run games easily. Not that I'm rejecting free boost.

If you have good airflow with temps below 80c and voltage below 1.30v then it's unlikely to damage anything.

Prime95 is for determining max temps, not for stability. RealBench or OCCT is used for that.

Also, don't trust XMP too much. Can cause too many problems when it doesn't work. Use manual voltage to find the sweet spot. Then adjust the adaptive voltage based on that.

Also, as "bmockeg" suggested, bad OC can cause micro errors over time resulting in a corrupted windows. If you haven't reinstalled in while, do it. A fresh install is usually recommended every now and then. Clean Install with USB is what I would do. I don't trust Microsoft's gimmicks.
 

urbancamper

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Every bit of the above information is incorrect.

Intel Core i5-3570K / this is his cpu. It is an i5 not an i7. Also XMP works just fine. It is not just for memory votage, it also sets the correct speed and timing of the memory. Prime 95 is a stress testing tool for computer building enthusiasts. It is also a tool for prime number calculations for scientists.

Have you given any thought that after all these years of overclocking the cpu is starting to degrade. My suggestion would be to run without the overclock for now. The gtx 1080 ti can handle the load and the 3570k is bottlenecking it anyway. Save for something current or near current.

Heck a low end Ryzen like the 1600x will blow the doors off that cpu you have now. For around 350 dollars you could have a very nice upgrade that includes cpu, motherboard and 8gb ddr4 memory.






 

zebarjadi.raouf

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Intel Core i5-3570K / this is his cpu. It is an i5 not an i7.
Huh, you're right. But I don't differentiate too much between i5 and i7 when it comes to gaming. The boost from multithreading won't affect it too much.
Also XMP works just fine.
XMP is a predefined profile. Something that worked just out of the box is not guaranteed to work 8 years later.
Prime 95 is a stress testing tool for computer building enthusiasts.
Each stress software excells at doing something. Prime95 (v26.6) is mostly used for determining max temps under load. My overclock passed 12h of Prime95 v29.4 (not scared of v26.6+), crashed while gaming.
Heck a low end Ryzen like the 1600x will blow the doors off that cpu you have now.
3570K vs 1600X. The OP is mostly a gamer (At least I think so). And the games that benefit from 4+ cores are too little and experimental for now. Buying 1600X for 9% boost at stock (1% after OCing both) is not something I would recommend. Unless he gets into streaming/ecnoding/...


EDIT: Never said it's not a stress tester. Said it's good for determining max daily usage temps (v26.6). Other stress tester catch stability much faster and I don't mean AIDA64.
 

urbancamper

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Wow, your so off base in so many ways. Your take on prime95 while amusing is incorrect. It Is a stress tester. Sure you can find the max temp with prime 95, but that is not it's main purpose. I would suggest you read this fine article from Toms before spouting anymore of your personal theories on what Prime95 is for. https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/stress-test-cpu-pc-guide,5461.html

XMP is the profile that is hardwired onto the memory. There is only one way to degrade is. Overclock and beyond it's profile with too much voltage. However memory is quite hardy so killing it's xmp profile is unlikely.

Even if a game uses less threads, more often then not the extra thread will result in higher fps. Higher FPS is always better.


 

Ransome

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1. Actually It's just slightly past 6 years old now. I bought the base of this system (CPU, RAM, MB, CASE, 1st SSD) back in end of July/August 2012.
I do wish I bought an i7 back then, right now buying a used i7 - is totally not worth the money, they are so overpriced, and it's a big risk regarding its quality and stability. Don't think it's worth going into.

2. I always used XMP Profile, giving the RAM its factory, built-in optimal settings.
I used to have only 4.2 GHz OC with AUTO everything (Auto voltage and everything at Defaults). It actually gave decent voltages, and was rock stable. However beyond 4.2 it starts to over voltage sometimes (especially 4.4 and up).

Like I said, right now I'm at 4.3 GHz ; Offset Voltage of -0.010 (negative) ; LLC 50% and RAM at XMP. Rest at defaults. Didn't tamper with anything else.
If nothing works, I will just return to 4.2GHz with auto voltage & defaults.

3. I made my last Clean Install from a USB back in APRIL 2018. 4-5 months ago.Is it really worth going through again?
The most time consuming and annoying part for me is actually configuring Windows settings to my liking. I wish there was a way to store my settings on my online Microsoft Account and have the reload automatically back afterwards.

4. I know about Bottlenecks - but I play most of my games at 2160p 4K@60FPS, with fewer games at my 1440p 144Hz Gsync PC monitor. So potential game bottlenecks are reduced significantly, even minimized at these resolutions - especially 4K. Unless the game is CPU-bound and unoptimized.

5. I am saving for a future build.
Unfortunately, upgrading CPU means replacing CPU, MB, RAM and probably CPU Cooler. Doing that will cost a lot of money and time.
I rather not take apart my current rig, and prefer to keep it as 2nd rig for work and Gaming. Therefore I rather build everything fresh in a brand system and a new case.
My plan is to upgrade to at least Intel I7-9700K, skipping the 8th Gen. DDR4 probably Corsair 3200 or 3600MHz 16 or 32GB. New case: Probably the Fractal Design Meshify C or Corsair Carbide Air 540. Get a CPU AIO Cooler probably Corsair H110/115i. A compatible Asus Motherboard - who knows what, just as soon as Amazon restocks and ships something again to Israel (which they randomly stop doing!). Then might get a big SSD or move my current 2nd SSD. PSU, some fans etc. Will use an unopened Windows 7 key for the new OS, hopefully.

Making a new rig from zero is a ton of work, research, usually spring new issues to tackle - and is simply very very expensive.
To be honest I love my rig, it still kicks ass.
I put so much work into it, from upgrades, to constant maintenance, cleaning, managing the inside of the case perfectly, and setting up software wise to be Gaming-focused - that I don't feel like starting over all over again just yet. Or disassembling several parts of it and replacing them (cpu,mb,ram,cooler).
Besides, I can still run most of my Games well enough.
Games that refuse to stick to 60fps, are usually games that are soo poorly optimized or terribly heavy - that even i7-8700K and 1080ti or up won't run well enough, I think (AC Origins for instance, Dishonored 2).

6. Whenever I do upgrade- I want it to be as big a technological and performance leap as possible. To get a significant performance boost and make the most of my current hardware.
Perhaps I will make my new build Q1 2019 before Devil May Cry 5 comes out (March 2019). Hopefully it will be timed well with the release of new Gen of CPUs, Motherboards and RAM.
 

zebarjadi.raouf

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Worst case, if nothing works stable - I plan on going back to 4.2 GHz with Auto voltage.

Right now I'm at 4.3 GHz, Offset Voltage of -0.010 (negative), LLC 50% and RAM at XMP. Rest at defaults. Didn't tamper with anything else.
Don't worry to much about lowering clocks. 0.1-0.2GHz is not going to make much difference. You could look at task manager or other monitoring software to find out CPU usage.
I made my last Clean Install from a USB back in APRIL 2018. So hardly 4-5 months ago. So, is it really worth going through again?
That's new. You probably won't need a fresh install. Bad OC takes longer to corrupt.
I play most of my games at 2160p 4K@60FPS, with fewer games at my 1440p.
1440/4K is mostly GPU dependant so you're probably bottlenecked by the GPU.
 

Ransome

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Edited my former comment.

Do you think my current OC is fine to keep (IF it turns out stable- hopefully)?
Do you think going back to 4.2GHz with auto voltage is okay?

Also I really want to know what's your guys take on Offset vs Manual (fixed) Voltages? And LLC settings. I didn't get any answers for that.

That's new. You probably won't need a fresh install. Bad OC takes longer to corrupt
Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. If I'm not mistaken MS actually released a big Windows Version Update once or twice since then - they usually do it like a new Windows install too, which most likely refreshes & rebuilds all the key system files.

I play most of my games at 2160p 4K@60FPS, with fewer games at my 1440p.
1440/4K is mostly GPU dependant so you're probably bottlenecked by the GPU.[/quote]
My thoughts as well. At 4K/2K games are more GPU-bound, I don't seem to have any CPU bottleneck at all or only just a little in special cases. At least according to MSI Afterburner measuring my CPU & GPU loads.

An i7 would have surely helped with 4K, but like I said above, 2nd-hand market is overpriced and a big gamble anyway.

 

zebarjadi.raouf

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Do you think going back to 4.2GHz with auto voltage is okay?
Auto voltage usually overvolts for extra stability that's why you can decrease it.
Do you think my current OC is fine to keep (IF it turns out stable- hopefully)?
If it's stable, sure, why not?
Also I really want to know what's your guys take on Offset vs Manual (fixed) Voltages?
I use the manual until I find the lowest stable voltage, then I adjust the adaptive voltage's max based on that. I keep lowering the offset till it matches. As for LLC, I usually use 50% unless I'm going really high with the OC.
All in all, I lower both till it's not stable. Then I back down a step + 0.002v-0.005v for extra stability as I don't have overheating problems.
big gamble anyway
You could always buy one with longer return time (14+ days) and torture test with OC.
I recently bought a pack of 5 used 4790Ks for 600$ with 30days return (killer bid, didn't expect to win). I overclocked them, tested them, found all in working condition, then sold them for profit. You might get lucky too.

Yeah, all things considered, if you're going to upgrade now, a big one is the way to go.
 

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