[SOLVED] How to Have Dynamic CPU Speed on MSI Z490?

halo35boy

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Hi guys,

I just got an MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Plus mobo with BIOS Ver: E7C75IMS.A00 (I think it's the "BIOS click 5"?). I have an i9-10900K in this thing and I'm trying to get it to turbo boost to Intel's advertised 5.3 GHz on all cores. It won't even reach 5 GHz normally - it just caps at 4.9 GHz instead.

I've gotten it to run at 5.3 GHz now, but the problem is that it's always at 5.3 GHz. What settings do I have to change in the BIOS to have it run at the stock 3.7 GHz when idle/no load, and boost up to 5.3 GHz at load?
 

Darkbreeze

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Reset the BIOS to the stock, default settings.

Disable Speed shift.

Enable speed step.

In Windows, find the Windows power plan settings either in the control panel by typing "control" without the quotes into the search box on the start menu and hitting enter, or in the Settings. Make sure Performance is enabled. Then, click on "Change plan settings". Click on "Change advanced power settings". Scroll down to Processor power management and make sure that the min processor power state is set to 5% and the max is set to 100%. Save settings and exit. CPU should operate throughout the full power envelope now.

Also, make sure, before you do any of that, that you have the latest BIOS version installed for your motherboard AND the latest chipset driver from your motherboard product page. If there are other relevant drivers on your motherboard product page which you have not installed yet, it would be wise to install them. Audio, network adapters, chipset, etc. Do not rely on the native Windows drivers, always use the drivers supplied by the motherboard manufacturer.
 

Darkbreeze

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Reset the BIOS to the stock, default settings.

Disable Speed shift.

Enable speed step.

In Windows, find the Windows power plan settings either in the control panel by typing "control" without the quotes into the search box on the start menu and hitting enter, or in the Settings. Make sure Performance is enabled. Then, click on "Change plan settings". Click on "Change advanced power settings". Scroll down to Processor power management and make sure that the min processor power state is set to 5% and the max is set to 100%. Save settings and exit. CPU should operate throughout the full power envelope now.

Also, make sure, before you do any of that, that you have the latest BIOS version installed for your motherboard AND the latest chipset driver from your motherboard product page. If there are other relevant drivers on your motherboard product page which you have not installed yet, it would be wise to install them. Audio, network adapters, chipset, etc. Do not rely on the native Windows drivers, always use the drivers supplied by the motherboard manufacturer.
 

halo35boy

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Reset the BIOS to the stock, default settings.

Disable Speed shift.

Enable speed step.

...
  • Updated Chipset, BIOS, drivers, etc...
  • Reset BIOS (and then changed fan speeds and UEFI > CSM and nothing else)
  • Disabled Speed Shift
  • Could not find "Speed Step" in old and new BIOS
  • Power plan was already under "Ultimate Performance" (Couldn't find "Performance", there was "High Performance" and "Ultimate Performance" though)
  • Set processor min and max power state to 5% and 100% respectively
  • Restarted PC
And this seems to work! It takes it a couple minutes before it comes down from the turbo, but it works! It seems to sweep the entire spectrum, but it still does average around 4 - 4.1 GHz though instead of the stock 3.7 GHz.

Question about the min power state - why 5%? Is there a reason behind that? Why not 10% or something?
 

Darkbreeze

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Generally, either 5% or 8% is used. You can use whatever you like, however, the whole point is that the CPU gets a chance to rest whenever a core is at the low speed and power level, which allows the package to cool more than it would with a higher setting. Often, over the long haul, this might help to mitigate power usage and increase utility savings but more importantly it helps to offset the thermal response to some degree if all cores are not needed to run at full boost speed at the time.

Since the amount of time it takes the CPU to go from full rest state to full speed in along the lines of micro-seconds, 99.9% of people will never notice it at all. Some say they can tell there is a brief micro-second lag when a core has to go from low to full state but I don't believe them, at all. Micro-seconds are not generally very noticeable to us.
 

halo35boy

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Generally, either 5% or 8% is used. You can use whatever you like, however, the whole point is that the CPU gets a chance to rest whenever a core is at the low speed and power level, which allows the package to cool more than it would with a higher setting. Often, over the long haul, this might help to mitigate power usage and increase utility savings but more importantly it helps to offset the thermal response to some degree if all cores are not needed to run at full boost speed at the time.

Since the amount of time it takes the CPU to go from full rest state to full speed in along the lines of micro-seconds, 99.9% of people will never notice it at all. Some say they can tell there is a brief micro-second lag when a core has to go from low to full state but I don't believe them, at all. Micro-seconds are not generally very noticeable to us.
Cool, good to know.

I have another problem with this CPU - after running benchmarks on it and playing a couple games, this CPU has never hit Intel's advertised 5.3 GHz on even one core. I know because I logged the performance with HWiNFO. I checked my BIOS and it's on "Turbo Ratio Offset" - according to this, I should have 1 to 2 cores on 5.3 GHz, and the rest somewhere between 4.9 and 5.2 GHz. But under load, none of the cores go over 4.9 GHz!

Is there a limit or some other option in the BIOS I have to disable? Or do I just need to OC the CPU? But if you OC, won't I cause all cores to run at the OCed value?
 

Darkbreeze

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You never need to OC to get advertised speeds. What are you actually running to try and force full speed operation? What utility? Have you run Prime95 or OCCT or Realbench or anything like that?

For overclocking, cores will ONLY ALL run at the OC value if you don't have any of the power saving features enabled. Make sure that the C states in the BIOS are either set to enabled or Auto. That Intel speed step is enabled. That the power plan is set the way I explained and then if you overclock it SHOULD run the full envelope, not just stay at the full speed ratio.
 

halo35boy

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You never need to OC to get advertised speeds. What are you actually running to try and force full speed operation? What utility? Have you run Prime95 or OCCT or Realbench or anything like that?

For overclocking, cores will ONLY ALL run at the OC value if you don't have any of the power saving features enabled. Make sure that the C states in the BIOS are either set to enabled or Auto. That Intel speed step is enabled. That the power plan is set the way I explained and then if you overclock it SHOULD run the full envelope, not just stay at the full speed ratio.
I've only ran 3DMark Firestrike, BFV multiplayer, and CoD: MW multiplayer. And the clock speed never goes higher than the lowest Turbo Ratio Offset (49 or 4.9 GHz).

  • What are the power saving features exactly?
  • I enabled C states (originally on "Auto")
  • I could not find Intel speed step
But yeah, I was asking about all the cores, because all the cores are running at 4.9 GHz and nothing higher while under my loads. Do I just need a more demanding application than the ones I mentioned to reach 5.3 GHz on this CPU?
 

Darkbreeze

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If you have the max turbo ratio set to 4.9, then it's not ever going to go higher than 4.9. Setting the maximum turbo ratio is HOW you determine the overclock or boost speed. If you set that to 5.3 then that is what it will boost to. By default, it should already be set to that if the maximum boost speed from the stock profile is supposed to be that, unless you've changed the settings yourself.

Speed step is there. It is listed as EIST (Enhanced Intel speed step).
 

halo35boy

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If you have the max turbo ratio set to 4.9, then it's not ever going to go higher than 4.9. Setting the maximum turbo ratio is HOW you determine the overclock or boost speed. If you set that to 5.3 then that is what it will boost to. By default, it should already be set to that if the maximum boost speed from the stock profile is supposed to be that, unless you've changed the settings yourself.

Speed step is there. It is listed as EIST (Enhanced Intel speed step).
Max Turbo Ratio is not set to 4.9 Ghz. This is what I see:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1O6MvDVD2ufcGk_JUlPjHr1emKvL1KvfV/view?usp=sharing
And these are default settings by the way.

Unless I am totally misunderstanding this, the minimum turbo is 4.9 GHz, and the max turbo (for at least 1-2 cores) should be 5.3 GHz. But all the cores are Turbo Boosting to the lowest turbo and not higher for some reason while under load.

Also, thanks - "Speed Step" is under "EIST". It was already enabled by default.
 

Darkbreeze

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If more than six cores are under a load it cannot ever boost higher than 4.9Ghz. 5.3Ghz is only for two cores or less, which would only technically happen very briefly under light "bursty" type loads.

To test it, you can download and run Prime95. Choose the "Small FFT" option. Not "Smallest FFT", Blend or Large FFT. Disable the AVX2 option by unchecking the box next to it and then uncheck the box next to "AVX" as well. In the configuration box change the number of torture test threads to run to 1, instead of 20. With only one thread running at full load, it SHOULD boost to 5.3Ghz and that would tell you if that part of the boost behavior was operating normally or not.
 

halo35boy

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If more than six cores are under a load it cannot ever boost higher than 4.9Ghz. 5.3Ghz is only for two cores or less, which would only technically happen very briefly under light "bursty" type loads.

To test it, you can download and run Prime95. Choose the "Small FFT" option. Not "Smallest FFT", Blend or Large FFT. Disable the AVX2 option by unchecking the box next to it and then uncheck the box next to "AVX" as well. In the configuration box change the number of torture test threads to run to 1, instead of 20. With only one thread running at full load, it SHOULD boost to 5.3Ghz and that would tell you if that part of the boost behavior was operating normally or not.
So did that mean I had more than 6 cores under load? I thought typical gaming/bench marking applications only used at most 2?

Did you mean to check the box to disable AVX2 and AVX?:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jFYPCt3wFa8OK8mKAF2DLugCpqE3v66L/view?usp=sharing

These are the results after 10 minutes:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1imj13cwK49SI33pamvx2X-OMcxIlFj6_/view?usp=sharing
So this is a first - the max core speed was something different than 4.9 GHz. But it only seems to reach that in very short bursts (the average core speeds are still ~ 4.9 GHz).

But anyways, I've yet to see a single core hit 5.3 GHz.

Edit:
I just left my PC at idle for a bit while doing something else and came back to see HWiNFO actually recorded 2 cores hitting a max of 5.3 GHz, and a few others hitting 5.1 and 5.0 GHz. Wait, does that mean the CPU only hits higher speeds while idle/no load instead of under load???
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zBMT6I-s6xQQm7PIQNXibLahdeRf57vV/view?usp=sharing
(Not the same instance, but I was able to catch it - this was while idling on desktop)
 
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halo35boy

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Reset the BIOS to the stock, default settings.

Disable Speed shift.

Enable speed step.

In Windows, find the Windows power plan settings either in the control panel by typing "control" without the quotes into the search box on the start menu and hitting enter, or in the Settings. Make sure Performance is enabled. Then, click on "Change plan settings". Click on "Change advanced power settings". Scroll down to Processor power management and make sure that the min processor power state is set to 5% and the max is set to 100%. Save settings and exit. CPU should operate throughout the full power envelope now.

Also, make sure, before you do any of that, that you have the latest BIOS version installed for your motherboard AND the latest chipset driver from your motherboard product page. If there are other relevant drivers on your motherboard product page which you have not installed yet, it would be wise to install them. Audio, network adapters, chipset, etc. Do not rely on the native Windows drivers, always use the drivers supplied by the motherboard manufacturer.
Also, new issue: I noticed that any movement on the mouse - whether it be my PC doesn't have a load, or it does have a load, all the cores will turbo boost. So even if I'm just browsing the web, it will turbo boost whenever I move my mouse. Remind me - is this supposed to happen?
 

Darkbreeze

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No, that behavior wouldn't seem to be normal.

I already explained the boost behavior. 1 or 2 cores, boost will hit UP TO 5.3Ghz, but usually ONLY briefly and not for long sustained periods. The more cores that are under an active load, the lower the maximum boost will be AND likely the less time it will maintain any high boost.

Try leaving all the other settings exactly the way they are, and re-enable Speed shift, just to test the behavior then.
 

halo35boy

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I already explained the boost behavior. 1 or 2 cores, boost will hit UP TO 5.3Ghz, but usually ONLY briefly and not for long sustained periods. The more cores that are under an active load, the lower the maximum boost will be AND likely the less time it will maintain any high boost.
I'm still confused by this - so while I'm gaming (what I usually do), 1-2 cores will never reach a sustained 5.3 GHz then? Because I'm assuming there are more cores than the limit under my active loads (gaming)?

I don't know if you're familiar with MSI mobos, but I've been trying to figure out a way to only get 2 cores to run at a sustained 5.3 GHz while the other cores run at a lower speed (preferably the stock 3.7 GHz). You wouldn't happen to know how or if that's totally impossible? Everything I've tried only results in all the cores synchronizing to some high frequency - which is a power sink and overkill for my needs.

Try leaving all the other settings exactly the way they are, and re-enable Speed shift, just to test the behavior then.
  • Re-enabled Speed Shift
  • Ran Prime95 (under your settings) for ~ 10 mins
Got this:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qTlFdix2dbldbbBZOabM4tcZyvkRBasD/view?usp=sharing
(I renamed Core 9 to "CPU" for OSD purposes)
So we're getting somewhere! This is a first - 2 cores momentarily touched 5.3 GHz while under load! Still not a sustained 5.3 GHz though... And while gaming, none of the cores go over 4.9 GHz still. Also, the CPU still seems to be turbo boosting whenever I move my mouse.

Side question about enabling C States - should I mess with the C State limits at all? (C0, C6, etc...?)
 
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Darkbreeze

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Totally impossible. Unless you set a per core limit and I don't recommend doing that.

The CPU is designed to operate the way the CPU is designed to operate. You, nor I, know how to make an Intel or an AMD CPU, work better than the engineers that designed it to run that way so either run it at the default profile and be happy with it OR overclock it to whatever configuration it will allow based on the binning of the chip itself and the quality of the motherboard plus the limitations of your cooling.

Trying to figure out a way to overclock two cores to X speed while the rest are clocked at Y speed, while possible, is just kind of pointless and foolish to be honest.

You will not EVER get ANY cores to SUSTAIN 5.3Ghz unless you manually overclock the CPU to that degree, and it can't handle it, which is why it DOESN'T sustain at that level to begin with. The fact that it can, just barely, briefly, boost to those clocks, is 100% a marketing gimmick. Your best configuration would be to try and achieve a 5 Ghz all core overclock with variable speed throughout the envelope, and you'd need pretty good cooling for that.

What cooler do you have?

What case?

How many case fans, exactly where is each fan installed and exactly what orientation, intake or exhaust, is EACH fan configured for?
 

halo35boy

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Why is a per core limit ill-advised?

You will not EVER get ANY cores to SUSTAIN 5.3Ghz unless you manually overclock the CPU to that degree, and it can't handle it, which is why it DOESN'T sustain at that level to begin with. The fact that it can, just barely, briefly, boost to those clocks, is 100% a marketing gimmick. Your best configuration would be to try and achieve a 5 Ghz all core overclock with variable speed throughout the envelope, and you'd need pretty good cooling for that.
Oh man, that's exactly what I've been thinking after playing around with this CPU - a marketing gimmick at best.

When you say variable speed - it's basically what we accomplished with the power plan settings right?

What cooler do you have?

What case?

How many case fans, exactly where is each fan installed and exactly what orientation, intake or exhaust, is EACH fan configured for?
Cooler: EKWB Phoenix 360 mm CPU Cooler
(https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-mlc-phoenix-360-radiator-core-module )
Case: Corsair Obsidian 750D (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YJJBFIO/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 )
Case Fans: 3; 2 at the front pulling in to the case, 1 at the rear pulling into the case (it's the default placement you can see on the Amazon pictures)
  • I have the GPU's 240 mm radiator attached right behind the front 2
  • The GPU cooler is pulling air into the case, but this air would have been warmed up from the GPU cooler)
 

Darkbreeze

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Why is a per core limit ill-advised?
Thermal reasons. Excessive electrical stress reasons, and only on those cores because there is no sharing or balancing of loads. Impossible to accurately gauge package temps. I mean, it can work, that's why they have it as an option on some chipsets, but it's not the way to do things.

When you say variable speed - it's basically what we accomplished with the power plan settings right?
Yes.

Cooler: EKWB Phoenix 360 mm CPU Cooler
Yeah, so you have plenty of cooling potential, but you have the cooling configuration all wrong.

Rear and top fans should NEVER be intake fans. They should ALWAYS be exhaust on any standard micro, mid or full sized ATX tower that doesn't have a top mounted power supply. As well, front, bottom or side fans should always be intake for 99.999999% of configurations.

You explanation is rather confusing though, but if your rear fan is configured to be an intake fan, with the blades facing out rather than in, then you have it installed wrong. The blades on that fan should be facing IN, so that air is going OUT of the rear exhaust fan location on the back of the case. Any top mounted fans or radiators should also be configured that way. Any front, bottom or side mounted fans or radiators should be oriented with the fan blades facing out of the case so that they are intake, bringing air into the case or in through the radiator.

So, you have a radiator in the front for the graphics card and a radiator in the top for the CPU? What direction are the fans on the CPU 360mm radiator oriented for, intake or exhaust. Are the fan blades facing into the case or out of the case. Pictures of all fan locations and radiators would be especially helpful. Number one problem with lack of performance and cooling is wrongly or misconfigured cooling orientation.

 

halo35boy

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You explanation is rather confusing though, but if your rear fan is configured to be an intake fan, with the blades facing out rather than in, then you have it installed wrong. The blades on that fan should be facing IN, so that air is going OUT of the rear exhaust fan location on the back of the case. Any top mounted fans or radiators should also be configured that way. Any front, bottom or side mounted fans or radiators should be oriented with the fan blades facing out of the case so that they are intake, bringing air into the case or in through the radiator.

So, you have a radiator in the front for the graphics card and a radiator in the top for the CPU? What direction are the fans on the CPU 360mm radiator oriented for, intake or exhaust. Are the fan blades facing into the case or out of the case. Pictures of all fan locations and radiators would be especially helpful. Number one problem with lack of performance and cooling is wrongly or misconfigured cooling orientation.

I just checked and I forgot - I removed the rear fan when I had a different GPU radiator there. I don't have anything there at the moment. Need to dig out the original rear fan... You can see it in pic below.

So you can see the CPU radiator at the top of the case as exhaust.

Here is what I'm talking about for my GPU radiator being over my front case fans. Most of the air from the front fans have to go through the GPU radiator, so it comes out warmed up already.


I can't fit the GPU radiator anywhere else, hence this setup.

For the rear fan - why can't it be intake? I was thinking about bringing in more cool air to get pulled up and out through the CPU 360 mm radiator.
 

Darkbreeze

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Unfortunately it won't support your 360mm cooler in the front, because I was going to suggest moving it there since the GPU is almost certainly contributing more heat to the inside of the case than the CPU is under a full gaming load. As is, it doesn't support it though without extensive modification to the case so no dice on that.

I'd definitely get a rear exhaust fan installed though, for sure. That will likely have a significant impact on VRM temperatures and internal temps in generall.
 

halo35boy

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Unfortunately it won't support your 360mm cooler in the front, because I was going to suggest moving it there since the GPU is almost certainly contributing more heat to the inside of the case than the CPU is under a full gaming load. As is, it doesn't support it though without extensive modification to the case so no dice on that.

I'd definitely get a rear exhaust fan installed though, for sure. That will likely have a significant impact on VRM temperatures and internal temps in generall.
Sorry, was pulled out of the remote work and back into the office for a bit...

Anyways, yes. I've installed a 140mm cooler into the rear of the case as intake. The difference is... negligible? It seems a few degrees cooler? I don't recall what the pre-rear fan temps were.
 

Darkbreeze

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I never said anything about putting a rear fan as intake. I said EXHAUST. If it is configured as an intake, then flip it around. Make sure the arrows on the fan frame are point OUT of the case. Putting it there as intake likely makes the problem worse, not better.

Front, side and bottom fans should be intake. Rear and top fans should be exhaust.
 

halo35boy

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I never said anything about putting a rear fan as intake. I said EXHAUST. If it is configured as an intake, then flip it around. Make sure the arrows on the fan frame are point OUT of the case. Putting it there as intake likely makes the problem worse, not better.

Front, side and bottom fans should be intake. Rear and top fans should be exhaust.
Right, so I changed it back and forth and ran a few benchmarks with either configuration. The exhaust tended to keep the GPU ~ 1-2 C cooler and the CPU temps remained the same most of the time.

So, I'm keeping it as an exhaust.

Also, the CPU turbo boosting every time I moved my mouse is actually kind of inconsequential. Since I have the power settings set to what you recommended, the average clock speed for all cores is < 3.7 GHz despite the intermittent turbo to > 5 GHz.
 

Darkbreeze

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And that's what it should be. The 5Ghz turbo should not be a constant thing, and it won't be on all cores. It's a BURSTY part of the boost profile, only intended for a single or maybe two cores periodically, but mostly it is a single core burst that doesn't maintain for long. All core boost should be more along the lines of 4.8Ghz and the Velocity single core boost is anywhere from 4.9-5.3Ghz as seen in the Intel graphic.

 

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