[SOLVED] Intel Core i7-10700 clock drops under stress tests but stays high while gaming

Dec 20, 2021
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Hello, guys! I know there are many topics on that matter, I've read tons of them and they all seem to go into the wrong direction. So here's the problem.

I have a new PC with Intel Core i7-10700 CPU which shows very strange but similar behavior in stress tests and Cinebench R20-23 tests. Here's what's happening: first 10 seconds or so it suddenly boosts up to 4600 MHz and consumes up to 125-150W. Then the consumption drops to TDP values (61-65W) and the clock also drops to 3000-3100 MHz. As a result, I get 1) very poor results on Cinebench, and in AIDA stress test I can't actually stress my CPU properly, cause it may run at 55-57 degrees for a very long time, consuming 65W at 3100 MHz.

But, here's the main thing which isn't mentioned in all those numerous topics. In games I get stable 4600 MHz at 60-65W power consumption. It means it could possibly run at those speeds in stress tests as well, right? And here's the point which may lead to the problem fix: in Cinebench it consumes 65W while running at 3100 MHz, in games – same 65W but at 4600 MHz, which is absolutely weird! Is power consumption not related to clock speed or what?

Now for the solutions: in those countless and identical topics people advise to check BIOS for some magical settings which will reduce power limit throttling. However, my BIOS doesn't offer any power adjustments. Also, like i said, CPU may run at max clock for a very long time while gaming and the clock doesn't drop to 3000-3100 MHz. But still i'm concerned, because in CPU-intensive apps (like rendering, or anything else) it will definitely reduce the clock speed just after 10-15 seconds.

Can someone tell what is going on? Is that normal or how to fix that?
 

Phaaze88

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Performing as expected.
View: https://imgur.com/YwqWtBb


The 10700 has a turbo boost window of 28 seconds. If the load is constant, Tau will expire, and then you get the drop to PL1 experience that you see.
If the load 'drops' or takes a break before Tau expires, it will reset.
Games typically aren't constant loads, so Tau constantly resets.

The K version of the same cpu has a window of 56 seconds, likely enough to finish a lap of Cinebench and thus reset Tau at the end of each lap.
With a Z series board, that window can be extended/lowered. How long maybe depends on the motherboard(my X299 Deluxe allows a max Tau of 127 seconds). X and Z boards also allow the user to adjust the PL1 and PL2 limits.
[Some boards use the terms long and short turbo boost duration instead of PL1 and 2.]
IF your mobo isn't Z series, there's not much you can do about PL1+2 and Tau. But if you're just playing games with this cpu, they shouldn't hinder play.
 
Reactions: Mikey91
Dec 20, 2021
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Okay, so does it mean motherboard limits the frequency after 10-15 seconds? Makes sense, but if my CPU can run 4.6 GHz at 65W, why in Cinebench it runs 3100 MHz at the same 65W? Can someone explain me this?

Does it mean, that under lower load (below 100%) it consumes less watts, but can operate at higher frequency? And with 100% load it's only guaranteed that it will work around it's base clock?
 

Phaaze88

Titan
Ambassador
Performing as expected.
View: https://imgur.com/YwqWtBb


The 10700 has a turbo boost window of 28 seconds. If the load is constant, Tau will expire, and then you get the drop to PL1 experience that you see.
If the load 'drops' or takes a break before Tau expires, it will reset.
Games typically aren't constant loads, so Tau constantly resets.

The K version of the same cpu has a window of 56 seconds, likely enough to finish a lap of Cinebench and thus reset Tau at the end of each lap.
With a Z series board, that window can be extended/lowered. How long maybe depends on the motherboard(my X299 Deluxe allows a max Tau of 127 seconds). X and Z boards also allow the user to adjust the PL1 and PL2 limits.
[Some boards use the terms long and short turbo boost duration instead of PL1 and 2.]
IF your mobo isn't Z series, there's not much you can do about PL1+2 and Tau. But if you're just playing games with this cpu, they shouldn't hinder play.
 
Reactions: Mikey91
Dec 20, 2021
8
1
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Okay, finally I sorted that out! Thanks a lot for this explanation. Seems like my motherboard is tuned the way it allows Tau for 15 seconds or so under consant load, because i have a mini-PC. I have replaced a stock cooler which gives me 78-79 degrees max temperature under constant critical load, but seems like the motherboard manufacturer decided to secure the CPU temp with a stock cooler by lowering that Tau a bit. Replacing a cooler was my idea, so it could run for 28 sec as specified by Intel, but I can't tune my BIOS on that matter.

However, as I figured out the system is working as it should and there's no issue with my CPU, I'm okay with that, cause I don't perform tasks that require constant load. Also, now I understand why in AIDA stress test I get 60 degrees max CPU temp, cause it's working at constant 65W at 3.1-3.2 GHz.

But another interesting fact, my Cinebench score is 8500, but here they state 12250:

https://www.cpu-monkey.com/en/cpu-intel_core_i7_10700

And it says that the clock was 4.6 GHz.... how those tests were performed then? Cause even under stock 28s Tau the system won't be able to sustain 4.6 GHz during the whole test. I bet they unlocked something in BIOS so that the CPU could run the whole test at max clock speed.

P.S. I forgot to mention, that in Geekbench 5 my results are even better than average on the chart, but now i realize this is because Geekbench uses a different way to benchmark CPUs when Tau is constantly resetting:

https://browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/11703405
 
Last edited:

Phaaze88

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Cpu monkey doesn't mention what motherboard was used. That can have a significant impact, to the point of being manipulative.
Since you also mention a mini-PC, it can be inferred that your board is perhaps M-ITX/M-ATX. Some of the smaller mobos suffer from having undercooled, or even undersized VRMs for the bigger cpus.
The manufacturers are aware of this, and set the stock bios on those boards with lower parameters. Asrock saw more exposure for this than other vendors - none of them are innocent though.
By setting it to throttle back earlier, they help protect their investment by reducing possible RMAs from users who are more unaware of what's going on.
 
Reactions: Mikey91
Dec 20, 2021
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Yes, totally agree. Makes sense. However, for gaming and other normal activities this doesn't make any problems, since in all games seem to work under the highest CPU frequency with no throttling. As for serious tasks, obviously this PC wasn't built for that.

Another good point is that for heavy tasks CPU may work at temperatures around 57-60 degrees thanks to lowered frequency. AIDA stress test proves that. For me it's even better than if it was heating up with a higher risk of failure in the future. Thanks again for explanation! Hope this thread will also help some newbies to avoid concerns and misunderstanding the latest Intel CPU models.
 

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