Question Intel i7-10700K constantly up to 4,7 - 5,1 GHz while idling

l0r

Feb 13, 2021
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Hello guys!

My i7-10700K is constantly running up to 4700 MHz, going up to 5100 MHz max. on all cores under the slightest load, although I am only in idle (1% CPU usage, 10 % RAM).
Motherboard is an ASUS Z490-E.
All BIOS settings are set to Auto, the only settings I tampered with are my fans through Qfan Control and I recently set my M.2_2 slot to x4 mode, since I am using an NVME drive there.

When checking the values in HWMonitor, the CPU goes down to 799 MHz from time to time but most of the time the cores stay at roughly 4800 MHz and go up to 5100 MHz under some load.
Max. voltages are about 1.35 volts on all cores while they are clocking up to 5100 MHz.

Is that normal behavior? I am kinda worried.

Please let me know your thoughts, thanks!
 
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Phaaze88

Polypheme
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10700K
5.0ghz single core
5.1ghz favored cores(if you look in bios, 2 of them should have an asterisk or something next to them as a way of ID'ing them)
4.7ghz all core
Inactive cores clock down and down-volt to save power.
^That's Intel defined specs.

What you're saying doesn't sound normal.
Disable MCE(Multi Core Enhancement) in bios.
Change Windows power plan to Balanced, not High Performance.

That, or you have something running that's waking all those cores up...
 

l0r

Feb 13, 2021
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Thanks for your answer.
Windows power plan has not been changed, so it's been at "balanced" all the time.

I just disabled MCE in BIOS and the only thing that changed is that all cores are idling at roughly 4700 MHz but won't go higher than 5000 MHz except for 2 cores which went up to 5100 MHz still.

Maybe I should also mention that I have the AI Suite 3 installed since I like the fan control there. I don't know if this makes any difference at all.
 

Phaaze88

Polypheme
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that all cores are idling at roughly 4700 MHz but won't go higher than 5000 MHz except for 2 cores which went up to 5100 MHz still.
That sounds like normal behavior, save for the cores 'idling' at 4.7ghz. Something is waking them all up for some reason.

Maybe I should also mention that I have the AI Suite 3 installed since I like the fan control there. I don't know if this makes any difference at all.
I haven't used AS3 in a couple of years. That crap kept breaking on me; generally, it just would just refuse to open/close.
Bios > software, for fan control. I won't tell you to stop using and uninstall AS3, but if it's the reason all your cores are waking up when there's no real task available, well...

Does Task Manager > Processes turn up anything unusual, besides itself and the usual Windows processes.
 

l0r

Feb 13, 2021
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Well, when I built this pc (I am quite a noob) I had issues with some fan noise in the beginning due to high fan speeds and some unoptimized fan curves (I only use Noctua fans since I think they are the best) and AI Suite 3 got it fixed for me automatically using Fan Xpert without me having to tamper with those fan curves in the BIOS (my pc is completely silent most of the time), also I think my temps are good. So I kinda like this software and haven't had any issues with it at all.

No, I checked task manager and couldn't notice anything suspicious at all.

Let me show you a clip I just took with my smartphone to document the first minute after Windows has booted up and please let me know your thoughts.
 

Phaaze88

Polypheme
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No, that's not normal. SOMETHING is waking all those cores up when there's nothing going on.

Also while in BIOS I noticed the following text in yellow on the top of Ai Tweaker:

View: https://i.imgur.com/Ml9XbxM.jpg


"Target CPU Turbo-Mode 5100 MHz"? Is that normal?
Yes. Mine has the same text, though my cpu can't clock quite that high.
You should enable XMP next chance you get if you bought a kit faster than 2133mhz.

Also, depending on your cooling, you may have to apply an AVX offset. The cpu runs warmer than what you'll normally see when this instruction set is in use.
At the same frequencies, AVX is faster than the SSE instructions that the cpu normally runs through, but it has higher power and voltage demands.
Just something to keep in mind if you find the cpu gets hotter than usual during specific tasks. The offset will help with that.
 

falcon291

Prominent
Jul 17, 2019
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Hello guys!

My i7-10700K is constantly running up to 4700 MHz, going up to 5100 MHz max. on all cores under the slightest load, although I am only in idle (1% CPU usage, 10 % RAM).
Motherboard is an ASUS Z490-E.
All BIOS settings are set to Auto, the only settings I tampered with are my fans through Qfan Control and I recently set my M.2_2 slot to x4 mode, since I am using an NVME drive there.

When checking the values in HWMonitor, the CPU goes down to 799 MHz from time to time but most of the time the cores stay at roughly 4800 MHz and go up to 5100 MHz under some load.
Max. voltages are about 1.35 volts on all cores while they are clocking up to 5100 MHz.

Is that normal behavior? I am kinda worried.

Please let me know your thoughts, thanks!
Did you edit your Power Options and selected High performance or Ultimate Mode?
 

l0r

Feb 13, 2021
8
1
15
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No, that's not normal. SOMETHING is waking all those cores up when there's nothing going on.
No idea what. Maybe something shortly after Windows booted up.

A few minutes later, I watched some Youtube and browsed the web, this is what I get (while Google Chrome is running):

View: https://i.imgur.com/zxd55zs.mp4


Looks fine to me, what do you think?


You should enable XMP next chance you get if you bought a kit faster than 2133mhz.
You are right. I didn't feel like tampering with this setting yet, haha. But I know that my RAM modules are far more capable.

Also, depending on your cooling, you may have to apply an AVX offset.
Well, that's all Greek to me but I will check that out in the future so thanks for pointing that out for me.
 

Phaaze88

Polypheme
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At the beginning of the video, a few cores drop to 800mhz very briefly, but that's it. They should be doing that more often.

IDK, at this point, I'd suggest checking it with AS3 uninstalled.
I know Msi's Dragon Center will apply a 'performance boost' without asking the user. I don't remember AS3 doing it, but I already had an overclock set at the time.
 
You can't really apply assorted AI Tweaker targets, and then mention abnormal clock speed behavior.

Reset your BIOS to defaults (specifically avoiding mainboard BIOS/OC tweaks, MCE off,), then set desired XMP RAM clocks.

Observe clock speed behavior then.
 

l0r

Feb 13, 2021
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I don't know. I literally put my hardware together carefully and installed Windows. Besides that I didn't mess with any settings or anything.
So what should be horribly wrong with my setup at the first place?

Another thing I just noticed in AI Suite 3 was this "CPU frequency" tab. Maybe some of those settings there might be the cause of these CPU clocks?
 
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l0r

Feb 13, 2021
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Just to give you an update and close this thread: I found the reason for my cores maxing out.

I checked power plan settings again and for some reason it was set to maximum performance.
After changing the power plan setting to balanced, all the cores go down to 800 MHz all the time and only sometimes hitting 5100 MHz.
I am 100 % positive that I didn't change that option so it must have been AI Suite 3 which changed this option without letting me know. Even uninstalling AI Suite 3 and changing my BIOS settings to default wouldn't have changed this option back to balanced so I am glad I checked on that option again.

So yea, I guess that was the culprit in my case.
 
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uWebb429

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May 22, 2020
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Running an Intel CPU fast when it is lightly loaded does not make much difference to power consumption as long as you have the C states enabled in the BIOS. That is the best way to save power. No need to force your CPU down to 800 MHz.

A slow CPU accomplishes next to nothing on a desktop CPU. It does increase latency and it slows down disk access. Is that what you are trying to accomplish?

 

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