Question Is overclocking for something for me?

Jun 18, 2019
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Hi there. This is my first post and is pretty much something that has been bothering me for some time.

First of all my Hardware specs:
PSU: Be quiet! Power Zone 850W
Motherboard: Asus ROG Strix Z-370F-Gaming
SSD: Samsung Evo 850 1TB
CPU: Intel I7 8700K
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4 3200 8GBx2
CPU Cooler: Be quiet! 360 Silent Loop
GPU: Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming

Now here comes my issue.
I have always wanted to overclock my cpu and I have read a few guides on how to do it but if I am completely honest, I got no idea what I am doing.
I don't have a much knowledge about it and really don't know if I should even do it.
The games I play run at ultra settings without problems and without overheating but I still want to overclock.
Maybe the only reason I want to overclock is because of all the people I see doing it on the internet. At the same time I really don't want to ruin my hardware while trying to do so.
I do feel that having an I7 8700k it would be a waste to not overclock it and maybe get even more performance out of my computer to get steady 120 fps in games.

After all this my question is pretty simple actually.
I would like to overclock but do I really have to?

PS: I know this is a weird question but there have to be people that felt the same before overclocking their computer correctly for the first time. If you can share your personal experience it would help me out a lot.

Thanks for reading.
 
I have always wanted to overclock my cpu and I have read a few guides on how to do it but if I am completely honest, I got no idea what I am doing.
I don't have a much knowledge about it and really don't know if I should even do it.
I would like to overclock but do I really have to?
If you have such questions and you're happy with current performance of your pc,
then you should not nor have to do it.

Your hardware is certainly capable of OC, but keep in mind - nothing comes for free.
OC increases power usage, shortens life of components, requires rigorous testing/tuning, introduces instability. Plus benefits from OC are rather slim. If you get 10-15% more fps in your games, would that change anything for you?
 

Gmoney06ss

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Jul 3, 2015
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Have a good read through this to see what all is involved and then decide if you want to spend the time doing it correctly. Overclocking is fun and can certainly feel rewarding when done right! Do you have to? Absolutely not, especially if already happy with where the performance is already at. But with your hardware, you certainly could. And you may just enjoy the process!
 

tennis2

Respectable
These days, about the best most CPUs can manage is for all cores to run at the max single core boost clock. That's still an improvement, but not like back in the day where >50% performance uplift was possible.

"Overclocking" a CPU is as easy as its ever been. Turn up the multiplier and that's it. After that, you can get into voltage adjustments (since the mobo will always error on the conservative side on auto voltage) to bring temps to a minimum while maintaining stability.

Since OCing is so easy and you seem satisfied with your performance, you could start from the other end, Undervolting at stock clocks. Undervolting lowers temps. Testing for the lowest voltage that maintains stability. There's little/ no risk of damaging a chip with too little voltage, so technically that's a safer place to start. Then you already know the process required when you start OCing.

I like to undervolt GPUs also.
 
Jun 18, 2019
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@Gmoney06ss
Thanks for your reply. I will give this guide a good read before I try overclocking again without knowing if I am actually damaging my hardware.
It was fun when I did it the first few times but it was always scary. I am happy with my performance but I really would like to learn how to do it properly without killing my rig.

@SkyNetRising
The few fps will probably not change that much for me to be honest. Your points are exactly the ones why I never really got into it too much. I am very scared of damaging the hardware and the small fps boost is not worth it for me if it means ruining my rig. I really thank you for telling me the gain and loss that could happen by doing so.

@tennis2
Your suggestion of decreasing the volts is something I have never thought about. I never trust the BIOS with it's "AUTO" settings. Best example is the curve for the fans. I always change that. Also the overclock wizard is something that I have never trusted, especially after doing it once and getting 90°C + on my CPU with OCCT.
I will try doing that today. I guess the worst that can happen is that it won't be able to maintain it's Base clock and restart.

Thanks for all the good suggestions and feedback guys.
I will update this after I have done some learning.
 
Jun 18, 2019
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I just ran MemTest86 over night and had 0 errors. Now I will start lowering the voltage just to see how much temps I can save by doing so.
After that I will put the Voltage back to normal and overclock to the Boost clock, basically I am going to follow the guide :D
Thanks again guys.
 

fagetti

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Mar 1, 2018
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Yes i would be afraid to overclock i7-8700, it was easier for me to learn oc old hardware without been scared. Glad you figured out to never use any kind of CPU overclock wizard or tuner, these can shoot up vcore to 1.5 and even kill your board, happened to me actually (im pretty sure of it, this was gen1 cpu).

Remember to turn off intel turbo boost and start doing stuff with default voltages first and see how far you get with that. Have the manual ready if you end up black screened during boot so you can recover bios fast.

Check default voltage for your cpu, enter that in manual mode. Also when your testing cpu clocks remember to lower your dram frequency from 3200 to 2400 example so ram is not the reason for instability. You can keep same xmp profile and timings just use the "Dram frequency" menu.

You find tons of guides online, i would avoid going above 80c with any core since its newer cpu, i would get 85-89c with gen1 cpu:s but those cost like 1/20th of a i7-8700k. When you found your max stable multiplier with default voltage ( it should be around 1.150 - use max 1.175v ) you can try going again to 3200mhz and see if it boots up.
 

tennis2

Respectable
The idea of undervolting at stock frequency is to get used to voltage adjustments and stability testing.
As I said, even when you OC you'll want to take voltage settings into your own hands instead of relying on AUTO as a crutch. Auto voltage is a good baseline to start with, but there's going to be excess voltage in there that you can take out to achieve better temps.
 
Jun 18, 2019
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I finally managed to lower the voltage and keep it stable after 1 hour prime 95 test.
I noticed that the base clock frequency is 3.7 Ghz but the target cache is 4.4 Ghz. It created some confusion for me since when I augment the base clock frequency the target cache also goes higher. This worries me a little bit because I don't want for example to have 4.8 Ghz overclock and a target cache of 5.7 Ghz.
Does the target cache always go higher than the base clock frequency?
How do I change it and should I change it?

Thanks again for all your help guys.

PS: My BIOS is up to date on my Asus Strix ROG Z370-F Gaming
I also checked the manual for my motherboard but it is not sufficient to understand what is going on.
 

fagetti

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Mar 1, 2018
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"augment the base clock frequency " sorry my english but are you actually trying to increase BLCK frequency? IF you are DONT do that, return to stock BLCK value immidiattely and continue overclocking ONLY using cpu multiplier setting.

Dont worry about cache frequency, overclocking it wont give you that much performance gains than cpu frequency. I never overclocked this gen cpu:s so i dont have exact details what value you should use but stay same or below your CPU frequency, there should be option called "cache ratio" for that. Its better to eliminate instability causing things like cache ratio or ram frequency and then get back to it when you found max stable cpu frequency.

Also like i said before lower your "dram frequency" setting from 3200mhz to 2400mhz or lower when you test highest stable oc.

Here is some guy explaining "decently" the options on that board :
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQ15NW1qaxs

Just dont try to get anything near like 5ghz, try first something like 4ghz (intel turbo boost disabled) with little or no cpu voltage raise.
 
Jun 18, 2019
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These are all the changes on the AI Tweaker tab that I made in the BIOS.

Base clock frequence = Manual = 100.000
And I am not changing it either.

Multicore enhancement = Disabled (I also turned the Intel Boost off)

Sync all cores and overclocked to 4.7 (The standard intel boost frequency) with the standard voltage of 1.2v.


It will probably fail the prime95 and I may get a blue screen for having too low voltage.

I will slowly increase the voltage if needed.

I will run RealBench for 1 hour using only half of the memory that I have( as specified in the guide) and afterwards increase it until I get to an OC that I am happy with.
I will update this in a few hours and let you guys know what happens.

@fagetti Thanks for your concern. I appreciate that you are helping me on not frying my machiene.
I was thinking about using XMP for the testing but I will turn it off for the testing.
 

fagetti

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Mar 1, 2018
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Seems like most need about 1.35v vcore to hit 5ghz so i would not recommend going there yet (your cpu cooler should handle it easy but still)
You should be bottlenecked by 1080 gtx in anything other than fortnite maybe even at 4ghz, just do benchmarks and test your cpu & gpu usage / temperatures in games with example msi afterburner rivaturner, its easy to use ingame.

EDIT: ALL chips are different you might get there even with 1.25v who knows, if you get bottlenecked by gtx 1080 even at stock voltage overclock then there is no point going further before you update your GPU, most games are gpu heavy but there are few exeptions which are badly optimized for multicore like fortnite which gain from less cores and more single core performance.
 
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Jun 18, 2019
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I just finished the RealBench stress test and it seemed stable.
Set it from 4.7Ghz to 4.8Ghz
I lowered the voltage this time because while monitoring I noticed that it wasn't even using that much. I set it from 1.2v to 1.15v

I am still not sure what exactly I should do with the XMP profile.
At the moment I am just not using it and have my ram at stock. I think it is set around 2133 right now.

PS: am on my notebook right now so I can read your replies while testing.
 
Jun 18, 2019
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I just noticed that my cpu is running only on 3.7Ghz even though I changed it.
What am I doing wrong?

 
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fagetti

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You have power states on, meaning you clock lower when in idle states like in bios, download cpu-z and while doing stress test check the frequency it should be same as target frequency.

You can keep 1.20v this is only slight bumb to voltage (cpu voltage)

If you use 3200mhz xmp you probably need to raise your DRAM voltage to 1.35 (depends on the profile, it literally says the voltage when you change the xmp profile)


However im pretty sure you cant get stable at 1.2v and 4.8ghz or that would be VERY lucky, i mean stress testing for longer times and you will fail 90%
 

fagetti

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it might be extremely unstable, or thermal throttling , what temps you getting? also put avx negative offset to -1

Try 4200 mhz with 1.25v cpu core voltage that should for sure be stable, then check with cpu-z your hitting 4200mhz in reality
 

fagetti

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Go into bios and press F5 or whatever key it is in your motherboard to load default settings and try again.
Also if you have RealTemp remvove / uninstall it completely.
 

fagetti

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I completely forgot , windows might be causing this by limiting the frequency. go to power plans in windows and set maximum performance power plan, and go to its advanced settings go to Maximum Processor Frequency set that to 0 or unlimited

EDIT: use Load Line Calibration (LLC) in bios at level 5 which should be the same voltage under load ( sameish)
 
Jun 18, 2019
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I will try this again next week on Sunday or Tuesday. I gotta work for the rest of the week until Monday.
Next week I will have 48 hours to make some changes and test everything with more time.

I will keep you updated the next time I make some changes.

Thanks for all the help again and I will look into what you told me.
 

fry178

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Dec 14, 2015
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@SkyNetRising
sorry, but outside some rare extreme oc/voltage stuff, its proven (by numbers) ocing doesnt shorten lifespan.

most cpus are designed for 10 -20y, so even at half, it would still be around 5-10y.
usually beyond what most of us will ever use one.

@Drezcips
im questioning the "why" a little. not regarding hardware/perf, but why the cpu, not the gpu?
intel is already doing pretty good for min fps for games, and outside playing below 1080p res, almost all the games will be bottlenecked by the gpu, not cpu.

sure, ocing the cpu you will gain a few frames, but if you're not already close (to target fps), oc the cpu will not really make a (big) difference.
e.g. would something like 80ish (stock) vs 90 (oc) really be that much noticeable for you (outside playing competitive and interested in reducing input lag (really the only reason to play past 75/90 fps in the first place)?.

i would start ocing the gpu, and you most likely will gain around the same (10%), but impact on fps should be much higher.
with the 1080 you have its easy to get close to perf clocks using AB's overclocking scanner,
and since the limits for the chip are fixed by Nv, you will usually not have any problems even when running max limits for temp/power/voltage.
my msi 1080 gaming X oced with the scanner runs about 15 mhz less than max (stable boost) i could get manually, but it used fixed V,
so the card was getting a bit warmer/used more power than when running the "curve" used after scanning.
(see how high you can clock the vram first, try +400 mhz first, bump up by 25 mhz after each time run a bench/a game to check for artifacts.
run the "test" oc first, then use the scanner feature. takes about 20-30 mins for the scanner to get proper readout what the chip can do,
hit apply, and save as profile.
just select the profile before you start gaming, or you can even tell afterburner to start oc at boot (not recommended if you run into trouble with the pc).

everything since 700 series is (basically) temp limited (outside power/voltage set by Nv), so make sure to have proper airflow in the case
(on reason why i run a aio for the cpu, dumping heat outside the case => lower temps for the gpu to breath).

not that i expect you to, but depending on res your playing at, get a 3D benchmark, run it with everything stock,
then only cpu oc, then the gpu.
guess which one will have a bigger impact (1080p res & up) ;-)

not saying you cant do both (cpu and gpu oc)...
 

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