Question Optimizing i7 9700k at 4.6Ghz

Dec 12, 2019
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Hi there

Backstory

Let me start off by saying I'm not that knowledgeable when it comes to BIOS stuff or OCing so this is pretty new to me. I got my PC a year ago, it's got a z390 Aorus pro MOBO(currently Bios F5), an Asus Strix 2060 Advanced, an I7 9700k+Noctua ND-H15, Corsair Vengeance LPX Black 16GB DDR4 3000MHz CL15 Dual Channel Kit and a Seasonic Focus, 80+ Gold, 750W. Everything worked well for a year or so and I decided to reinstall Windows. I ended up reinstalling it 4 times(tried Home&Pro) because of performance issues. I finally stuck to Windows 10 Pro and I am up to date. My problem is that I experience some sort of lag, sometimes stutter. My PC is just not as fast as before. Even if it's a tiny difference. If I open my browser(with 20 tabs) Facebook will lag for a bit in loading up. I know that's a bit exaggerated, but there's definitely something I'm missing. Also, when I open PUBG the lobby and the caracter render are stuttering and loading a bit slow. This was(I think) solved by disabling Game Mode in Win10 , disabling full screen optimization and removing all Nvidia drivers through DDU and reinstalling them- Nvidia Control panel wouldn't even install before along with the official Nvidia drivers, I had to download it from Microsoft Store for whatever reason. So now the PUBG problem seems to be fixed, but in testing I noticed that my GPU now has a wonderful coil whine. It's not THAT bad, but it's there. I'm really not sure if this happened just now or if it was there for a long time(since I always game with my headphones on). So yeah, that's a whole other issue.

I think this whole mess started because when I reinstalled windows I noticed a new BIOS for my MOBO(F11) and I decided it would be a good idea to update. Now I'm pretty sure that was the culprit, since reinstalling windows 4 times didn't help.

Actual problem

My problem is that I experience some sort of lag, sometimes stutter. My PC is just not as fast as before. Even if it's a tiny difference. If I open my browser(with 20 tabs) Facebook will lag for a bit in loading up. Or if I quickly open a new tab and c/p smth, it lags for just a tiny bit. Same thing if I create a new text doc on my desktop and then quickly open it, it lags again for a bit. I know that's a bit exaggerated, but my PC was definitely snappier before this whole fiasco. I don't know where the problem actually is, but I'm guessing it's the CPU somehow.

Actual question

I downgraded to BIOS F5(stock) and now I'm trying to find how to properly set my BIOS settings for my CPU. I changed BIOS settings according to the Gigabyte OC guide as per my pictures here: View: https://imgur.com/a/UMkNndS
. For some reason I forgot to turn Intel Turbo Boost off but I don't think that's actually doing anything.

I set the Vcore to 1.20V and tried different LLCs(Auto, Turbo, High). I tested the stability through x264 Stress Test from r/overclocking for 2 loops on 16 threads. My temps were in the mid 65s and they didn't exceed 70. These are my results in HWiNFO:

LLC on Auto:
View: https://imgur.com/5RVg8f5


LLC on Turbo:
View: https://imgur.com/ZRwTXvp


LLC on High:
View: https://imgur.com/6mRKfCS


Which do you think is the best LLC for my PC? From what I see I'd say Turbo, but just because that pretty stable line looks ... stable. I have no idea how to make this CPU run at 4.6Ghz stable and long lasting. That's all I really want, no crazy OC or anything. Just nice and stable with adequate performance and a good lifespan.

Thank you for taking the time and I apologize for the wall of text.
 
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Is there a reason your trying to lock all cores at 4.6Ghz? Seems to me your handy capping the cpu.

The stock speed of the cpu is 3.6ghz with a single core boost up to 4.9ghz, only when all cores are active does it sink back to a 4.6ghz.

Have you tried to reset the BIOS back to stock and see what happens.
 
Reactions: TJ Hooker
Dec 12, 2019
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Is there a reason your trying to lock all cores at 4.6Ghz? Seems to me your handy capping the cpu.

The stock speed of the cpu is 3.6ghz with a single core boost up to 4.9ghz, only when all cores are active does it sink back to a 4.6ghz.

Have you tried to reset the BIOS back to stock and see what happens.

The whole reason I messed with the BIOS is because I stress tested the CPU when I first got the PC and didn't get the best results. In Prime95 (don't remember which version I used back then, but I downloaded the latest one at the time - a year ago) the temps got to 101 degrees after 5 minutes, about 1.35v and drawing 190W- all this at 4.6Ghz- IF I remember correctly. So I tried to understand why and turns out that my MOBO on stock config tends to overvolt the CPU as per other users on the internet.

So a user suggested that I turn LLC on Turbo, set the Vcore to 1.20v, disable Enhanced Multicore performance and max out the Power limits. I did that and it seemed to solve my problems.

I tried reseting the BIOS back to stock and according to Userbench my CPU is underperforming. Also my Vcore in HWiNFO is all over the place, rather than a straight line with random bumps(how it looks on my adjusted settings). I don't even know how it's supposed to look honestly, maybe it's ok for it to variate that much..

I have absolutely no reason of locking the CPU at 4.6Ghz, I just want it to run the best it can without OCing it. I don't care about OCing. I just cannot find anyone with my MOBO and my CPU that can actually share a good config for the CPU to run as it was intended by Intel.
 

TJ Hooker

Glorious
Herald
In Prime95 (don't remember which version I used back then, but I downloaded the latest one at the time - a year ago) the temps got to 101 degrees after 5 minutes
If you were running the latest version at the time then you were running it with AVX instructions enabled. This is an unrealistic load that will cause temps higher than you'd ever see during gaming.

I'd flash the latest BIOS and leave all settings at default (other then enabling XMP). Except if your mobo has MCE or some other auto-OC enabled by default, in which case disable those. Leave turbo boost on.
 
Reactions: Phaaze88
Dec 12, 2019
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If you were running the latest version at the time then you were running it with AVX instructions enabled. This is an unrealistic load that will cause temps higher than you'd ever see during gaming.

I'd flash the latest BIOS and leave all settings at default (other then enabling XMP). Except if your mobo has MCE or some other auto-OC enabled by default, in which case disable those. Leave turbo boost on.
I know it's an unrealistic testing scenario especially with AVX on, but I believe it can indicate some issues with the system. Even if my CPU will never reach that load in real life scenarios, I think some weak points can be revealed by that extreme testing scenario. I might be wrong.

Yes, my mobo has multi-core enhancement. There's so many things like Intel Turbo Boost, Intel speed shift, Energy efficient turbo or voltage optimization that I don't even know what they do exactly or if I should leave them on for a non-oc scenario.

The only reason I changed them is because apparently this mobo is crap on stock settings for this CPU. As far as I researched they just didn't do a good job for out of the box stability. Also, a reason why I went back to stock BIOS is because everyone seems to be very much against upgrading BIOS if everything is already working well. Apparently this is the general consensus.

I will try your idea also and see how it goes. What test should I run to see how stable it is?
 

TJ Hooker

Glorious
Herald
I know it's an unrealistic testing scenario especially with AVX on, but I believe it can indicate some issues with the system. Even if my CPU will never reach that load in real life scenarios, I think some weak points can be revealed by that extreme testing scenario. I might be wrong.
190W matches Tomshardware results for P95 with AVX: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i7-9700k-9th-gen-cpu,5876-2.html

The voltage being used is probably a bit higher than necessary, but while trying to diagnose your issue I'd leave it at stock for now. You can explore undervolting once you get your stuttering figured out.

Yes, my mobo has multi-core enhancement. There's so many things like Intel Turbo Boost, Intel speed shift, Energy efficient turbo or voltage optimization that I don't even know what they do exactly or if I should leave them on for a non-oc scenario.

The only reason I changed them is because apparently this mobo is crap on stock settings for this CPU. As far as I researched they just didn't do a good job for out of the box stability. Also, a reason why I went back to stock BIOS is because everyone seems to be very much against upgrading BIOS if everything is already working well. Apparently this is the general consensus.
You can leave all of those on default except MCE (disable).

What exactly led you to feel that they "didn't do a good job for out of the box stability"?

Regarding BIOS updates, I agree there is some truth to the 'don't fix what isn't broken' mentality, but in this case there are some security fixes in more recent BIOS versions. I would at least go to F10 myself.
 
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Dec 12, 2019
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190W matches Tomshardware results for P95 with AVX: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i7-9700k-9th-gen-cpu,5876-2.html

The voltage being used is probably a bit higher than necessary, but while trying to diagnose your issue I'd leave it at stock for now. You can explore undervolting once you get your stuttering figured out.


You can leave all of those on default except MCE (disable).

What exactly led you to feel that they "didn't do a good job for out of the box stability"?

Regarding BIOS updates, I agree there is some truth to the 'don't fix what isn't broken' mentality, but in this case there are some security fixes in more recent BIOS versions. I would at least go to F10 myself.
I think what led to my opinion was other people saying that MOBO overvolts the CPU in most cases and given my results on Prime95 I assumed that they are indeed right. Being my first build I genuinely want to take good care of it and I want it to last as long as possible.

I agree, that's why I decided to update my BIOS the other day, because of the security fixes and I thought that maybe they improved performance for my CPU.

So in the meantime I updated to F11 and ran the x264 test, 16 threads, 2 loops on stock settings with MCE disabled.

The CPU maintained 100% utilization with the exception of 2 times when it dropped to ~45% as seen in the screenshot: View: https://imgur.com/3GMJcDk


Other than that it performed well I guess.. as in it didn't crash, BSOD or froze. Screenshot from HWiNFO:

View: https://imgur.com/Yyg8nQO



It reached a maximum of 77 degrees, 143W and 4.6Ghz.

I apparently have 2 Vcore values, I don't know which one should be checked, but these values include the test:

View: https://imgur.com/xsyy52X
 

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