[SOLVED] Thermal Throttling with the i7-7700k

Jun 25, 2019
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When playing demanding games, or even just running a stress test, Thermal Throttling occurs regularly for me.
In this pic you can see the chips' behavior (taken while running around in circles in a city in Assassins Creed: Odyssey):


The chip starts to throttle itself even though the absolute peak temperature reached is 74°C. Now, what's important to note is that I delidded my processor which is why I manage stay sub-90 in the first place. Needless to say that before the delidding things were equally as bad.
At this point I wonder, what is wrong with my chip that it throttles at ~70°C?
I'm running a Arctic Freezer Pro 7 Rev. 2 as a cooler but that shouldn't matter because I don't get anywhere near 100°C anyway, right?
Can anyone help me out here or explain how I could possibly fix this? I'm at my wits end here, even if I upgrade my cooler I doubt it would matter because throttling shouldn't even happen at 70°C anyway.

I have two Benchmarks here to further illustrate my issue:
Intel Extreme Tuning Utility: https://gfycat.com/impishastonishinghammerkop
OCCT: https://gfycat.com/plushilliteratecapybara

I'm lost here here. Issues like that never occured with my old i5-7600k
 
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Eximo

Titan
Herald
Well, it isn't getting warm because it is only running at 1.4Ghz? That says to me that maybe your de-lid has failed. You should take it apart again and make sure everything is alright under there.

In your chart there I don't see it reaching a very high temperature, so it could be a power delivery issue as well. I doubt it would go on with a VRM failure, but maybe it would. 12V to the motherboard VRMs, ~2ish volts to the CPU, and then the CPU's integrated VRMs take it down to the core, cache, etc voltages. ~1.2-1.3v for a typical Kabylake.

I pump 1.416 volts through my CPU to hit 5Ghz, what settings are you using? Applying too high a voltage over time can damage CPUs, so if it has been overclocked for a while it may just be dying.
 
Jun 25, 2019
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Well, it isn't getting warm because it is only running at 1.4Ghz? That says to me that maybe your de-lid has failed. You should take it apart again and make sure everything is alright under there.
The delid worked fine because my temperature before that was in the 90s. The part I highlighted isn't about the 1.43GHz per se, I meant to highlight the temperature (74°C) which was the top temperature I got while testing and it was still being throttled even though sub 80 temp shouldn't get throttled. If you watch the orange line closely you can see that other than the spikes near the end it constantly sat at 4.40GHz because of Turbo Boost.

Also, the CPU isn't overclocked, it's stock. I have a Gigabyte H110M-S2V so I can't even overclock.
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
I think I was confused by the lack of scale on your chart. I read that as showing 1.43Ghz as the maximum.

With that board I suspect you are experiencing VRM temperature throttling. A limited set of VRMs, no heatsinks. Fire up a tool that will show you the VRM temps and see how they are doing. Usually good to 120-130C at least, but that is not good for them.

You could buy some loose heatsinks and add them to the VRMs with a little thermal adhesive. That might make enough of a difference.
 
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Jun 25, 2019
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I'm not sure what to think of these numbers since I have no clue what "Temperature 4" is, but VRM does look pretty high. Do you reckon this might be the problem?
If so, how would I go about installing heatsinks on my motherboard? I have never done such a thing.

EDIT: It seems like I cut off an important part, temperatures from left to right are current -> minimum -> maximum
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
Hmm, Temp 4 is concerning. There should be several types of VRMs, one for the memory, one for the chipset, etc. Then 4 or so for the CPU. Could be one of them. Not really sure how to find that out, actually.

Your 12V+ is also sagging a bit, 11.8 is still in spec, but you might need to supply more stable power to the system. Motherboard only has a 4-pin CPU connector, so that might be as good as it gets. But a higher quality power supply might help there.

97C isn't bad, but not good for a VRM, but is that 96C under a load, or just idle?

As for adding heatsinks, I guess we have to start with what it is you need to cool.

If you take a look at the board: https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-H110M-S2V-rev-10#ov

You will see the CPU socket surrounded by grey squares and black chips, mostly in sets of two chips per grey square. Those grey squares are chokes (coils of wire, that essentially store power temporarily, encased to protect them) They don't really need cooling, but it doesn't hurt. The chips next to them are the Voltage Regulation Modules themselves, they actually take the incoming 12V power and essentially convert it down to 2V or so by rapidly turning 12V on and off. Kind of like reverse pulse width modulation that is used to control fans.

These are what need cooling on higher end boards that run higher power CPUs. In this case you have dropped a heavy duty CPU into a low end board. I see you were pulling just 1.3 volts, which is typical of stock settings for K chips, it is actually a significant amount of power. 1.3 volts at 70 Amps if we assume the 91W TDP. Under a full load, it is probably exceeding that.

You'll have to take some measurements to see what will fit, but places like Amazon, Ebay, etc will carry loose heatsinks you can buy. A more reputable place to get them would be http://www.performance-pcs.com/mobo-chipset-mosfet-coolers

In particular these might be good if they aren't too tall: http://www.performance-pcs.com/micro-thermal-heatsink-for-motherboard-s-mos-6-5mm-x-12mm.html

You can get thermal adhesive tape, or a tube of thermal adhesive to apply them to each chip (Not thermal compound, this stuff is sticky):

http://www.performance-pcs.com/thermal-compounds/akasa-thermal-adhesive-tape-80-x-80mm.html

They also carry heatsinks with thermal adhesive pads already installed. You just need to get a measurement of how big a heatsink to put on each chip and what will fit under your CPU heatsink.

When applying them you don't want the heatsinks to touch really, you don't want any accidental voltage to get from one VRM to another. (This shouldn't happen at all, but it is just extra safety, the CPU are pairs in parallel from what I can see)

Here is a video of someone doing it on a different board, but the principal is the same. They used more expensive copper heatsinks.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scXDqNOLEAQ
 
Reactions: Dzadz
Jun 25, 2019
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Hmm, Temp 4 is concerning. There should be several types of VRMs, one for the memory, one for the chipset, etc. Then 4 or so for the CPU. Could be one of them. Not really sure how to find that out, actually.

Your 12V+ is also sagging a bit, 11.8 is still in spec, but you might need to supply more stable power to the system. Motherboard only has a 4-pin CPU connector, so that might be as good as it gets. But a higher quality power supply might help there.

97C isn't bad, but not good for a VRM, but is that 96C under a load, or just idle?

As for adding heatsinks, I guess we have to start with what it is you need to cool.

If you take a look at the board: https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-H110M-S2V-rev-10#ov

You will see the CPU socket surrounded by grey squares and black chips, mostly in sets of two chips per grey square. Those grey squares are chokes (coils of wire, that essentially store power temporarily, encased to protect them) They don't really need cooling, but it doesn't hurt. The chips next to them are the Voltage Regulation Modules themselves, they actually take the incoming 12V power and essentially convert it down to 2V or so by rapidly turning 12V on and off. Kind of like reverse pulse width modulation that is used to control fans.

These are what need cooling on higher end boards that run higher power CPUs. In this case you have dropped a heavy duty CPU into a low end board. I see you were pulling just 1.3 volts, which is typical of stock settings for K chips, it is actually a significant amount of power. 1.3 volts at 70 Amps if we assume the 91W TDP. Under a full load, it is probably exceeding that.

You'll have to take some measurements to see what will fit, but places like Amazon, Ebay, etc will carry loose heatsinks you can buy. A more reputable place to get them would be http://www.performance-pcs.com/mobo-chipset-mosfet-coolers

In particular these might be good if they aren't too tall: http://www.performance-pcs.com/micro-thermal-heatsink-for-motherboard-s-mos-6-5mm-x-12mm.html

You can get thermal adhesive tape, or a tube of thermal adhesive to apply them to each chip (Not thermal compound, this stuff is sticky):

http://www.performance-pcs.com/thermal-compounds/akasa-thermal-adhesive-tape-80-x-80mm.html

They also carry heatsinks with thermal adhesive pads already installed. You just need to get a measurement of how big a heatsink to put on each chip and what will fit under your CPU heatsink.

When applying them you don't want the heatsinks to touch really, you don't want any accidental voltage to get from one VRM to another. (This shouldn't happen at all, but it is just extra safety, the CPU are pairs in parallel from what I can see)

Here is a video of someone doing it on a different board, but the principal is the same. They used more expensive copper heatsinks.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scXDqNOLEAQ
Thank you so much for such an in-depth answer!
Regarding the heatsinks, I guess I'm a bit concered about my CPU cooler getting in their way, since the H110M-S2V is a rather small board. Do you think it might be wise just to get a new mainboard for the CPU, perhaps with the ability to overclock? It seems that investing so much effort into a low-end board probably isn't that great. Regarding my PSU, I bought it like 6 months back and it is rather powerful, the only thing I really saved money on when building this PC was the motherboard actually.
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
A decent Z270 board is going to set you back about $120-150, particularly Mini-ITX. That will generally have more VRM phases, or at least more parallelism and some heatsinks already installed.

You could spend as little as twenty dollars on some heatsinks (mostly shipping really) and you might solve the throttling problem. Honestly not a huge performance increase going from 4.5Ghz to 4.8Ghz if you do end up overclocking.

In looking a little deeper I think I picked out the best possible heatsinks in terms of area, my measurements show the chips to be roughly 7mm square. 12mm is not tall at all really, and if you look at other LGA115x motherboard cooling solutions the height only increases once you are past the chokes and capacitors. So nothing around the restricted area would change in height.

Up to you I suppose. You can try a simple experiment though. Take your side panel off, point a fan at the motherboard if you can, and see if it stops throttling. That will tell you for sure if that is the problem.
 
Jun 25, 2019
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A decent Z270 board is going to set you back about $120-150, particularly Mini-ITX. That will generally have more VRM phases, or at least more parallelism and some heatsinks already installed.

You could spend as little as twenty dollars on some heatsinks (mostly shipping really) and you might solve the throttling problem. Honestly not a huge performance increase going from 4.5Ghz to 4.8Ghz if you do end up overclocking.

In looking a little deeper I think I picked out the best possible heatsinks in terms of area, my measurements show the chips to be roughly 7mm square. 12mm is not tall at all really, and if you look at other LGA115x motherboard cooling solutions the height only increases once you are past the chokes and capacitors. So nothing around the restricted area would change in height.

Up to you I suppose. You can try a simple experiment though. Take your side panel off, point a fan at the motherboard if you can, and see if it stops throttling. That will tell you for sure if that is the problem.
Well my case also supports regular ATX boards and I researched a bit and this: https://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z270 Pro4/index.asp (83€ ~ 94$ in my country) seems like a solid, cheap option. I'm pointing a fan at the motherboard right now and will report back in a bit with new info.
 
Jun 25, 2019
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Up to you I suppose. You can try a simple experiment though. Take your side panel off, point a fan at the motherboard if you can, and see if it stops throttling. That will tell you for sure if that is the problem.
Okay, so I did my original test and ran around in Assassins Creed: Odyssey for a bit, since that game is notoriously CPU heavy. For the first 5 minutes I definitely expierenced no frame drops and no throttling. My temperatures, especially the mysterious "Temperature 4" were under 100° for the most part. CPU temp was under 60 for the entire time. However, after a while micro stuttering began and shortly after that Temperature 4 went back to 102+ and throttling started again. So, I don't know. I guess the fan diminished the problem a bit by delaying it? Can we be more sure that it's an issue with the VRM now?



I took this screenshot ~ 2 minutes after I did my test so I think only the maximum temperatures count.
 
My own 7700K runs fine at 1.268V max all the way to 4.7 GHz, so perhaps merely applying a negative offset might prevent your package temp from exceeding 100+ watts. (Using the XTU, You can also lower the single core max turbo to 4.4 GHz, and the all-core turbo to 4.1 GHz, which might spare you 10-15 watts while researching VRM cooling solutions...; I doubt buying a better mainboard now would be cost effective with so many potential better replacement Ryzens quite imminent.)
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
7700k is still a potent CPU, no need to replace it immediately, especially for gaming. Yes, you would have to buy a motherboard and CPU, so it would be quite expensive to get a Ryzen CPU faster than the 7700k. You would be looking at $300 or so. vs just a $150 motherboard.

Why I like the VRM cooling idea, won't cost much to try. Won't have to re-install your OS, etc. If you want to do further testing to isolate the chip with the potential problem you can try cooling them down while the system is live? Not sure I can think of a safe way to do that. I have one of those infrared laser thermometers. You could see which chip is the hottest. Or an IR camera. Maybe a mechanical pencil eraser. Remove the lead and spring, just use the plastic plunger part and put the eraser on each chip and watch the monitoring to see if it goes down briefly. (I would be very curious what temp 4 corresponds to)

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/z2Z2FT/asrock-z270-extreme4-atx-lga1151-motherboard-z270-extreme4

If you were to buy a new motherboard with the ability to overclock, you would have the clock frequency and IPC advantage over even Zen 2 cores, probably. We'll have to wait for independent reviews and how much Zen 2 can overclock. Under the right conditions, and with a decent chip, even Kabylake can hit 5.1Ghz (Never tried with mine, but I am already way outside the normally acceptable voltage range, and temps are already in the low 80s)

They pretty solidly gave Ryzen 2000 series chips about Haswell level of performance. Just happens that AMD has more cores then all the Intel quad cores, so they make a better general purpose CPU. But for games, it has been Intel for IPC and single threaded performance. AMD might be matching this, at least invalidating all the locked Intel CPUs as a good option. If they can do 4.4Ghz (stock) with roughly equal performance to kaby and coffee, then there is no reason at all to get a locked i5, i3, or pentium at a price premium when you can get overclocking. If they overclock to 4.7Ghz then there is little reason to get an Intel chip unless you want to overclock to 5.3Ghz or so (Which is what Coffeelake is capable of at the extreme end)

Every leak I've seen leaves room for doubt. Like comparing a 9900k to a Ryzen 3700x but with the memory speed slow on one of them. There have been a few userbenchmark postings, but some of them seem fraudulent. Saw one with a Ryzen 3600X and C17 4266Mhz memory, would take a really good overclocker to pull that out of any chip, let alone a new one. But we will know in a few weeks.
 
Jun 25, 2019
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Why I like the VRM cooling idea, won't cost much to try. Won't have to re-install your OS, etc. If you want to do further testing to isolate the chip with the potential problem you can try cooling them down while the system is live? Not sure I can think of a safe way to do that. I have one of those infrared laser thermometers. You could see which chip is the hottest. Or an IR camera. Maybe a mechanical pencil eraser. Remove the lead and spring, just use the plastic plunger part and put the eraser on each chip and watch the monitoring to see if it goes down briefly. (I would be very curious what temp 4 corresponds to)
I'm probably going to do that later today when I have time just because I'm curious too, but I'm dead set on getting the ASRock Z270 Pro4 Board, it's very affordable and I can OC with it, though the top VRMs don't seem to be covered by heatsinks and I just can't find specifications for them anywhere, however by comparing pictures and going of the 7mm you said for my current motherboard I'm almost certain they're the same size.
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
Not all the VRMs need active cooling. Some supply low power to things like the chipset. On more expensive boards they just cover everything.

On that board they have covered the CPU VRMs which are the ones that deliver the most power.
 
Wouldn't I need a new mainboard in addition to the new CPU anyway?
Yes, but, a new $150 mainboard just to get 200 more MHz on a 7700K seems questionable....; at some point, you would want to stop investing in a 6th gen system; for instance, some would rather pay $380 for a 7700K when they could replace the MB and the CPU for less, which is...questionable, at best)

Of course a new MB would be required for any of the the newer beyond 7th gen Intel or any AMD CPUs, however...
 
Jun 25, 2019
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Yes, but, a new $150 mainboard just to get 200 more MHz on a 7700K seems questionable....
Make that 90$ AND think of the fact that I am currently unable to properly utilize my delidded i7-7700K in the first place (which is why I made this thread). OC is literally just a bonus.
 
Jun 25, 2019
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Just a quick follow-up.

After a full week of trying to get my new motherboard to work. My issues have been resolved. It seems that the VRMs were indeed the problem. 3DMark, Assassins Creed Odyssey or whatever else you throw at the CPU it can handle it and won't throttle.

Thanks to everyone in this thread who helped me, especially Eximo.
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
Always good to see an update.

While I am here:

"They pretty solidly gave Ryzen 2000 series chips about Haswell level of performance. Just happens that AMD has more cores then all the Intel quad cores, so they make a better general purpose CPU. But for games, it has been Intel for IPC and single threaded performance. AMD might be matching this, at least invalidating all the locked Intel CPUs as a good option. If they can do 4.4Ghz (stock) with roughly equal performance to kaby and coffee, then there is no reason at all to get a locked i5, i3, or pentium at a price premium when you can get overclocking. If they overclock to 4.7Ghz then there is little reason to get an Intel chip unless you want to overclock to 5.3Ghz or so (Which is what Coffeelake is capable of at the extreme end) "

It seems the top end of the Ryzen 3000 chips is about 4.3-4.4Ghz. AMD is advertising their fastest potential speed, not so much the average they achieve under normal circumstances. They are running them flat out and the boost takes them to their peak pretty readily. Still the numbers look good for anyone else considering an upgrade. R5-3600 is nearly on par with a 7700k at stock settings, in several titles at least.

Might be some minor optimizations from Microsoft, etc, over the next few months that may improve that.

Unless Intel drops prices across the board it is pretty difficult to recommend anything less than an i5-9600k, i7-9700k for games. If you do any general type of work than the R5-3600 and up are better choices overall. Looking forward to the APU reviews.
 

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