Question Z170-A giving high Vcore values on a 6700K

zantaff

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I'm overclocking my i7 6700k on a Z170-A mobo.
I was using the mobo's "EZ Tuning" feature to get a benchmark for how much I can overclock my CPU on this board before manually setting it. It has essentially 3 different tuning settings and each seemed to give me higher than normal Vcore values.

TPU 1: 4100 MHz; 100 BLCK; 1.344v Offset mode.
EZ Tune: 4532 MHz; 103 BLCK; 1.456v Offset mode
TPU 2: 4600 MHz; 100 BLCK; 1.488v Offset mode

I was reading other threads and people were pretty much agreeing that anything higher than 1.4V is too much. One guy was getting speeds of 4500Mhz at 1.26v.

I tried manually adjusting my speed and voltage to similar specs but kept getting instability on anything lower than 1.344V at almost any clock speed above 4100MHz.

Is it my board, my cpu, or both? Will running the CPU at 1.4+V really kill it like people make it seam?
I'm currently running 4532MHz @ 1.4v and getting stable performance. Maxing out at 82 degrees running BurnInTest. Any lower voltage and it seems to get unstable.
 
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Darkbreeze

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We can get to that stuff in a moment, and I'm happy to help you with the details, but before I tell you that you should EASILY be able to do 4.5Ghz manually WITHOUT using any of the automatic features, which of course suck, please list the following.

Motherboard firmware version?

CPU cooler model?

Case cooling configuration?

Memory configuration including speed, number of DIMMs and EXACTLY which slots they are installed in if less than four DIMMs are in use?

There is no reason you should need to run the system at more than 1.36v to achieve a 4.5Ghz overclock on that motherboard, but there are some other settings that will be a factor such as VCCIO and VCCSA (System agent) voltages.

Also, that guy is full of crap. There is no way he, or anybody else, could run a 6700k at 4.6Ghz with only a 1.26v core voltage. I'd bet money he didn't know what he was talking about and was probably reporting the VID or another reading AS if it were the core voltage, or else he WAS running at that voltage but like MANY people, did not have a stable configuration that could pass the required stability testing as outline in my guide here:

 

zantaff

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Thanks for the help!

Additional specs:
Mobo Firmware Version 3802 (Latest)
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
Intake Fans: 2 on front, 1 on site, 1 on base.
Exhaust: 1 on back 1 on top.
2x 8GB 1200MHz (DDR4-2400 / PC4-19200) Channels A1 & B1 (Slots 1 & 3)

I'm in the process of reading over the guide.
Going to run Memtest86 to make sure that's not the issue.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
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Move your memory to slots 2 and 4, as seen here, before you do ANYTHING else. These are the DIMM slots by INTENT, recommended for ALL DDR4 dual channel consumer motherboards that have four DIMM slots when two DIMMs are in use.

ASUS has switched the names and recommended location for a single DIMM population, on it's X570 dual channel boards, but even then, it is STILL slots 2 and 4 for two DIMM population. The only difference in that case is that for single DIMM population ASUS recommends using the DIMM slot closest to the edge of the motherboard rather than the second over from the CPU, as seen below.

For all other dual channel boards, regardless of WHAT the DIMM slots might be NAMED, it is as seen below. ALL. No exceptions IF it is a dual channel, DDR4 (And MOST DDR3), four DIMM slot motherboard.




After moving the memory to those slots, it's a good idea to do a hard reset and then enable D.O.C.P again as well as reconfigure any custom settings you had configured.


BIOS Hard Reset procedure

Power off the unit, switch the PSU off and unplug the PSU cord from either the wall or the power supply.

Remove the motherboard CMOS battery for five minutes. In some cases it may be necessary to remove the graphics card to access the CMOS battery.

During that five minutes, press the power button on the case for 30 seconds. After the five minutes is up, reinstall the CMOS battery making sure to insert it with the correct side up just as it came out.

If you had to remove the graphics card you can now reinstall it, but remember to reconnect your power cables if there were any attached to it as well as your display cable.

Now, plug the power supply cable back in, switch the PSU back on and power up the system. It should display the POST screen and the options to enter CMOS/BIOS setup. Enter the bios setup program and reconfigure the boot settings for either the Windows boot manager or for legacy systems, the drive your OS is installed on if necessary.

Save settings and exit. If the system will POST and boot then you can move forward from there including going back into the bios and configuring any other custom settings you may need to configure such as Memory XMP profile settings, custom fan profile settings or other specific settings you may have previously had configured that were wiped out by resetting the CMOS.

In some cases it may be necessary when you go into the BIOS after a reset, to load the Optimal default or Default values and then save settings, to actually get the hardware tables to reset in the boot manager.

It is probably also worth mentioning that for anything that might require an attempt to DO a hard reset in the first place, it is a GOOD IDEA to try a different type of display as many systems will not work properly for some reason with displayport configurations. It is worth trying HDMI if you are having no display or lack of visual ability to enter the BIOS, or no signal messages.
 

zantaff

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Move your memory to slots 2 and 4, as seen here, before you do ANYTHING else. These are the DIMM slots by INTENT, recommended for ALL DDR4 dual channel consumer motherboards that have four DIMM slots when two DIMMs are in use.
I will reset the RAM and post the results. It's 1AM right now so it will have to wait till tomorrow.

Thanks again for the detailed process. It's always good to go step-by step even tho I'm not a complete beginner. I probably know just enough to mess things up.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
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Tomorrow evening I'll post screenshots of my entire BIOS settings. Obviously, no two CPU and motherboard combinations are exactly the same, even when they are exactly the same, but it should at least give you a good starting place to begin tweaking your own configuration FROM. Might even be pretty close to spot on although I'd be inclined to do ALL of the recommended testing and then tweak based on your own personal results, since my Hero VIII/6700k configuration are VERY similar to your 6700k/Z170-A.

Most settings should be the same and the majority of the motherboard characteristics and configuration should just about be identical minus a few things here and there.

At worst it should give you at least something to look at and compare things to, to see if you are even in the ballpark to where you probably should be for any given setting.
 

zantaff

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Result summary
Test Start Time2020-01-17 20:20:00
Elapsed Time0:34:36
Memory Range Tested0x0 - 4AF000000 (19184MB)
CPU Selection ModeParallel (All CPUs)
ECC PollingEnabled
# Tests Passed16/16 (100%)
Test# Tests PassedErrors
Test 0 [Address test, walking ones, 1 CPU]3/3 (100%)0
Test 1 [Address test, own address, 1 CPU]2/2 (100%)0
Test 2 [Address test, own address]2/2 (100%)0
Test 3 [Moving inversions, ones & zeroes]1/1 (100%)0
Test 4 [Moving inversions, 8-bit pattern]1/1 (100%)0
Test 5 [Moving inversions, random pattern]1/1 (100%)0
Test 6 [Block move, 64-byte blocks]1/1 (100%)0
Test 7 [Moving inversions, 32-bit pattern]1/1 (100%)0
Test 8 [Random number sequence]1/1 (100%)0
Test 9 [Modulo 20, ones & zeros]1/1 (100%)0
Test 10 [Bit fade test, 2 patterns, 1 CPU]1/1 (100%)0
Test 13 [Hammer test]1/1 (100%)0
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
So, did you run Memtest for 4 full passes of all 11 tests. (11 because tests 11 and 12 are only present on the paid version.) Or, was that just a single pass of the full battery?

Here are my settings, which might be helpful in getting you to a good place where you can tweak the configuration from. Or it could be a spot on configuration for permanent use.

Those images will expand if you click on them. If there is a BIOS screen missing that you need, let me know and I'll post a copy of it.











 

zantaff

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So, did you run Memtest for 4 full passes of all 11 tests.
Yes, I ran it just for 1 pass to get a quick result then ran the full 4 passes later.
Test Start Time2020-01-18 00:07:43
Elapsed Time3:01:46
Memory Range Tested0x0 - 4AF000000 (19184MB)
CPU Selection ModeParallel (All CPUs)
ECC PollingEnabled
# Tests Passed48/48 (100%)

Thanks for the screenshots, I tweaked my BIOS based on those suggestions.
Right now I've set my system to 4.53GHz @ 1.37V. Running stable and passed RealBench running for 2 hours. I tried clocking the next step up to 4.63GHz but couldn't get the system stable, even with voltage up to 1.40. I'm hesitant to go any higher due to claims of anything over 1.4V being unsafe. I still feel like something is wrong because I'm still seeing other people getting speeds like 4.7G @ 1.35v on the same motherboard.

I have heard different opinions on voltage. Some say flat out that for Skylake, anything over 1.4v starts to become unsafe. Others say there's no voltage rule, just as long as your temperature is in a safe range. What's your take on it?
 
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Darkbreeze

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Moderator
Anything above 1.4v is saying "I don't care how long this CPU lasts, I'll ride it like this until electromigration kills it and then upgrade or buy another CPU".

Please read this, it CLEARLY covers these topics in extreme detail, but in a way that even beginners can generally understand.



It really doesn't matter what somebody else can achieve with the same motherboard, unless they can achieve it with the same motherboard using YOUR EXACT CPU. Not one "like" it. THAT one. Because they are all different. Some samples are MUCH better than others and some, are REAL turds.

I can do 4.5Ghz at 1.36v BUT I have to jump all the way to 1.4v to do 4.6Ghz and it is a simple fact that the extra 100mhz does not offer enough to make it worth having to make that kind of jump in voltage.

Did you move your memory modules to the 2nd and 4th slots?

What is your LLC set to?

What is your VCCIO set to?

What is your VCCSA set to?

Why is your CPU frequency set to 4.53Ghz instead of 4.5Ghz? What did you change. BCLK?

Changing BCLK settings is not advisable. It creates too many other hardware instabilities or at least the potential for it. I'd set that back to it's default value.

What do you have the CPU max cache ratio set to? It should be about 200mhz less than whatever the CPU frequency is?
 

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