A couple basic OC questions - HT, Throttling, DRAM voltage

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A couple basic OC questions - HT, Throttling, DRAM voltage

Postposted on Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:20 pm

OCing beginner here - read a lot but still have some basic questions about OCing.

MSI's Big Bang XPower X58 (AMI v1.6)
core i7 980x
4GB DIMM @533 MHz (x6)

Assuming I've replaced the stock HSF and my load temps (@ 3.33 MHz - 3.6 MHz w/turbo boost) are under 60C...

1A. Must I disable Intel's Hyper-Threading? My fav programs take advantage of more cores/threads so I'd like to keep HT enabled.
1B. Disable Turbo Boost? The BIOS allows me to set TurboBoost multipliers for each core; can I bump them up or just disable TurboBoost completely?

2. Will the CPU still throttle itself when there's only a light load? Most of the guides say to turn off all the Speedstep, C-states, IEST, etc. stuff.

Is it possible to keep the energy-saving stuff enabled while OCing?

I read that turning up the DRAM voltage a bit is a good idea when OCing if you have all the RAM slots populated, which I do. Unfortunately it didn't specify how much "a bit" is. This RAM runs at 1.5V so... 1.505? Or more like 1.55?

Thanks very much for any thoughts you can share. I do appreciate it!
canoli
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Re: A couple basic OC questions - HT, Throttling, DRAM volta

Postposted on Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:44 pm

1A. No, you don't NEED to disable HT, especially because you have threaded programs. The trade off, however, it that it will generate more heat, but your temps right now are fine.
1B. I don't really know how turbo boost differs from Speedstep. I think turbo boost just has extra states that it considers "turbo" compared to other states that it will only use under high load. If it works like that, I'd disable turbo boost, set the regular clock to the highest that you want it to be, and then leave Speedstep on to clock down while just browsing. I have never had any luck with setting different cores to different speeds, it always crashes.

2. Yes, that's what Speedstep is for. Guides say turn it off because in the instance that the processor wants to idle during an intense task, it can randomly decrease performance. It can also lead to variations in power consumption, which sites like this one want to weed out.

I don't know about your specific processor, but my 4770k still works fine with most of the power saving things intact. It gets unstable with varying voltage, so I had to stop that though.

Don't add voltage if you don't have to. It will only lead to more energy use and heat without any upside. As for a bit, I usually go for something like .010V in a step, but again it's only to try to stabilize the system.

Edit: Forgot to say that you need to have windows power whatever on balanced for the varying clock speed to actually occur. Well, you don't have to, but otherwise you'll need to edit the power options yourself.
Ari Atari
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Re: A couple basic OC questions - HT, Throttling, DRAM volta

Postposted on Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:50 pm

ah - thanks Ari - good stuff - I appreciate your help, that clears up quite a bit. I think I'll follow your advice and disable Turbo Boost, just shoot for a high, stable OC on all cores. If I can leave the power-management / energy-saving features enabled that will be good.

It's interesting you mentioned the power plans. Lately I've been concerned because CPU-Z shows the processor running at 3.6 MHz almost constantly. Task Manager shows the CPU Usage is normal but the core speed in CPU-Z is nearly always 3.6 MHz. CPU-Tweaker shows the CPU Frequency at or near 3.5 MHz most of the time.

In the power plans "MIN" and "MAX" under Processor Power Management are set at 5% and 100%. All the energy-saving stuff in the BIOS is enabled.

I swapped out a dead GTX 470 for a new 770 recently, now I'm replacing it with a 780 on its way from EVGA. Currently I'm running w/out a graphics card.

Running w/out a graphics card has disabled the ability to SLEEP - the message said "current driver doesn't support S3 sleep" or something like that. I don't know how that would affect CPU frequency..? Meanwhile the temps are fine - mid to high 20s to low 30s on all cores.

well if you have any ideas I'd love to hear them. Thanks again for your OCing advice Ari, I appreciate it.
canoli
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Re: A couple basic OC questions - HT, Throttling, DRAM volta

Postposted on Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:57 pm

Just to be clear, I'm no expert at overclocking or computers, I just have a good amount of experience using them.

Hmm, have you tried using different power plans anyway? I just tried it now, and high performance never let my cpu down clock even though it does say 5% min and 100% max.

How can you run a computer without a graphics card? Do you mean with some sort of on board card?
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Re: A couple basic OC questions - HT, Throttling, DRAM volta

Postposted on Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:43 am

Ha - yeah sorry I goofed. What I meant was I'm running without any NVIDIA drivers. While I'm waiting for the 780 I installed the near-dead GTX 470. I guess because it's on its last legs it won't allow the system to boot into Windows with any NVIDIA driver. Another few days I should have the 780.
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Re: A couple basic OC questions - HT, Throttling, DRAM volta

Postposted on Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:18 am

Let me guess. Is your GTX 470 only allowing a maximum resolution of like 800x600 and gives a code 40 in device manager? If so, the card is already dead and just running in compatibility mode which is somehow different from the actual card. That was my experience with a 560 TI.

However, I don't think the graphics card should have any effect on your CPU overclock.
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Re: A couple basic OC questions - HT, Throttling, DRAM volta

Postposted on Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:13 pm

No not quite that bad - it gives me 1600x1200. There's no option for 1920x1200, which is the default for these monitors. And of course it won't drive the 2nd monitor at all, just one. In Device Mngr it lists "Standard VGA Graphics Adapter." However, CPU-Z's graphics tab shows the 470. Also in AIDA64 the GPU info says it's the 470.

Does that mean I must still have some NVIDIA stuff on my system? I followed a pretty good manual procedure I found online, one I've used before, to get rid of all NV stuff. After that I ran Driver Sweeper in Safe Mode. I was surprised to see the 470 still coming up in the monitoring/benchmark programs.

Thanks Ari!
Last edited by canoli on Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A couple basic OC questions - HT, Throttling, DRAM volta

Postposted on Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:47 pm

re: CPU frequency

CPU-Z shows x27, 3595.29 MHz and it stays there pretty much all the time.

In CPU-Tweaker, does the CPU and RAM Frequency graph look fairly normal? The time span shown is about 15 minutes. Hardly anything is running besides CPU-Z and CPU-Tweaker - just a few Firefox tabs, RealTemp and Avast.

https://imageshack.com/i/ipf1746aj
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Re: A couple basic OC questions - HT, Throttling, DRAM volta

Postposted on Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:46 pm

No, you don't have nvidia stuff left over, but the card is running in compatibility mode. While windows is using the generic driver, those other programs don't look at the driver, they look at the card, which is why they still detect the 470 correctly. For the graph, it seems to be realistic, but it looks like your CPU is just old. I think Sandy bridge was where intel really unlocked clock variance. Your processor only has a set number of states it can be in, which looks to be about 9 or something. It looks like the power saving features are not very aggressive so it gets forced into its highest state for simple tasks. If you just let it sit there totally idle it should stay in its lowest state for a longer time. Just look out for firefox and avast, they may need a burst of power that spikes the clock speed.
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Re: A couple basic OC questions - HT, Throttling, DRAM volta

Postposted on Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:18 pm

I know for Linux, CPUFreq allows for all kinds of tweaks to be made to CPU frequency governors - it's definitely handled at an OS level. I'm not familiar with this sort of thing on Windows, but there might be some tuning parameters around that could get it throttling back down more aggressively. I'm not the one to ask where you would find such settings, though (some quick searches didn't turn up anything).
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Re: A couple basic OC questions - HT, Throttling, DRAM volta

Postposted on Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:24 am

I don't know what you're trying to accomplish with your overclock, but I personally always shoot for a "daily driver" overclock, meaning max frequency at stock CPU voltage. That ensures temps stay low and CPU life-expectancy is not diminished. It also largely avoids all the "advanced" overclocking tweaks that are necessitated by max OC's (ie crank out every last MHz). Some would say that it's okay to increase voltage a small amount (and I agree), but then you're in the grey area of "how much is a little?"

Also, I always leave HT, Turbo Boost, and Speed Step on. Turbo Boost and Speed Step are designed to toggle VERY quickly. For lightly threaded workloads (1-2 cores for example) Turbo Boost is designed to increase the frequency of a couple cores beyond stock while the remaining cores are parked/idle. It's a method of extracting max performance within a given thermal design power (TDP). Some mobos have the ability to apply this frequency boost to all cores when they're pegged, this feature is called "Multi-Core Enhancement" (not sure if MCE was maybe introduced with Sandy Bridge). Speed Step reduces the CPU frequency below the base frequency to save power/heat when idle.

Here's a stock voltage overclock for a 980X. Your results may vary depending on if your CPU is a good overclocker or not. Googling "(processor name) stock voltage overclock" can pretty much give you a recipe for overclocking any CPU.

Similarly, I leave RAM at it's fastest stock XMP profile. Ram overclocking just isn't worth the hassle of ~2-3% performance improvement.
i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-m, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB G-Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
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Re: A couple basic OC questions - HT, Throttling, DRAM volta

Postposted on Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:10 pm

thanks DP , don't know how I missed this article , thanks for the link.

as far as OCing I'm looking for simple, stable, faster-than-stock - that's all. Turbo Boost gets me x27, which is around 3.6 MHz but I'd like to run at 4.0 if I could using stock or just over stock voltage. If that means sacrificing Turbo Boost I guess I will.

As far as the RAM - X58 seems pretty finicky with RAM frequency. Maybe it's just Gulftown or this mainboard but I had no luck running 6 sticks of GSkill RAM at anything but 533 (7-7-7-19 CR1) even though its default is 667 MHz. For what I like to do on the computer fast disk access and processor speed / # of threads is much more important than RAM clocks. Your estimate of what faster RAM gives you is the same as what I've read elsewhere - not a lot of gain.

As Ari noted the Gulftown is getting old I guess but it's still a fine workhorse for a hobbyist like me. If i could only figure out why CPU-Z shows it running maxed-out all the time...

Thanks again!
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