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jackbomb
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What happened to my overclock?

Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:25 pm

I've been running my 4770K at 4.4GHz/1.165v for years without issue, but yesterday it froze twice while playing 1080p video in MPC-HC. I initially suspected that the video card was at fault, since disabling hardware video decoding seemed to correct the problem. However, the system later blue-screened while running Photoshop.

Even after the BSOD, I didn't think that my overclock was causing the instability, so I busted out memtest and let that run for a few hours. The memory came up clean, so I finally decreased core frequency and voltage to 4.3GHz/1.150v. It's completely stable at this speed.

So now I'm wondering what on earth happened to my CPU. Why can't it run at 4.4GHz @ 1.165v anymore? I've heard of CPU degradation caused by excessive voltage, but usually at 1.3+ volts accompanied by high temperatures. Has anyone here experienced CPU degradation at lower voltages and temperatures?
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Vhalidictes
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:52 pm

Yes, I had a very minor overvolt for my i7-920, but that didn't help in the end. After 5 years at 3.0GHz, I was losing about 100MHz a month every month. I eventually retired the CPU and switched over to another 920 for about a year, after which it showed the same problem, even though that CPU hadn't been overclocked before.

It seems to be an age thing as best as I can tell. You only get so much OC time before a CPU starts having issues.
 
jackbomb
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:39 pm

Vhalidictes wrote:
Yes, I had a very minor overvolt for my i7-920, but that didn't help in the end. After 5 years at 3.0GHz, I was losing about 100MHz a month every month. I eventually retired the CPU and switched over to another 920 for about a year, after which it showed the same problem, even though that CPU hadn't been overclocked before.

It seems to be an age thing as best as I can tell. You only get so much OC time before a CPU starts having issues.

Strange. Were older CPUs less sensitive to overclocking? Before the 4770K, I used a Q6600 (2.4GHz) overclocked to 3.6GHz for 6+ years. I still have that machine. Don't use it much anymore, but it's still stable at 3.6GHz.
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DPete27
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:13 pm

I'd wager it's a combination of other factors also.
Such as: How many hours has your computer actually been running at 4.4GHz? 4 years of 2 hours per week is a lot different than 4 years at 20 hours per week.100 hours per week....etc etc.
Also, chip lottery can play a role. I would agree that your OC doesn't seem to be overly aggressive, but maybe your chip has some weak links.
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:16 pm

jackbomb wrote:
Were older CPUs less sensitive to overclocking?

I think larger process nodes are inherently more resilient. Am I wrong?
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jihadjoe
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:20 pm

Yes the bigger process would make older CPUs more resilient against electromigration. The degradation is caused by material getting moved around, and a bigger node means there's more stuff used for each feature making them harder to damage.
 
jackbomb
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:43 pm

DPete27 wrote:
I'd wager it's a combination of other factors also.
Such as: How many hours has your computer actually been running at 4.4GHz? 4 years of 2 hours per week is a lot different than 4 years at 20 hours per week.100 hours per week....etc etc.
Also, chip lottery can play a role. I would agree that your OC doesn't seem to be overly aggressive, but maybe your chip has some weak links.

On average, around 21 hours/week. Also, the workloads that I subject the 4770K to are relatively easy. I used to do a ton of video encoding on my old Q6600, and it was just fine. By the time I got my 4770K, I had stopped compressing Blu-rays with x264. The most CPU intensive programs that I run on the 4770K are games, and they never push CPU load to 100% like x264 used to.

jihadjoe wrote:
Yes the bigger process would make older CPUs more resilient against electromigration. The degradation is caused by material getting moved around, and a bigger node means there's more stuff used for each feature making them harder to damage.

Wish I had known that when I first purchased the CPU. I can't believe 1.165v damaged it...that's nuts. :x
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synthtel2
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:06 pm

All five of my last five desktop CPUs have had issues (some minor) of one sort or another (voltages stock/stock/stock/1.27/1.33). I'm not exactly a strong believer in CPU reliability. Two of those (the 1.27 and 1.33, both Haswell on the same mobo) degraded to paperweight status from their OCs, despite not being very heavily stressed chips.

It's true 1.165V is a bit low for that, especially considering the light load patterns. Have you confirmed lately that thermals are good? When setting up the overclock, did you leave much margin for degradation, or was 1.165V pretty close to the edge?
 
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:24 am

Increased voltage will hasten the electromigration, but that'll happen in time anyway, even at stock speeds.

It's definitely getting worse with these newer processes. I'm starting to see multiple degraded Ivy and Haswell chips (22nm) that spent their half decade at stock speeds, whilst degraded Sandy chips (32nm) seem to be very rare outside of extreme overclocking. I certainly won't be recommending used processors any more.

I've always assumed that electromigration is roughly proportional to the power consumption - so if a stock CPU uses 84-91W and an overclocked chip uses, say ~160W, then it's using 80% more power and will burn through its lifespan 80% quicker - so a 14nm finFET chip that we'd expect to last around 5 years in a 24/7 situation may last only 2-3 years when overclocked.

I moved away from extreme overclocks, water loops and loud fans a long time ago; I firmly believe that the best point to stop overclocking is the point at which you have to add more voltage. It's the old voltage-squared problem, and actually makes underclocking more enticing; How low can you get the voltage without dropping clockspeed? The reductions in noise and heat are often quite staggering (especially if we're talking about AMD GPUs).
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:05 pm

Yeah, it's almost a good thing that Intel got rid of base-clock OC'ing, I can't imagine that most 14nm processors would last longer than 2 years even at reasonable voltages.

Of course, newer processors don't really see the kind of MHz boosts that older ones did either, 30-40% for a 900-series has turned into more like 10-15% for newer i7's...
 
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:59 pm

My Kentsfield is invincible, lol!

Not gonna make the same claim about Sandy Bridge, but I do have an i7-3820 that's been doing 4.5GHz 24/7 since the day it was built in 2012. Old process tech ftw.
 
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:01 pm

jihadjoe wrote:
My Kentsfield is invincible, lol!

Not gonna make the same claim about Sandy Bridge, but I do have an i7-3820 that's been doing 4.5GHz 24/7 since the day it was built in 2012. Old process tech ftw.


JJ, how did you manage that? I have the same CPU, and as best I can tell it's not overclockable? It's possible that my motherboard is the problem, though, I seem to remember that some boards just didn't have all the needed BIOS options...
 
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:52 pm

The i7-3820 is sort of unlocked. Multiplier goes up 6 steps to 43x, then a mild bclk bump to 105 gives 4.5GHz. Depending on your board you might be able to use the 1.25x bclk ratio to get up to 5GHz with a 40x multiplier and slightly relaxed RAM timings. My CPU needs a lot more voltage once it gets to around 4.8GHz though, so I just stick to 4.5GHz. I'm using a Gigabyte X79-UD7.

Video of a guy working his i7-3820 on a Gigabyte UD5 (including the bclk strap method): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfSPtsNPvYM
 
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:46 pm

Vhalidictes wrote:
... I can't imagine that most 14nm processors would last longer than 2 years even at reasonable voltages.

This makes no sense. I don't know what are "reasonable voltages" in your mind, but if 2 years were an expected lifetime from "reasonable voltages" Intel would be replacing damn near every CPU they sell.
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:55 pm

DancinJack wrote:
Vhalidictes wrote:
... I can't imagine that most 14nm processors would last longer than 2 years even at reasonable voltages.

This makes no sense. I don't know what are "reasonable voltages" in your mind, but if 2 years were an expected lifetime from "reasonable voltages" Intel would be replacing damn near every CPU they sell.

Bleeding-edge overclocks/overvolts was what I was talking about.

I'm sure that at default settings most CPUs last at least 10 years.
 
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:13 pm

Vhalidictes wrote:
Bleeding-edge overclocks/overvolts was what I was talking about.

I'm sure that at default settings most CPUs last at least 10 years.


While that makes more sense, you also said "reasonable voltages." So, I mean, generally you're not gonna have bleeding edge overclocks with a reasonable voltage as well. I think I know what you meant though.

FWIW, my 6700K is ~2 years old and has been running at 4.4GHz and ~1.2V. I've not had any issues as of yet as far as I can tell. Hopefully I have a decent chip, but I also wouldn't hate it if I had to get something with more cores :)
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Chrispy_
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:44 pm

Giving a very small sample size, but one that is still useful statistically, we added 24 nodes (3 stacks of 8 nodes) to our renderfarm when the 4790K came out.

These CPUs are cooled well and perform 4C/8T software rendering at the stock 4GHz for about two thirds of their power-on time. The remaining third of their power-on time is idle and they are running 24/7/365.

So, these chips have had a fairly hard life, but probably an easier life than if they belonged to a consumer who folds or cryptomines. I've replaced three processors due to electromigration failure in the last six months. Two were memory controller degradation, in that the CPUs couldn't complete a clean Memtest x86 pass in a testbench machine with a board and RAM that were known-good. The most recent failure was clockspeed degredation, requiring higher LLC to even POST, and crashing on Prime95 unless it was run at under 3GHz.

So they all ran at stock for 3 years, and then 12.5% of them died from electromigration. Those machines will be replaced with Ryzen or Coffelake in Q2 2018 but I'm curious to see what the final death rate is for that rendergroup once we hit 4 years. I'm also worried about the Ryzen7 parts because unlike Intel, ALL of the die is 14nm FinFET. Intel's 14nm is actually not 100% 14nm, so there is a much higher transistor density on the AMD CPUs. Smaller processes are more susceptible, and Ryzen is the smallest, most dense design to date.
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DrDominodog51
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:59 pm

If the node was an issue, Ivy Bridge would have had the same issue. Ivy Bridge, however, was fairly voltage tolerant (once delided).

It is my understanding that Haswell and Broadwell were fragile CPU architectures. My favorite theory is that the FIVR is degrading before the rest of the CPU and gradually has worse voltage regulation over time.
Last edited by DrDominodog51 on Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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jackbomb
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:32 am

synthtel2 wrote:
All five of my last five desktop CPUs have had issues (some minor) of one sort or another (voltages stock/stock/stock/1.27/1.33). I'm not exactly a strong believer in CPU reliability. Two of those (the 1.27 and 1.33, both Haswell on the same mobo) degraded to paperweight status from their OCs, despite not being very heavily stressed chips.

It's true 1.165V is a bit low for that, especially considering the light load patterns. Have you confirmed lately that thermals are good? When setting up the overclock, did you leave much margin for degradation, or was 1.165V pretty close to the edge?

After two hours of gaming, the processor temperature hovers around 52-56.
And yeah, 1.165v was right at the edge. It never was able to do 4.4GHz at only 1.160v.

Chrispy_ wrote:
Giving a very small sample size, but one that is still useful statistically, we added 24 nodes (3 stacks of 8 nodes) to our renderfarm when the 4790K came out.

These CPUs are cooled well and perform 4C/8T software rendering at the stock 4GHz for about two thirds of their power-on time. The remaining third of their power-on time is idle and they are running 24/7/365.

So, these chips have had a fairly hard life, but probably an easier life than if they belonged to a consumer who folds or cryptomines. I've replaced three processors due to electromigration failure in the last six months. Two were memory controller degradation, in that the CPUs couldn't complete a clean Memtest x86 pass in a testbench machine with a board and RAM that were known-good. The most recent failure was clockspeed degredation, requiring higher LLC to even POST, and crashing on Prime95 unless it was run at under 3GHz.

So they all ran at stock for 3 years, and then 12.5% of them died from electromigration. Those machines will be replaced with Ryzen or Coffelake in Q2 2018 but I'm curious to see what the final death rate is for that rendergroup once we hit 4 years. I'm also worried about the Ryzen7 parts because unlike Intel, ALL of the die is 14nm FinFET. Intel's 14nm is actually not 100% 14nm, so there is a much higher transistor density on the AMD CPUs. Smaller processes are more susceptible, and Ryzen is the smallest, most dense design to date.

That's...really disturbing. I usually buy a new CPU every 5-6 years. If Intel does nothing about the fragility of their ever-shrinking CPUs, then it sounds like I'll have to undervolt my future 10nm Ice Lake just to have it last more than a few years. Especially if games start using AVX2 to really push those execution units.
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mcarson09
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:11 am

Or maybe you guys might want to switch to Xeon cpus. for the record the Xeon e5 16xx like the 1660 and 1680 are unlocked and overclockable. I'm not sure about the new W xeons, but you need to find a board that can overclock. asrock rack single cpu boards did for the past two gens, if you actually wanted to use registered ECC instead of unbuffered. Also when i was overclocking I was using water on the cpu and still actively cooling the vrms and ram with 120mm and 140mm fans. My Ivy bridge 1660 didn't give me any problems, but I also made sure my OCs were Linpack and prime95 blend stable. I did have motherboards fail on me (last one was two dimm slots), but if I moved cpus to a new board I was backup and running.

So who was actively cooling their VRMs and ram while they were overclocking and had their cpus fail?
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:16 am

DrDominodog51 wrote:
If the node was an issue, Ivy Bridge would have had the same issue. Ivy Bridge, however, was fairly voltage tolerant (once delided).

It is my understanding that Haswell and Broadwell were fragile CPU architectures. My favorite theory is that the FIVR is degrading before the rest of the CPU and gradually has worse voltage regulation over time.


I prefer this theory over the node size theory.
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synthtel2
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:59 pm

jackbomb wrote:
And yeah, 1.165v was right at the edge. It never was able to do 4.4GHz at only 1.160v.

That's probably not worth worrying over, then. Even if it accelerates and degrades that much every 6 months, it'll still have many years of useful life left in it (and the real degradation could have been only 1-2 mV).

mcarson09 wrote:
So who was actively cooling their VRMs and ram while they were overclocking and had their cpus fail?

I pay a lot of attention to making case airflow hit all parts.
 
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:26 am

Very interesting read Chrispy. 12.5% seems crazy high, especially given there was no overclocking involved and only after three years. :o

I am curious about load-line calibration playing a factor here, as the Haswell generation was the first one I personally remember where most motherboards began shipping with LLC defaults set above Intel's spec. Some manufacturers by default would Turbo-mode overclock Haswell chips and adjust CPU voltages out of the box without any input from the user. But I would assume servers wouldn't run that setting outside of Intel's spec, certainly not as default at any rate?
 
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:01 pm

I don't need to be overclocked all the time so I've been using the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility to overclock without restarting. It can automatically overclock when different programs start but I had a little reliability trouble with that (possibly a bug which is now fixed) so I've been using batch files to overclock via the command line program (XtuCLI) that comes with it (do be careful). From the sound of things this is definitely the way to go if you can.
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:16 pm

Kougar wrote:
But I would assume servers wouldn't run that setting outside of Intel's spec, certainly not as default at any rate?

Servers won't, but he's talking about desktop boards unless I'm mistaken.
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jackbomb
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:26 pm

I finally upgraded to Windows 10 a few days ago, just in case MS actually does stop the free upgrades in January. Out of sheer curiosity, I took the CPU back up to 4.4GHz @ 1.165v after the upgrade. It actually seems to be stable again at 4.4GHz.

Not sure if Win7 was just more sensitive to overclocking or if something else caused the hanging and BSOD last week, but I think I'm going to keep it at 4.4. Yeah, I'm a glutton for punishment.
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:28 am

Waco wrote:
Kougar wrote:
But I would assume servers wouldn't run that setting outside of Intel's spec, certainly not as default at any rate?

Servers won't, but he's talking about desktop boards unless I'm mistaken.


Certain 2 Processors have an overclocking feature. The asus z10pe-d8 ws and z10pe-d16 ws being amoung those boards. Supermicro has what is calls a hyper-speed setting which is indirect control OCing.
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:34 am

mcarson09 wrote:
Waco wrote:
Kougar wrote:
But I would assume servers wouldn't run that setting outside of Intel's spec, certainly not as default at any rate?

Servers won't, but he's talking about desktop boards unless I'm mistaken.


Certain 2 Processors have an overclocking feature. The asus z10pe-d8 ws and z10pe-d16 ws being amoung those boards. Supermicro has what is calls a hyper-speed setting which is indirect control OCing.

I don't consider those server boards, and further, they don't accept non-Xeon CPUs unless I'm mistaken.

Supermicro is a blacklisted vendor at many institutions for good reason.
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:49 pm

Waco wrote:
mcarson09 wrote:
Waco wrote:
Servers won't, but he's talking about desktop boards unless I'm mistaken.


Certain 2 Processors have an overclocking feature. The asus z10pe-d8 ws and z10pe-d16 ws being amoung those boards. Supermicro has what is calls a hyper-speed setting which is indirect control OCing.

I don't consider those server boards, and further, they don't accept non-Xeon CPUs unless I'm mistaken.

Supermicro is a blacklisted vendor at many institutions for good reason.


You are mistaken a lot. You can use I7s that fit the sockets in cpu0 only.
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Waco
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Re: What happened to my overclock?

Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:13 pm

mcarson09 wrote:
You are mistaken a lot. You can use I7s that fit the sockets in cpu0 only.

If you say so. It seems pretty pointless to put an i7 in such a board, though, and we're pretty far off topic. Server boards (not workstation boards) don't overclock CPUs as a general and almost always true rule.
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