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Oct 03, 12 at 11:32am ^re: Help with overclocking
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ivy bridge processors have two major heat issues with them. firstly, their 3d transistors mean that they are more likely to be damaged from higher voltage, than poor heat dissipation. however, combined with the bad thermal transfer between the chip and the heat spreader that intel puts underneath, ivy bridge processors have had serious issues with heat when overclocking. a quick look around google and other forums shows that people generally dont recommend going over 75 degrees (C) and 1.225 volts on the vCore. keep that in mind.
now, if you are overclocking for the sake of overclocking, ignore this, but if you are looking to get better performance, you can pretty much forget RAM overclocking, as the benefits are negligible. it wont really do anything except heat up your RAM and use more power. besides, i dont think you should bother when yours is already clocked that high.
so, back to the hardware. once you have confirmed that your CPU under a full load from a stress test is well under 75 degrees, you can begin overclocking. your video card is designed to take more heat, so i would say you can go up to 85 degrees, but i wouldnt push it past that. always good to remain a little under, because you never know if the temperature readings are incorrect. i would also recommend manually setting your video card fan speed to be a minimum of 70% or higher. the higher, the better, but past 70%, the noise is much more noticeable.
...ill continue this later when i get home...
EDIT: continuing where i left off...
GPU overclocking is the easiest. download an overclocking program like MSI afterburner. once in, you will have four sliders: core, shader, memory, and fan. adjust your fan speed now, or go to the options and set a fan profile. like i said before, make sure the minimum fan speed is 70%. now your core and shader clocks will be synchronous, so adjusting one will adjust the other, so ignore the shader. grab the core slider, and increase it in increments of between 10 to 50. that is, increase it by a certain value, apply the settings, stress the card for ten minutes, and monitor the temperatures. if the temperatures are still under 85 for the video card, repeat the process. most likely, you will eventually get to a stage where the computer will freeze, and you have to restart. this is instability, and it will happen either during your stress test, or shortly (up to a few seconds) after applying the new speeds. you might also get a blue screen. dont panic. restart the computer. make sure you write down all the changes you make on paper, so you dont forget them when you restart. if you restart due to instability, use the highest setting you wrote down that worked. you can either stop and move on to the memory clocks, or you can keep increasing in smaller increments (so if you started with 50 mhz increments, you might try 10 mhz increments if you want to go as high as possible). remember to keep an eye on your temperatures and stress test each time. i cant emphasise that enough.
once you are done with the core clocks, you can move to the memory clocks. this is a little trickier to do, because there is no temperature report for the memory. the video card temperature only reports the core temperature. what you will have to do is to have your computer open, and after your ten minutes of stressing (use Furmark, not ATITool for this part...others have said ATITool isnt good for memory stressing), touch the back of your video card with your finger. if there is no metal backplate on the card, you will see a bunch of black squares. these are the memory modules. touch a few of them. otherwise, just touch the backplate in the middle somewhere. if you can keep your finger on it for more than two seconds, you can increase the memory clocks. if not, stop. as for actually overclocking the memory, you can do it in 50 to 100 mhz increments, but i suggest sticking to 50 mhz increments. and again, stress and monitor temperatures with your finger. its even more important to do it here, because you dont know what your exact temperatures are.
once you are satisfied with your final speeds, do one last stress with Furmark, then run the spinning cube on ATITool for 30 minutes, and then run the artifact finder on ATITool for another 30 minutes. that should be more than enough to guarantee stability.
now as for CPU and RAM overclocking, this is a little more complicated. rather, its much more lengthy. you need to go in to your BIOS to change your settings, and because different motherboards use different BIOSes, i cant give you a specific guide on this bit. firstly, a little info on how clocks work with CPU and RAM...
your CPU and RAM both have their set clock speeds. the way that these speeds are determined by the BIOS is with a base clock, and a multiplier both the CPU and RAM have a multiplier each, but they both share the same base clock (hence the name, 'base' clock). this means that a change in the base clock will result in a change in both the CPU and RAM speeds, whereas a change in the multi will only change the hardware that the multi is referring to (ie. the CPU multi, or the RAM multi). note that the multiplier for the RAM will likely be called something else, or might not even be mentioned at all. with the RAM, you can set a standard speed (1333, 1600, 1800, 2100, etc.), and then if the base clock is something other than the default, the RAM speed will change accordingly. a bit of simple maths will tell you how much the multiplier for the RAM is.
however, lets focus on the CPU, as i dont recommend RAM overclocking unless you want to do it for the sake of doing it. so from above, we know that the CPU speed is found by the base clock, and the multi. i will provide an example below of how this works:
- suppose you have a base clock of 100 mhz. 100 mhz = 0.1 Ghz (just for reference)
- suppose your CPU runs at 3 Ghz. in other words, at 3000 mhz
- with a base clock of 100 mhz, you can multiply 100 by 30 to get 3000, meaning that this hypothetical CPU runs with a multiplier of 30
sounds simple doesnt it? it is. so what do you do from here? remember how i said i cant give you specific instructions because of different BIOSes? well youre going to have to find these settings yourself. they should be in the same area as eachother, if that helps. anyway, once you have found the right settings...
the easiest way to overclock is to take the multiplier, and increase it. so for example, if you had a multi of 30, bring it up to 31 (using our above example, this would give you 3100 mhz, or 3.1 Ghz). save the settings, exit, and see if you can boot in to windows. if you can, great! now restart the computer, and repeat the process. you wont have to worry about temperatures or stress tests yet. once you start increasing the voltage, thats when you will need to keep a constant eye on the temperatures, but seeing as we are starting with the default voltage, its all good. and you dont need to stress test yet, because loading windows will get the CPU working a little. so, keep repeating this process until you cant boot in to windows. you might not even get anything on your screen, either. this is instability again. make sure you have your settings written down, because you will have to reset the BIOS. seeing as you have a high-end motherboard, you probably have a reset button somewhere on the board. if not, look for a coin-shaped battery, pull it out, disconnect the power from the outlet, and press and hold the power button for a few seconds to discharge any remaining electricity. put the battery and outlet cable back in and turn it on. your BIOS settings will get wiped, and you will start all over. use the highest speed settings that worked last time.
this should be more than enough for general performance gains. you wont really gain any noticeable performance from fine-tuning here, but if you want, you can experiment, yourself. you can lower the multiplier and increase the base clock (think back to multiplication: x=y*z - if x remains the same and y decreases, z must increase to keep the same x value). this will increase your RAM speed, so you might go unstable from the RAM, but if not, you might be able to fine-tune the CPU speed to get the highest possible clocks.
so what happens now that you have hit your limit? any further attempts to increase the CPU clocks are now resulting in instability, so theres nothing more you can do, right? not exactly. before moving on, stress with BurnTest (remember, BurnTest is the for CPU and RAM...ATITool and Furmark are only for the video card), and monitor the temperatures. if it exceeds 75 degrees, stop the test, and lower your CPU speed. do not continue overclocking. if your temperatures are under 75 (at most 72 or 73), you can go back in to your BIOS, and increase the voltage. now there are many different voltage settings. you need to look for the one that says vCore. when increasing the vCore, because you are a beginner, do NOT increase the voltage by more than two steps at a time. one, if you are already in the 70 degree area. once you have your voltage set, try increasing the CPU speed again. you might not be able to increase with the multiplier here, so you might have to use the base clock. to ensure that the RAM is not going to be the cause of any instability, lower the speed of the RAM with the RAM multiplier. this is temporary. we dont want to get instability, and then think its the CPU, when it is the RAM, otherwise you dont hit your CPUs true potential. alternatively, you can loosen the RAM timings, but ill get to that in a bit. anyway, once you have increase the voltage and the speed, you MUST stress and monitor temperatures each time you boot in to windows, and then make a decision on whether or not to continue overclocking.
as a side note, once you begin overclocking with voltage changes, the best way to approach the situation is to increase the voltage, then find the highest speed possible at that voltage. only when you have hit your limit with your current voltage, should you increase the vCore again. of course, this is assuming your temperatures are still in the safe zone. and like i said at the beginning, do not exceed 1.225v, just to be safe. you can risk it, but as you are a beginner, its always better to test the waters first, in a manner of speaking.
now, on to the RAM timings i mentioned. there are two main factors to the performance of RAM: the clock speed, and the timings. i wont go in to the details of what the differences are between the two, but both of them affect performance, and both of them will affect stability at higher performance settings. common overclocking practice is to 'loosen' the timings. what this means is to find all the timings of the RAM (they will all be on the same page, but not always with the overclocking settings), and INCREASE them to their highest values. these values are mostly delay times, so the lower the delay time, the better the performance. we want the opposite while we are overclocking, otherwise the RAM might cause instability. of course, dont bother with this if you dont want to mess with the RAM speeds, or the base clock. if you do need to loosen them, once you have finished overclocking, tighten them. i think you can figure it out by now, but tightening means to lower the timing values. you can adjust the timings in bulk, and in larger leaps than with clock speeds. they really dont affect much beyond stability, so as long as you have all your values written down, you can easily speed through them.
...well, i think thats the longest post i have ever written in...well, in a very long time. i need a drink now...
hey LOD-squa! this a good enough guide for your mate?
Edit: Oct 03, 12 12:55pm
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Oct 03, 12 at 2:02pm ^re: Help with overclocking
good luck. just ask if you have any further questions
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