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FX-8350 and LLC Settings

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
HI all,

It's my first thread so please be kind.

First my specs:

Asus Sabertooth 990FX R2.0
FSB set to 233Mhz and CPU Multiplier set to 19.5
AMD FX-8350 @ 4.56Ghz with voltage set in BIOS of 1.3375v
CPU/NB Voltage: 1.225v
NB Frequency set to 2200Mhz meaning FSB value takes it to 2563Mhz
HT Link Speed set to 2200Mhz meaning FSB value takes it to 2563Mhz
32GB Corsair Dominator Platinum 1866 running @ 1864Mhz
(being 1600Mhz but FSB taking it to the 1864MHZ) and with voltage of 1.5v, timings set manually to 9-10-9-27
CPU LLC set to High
CPU/NB LLC set to High
Kingston HyperX Predator 240GB SSD
Coolermaster Nepton 120XL (Not got the funds to upgrade as just bought the FX-8350)

A quick note on the cooler. I had it for my Phenom II x6 1075T and it was lovely for the 3.56Ghz OC I had. I know I should upgrade but not happening at the moment and to be fair I have no temp problems with the above specs.

In terms of stability. I have run Prime95 5 times, at one hour each (the temps were right on the cusp of safe so I stopped, let it cooldown then ran it again). I have run AOD Stability test for 12 hours straight twice, plus several 1 hour tests. I've run Realbench, both benchmark and 1 hour stress test, 5 times. I have run Heaven Benchmark, 3D Mark and Cinebench 5 times each, and Windows Memory Diagnostic (built into Windows 10) 3 times.
For some reason I've never been able to run Memtest on this motherboard, even with the Phenom at stock, it doesn't fail the tests, but Memtest itself crashes.
And on top of that the PC has been on constantly for 4 days, used about 12 hours a day properly i.e. browsing, gaming etc and no issues. In other words I'm happy it is stable.

Some of you will notice I have my CPU LLC set to high rather than Ultra (as I've seen a lot of people suggest) the reason for that is this: I understand the purpose of what this setting does, it softens the voltage spikes, I completely get that. Where I am having an issue is this.

When set to Ultra on the above specs:
Idle the voltage is 0.01v higher than set
Under partial load it is 0.02v higher than set
Under full and sustained load it is 0.04v higher than set

So my 1.3375v under full load suddenly becomes 1.3775v and my temps get very dicey with my cooler.

When set to High on the above specs and fully appreciating this may lead to some spikes in voltages (seen none yet) I would expect a similar pattern but to a lesser degree. What I get is this:

Idle the voltage matches what is set
Under partial load it is 0.015v lower than set
Under full and sustained load it is 0.0375v lower than set

So my 1.3375v under full load suddenly becomes 1.30v and my temps are absolutely dreamy.

Now that just doesn't seem right to me. Changing from Ultra to High should not reverse the mechanics of the voltage drop/rise should it?

As it stands, and after some brief testing. With my current cooler and increasing the voltage up to 1.375v and keeping the LLC on high it runs on load at 1.3375v and I still have a few degrees spare on the package temps; and (increasing the multiplier) I can get it sitting between 4.7-4.8Ghz.

I don't want to even try seeing if that is stable without understanding what on earth is going on with the different voltage mechanics between the Ultra and High settings.

Can anyone shine some light on this for me?

Thanks.
post #2 of 38
Running 32GB of RAM @ 1866 is putting a hell of a lot of stress on the IMC, which in turn translates into lots of funky behavior and/or instability.

I'd suggest trying to get stable with 16GB for now.
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post #3 of 38
I don't understand your question.

First we will start with the basics.

1 you will never see the voltage spikes (really overshot/undershoot )

You would need several thousands of dollars of oscilloscopes to see them


2 this is what I don't get. Ultra provides more voltage at load then high which also provides more voltage then med and so on.


You need to back off of everything it sounds like you starts OCing everything at once.

You need to stabilize one thing at a time. Your clock speed. Your cpu/NB your, ht I would not worry about. Then your ram.

If I am wrong or misunderstand please let me know and I will try to help more
Edited by Mega Man - 10/8/15 at 5:24am
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post #4 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by p4inkill3r View Post

Running 32GB of RAM @ 1866 is putting a hell of a lot of stress on the IMC, which in turn translates into lots of funky behavior and/or instability.

I'd suggest trying to get stable with 16GB for now.

Exactly right. AMDs have never had the strongest IMCs around. Not only are you putting a lot of load on the IMC with more than 2 DIMMs, you're simultaneously running it with a high NB clock of 2563 MHz. I'm quite shocked that this combination is stable with only 1.225v of CPU/NB, so kudos on that. My chip needs 1.33v on the CPU/NB, is right on the cusp of 2600 MHz, but, is only running two DIMMs. You're also doing well with the 1.3375 vcore for your 4.56 GHz OC.

As for LLC, the higher settings, such as Very High and Ultra High/Extreme, function as a tool to combat vdroop when under load, and to provide a greater level of stability to overclocks. This is achieved by more tightly controlling vcore, which results in vcore overshoot, which is what you're seeing in the higher readings when you have Ultra High selected. As you have also discovered, the High setting is much less aggressive with vcore assist, which is manifested when you see the vdroop to 1.30v under load. While this is great for temps and power consumption, it may not be great for stability. However, if you have found that 1.30v is stable in every situation, that is superb.

The main benefit of LLC is that it allows you to set a lower overall vcore in BIOS, which in conjunction with the appropriate LLC setting, enables higher overclocks to be reached, before hitting a thermal/voltage wall. Very High is the general recommended LLC setting for ASUS AM3+ boards when overclocking. I think that with some trial and error, you will find that you could perhaps set a lower vcore in BIOS, say 1.3-1.295ish, that, combined with LLC Very High, would give you the best combination of idle and load vcore. Keep in mind that most chips hit significant voltage walls around 4.7 and 4.9 GHz, though 4.9 is more violent.

If you're up for an in depth posting on LLC, give this a spin:

http://linustechtips.com/main/topic/24019-load-line-calibration-why-overclockers-should-care/
Edited by btupsx - 10/7/15 at 10:05pm
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post #5 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by p4inkill3r View Post

Running 32GB of RAM @ 1866 is putting a hell of a lot of stress on the IMC, which in turn translates into lots of funky behavior and/or instability.

I'd suggest trying to get stable with 16GB for now.

When I was tuning the CPU voltages I only had one stick of RAM (8GB) and in the BIOS the frequency was set to Auto, which set it at 1241Mhz. The same behaviour as I described above happened then as well.
post #6 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by btupsx View Post

Exactly right. AMDs have never had the strongest IMCs around. Not only are you putting a lot of load on the IMC with more than 2 DIMMs, you're simultaneously running it with a high NB clock of 2563 MHz. I'm quite shocked that this combination is stable with only 1.225v of CPU/NB, so kudos on that. My chip needs 1.33v on the CPU/NB, is right on the cusp of 2600 MHz, but, is only running two DIMMs. You're also doing well with the 1.3375 vcore for your 4.56 GHz OC.

I love my Sabertooth. smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by btupsx View Post

As for LLC, the higher settings, such as Very High and Ultra High/Extreme, function as a tool to combat vdroop when under load, and to provide a greater level of stability to overclocks. This is achieved by more tightly controlling vcore, which results in vcore overshoot, which is what you're seeing in the higher readings when you have Ultra High selected. As you have also discovered, the High setting is much less aggressive with vcore assist, which is manifested when you see the vdroop to 1.30v under load. While this is great for temps and power consumption, it may not be great for stability. However, if you have found that 1.30v is stable in every situation, that is superb.

This is the bit where my brain runs into a problem. High vs Ultra High - One is 'high' the other is very 'high'. The latter should have more of an effect, but the underlying mechanic (or direction of voltage) should be the same not at polar opposites.

My understanding was that the voltage dropped under load - see pretty picture http://i.imgur.com/d1D46.jpg

And that LLC helped to calm under and over shoot. That IS the behaviour I see when I have the LLC set to high, but on Ultra High the mechanic shifts and my voltage under load increases rather than decreases - that is the bit that I am having trouble reconciling.

I should just be clear: the voltages I gave in my first post are the sustained running voltages, not sudden and short lived drops or spikes, but the typical voltages under those scenarios.

I do get your point and appreciate the discussion, and I'm not arguing it just trying to understand it. But if the function of Ultra was to combat vDroop under load then why would it increase voltage above the set voltage? If the vDroop's natural reaction was to take the voltage from 1.34v to 1.30v under load, why would Ultra have to increase the voltage to 1.38v - why does it not just sustain 1.34v?
Quote:
Originally Posted by btupsx View Post

The main benefit of LLC is that it allows you to set a lower overall vcore in BIOS, which in conjunction with the appropriate LLC setting, enables higher overclocks to be reached, before hitting a thermal/voltage wall. Very High is the general recommended LLC setting for ASUS AM3+ boards when overclocking. I think that with some trial and error, you will find that you could perhaps set a lower vcore in BIOS, say 1.3-1.295ish, that, combined with LLC Very High, would give you the best combination of idle and load vcore. Keep in mind that most chips hit significant voltage walls around 4.7 and 4.9 GHz, though 4.9 is more violent.

It is something I am considering doing, but I really want to understand what's going on with the voltages first. I'm no Stephen Hawking but I have spent my fair share of time around electrical circuits and experimental physics, but I do not understand such a dramatic shift in voltage. The overall delta between High and Ultra High is 0.08v and taking it from a negative against the baseline to a positive.

I am considering taking things back to defaults and looking at the stock voltage against High, Ultra and Extreme. There is this nagging thought in the back of my head that I need to scratch.

Edit: Nagging doubt scratched. The same behaviour happens when everything is set to defaults. So it is nothing to do with the OC it is the behaviour it is supposed to exhibit. Wondering if my confusion is down to the way the settings have been labelled. Is High in fact Average? Hmm!

Which does lead me to a new question. Why is Ultra recommended? Is there actual empirical data or did some guy just say that was what it should be and everyone believed him?

At high I have not seen my voltage go above that which I have set. And under load it drops slightly and has no stability issues. At Ultra or above it simply boosts the voltage (blindly at that i.e. you have to test to see the voltage) - why is that considered stable?

Surely if OCing then High is a better option than Ultra? You know what the maximum voltage is going to be it's whatever you set and you know it will in fact run under that. The only advantage that I can see for Ultra is that you run a lower voltage at Idle - basically the one place having an OC means very little.
Edited by AlH100 - 10/8/15 at 3:45am
post #7 of 38
i had a typo and put next instead of never - due to my phone auto correct.

i think i understand now

first and foremost i want to talk about vdroop/vdrop

it is not a bad thing and designed to do so.

have you ever seen your lights dim when you run a microwave or vacuum
please note i dont get into heavy details, as there are college courses in this i try to give you basic ideas that at least helped me understand when i started

that is vdrop ( although less of an issue since, at least in the usa, incandescent light bulbs are all but extinct and fluorescents are on the way out ) basically when you quickly pull a large amount of amps your voltage will drop

vdroop/vdrop is also DESIGNED ! so dont think of it as a bad thing. and you dont need LLC! you can always compensate for it with more voltage !
this is a good read
http://www.overclock.net/t/1407901/cpu-load-line-calibration-llc/0_100
they also have a link in it that explains further

bottom line the higher it is the more voltage it adds under load ( iirc asrock labels theirs differently but same idea 0% llc is extreme 25% ultra high, 50% high ect )

you ask why high or very high, this comes from peoples experience ( i myself have a sabertooth, CVFz, and ud7 )

extreme on most boards is a poor choce as it overvolts heavily ( please note i am not talking about intels as they handle it differently, and intel has a spec for llc that changes a bit with the generations, and with amd boards it differs slightly with different board manufactures ) unless under l2n

on asus boards high = little vdrop and closest to set voltage, ultra = little vboost and higher then set, extreme =lots of overvolting !@

another thing i see is you set everything to auto ( "optimized defaults" )
people think auto is what amd recommends. this is only true about vcore and sometimes other voltages. other wise it really is whatever the manufacture wants it to be. i suspected but never knew till i bought and watched my RIVBE develop after release raja from asus was relatively active in the ocn thread

if you ever see " stability improvements" it generally means they changed a setting @ auto. so depending on your bios in the case of the sabertooth your " stock " cpu/nb voltage form amd was 1.1, however in some bios asus ramped it to 1.4, while causing lots of heat with apm and cnq on not many will notice and it allows the cpu to be stable with higher speed ram !

i hope these help
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlH100 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by btupsx View Post

Exactly right. AMDs have never had the strongest IMCs around. Not only are you putting a lot of load on the IMC with more than 2 DIMMs, you're simultaneously running it with a high NB clock of 2563 MHz. I'm quite shocked that this combination is stable with only 1.225v of CPU/NB, so kudos on that. My chip needs 1.33v on the CPU/NB, is right on the cusp of 2600 MHz, but, is only running two DIMMs. You're also doing well with the 1.3375 vcore for your 4.56 GHz OC.

I love my Sabertooth. smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by btupsx View Post

As for LLC, the higher settings, such as Very High and Ultra High/Extreme, function as a tool to combat vdroop when under load, and to provide a greater level of stability to overclocks. This is achieved by more tightly controlling vcore, which results in vcore overshoot, which is what you're seeing in the higher readings when you have Ultra High selected. As you have also discovered, the High setting is much less aggressive with vcore assist, which is manifested when you see the vdroop to 1.30v under load. While this is great for temps and power consumption, it may not be great for stability. However, if you have found that 1.30v is stable in every situation, that is superb.

This is the bit where my brain runs into a problem. High vs Ultra High - One is 'high' the other is very 'high'. The latter should have more of an effect, but the underlying mechanic (or direction of voltage) should be the same not at polar opposites.

My understanding was that the voltage dropped under load - see pretty picture http://i.imgur.com/d1D46.jpg

And that LLC helped to calm under and over shoot. That IS the behaviour I see when I have the LLC set to high, but on Ultra High the mechanic shifts and my voltage under load increases rather than decreases - that is the bit that I am having trouble reconciling.

I should just be clear: the voltages I gave in my first post are the sustained running voltages, not sudden and short lived drops or spikes, but the typical voltages under those scenarios.

I do get your point and appreciate the discussion, and I'm not arguing it just trying to understand it. But if the function of Ultra was to combat vDroop under load then why would it increase voltage above the set voltage? If the vDroop's natural reaction was to take the voltage from 1.34v to 1.30v under load, why would Ultra have to increase the voltage to 1.38v - why does it not just sustain 1.34v?
Quote:
Originally Posted by btupsx View Post

The main benefit of LLC is that it allows you to set a lower overall vcore in BIOS, which in conjunction with the appropriate LLC setting, enables higher overclocks to be reached, before hitting a thermal/voltage wall. Very High is the general recommended LLC setting for ASUS AM3+ boards when overclocking. I think that with some trial and error, you will find that you could perhaps set a lower vcore in BIOS, say 1.3-1.295ish, that, combined with LLC Very High, would give you the best combination of idle and load vcore. Keep in mind that most chips hit significant voltage walls around 4.7 and 4.9 GHz, though 4.9 is more violent.

It is something I am considering doing, but I really want to understand what's going on with the voltages first. I'm no Stephen Hawking but I have spent my fair share of time around electrical circuits and experimental physics, but I do not understand such a dramatic shift in voltage. The overall delta between High and Ultra High is 0.08v and taking it from a negative against the baseline to a positive.

I am considering taking things back to defaults and looking at the stock voltage against High, Ultra and Extreme. There is this nagging thought in the back of my head that I need to scratch.

Edit: Nagging doubt scratched. The same behaviour happens when everything is set to defaults. So it is nothing to do with the OC it is the behaviour it is supposed to exhibit. Wondering if my confusion is down to the way the settings have been labelled. Is High in fact Average? Hmm!

Which does lead me to a new question. Why is Ultra recommended? Is there actual empirical data or did some guy just say that was what it should be and everyone believed him?

At high I have not seen my voltage go above that which I have set. And under load it drops slightly and has no stability issues. At Ultra or above it simply boosts the voltage (blindly at that i.e. you have to test to see the voltage) - why is that considered stable?

Surely if OCing then High is a better option than Ultra? You know what the maximum voltage is going to be it's whatever you set and you know it will in fact run under that. The only advantage that I can see for Ultra is that you run a lower voltage at Idle - basically the one place having an OC means very little.

partially see above but also wanted to address the last sentence you are correct, ultra is less idle which may be good or not good, depending. esp with intels, but that is another topic ! ( basically the fx lineup doesnt die quickly )

llc in and of it self is optional and some boards dont even have it ! alot of people complain but people who do successfully oc without llc stated that they have a lower at load temp then those with llc ( and they have compared boards side by side, even with the same chip

let me know if you have any other questions
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post #8 of 38
Thread Starter 
Hi Mega Man,

Thanks for the reply. As I said I get the mechanics but the settings were throwing me. You confirmed the answer I had come to. On my Sabertooth 'High' is basically 'Average' i.e. it keep the idle voltage close to set. I'm still struggling to see why the voltage drops under load on 'High' but increases under 'Ultra High'. I'm guessing this is just the way that ASUS have implemented LLC. And the labelling should just be ignored.

What is now perplexing me is that having established I'm stable at a load voltage of 1.31v, to achieve this setting the CPU voltage and Ultra LLC I would have to set a voltage of 1.26v. Meaning my idle voltage would be 1.27v and load would be 1.31v - so how do you test a voltage gives a stable idle? Other than leaving the PC on. Think I answered my own question.

Thanks guys. Sometimes easier to talk things through with someone. Going to go play with some settings.

Although, if Ultra is the good, why is Extreme bad? I'm guessing because the idle voltage would have to be set very low.#
Edited by AlH100 - 10/8/15 at 7:16am
post #9 of 38
you are welcome to try it ! you wont hurt your chip !~
USS CLM8-1701
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Her Venom
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
AMD FX-8350 Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7 R7970-2PMD3GD5/OC  R7970-2PMD3GD5/OC  
GraphicsGraphicsRAMHard Drive
R7970-2PMD3GD5/OC  R7970-2PMD3GD5/OC  F3-2400C10D-16GTX  OCZ Agility 3 120GB  
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
OCZ Agility 3 120GB  Seagate Barracuda 1TB  Segate Barracuda 3TB Rosewill RCR-IM5001 USB2.0 75 in 1 internal Car... 
Optical DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Pioneer BDR-208DBK Blu-ray Writer Swiftech H20-220 EDGE HD Liquid Cooling Kit Swiftech Komodo 7970 Swiftech MCP-35X2 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Swiftech MCP35X2 Heat Sink Swiftech MCP35X Reservoir Swiftech Komodo 7970 Swiftech Komodo 7970 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Alphacool 240mm XT45 Alphacool 120mm XT45 Alphacool 120mm UT60 FrozenQ PC Mods UV Meteor Light Limited Edition... 
CoolingCoolingOSOS
Koolance Radiator Mounting Bracket with Quick-R... Swiftech Komodo 7970 Windows 7 Windows 8  
MonitorMonitorMonitorMonitor
ASUS VG248QE Black 24" 144Hz 1ms  ASUS VG248QE Black 24" 144Hz 1ms  ASUS VG248QE Black 24" 144Hz 1ms  XFX FXTRISTAND Triple Display Monitor Stand  
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
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8350 batch 1229 pgn  Asus Crosshair V Formula-Z gigabyte 7770 OC gigabyte 7770 OC 
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USS CLM8-1701
(39 items)
 
Her Venom
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
AMD FX-8350 Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7 R7970-2PMD3GD5/OC  R7970-2PMD3GD5/OC  
GraphicsGraphicsRAMHard Drive
R7970-2PMD3GD5/OC  R7970-2PMD3GD5/OC  F3-2400C10D-16GTX  OCZ Agility 3 120GB  
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
OCZ Agility 3 120GB  Seagate Barracuda 1TB  Segate Barracuda 3TB Rosewill RCR-IM5001 USB2.0 75 in 1 internal Car... 
Optical DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Pioneer BDR-208DBK Blu-ray Writer Swiftech H20-220 EDGE HD Liquid Cooling Kit Swiftech Komodo 7970 Swiftech MCP-35X2 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Swiftech MCP35X2 Heat Sink Swiftech MCP35X Reservoir Swiftech Komodo 7970 Swiftech Komodo 7970 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Alphacool 240mm XT45 Alphacool 120mm XT45 Alphacool 120mm UT60 FrozenQ PC Mods UV Meteor Light Limited Edition... 
CoolingCoolingOSOS
Koolance Radiator Mounting Bracket with Quick-R... Swiftech Komodo 7970 Windows 7 Windows 8  
MonitorMonitorMonitorMonitor
ASUS VG248QE Black 24" 144Hz 1ms  ASUS VG248QE Black 24" 144Hz 1ms  ASUS VG248QE Black 24" 144Hz 1ms  XFX FXTRISTAND Triple Display Monitor Stand  
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G510 XFX pro 1250w black edition Caselabs MAGNUM M8 Case Razer Naga 
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Sony 2.1 Razer Megalodon XFX pro 1250w black edition 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
8350 batch 1229 pgn  Asus Crosshair V Formula-Z gigabyte 7770 OC gigabyte 7770 OC 
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post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlH100 View Post

Hi Mega Man,

Thanks for the reply. As I said I get the mechanics but the settings were throwing me. You confirmed the answer I had come to. On my Sabertooth 'High' is basically 'Average' i.e. it keep the idle voltage close to set. I'm still struggling to see why the voltage drops under load on 'High' but increases under 'Ultra High'. I'm guessing this is just the way that ASUS have implemented LLC. And the labelling should just be ignored.

What is now perplexing me is that having established I'm stable at a load voltage of 1.31v, to achieve this setting the CPU voltage and Ultra LLC I would have to set a voltage of 1.26v. Meaning my idle voltage would be 1.27v and load would be 1.31v - so how do you test a voltage gives a stable idle? Other than leaving the PC on. Think I answered my own question.

Thanks guys. Sometimes easier to talk things through with someone. Going to go play with some settings.

Although, if Ultra is the good, why is Extreme bad? I'm guessing because the idle voltage would have to be set very low.#

It's not that one setting is necessarily *better* than the other, it is that the different settings enable a more finely tuned stable OC to be achieved. What setting works best for your system largely depends on your individual chip, and to a lesser extent, what components you use. One chip may get the most optimal OC and vcore at High setting, another may do best at Ultra High. Choosing the right setting for you requires lots of testing, trial and error.

As you have discovered, the mechanics of the setting are always the same, regardless of vcore or other settings. You are also correct to think of High as really "Average" or"Auto". The way most board manufacturers describe their LLC settings is not the most accurate. For the sake of simplicity, High is the baseline, most closely mimicking vcore set in BIOS. Settings below High are more sloppy in the direction of more vdroop, while settings above are usually more sloppy in the direction of vboost. The absolute key is to find the vcore under load, and at idle, in which your system is 100% stable. Once you have those two figures recorded, you can adjust vcore in BIOS, in conjunction with LLC settings. Whichever setting results in the vcore most closely matching that magic number, is the setting you should use.
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