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XMP enabled on Gigabyte Gaming 7 overclocks CPU

post #1 of 30
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I just got my new PC running with the Gigabyte Z170x Gaming 7 motherboard and Intel Skylake 6700k. My memory is Corsair Vengeance LPX and it's base speed is 2133. With XMP enabled it runs at 2400.

So once I got everything installed and running I went back into my UEFI BIOS and enabled XMP to profile 1 (the only option) and the memory now runs at 2400 as expected. However, now the CPU is automatically bumped up to 4.2GHz instead of the stock 4.0GHz. If I disable XMP the overclock remains at 4.2 even though XMP is disabled and the memory is back to 2133. I wanted to run XMP but I didn't think it would force a CPU overclock also.

I found this on another site about this issue:

"The most troublesome "feature" of the firmware is that if you enable an XMP profile or change the memory multiplier, the CPU is automagically overclocked by applying the highest turbo multiplier—normally only used if one core is busy—to all turbo states, no matter how many cores are active. For a Core i7-6700K, this tweak means that if more than one core is active, you'll be running at 4.2GHz rather than 4.0GHz. A lot of modern boards play games like these with multipliers, but what makes the Gaming 7's behavior particularly nefarious is that the firmware shows the default non-overclocked Turbo multipliers while actually using the overclocked ones. To make matters worse, there's no single config option, say "Enhanced Turbo," that disables this behavior. Instead, you have to set the four turbo multipliers to their proper values of 42, 40, 40, and 40 manually. Nasty."

http://www.bjorn3d.com/2015/09/gigabyte-ga-z170x-gaming-7/2/


So I have no experience with overclocking. Is this bad? I just wanted the memory to run a bit faster at 2400 since that's what the box listed it as being capable of. Should I be worrying that the CPU is overclocked like this automatically? Is this normal? What else has changed in the BIOS after enabling XMP? I want all the cores enabled and I want turbo enabled also. What do I set to bump it back to stock 4.0GHz if I want to? Even in Gigabyte's EasyTune software, it now lists the default as 4.2GHz.
Edited by miles17 - 6/24/16 at 8:32am
post #2 of 30
Quote:
My memory is Corsair Vengeance LPX and it's base speed is 1633. With XMP enabled it runs at 2400.

You mean the ram was running at the stock speeds of 2133 MHz and now you are running at 2400MHz due to XMP right?

The maximum turbo frequency by default is up to 4.2 GHz on the i7 6700K I don't think this is anything to worry about. CPU and motherboard are running as it should.
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post #3 of 30
I would think resetting the bios back to default values would return the cpu back to it's original speed(and ram).

What you have done is certainly nothing to worry about(from what I gathered),you are just getting the maximum speed available from your cpu and ram.

I am sure everything else is working as it should.
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post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by benjamen50 View Post

You mean the ram was running at the stock speeds of 2133 MHz and now you are running at 2400MHz due to XMP right?

Correct. Before I enabled XMP the memory was running at 2133. With XMP enabled the memory runs at 2400, but then the CPU is also running higher - 4.2GHz instead of 4.0Gz. What's especially worrying to me is even if I disable XMP, the CPU remains overclocked to 4.2GHz now. Shouldn't it revert back to 4.0GHz when I disable XMP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by benjamen50 View Post

The maximum turbo frequency by default is up to 4.2 GHz on the i7 6700K I don't think this is anything to worry about. CPU and motherboard are running as it should.

Then why does that review have a problem with it?

Looking at other settings under "Advanced Frequency Settings>Advanced CPU Core Settings", I set Hyperthreading to enabled to ensure it's running, and Turbo Boost Technology is set to auto by default. Here's the thing though - the Turbo Ratio under the Turbo Boost Technology setting is displaying 42,40,40,40 default values respectively for the 4 cores, and to the right all are set to auto. I think that's what that review is saying - it's displaying the 42,40,40,40 defaults but because it's set to auto it's really not applying those defaults - it's really running higher after enabling XMP. But why isn't it running at defaults when I disable XMP?

It lets me manually set those 4 numbers though instead of leaving it on auto. So it sounds like I can manually set them to 42,40,40,40 to match the defaults it's listing. But I'm afraid there might be more to it than that. If I manually set those 4 multipliers back to 42,40,40,40 will that set the CPU back to 4.0GHZ? Or are there other settings I would need to re-adjust? It seems it just silently applies new values and doesn't say what they are so how would I know what's changed? Everything just says auto. I don't want to mess around too much with it. Maybe I'm better off leaving it as it is with XMP enabled and the CPU at 4.2GHz, but it would be nice to at least know what I would need to do to bring the CPU back to default speed if I needed or wanted to.

As it is currently, does this just mean that it's running at turbo boost speed constantly? How can I check to make sure it isn't bumping up voltages too high without me knowing it?
Edited by miles17 - 6/24/16 at 8:40am
post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsi38t View Post

I would think resetting the bios back to default values would return the cpu back to it's original speed(and ram).

What you have done is certainly nothing to worry about(from what I gathered),you are just getting the maximum speed available from your cpu and ram.

I am sure everything else is working as it should.

I reset the CMOS by unplugging the power supply and using the reset CMOS switch, then went back into the BIOS and selected "Load optimized Defaults" and it's still running the CPU at 4.2GHz! That's what's making me frustrated here. Why can't I set it back?

Base Clock: 4.0GHz
Max Turbo: 4.2GHz

Why is the motherboard forcing the CPU to run at Max Turbo even when CMOS is reset? One thing that changes is the vcore. If I enable XMP the vcore runs at 1.308. With it disabled it runs at 1.260. Either way the CPU frequency is 4.2GHz.

What should I do at this point? It seems once you select XMP for just a moment you can never revert back? What's best now - leave XMP off to keep the voltage at 1.260 or run it with it enabled and have the vcore running at 1.308? Is the higher vcore here too high? My temps run 3 degrees higher with XMP enabled.

The Bclk seems to be set at 100 either way according to the front stats page in the BIOS. It hovers between 99.95-100.02.

Is the jump from 2133 to 2400 for the memory worth the 3 degree higher temps, and is that higher vcore dangerous in any way to the CPU?
Edited by miles17 - 6/24/16 at 10:00am
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by miles17 View Post

I reset the CMOS by unplugging the power supply and using the reset CMOS switch, then went back into the BIOS and selected "Load optimized Defaults" and it's still running the CPU at 4.2GHz! That's what's making me frustrated here. Why can't I set it back?

Base Clock: 4.0GHz
Max Turbo: 4.2GHz

Why is the motherboard forcing the CPU to run at Max Turbo even when CMOS is reset? One thing that changes is the vcore. If I enable XMP the vcore runs at 1.308. With it disabled it runs at 1.260. Either way the CPU frequency is 4.2GHz.

What should I do at this point? It seems once you select XMP for just a moment you can never revert back? What's best now - leave XMP off to keep the voltage at 1.260 or run it with it enabled and have the vcore running at 1.308? Is the higher vcore here too high? My temps run 3 degrees higher with XMP enabled.

The Bclk seems to be set at 100 either way according to the front stats page in the BIOS. It hovers between 99.95-100.02.

Is the jump from 2133 to 2400 for the memory worth the 3 degree higher temps, and is that higher vcore dangerous in any way to the CPU?

Dude, the CPU is supposed to run at 4.2 Ghz (turbo). It is the default spec listed in the Intel spec sheet.

As for the Vcore, that is just the motherboard's defaults. Most motherboards will overvolt your CPU to ensure stability (even at stock with no settings changed). If you want to find the optimal voltage (lowest stable voltage), it is going to take some tinkering (trial and error). Lots of stress testing, lots of time.

In reality, you shouldn't need a higher Vcore to run faster RAM, but you will probably need a slight bump in VCCIO or VCSSA (or both). These settings can be found under "CPU voltage settings." (I have the same board).
Edited by thiussat - 6/24/16 at 11:36am
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post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by miles17 View Post

What's best now - leave XMP off to keep the voltage at 1.260 or run it with it enabled and have the vcore running at 1.308? Is the higher vcore here too high? My temps run 3 degrees higher with XMP enabled.

The Bclk seems to be set at 100 either way according to the front stats page in the BIOS. It hovers between 99.95-100.02.

Is the jump from 2133 to 2400 for the memory worth the 3 degree higher temps, and is that higher vcore dangerous in any way to the CPU?

1.3 volts isn't going to hurt the CPU - As long as your temps are ok. You can also try setting the XMP, then manually lowering your Vcore back to 1.260 and run some stability tests (Memtest, prime95, etc).

1.26/1.3 isn't a huge deal if your temps are ok, although best practice is to find the lowest Vcore thats still stable. 2133/2400 isn't going to show you a huge difference either - but you paid for 2400 and the board supports it - so why not. Honestly what you are describing boils down to 6 of one half dozen of another.

Personally I would set XMP, lower my Vcore until I find the lowest stable voltage, and make sure my temps are good thumb.gif
post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thiussat View Post

Dude, the CPU is supposed to run at 4.2 Ghz (turbo). It is the default spec listed in the Intel spec sheet.

As for the Vcore, that is just the motherboard's defaults. Most motherboards will overvolt your CPU to ensure stability (even at stock with no settings changed). If you want to find the optimal voltage (lowest stable voltage), it is going to take some tinkering (trial and error). Lots of stress testing, lots of time.

In reality, you shouldn't need a higher Vcore to run faster RAM, but you will probably need a slight bump in VCCIO or VCSSA (or both). These settings can be found under "CPU voltage settings." (I have the same board).

So then this is normal behavior? I wasn't expecting to see it run at turbo continuously even at idle. I thought I'd see 4.0 when idling. I guess I was wrong about that? The whole point of not overclocking is I didn't want to do lots of stress testing and spend lots of time. I'm not really into overclocking. I just want my PC to stay stable at stock temps without worrying about the voltage decreasing the lifespan of the CPU.
Edited by miles17 - 6/24/16 at 12:38pm
post #9 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBT-MatthewH View Post

1.3 volts isn't going to hurt the CPU - As long as your temps are ok. You can also try setting the XMP, then manually lowering your Vcore back to 1.260 and run some stability tests (Memtest, prime95, etc).

1.26/1.3 isn't a huge deal if your temps are ok, although best practice is to find the lowest Vcore thats still stable. 2133/2400 isn't going to show you a huge difference either - but you paid for 2400 and the board supports it - so why not. Honestly what you are describing boils down to 6 of one half dozen of another.

Personally I would set XMP, lower my Vcore until I find the lowest stable voltage, and make sure my temps are good thumb.gif

I see. But I really didn't want to get into overclocking and voltages. That's why I just wanted to do a quick XMP to bump the memory to 2400 and leave it at that. Now it seems I might have to start playing with settings which I don't want to do. I have no experience with overclocking which is why I didn't want to get into it. 4.0GHz/4.2Ghz is plenty fast enough for me.

I just don't want the vcore to be too high now. Either way the CPU is running at 4.2GHz. Would it make sense then to just leave the memory at 2133 and leave it at that? this way the vcore is running at 1.26 and should be stable. Or is 1.26 not enough for the CPU to be running at 4.2GHz? I don't want to have to start spending hours or days running stability tests back and forth for zero gain in CPU performance. The only benefit with XMP is bumping the memory to 2400 and that comes at a cost of a higher vcore which then I'd need to experiment with to see how low I can lower it safely. I think I'd rather just disable XMP and not worry about it since from what I've been reading today the difference between 2133 vs 2400 is negligible at best anyways.

Sorry for all the questions. Like I said I'm inexperienced with overclocking and I didn't want to be bothering with this, Now I"m worried that the vcore may be too high or low depending on what I set XMP to. You would think whatever XMP sets the vcore to should be safe, but I guess it bumps it up too high?
Edited by miles17 - 6/24/16 at 12:41pm
post #10 of 30
It's fairly common for boards to set all 4 cores to the single core max turbo if you use XMP. I personally haven't noticed on my Gaming G1 but most of the time I have the cpu overclocked anyway. Sometimes I have just the ram oc'd but I personally haven't noticed anything unusual cpu wise....

The main problem with the Gigabyte boards is the bios isn't sorted very well. You really have to dig through a lot of pages to find settings that should be on one page or a couple at the most.

If you want to force the board to run at the 42/40/40/40... then as you suspect just change those values (if they show auto then they should be at base settings anyway... the boards I have had force all core wen going to xmp usually show 42/42/42/42 or something similar). Setting these the way you want the board to run isn't a big deal and in your case if you want 42/40/40/40 then its a good idea to set it manually.

Some of what you wrote seemed to say that your cpu was always running @ 4.2 and not down clocking. If EIST was disable that would happen... It defaults to Auto... you could always change it to Enabled just for kicks.

As to voltage... unless you are using a digital multi meter.. I'm honestly not sure how accurate the Gigabyte voltages are regardless of what software you use to display them. On my G1 even with Fixed voltages and LLC set the way it should be... I've seen software report vcore spikes of 1.5 or even higher and my fixed votage is no where near that... plus the one time I saw over 2v reported I'm pretty sure my cpu would have been toast.

With Dvid I don't see odd voltage reports but Dvid is.... a really poor version of Dynamic... Asus and MSI do that much better on Z170 in my opinion (at least the boards I have). The guides I've found for Dvid claim its a 1.2 base voltage and you just type in the extra you want on top of the 1.2.... On my G1 to actually get where I wanted to be I had to type in .07 and I'm certainly not running 1.27 @ 4.8....

The Gigabyte boards are nice enough but they do take a bit more effort... again that's just my opinion.

*edited for some clarity... kind of off my rocker today I think lol*
Edited by Digitalwolf - 6/24/16 at 12:56pm
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