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i5 6600K- quest for stable 4.6 GHz

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Background: I'm building a shiny new rig to replace this dusty BORT, and instead of being a pleb and buying an i7 6700 I thought I'd get an i5 6600K and try to crank some horsepower out of it. I haven't tried to overclock since 2011 on my old Phenom II 1055T using ASUS TurboV Evo, so I started off pretty lost. Here's what I've done, where I am, and what I'd like some help with.

Specs:
i5 6600K
Onboard graphics for now- 1070 in the mail biggrin.gif
ASUS Sabertooth Z170-S
Corsair Vengeance 2666 DDR4 2x8 GB
EVGA GQ 750W
Corsair H60

All 3Dmark results are with the Sky Diver program, as I don't have a dedicated GPU yet.
Prime95 is version v28.9- I read that it's overkill?

History
Using Intel's overclocking software, whatever it was called, I got the CPU up to 4.4 GHz or something without the system crashing but some really weird stuff started happening. First, my PC wouldn't restart. It got stuck on the restarting loading screen, and never made it off. Then, it wouldn't shut down. Windows would exit, screen would turn off and stuff but my PC would not power down. I got 3Dmark on Steam, and that worked fine the first time I ran it. I think I got a physics score around 8800 or so. The next few times I tried to open it up, either it wouldn't, or it would take around 5-10 minutes to show. I checked task manager when it wouldn't open and saw not only 3Dmark running as a background process, but five different instances of the systeminfo process. I dug around online; people said to uninstall the steam version completely, install the non-steam version, and use the steam version's CD key. So, I did that, and the problem persisted. I tried to completely remove systeminfo from my computer and re-install it using the latest update, and still no fix. Just as I was starting to get really frustrated, my computer hung on restart, and failed to load windows after I did a hard restart.

Before I re-installed windows, I scrapped the OC and started from scratch. I used TweakTown's OC guide for the CPU, and set the multiplier to 44, the voltage to 1.35, fclk to 1000 MHz, and left everything else default. Re-installed windows, re-installed all my programs, and the exact same issues were still going on. So now I thought, okay, let's see what some other people have with this motherboard and CPU. Some dude on youtube had it set to the XMP memory profile, core clock 1.365V, and multiplier up to 45, I think some other things BUT I don't remember because it didn't work and my PC crashed the next time I tried to run a benchmark. Before I did anything else I decided to reset everything to default to make sure the PC was fine, and guess what? All the problems went away. I downloaded and ran Prime95 v28.9 for 10 minutes with zero errors. 3Dmark's physics score was down to 6950, so I used that as my stock standard mark.

After some digging around I found the overclock.net Skylake overclocking guide. That was now my bible and my savior. I went into bios, and although some of the settings were confusing, here's what I did:
-Disabled most automatic features (there were a few, I don't remember exactly what)
-Cache multiplier max: 39
-Cache multiplier min: auto
-RAM timing: 16-18-18-35*
**note: there was no option for tRP in BIOS!!!! I set the other timings and ignored it, when it booted CPUID showed correct timings.
-RAM voltage: 1.2
-vCore: 1.350
-Max multiplier: 44

Now my CPU is running at 4.4 GHz and windows is running fine. Idle temps are around 30C. 3Dmark opens fine, every time. Got a physics score of 8840. Prime95 ran for 10 minutes without crashing. My final max temps were around 75C. HOWEVER at the very beginning, temps skyrocketed all the way up to 84C. I kept that in mind going forward. Now I restarted the computer, then shut it down without a hitch.

Next, I set the core multiplier to 45. I also set the fclk to 1000 MHz. Everything ran fine. I got a score of 8998 on 3Dmark. Idle temps still around 30C, and the max temps I hit while running 3Dmark were under 60C. Prime95 ran for 10 minutes without error. However, at one point my temps shot all the way up to 85C. My rule at this point has been that as soon as it hits 86C, it gets stopped immediately. I don't remember where exactly I got it from but I remember a general consensus that 85 is the max temp for a torture test with Skylake processors. I checked vCore and saw that it had been spiking all the way up to 1.412--- I forgot to turn off automatic LLC in BIOS! Whoops. I couldn't find any problems with anything else in my system though.

Now I increased the multiplier up to 46. This time I set the LLC to 2; my BIOS has a range from 1 to 8. There isn't an "off". Everything loads up fine now, and 3Dmark jumped all the way up to 9536! That huge leap got me set on getting it to 4.6 GHz. The max temps while running that were only around 60-65C. Running Prime95, however, showed a problem. Immediately on start, cores 1 and 3 failed. I checked my vCore and... it was throttled to 1.314. Drat. I increased LLC to 4 without changing the voltage, and had the same error.

This time I bumped up the vCore to 1.36 along with the LLC to 5. Computer starts up fine, everything loads in fine, and core 1 still fails immediately with Prime95. I check temps and voltages and noticed two things: First, the voltage is exactly at 1.36v; second, core 1 has been running a little hotter than the rest of the cores. Weird. I set prime95 to run a benchmark and my PC immediately gives me a BSOD. skull.gif

vCore up to 1.365 and LLC up to 6 now. On startup, core 1 was about 5C hotter than the rest- 34C compared to the rest of my cores at 28-30C idle. I ran 3Dmark first this time and got a physics score of 9557 and max temps of 66C. I noticed that my vCore had maxed out at 1.392, but as long as my temps were okay I wasn't too concerned. Now for Prime95. It starts up just fine now, and ran for about 2 minutes before core 3 crashed. The rest of my cores were alright until I stopped it about a minute later. The max temps hit 80C, interestingly lower than what I had before. I quickly ran the 3Dmark Skydiver stress test, which ran for 10 minutes without error. I decided to try running Prime95 with the "small FFTs" setting. Almost immediately my temps skyrocketed to 80C. Only a minute later, they hit 86 and I stopped the test. I checked my vCore and it had spiked to 1.408. There had been no errors detected in the minute I ran it, so I was feeling pretty optimistic. thumb.gif

So here's a summary of where I'm at now: (TL;DR)
-RAM manually set to stock
-vCore 1.365, LLC 6 out of 8
-Multiplier to 46 for 4.6 GHz
-Either core 1 or core 3 fails Prime95 v28.9 every time

My thoughts now: kick up the vCore to 1.38, and bring the LLC back down to 5. At 1.36v, LLC 5 kept it at exactly that set voltage, so I'm hoping that stays the same. My temps have hit 85C, but I've thought that's acceptable since everyone says P95v28 is masochistic overkill and 3Dmark never saw it hit 70C. Since I saw the 3Dmark physics score jump from 8998 to 9500+ when I bumped the multiplier from 45 to 46, I'm really hoping I can get it stable at 4.6 GHz. I will soon be using a GTX 1070 and I'm trying my darnedest to get my CPU up to snuff. I'll also be revising my cooling situation a bit the next time I touch my PC, and I'm hoping that should shave 5C off my max temps.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Particularly on the reason behind only 1 of 4 cores failing. Both 1 and 3 run a little hot and have failed before, but it's now only one at a time that fail P95. I searched the forum but the latest result on this kind of issue I could find were from 2006 about the Core 2 Duo.

I won't be at that PC again until this Thursday, so I have a couple days to come up with a detailed gameplan.

Thanks smile.gif
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post #2 of 12

maybe this will help, my 6700K runs 4800 in prime with whatever he showed you in the video.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
If a little tweaking of my current settings won't get it stable, I will try that when I get home. To get 4800 from that, did you just increase the multiplier to 48? I'm really surprised you could get that to run stably at 1.300 V. Then again I have no idea what the minimum voltage was to get mine to run at 4.5 GHz, as I used 1.35 as a starting point.

I'm assuming that the memory and the motherboard is also going to have some effect, although hopefully not enough to completely derail the stability. His memory runs at 1.35v and mine is 1.2v, not to mention different frequency and timings. We're both ASUS z170 boards so hopefully that's similar enough but I'm still at the point of questioning everything.

FYI this was the video I mentioned: https://youtu.be/A0zy1TEMiOQ I tried these settings out and got a BSOD. I'm pretty sure it was the XMP profile that made the difference, as that's the main thing that I changed. In your video he does mention to say no to the pop-up and I wonder if that's it. He is also using AIDA64 to test stability; I wonder if my current OC settings would pass a more reasonable stability test like that.
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post #4 of 12
Who said it was 1.3v more like 1.425v
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ah, gotcha. I got 1.3 from the video. Yeah, canonically the answer should be to bump up the vcore, but I'm hoping I can get it under or at 1.4v. I know these chips are good all the way up to 1.45, but I'm a little on edge with those temps. If that's what it takes, I'll push it up there.

I'm still curious about 1-2 of my cores, always the same two, failing prime95 while the other half run. Is there not enough power to run all four without increasing voltage?
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post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvhcmaniac View Post

If a little tweaking of my current settings won't get it stable, I will try that when I get home. To get 4800 from that, did you just increase the multiplier to 48? I'm really surprised you could get that to run stably at 1.300 V. Then again I have no idea what the minimum voltage was to get mine to run at 4.5 GHz, as I used 1.35 as a starting point.

I'm assuming that the memory and the motherboard is also going to have some effect, although hopefully not enough to completely derail the stability. His memory runs at 1.35v and mine is 1.2v, not to mention different frequency and timings. We're both ASUS z170 boards so hopefully that's similar enough but I'm still at the point of questioning everything.

FYI this was the video I mentioned: https://youtu.be/A0zy1TEMiOQ I tried these settings out and got a BSOD. I'm pretty sure it was the XMP profile that made the difference, as that's the main thing that I changed. In your video he does mention to say no to the pop-up and I wonder if that's it. He is also using AIDA64 to test stability; I wonder if my current OC settings would pass a more reasonable stability test like that.

Try to bump your RAM to 1.35v.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
I've been avoiding touching the RAM but I can give it a shot. Step it up or straight to 1.35?
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post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvhcmaniac View Post

I've been avoiding touching the RAM but I can give it a shot. Step it up or straight to 1.35?

For DDR4 RAM 1.35v is safe, I'm running mine at 1.42v tongue.gif

Its pretty much a lottery on how good your CPU is, the 4 Skylake cpu's I've had needed 1.43v, 1.4v, 1.33v, 1.28v for 4.6ghz, which is consistent with the results on the Skylake o/c thread: http://www.overclock.net/t/1570313/skylake-overclocking-guide-with-statistics

Don't get too caught up toasting your CPU with prime95, playing games can also be a good way to stress test thumb.gif
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ahh yeah I missed that chart! I never made it past the guide part of that thread haha I'll check the lot number of my CPU and use what other people got as a guideline.

Thanks for the tip on the RAM. Corsair markets my sticks as designed for overclocking, so I'm sure they'll be fine. I'm just following the guide- set everything to stock manually until after I've got the CPU stable biggrin.gif I'll definitely try that if I can't get my CPU stable under 1.42v or whatever I find from the above. As far as stress testing goes I might cut down the prime95 run time and I'm definitely not using it to find load temps, but it will make me feel more comfortable with the stability of my clock in a shorter test than anything else. As an alternative I might run 3Dmark for an hour, start folding for two hours, or run a CPU-heavy game for three hours. Prime95 is just fast and hard. Once temps become the issue I might have to switch.
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post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm back! With update! biggrin.gif

Ok so I got back a couple hours ago and went straight to the rig. I checked the batch number of my CPU. It is: X548B027. I did some cursory searches and pulled up some evidence that the ----B--- batches were generally pretty great, but almost every sample I saw posted online started with an L. So, maybe I'll be able to provide some new data? biggrin.gif

Edit: looked again. Sure enough, already a few X's in the chart. I saw another X548B--- that hit 4.7 at 1.375-1.39V so I'll definitely have my sights set on <1.4v.

Now back to work. I started off messing around with Vcore and LLC until I got prime95 to run as long as possible, keeping an eye on the real Vcore and temps. Now let me say... As a n00b this whole LLC thing is really confusing and frustrating. With Vcore set to 1.4 and LLC at 5, I was getting 1.396v max under load. If I increased LLC to 6 while keeping Vcore at 1.4 I'd see it spike to 1.42. Bump up Vcore to 1.41 keeping LLC 5 and it still showed 1.396v, but now increase LLC to 6 and it spikes to 1.456! Why can't I just get what I asked for frown.gif

Anyways, once I hit the wall of no more progress with that, I started messing with other stuff. In line with those videos I set the CPU core/cache limit max to 255.50, then set the cache ratio min and max to 35 and 44. I also manually set Intel SpeedStep to enabled. Now, with Vcore at 1.400 and LLC 5, I managed to get all four cores to pass the first Prime95 test, about 2 minutes. One core failed shortly after the second test started, but passing one was a huge step. Additionally I saw my 3Dmark physics score jump up by a couple hundred points. I tried bumping up Vcore to 1.410 then and failed after about a minute of run time.

Here's where I started to improvise a little. Under the digi+ power settings I found "CPU current capability", "CPU power phase control" and "CPU power duty control". I searched the forums for information on these, then set the current capability to 120%, the phase control to Optimized, and the duty control to Extreme. Additionally I bumped up LLC to 6 again. This time prime95 passed not one but two iterations. It would have kept going, but I pulled the plug once I saw Vcore at 1.456. Temperatures were alright, surprisingly; at peak it hit 80C. Reducing LLC to 5 saw the Vcore drop to 1.408, and the CPU fails the second iteration.

Finally, I cut back the Vcore to 1.400 and brought the LLC back up to 6. Now I see Vcore at 4.24 under load, and 4.400 at peak. I ran Prime95 for 5 minutes with no problems, then stopped and ran 3Dmark and Cinebench.

So, to recap, here's where I am at now:
Multiplier: 46
Cache min multiplier: 35
Cache max multiplier 44
RAM manually set to specs (16-18-35(
BCLK 100
LLC 6
Vcore 1.400
CPU current capability 120%
CPU power duty control: Extreme
CPU power phase control: optimized
Actual Vcore under load; 1.424
Load temps: 65 C

I'm away from my PC again, but tomorrow I'll be first double-checking stability by running prime95 for 10 minutes, and then trying out all those suggestions above to try to lower the Vcore needed! Hopefully I can get it down below 1.4 again by tweaking with the memory and other stuff. Thanks for all the help guys! smile.gif

Also, does anybody know if using the onboard graphics can have a negative effect on CPU overclocking??? I've been waiting to put my card in so I can get just the CPU down perfectly first, but I wonder if taking that thermal and electronic load off the GPU part of that processor would reduce temps and free up some power. Thoughts?
Edited by mvhcmaniac - 6/30/16 at 8:16pm
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BORT
(17 items)
 
Z00M
(16 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
AMD FX-8350 SABERTOOTH 990FX R2.0 AMD Radeon R9 280X AMD Radeon R9 280 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Corsair Vengeance Pro CMY16GX3M2A1866C9R WD Blue Crucial BX100 LITE-ON iHAS224-06 
CoolingOSMonitorMonitor
Corsair H80i Windows 10  LG Ultrawide 25" 2560x1080p Planar PLL2210W 22" 1080p 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Corsair Vengeance K70 Cherry MX Brown EVGA Supernova 850 G2 Cooler Master HAF 932 Corsair Vengeance M65 
Mouse Pad
Corsair Vengeance mm200 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 6600K ASUS Sabertooth Z170-S GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8 GB) DDR4 2666 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Corsair Force LE 250 GB Seagate ST1000LM035 NZXT Kraken X62 Windows 10 Home 64 bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
LG 24GM77-B Corsair Vengeance K70 Limited Edition Cherry MX... EVGA G3 850W Corsair Crystal 460X 
MouseMouse PadAudioOther
Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury SteelSeries QCK Hyper Beast edition Creative Sound Blaster ZX ASUS PCE-AC56 
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