Originally Posted by Tw1tCh
Looks like I need to step back a little and approach this again from square one. Find the lowest stable vcore and stock clock speeds then work my way up.
Personally, I think that's a waste of time. It takes a lot more time and effort to fine-tune for total stability than it does to reach approximate stability.
I think it makes more sense to see what a typical average voltage is for the board and CPU you have at the clocks you're targeting and work from there.
I'm not an overclocking expert but the painstaking plethora of incremental changes from stock process for overclocking didn't help me as much as just zoning in on starting settings for the clock I wanted and tweaking from there.
Basically, it breaks down thusly:
If you can get into Windows you're on the road to stability, but not very close yet. It's a good sign, though, as long as your temps are reasonable.
If you can run Cinebench multi without freezing and with safe temps you're closer.
If you can pass 1 hour of Prime (ideally version 27.9) at 720–900K FFT in place with safe temps (have the two error checking things turned on from its menu) you're even closer.
If you can pass a hour and 1/2 of Prime at 85% memory usage (roughly 13000 MB on a 16 GB system) then your RAM and NB core should be ready for at least a few hours of Memtest (8 instances).
other stability tests:
5 loops of RealBench with just the two encoding tests. I've heard they've shortened the test length so it would be better to use the last version before that change happened.
Prime + Furmark to test power supply stability and case cooling. The handbrake encoding + VLC playback test is rather tough to pass so it can be used prior to Prime if you don't mind the possibility of system freezes. The nice thing about Prime is that its error checking usually prevents that because you can quickly stop the test and go back to BIOS to adjust things.
If you can play a 3D game like Civ V at high settings for many hours without weird things happening that's good. If you start to get glitches it could mean the extra heat or power draw is causing issues with your PSU or that your case cooling isn't good enough. It is possible to pass Prime and then have glitches in games, usually if your RAM/NB Core is not set properly.
LinX (AMD patched) to get a quick look at overall overclock efficiency. If you get lower GFLOPs at a higher clock then you may have a problem.
Cinebench multi – same purpose as LinX but a bit slower to use.
OCCT, graphing for voltage and temp so you can figure out which LLC level gives you the least droop. The temp is just for monitoring to keep things in a safe range.
Realbench encoding test (the Handbrake one) by itself.