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Please Help With Overclocking CPU (i5 2550k) and DDR3 1600 RAM in Intel Visual Bios

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I recently "upgraded" to a new motherboard, CPU, CPU Cooler, and PSU after I damaged my old CPU and motherboard. It wasn't much of an upgrade because I wasn't sure what components were damaged and I wanted to swap as few parts as possible so I tried to stick to my old LGA socket. Unfortunately, it turned out that I had to replace both the CPU and motherboard (nearly everything). Still, I did net an upgrade from an I5 2400 to an i5 2550K CPU.

I've never overclocked before, but I'd like to now to get the most out of this CPU. I also learned that the RAM which I had was underclocked by default and I'd like to "overclock" it to run it at its stock rates. My new motherboard is an Intel DZ77BH-55K whose BIOS I updated to the latest version which is Intel Visual Bios.

Intel Visual Bios seems to be designed to make overclocking easy. But as I've never overclocked before and I'd like to be as careful and informed as possible, I'd like as much advice and information as possible first.

For CPU overclocking the Intel Visual Bios overclock assistant provides a simple slider which ranges from 3.8 GHz (default) to 4.5 GHz. As near as I can tell, however, overclocking with this slider ONLY affects the Turboboost speed. Is this a good way to overclock or the best way to overclock - to only change the Turboboost speed? If not, how would I go about it? I plan to run Prime95 for 30 minutes afterwards to test stability and use Speccy to monitor temps. Is there anything else I should do as part of the overclock process (I've never overclocked before)? Also, should I increase fan speed in Bios (and how do I do this - there is a cool simple setting in visual bios I'm considering)? At stock speeds it's already running in the 70's under load.

This is my RAM: 4x4GB https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233180
There is a slider in BIOS for RAM which I could slide to 1600. But there's also a Performance Memory Profile drop-down box which has an option for an XMP-1600 profile. That profile and the slider at 1600 have very different values. Which should I use?

Finally, how much will these overclocks increase my power usage? I only care because I actually downgraded my PSU from 750W to 650W (b/c a 650 was the spare I had lying around). Fortunately, I think 750 was way more than I needed before and 650 might be more than enough now. Thanks all for any advice you can give.
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 
These are my BIOS settings for my CPU (all default except for Processor VR Droop Control):

Processor VR Droop Control - High, Medium, or Low - defaults to High, I set to Low
Voltage Offset (mV) 0
Turbo Ratio 0
Maximum Non-Turbo Ratio 34
Host Clock Frequency 100

Runtime Turbo Ratio - Checked
Intel Turbo Boost Technology - Checked
Burst Mode Power Limit - 118 Watts
Sustained Mode Power Limit - 95 Watts
Sustained Mode Time - 1.5 seconds
TDC Current Limit Override - 97 Amps
Active Processor Cores - ALL
Processor PLL - 1.85V
Internal PLL Voltage Override - Unchecked
Processor Idle State - Low Power
Processor VR Droop Control Low V-droop (performance)
Processor I/O (V) 1.050
PCH Core (V) 1.050

You can see all the settings I have here:
https://sites.google.com/site/visual...ance/processor

One modification I made was to change VR Droop from High to Low since saving power isn't a priority for me. Was this a good idea?
I take back what I said earlier about the OC assistant slider only affecting Turbo Boost. It doesn't. It actually changes the Voltage Offset, Burst Mode Power Limit, Sustained Mode Power Limit, and TDC Current Limit Override. Someone recommended that I overclock by modifying primarily the core ratios and voltage offset only a little bit (+.1V). If I use the slider, the turbo core ratio stays at 0 no matter where I move the slider. So, should I overclock with the slider or by manually adjusting the ratio/voltages? And what voltages? As you can see above there are lots of different voltages and power limits. Overclock guides reference stuff like Vcore (lots of people talk about this but I don't see it in my BIOS), QPI/VTT(VCCIO), and System Agent Voltage (VCCSA) that I don't see in my BIOS.
Edited by LetoAtreidesII - 4/28/17 at 9:35pm
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
So, I haven't overclocked my CPU at all yet, waiting to install a new cooler someone recommended and still researching/gathering info. I did load the XMP 1600 profile for my RAM, because I figured out that's what the RAM manufacturer wants me to do (it reads the profile right off the RAM sticks).

There is one alarming thing I discovered. As I said, I still haven't overclocked my CPU at all. Running at BIOS defaults for my CPU, CPU-Z reports my Core Voltage at 1.32 V under load (while running CPU-Z's own Stress CPU test from its Bench tab). It fluctuates between 1.312 V and 1.32 V but is at 1.32 V most of the time. Temps gradually rise to about 75 C. Like I said, this is at stock settings - 3.8 GHz Turbo @0 voltage offset. I didn't change anything in BIOS related to CPU except Vdroop. So I thought maybe my Vdroop change was to blame, so I changed Vdroop back to the default value of High. There was no difference - it was still at 1.32 V while running the CPU-Z stress test.

The reason this bothers me is because these Vcore values are basically overclock Vcore values for other people with the same processor. Also, since it's pretty close to the max safe Vcore, it doesn't leave me with much room to increase voltages for when I do overclock.

So, my questions are, is this normal? Is this good or bad? What Vcore values should I be getting at stock (non-overclocked) settings for my i5-2550k? Since Vcore is already so high, does this mean that I can try increasing my core multipliers without increasing voltage?
post #4 of 6
You're a little confused about XMP profiles and how they work.

Background (simplified):

When any computer starts up the BIOS reads the SPD tables programmed into the memory. You can download and run CPU-Z to see the SPD tables in your memory. The BIOS then uses the memory speed and memory timings from the SPD tables that corresponds to the CPU speed that is set in the BIOS.

XMP profiles were developed to allow automatically setting not only memory speed and timings automatically, but also memory voltage. So, with the added ability to increase voltage, memory manufacturers could program SPD tables that run the memory even faster with the higher voltages available, and do that automatically too.

But the whole concept of XMP is faulted because the person writing the XMP SPD table for the memory has no idea what motherboard, CPU, what other peripherals are connected to your motherboard, nor even how many memory sticks you have installed. So, XMP profiles are just a guess at what memory overclock will work for the widest range of motherboards, CPUs, memory, and computer configurations. They have nothing to do with what your specific setup is. ... they're just a guess.


Do they work? Sometimes, sometimes not. And even if they do work it is unlikely they are the best settings for you particular setup.

Memory setting (with or without overclocking) is best done by manually setting the memory settings in the BIOS.


As for your volts/temps, you won't know until actually try overclocking.
My System
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX6300 Black M5A99X EVO R2.0 Nvidia GTS450 Team Vulcan PC3 12800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 PRO Asus DRW-1608P (x2) Custom Water Cooling Win7 (Ult), Win 8.1 & Win Server 2012 R2 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2 X Samsung 915N Ducky Shine III, Blue Cherry/Blue LEDs PCP&C 1kw Lian Li PC-71 (W/Window) 
MouseAudio
Logiteck G400s none 
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My System
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX6300 Black M5A99X EVO R2.0 Nvidia GTS450 Team Vulcan PC3 12800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 PRO Asus DRW-1608P (x2) Custom Water Cooling Win7 (Ult), Win 8.1 & Win Server 2012 R2 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2 X Samsung 915N Ducky Shine III, Blue Cherry/Blue LEDs PCP&C 1kw Lian Li PC-71 (W/Window) 
MouseAudio
Logiteck G400s none 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billbartuska View Post

You're a little confused about XMP profiles and how they work.

Background (simplified):

When any computer starts up the BIOS reads the SPD tables programmed into the memory. You can download and run CPU-Z to see the SPD tables in your memory. The BIOS then uses the memory speed and memory timings from the SPD tables that corresponds to the CPU speed that is set in the BIOS.

XMP profiles were developed to allow automatically setting not only memory speed and timings automatically, but also memory voltage. So, with the added ability to increase voltage, memory manufacturers could program SPD tables that run the memory even faster with the higher voltages available, and do that automatically too.

But the whole concept of XMP is faulted because the person writing the XMP SPD table for the memory has no idea what motherboard, CPU, what other peripherals are connected to your motherboard, nor even how many memory sticks you have installed. So, XMP profiles are just a guess at what memory overclock will work for the widest range of motherboards, CPUs, memory, and computer configurations. They have nothing to do with what your specific setup is. ... they're just a guess.


Do they work? Sometimes, sometimes not. And even if they do work it is unlikely they are the best settings for you particular setup.

Memory setting (with or without overclocking) is best done by manually setting the memory settings in the BIOS.


As for your volts/temps, you won't know until actually try overclocking.

Thanks for the clarification. So how would I go about configuring my memory manually then? I don't want to overclock, I just want to run it at stock (1600) speeds.
post #6 of 6
3.12 BIOS Performance Features

Page 77.......

The BIOS includes the following options to provide custom performance enhancements when using a 3rd generation Intel Core processor family or 2nd generation Intel Core processor family processor
Processor frequency adjustment
Processor voltage adjustment
Memory clock adjustments
Memory voltage adjustment

"But there's also a Performance Memory Profile drop-down box which has an option for an XMP-1600 profile. That profile and the slider at 1600 have very different values. Which should I use?"

Uh, I'd use the one that gets me the best performance.
Edited by billbartuska - 5/3/17 at 3:11am
My System
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX6300 Black M5A99X EVO R2.0 Nvidia GTS450 Team Vulcan PC3 12800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 PRO Asus DRW-1608P (x2) Custom Water Cooling Win7 (Ult), Win 8.1 & Win Server 2012 R2 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2 X Samsung 915N Ducky Shine III, Blue Cherry/Blue LEDs PCP&C 1kw Lian Li PC-71 (W/Window) 
MouseAudio
Logiteck G400s none 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX6300 Black M5A99X EVO R2.0 Nvidia GTS450 Team Vulcan PC3 12800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 PRO Asus DRW-1608P (x2) Custom Water Cooling Win7 (Ult), Win 8.1 & Win Server 2012 R2 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2 X Samsung 915N Ducky Shine III, Blue Cherry/Blue LEDs PCP&C 1kw Lian Li PC-71 (W/Window) 
MouseAudio
Logiteck G400s none 
  hide details  
Reply
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