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Asus x99 Deluxe, i7-5930K overclock – don’t use prime95 on Haswell-E and 2011-v3

Update: 12. March 2015

This post becomes old, however, even when it may have been stupid to call prime95 a bad choice to test overclocks it somehow may have saved peoples wallet. In the beginning when x99 was thrown onto the market, things were very new and everyone had to get closer to the new design step by step, carefully. As you have to admit, there were many articles about mainboards that were catching fire, go up in smoke, or break in any other possible way. Things are getting more stable and people are making their  way through the jungle of architechture. Today i still would recommend people to be careful with prime95 but i would no longer discourage people from using it.

Update: 06. October 2014

Well i can not completely revise this.. when i started to think that prime95 doesn’t go well with Haswell-E i did run future tests with other tools like cinebench, sisoftware sandra, aida64 and had no problems even with lower voltages (1.28 V). Rendering videos, playing games and whatever you do with your computer also did work quite well. Today i tested with OCCT and it goes the same direction (1.35 V stable).  With prime95 i ended at 1.37 V or even 1.39 V . So prime95 still does require lot more voltage to run stable than for example OCCT does, so im not sure yet where this journey is gonna end. I can not recommend using prime95.

 

Hellow peeps. The long journey comes to an end now. [Due to Update on 06. October i have to  over-think this] I finally or accidently came to the “conclusion” that prime95 isn’t the right choice to test the Haswell-E processor series, like the i7-5930K to run any sort of stresstests.

In the end of the day this processor, the i7-5930K will be running at 4.5 Ghz  with everything else overclocked at reasonable temperatures and stable. Well, not prime95-stable but Aida64-Cinebench-and-SiSoftware-Sandra-stable. Prime is just no longer an option or relevant for 2011 and x99.

 

So this is going to be a big round-up confusing

The truth is, that i stumbled over a forum thread, while i was searching for wprime95, saying that prime95 doesn’t go well with Haswell-E. So, while it’s still saturday night/sunday in the very morning and i was about to leave the system for today as it is, i decided to repeat some steps on the Asus x99 Deluxe, i did in the past weeks. In the beginning of the OC-adventure, i started with prime95 only and later took SiSoftware Sandra into the boat.

 

Quick Overview of the System (or have a quick look at previous posts):

  • Asus X99 Deluxe (white/black) Motherboard
  • Intel i7-5930K  at 3.5 GHz (will use MX-4 paste)
  • Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4, 16 GB, 2800MHz  4-Modules-Memory-Kit
  • Corsair RM1000 Power Supply
  • Kraken X60 Watercooling
  • 4x Corsair 140mm Fans (purple/violet)
  • Corsair Obsidian 450D Case

 

 

Replacing prime95

Now prime95 has been replaced by Aida64 and Cinebench, while SiSoftware Sandra stays in the club. Benchmarks and graphs are always nice, but i intentionally use the software to make sure components are working fine together in harmony.

It’s already a month now since x99 and friends have been thrown on the market. A lot of you guys were sure smarter than i am/was and already knew that prime95 is a bad idea – when it comes to Haswell-E. While the hole world already OC’ed their CPUs with success i will just stick to some pictures. After i decided to no longer use prime95, i  revoked / undid most of the changes i made there, to start from zero.

Quick overview:

CPU i7-5930K in GHz: Corsair LPX DDR4 in MHz: Asus x99 Deluxe Baseclock in MHz:
3,7 @ base values, unknown voltage (release BIOS 0505) 2166 @ base values, unknown voltage (release BIOS 0505) 100 @ base (BIOS 0505)
2800 @ 1.5 V or 1.35 V (XMP didn’t work and Memory was very unstable at higher frequencies – or let’s say, with prime95 it was)
4,1 @ 1,23 V (release BIOS to BIOS 0801) 2800 @ 1.35 V (release BIOS + BIOS 0701, XMP started to work with 0701) 100 (BIOS 0505 – 0701)
4,2 @ 1,25 V (BIOS 0701 + BIOS 0801) 2800 @ 1.2 V (BIOS 0701 + 0801) 127,5 (BIOS 0801)
4,25 @ 1,25 V (BIOS 0801) 3000 @ 1.35 V (BIOS 0801) 125 (BIOS 0801)
4,375 @ 1,265 V (BIOS 0801) 3000 @ 1.35 V (BIOS 0801) + (BIOS 0904) 125 (BIOS 0801)
4,427 @ 1,31 V (BIOS 0904) 3034 @ 1.35 V / 3416 MHz Cache (BIOS 0904) 126,5 (BIOS 0904)
4,462 @ 1,276 V (BIOS 0904) 3000 @ 1.35 V (BIOS 0904) 127,5 (BIOS 0904)
4,5 @ 1,276 V (BIOS 0904) 3088 @ 1.35 V (BIOS 0904) 128,7 (BIOS 0904)
4,5 @ 1,35 V OCCT stable 128,7 (BIOS 0904)
4,5 @ 1,37 – 1,39 V prime95 stable, requires extreme² cooling 128,7 (BIOS 0904)

Some values were tested on different BIOS versions, some were stable some were not, some or many of them don’t even show up here. The table doesn’t show all  combinations. In all cases you can say, that the newer setting also did run at least 1 BIOS version behind. For example 4.5 GHz was also tested on 0801 with Vcore from 1.27 to 1.390  and a lot of changes in voltages for other parts like Input Voltage or Agent Voltage or Cache Voltage or Changes in the DIGI Tab. But i do not recommend this especially because this happend in the prime95 period. In a previous post i said that XMP with BIOS 0701 was unstable. Thats not correct. This was also affected by prime95.

 

Intel i7-5930K now finally at 4.5 GHz with peacful 1.27 V vcore
Intel i7-5930K now finally at 4.5 GHz with peacful 1.27 V Vcore

 

To the edge 4.6 GHz but prime95

As i mentioned already in a previous post, i could easily clock that Haswell-E jewel to 4.6 GHz. Problem had been, that it just didn’t pass the prime95 tests and that i found myself increasing and increasing over and over again the Vcore. At this moment i was noticing something weird with prime95 the first time, but i didn’t know about that bad relationship between prime95 and Haswell before, so i kept using it. What in the end led to a super hot CPU and with a crying Kraken X60 with stock fans. I made a short clip to demonstrate the Kraken stock fans at 1000% load (yes, that extra zero was intended). [Video quick link].

CPU – i7-5930K DRAM – Corsair LPX 2800 DDR4 Cache Baseclock
4.5 GHz 3088 MHz 3860 MHz 128.7 MHz
1.276 V 1.35 V 1.2 V
1.29 V
On 30. Sept. 2014 (2 days after publishing this post) - got a bluescreen 0x3B occasionally  during SiSoftware Sandra Multicore Efficiency Test (this test did already run a few times with no error or bluescreen); will increase Vcore slightly from 1.276 to 1.29. This update doesn't show up in the BIOS screenshots below!!!

 

Now starting from zero with default settings and new crew

So starting from zero with some basic settings (CPU, DRAM, Cache and Baseclock will be set), and some of them are the result of the past few weeks. Initially will reset all voltage values and any performance related values to “Auto”  again and boot the system.

 

 

Corsairs LPX Vengeance DDR4 2800 MHz Memory Kit at 3088 MHz and a cache speed at 3861 MHz
Corsairs LPX Vengeance DDR4 2800 MHz Memory Kit at 3088 MHz and a cache speed at 3861 MHz

 

Not that surprising but defaults deliver

And find myself happy with it. Now where the Vcore is back to normal and due to the absence of prime95 the temperatures during stress tests are lovely ( the funny thing here is, they never were bad, just prime95 made appear everything worse ). And more important the Kraken X60 stock fans do not  have to go crazy anymore. Win-Win situation for me and the computer parts. Maybe i can get back to my Corsairs purple fans? When i run prime95 now with these settings, the system instantly goes down, but on the other hand i can normally use it. Can run any (non-prime95)benchmark, can render videos etc, can play any game … etc. somethign weird is burrowed in prime95.

 

Aida64 Benchmark

The Aida64 Report has been uploaded to let you guys and girls see some graphs. If that’s not enough, i would like you to visit the SiSoftware Sandra Result / Ranking Page. No graphs but benchmaaaarks. SiSoftware Link 2

 

Cinebench Results

 

cinebench3 cinebench2

 

Temperature peak during tests 69 °C

the temperatures are very good in my opinion and the Kraken fans aren’t even close to the speed they were running when i used prime95 in previous overclocking attempts and tests.

 

Temperature results after Cinebench and Aida64 test runs
Temperature results after Cinebench and Aida64 test runs

 

 

Since all changes i made in the BIOS during the overclocking-journey are no longer necessary, it remains pretty much basic. Just for you, the…

Asus x99 Deluxe BIOS settings, i currently, 28. September 2014, run my system with.

.. meanwhile will run another SiSoftware Sandra Overall Bench.

 

Asus x99 BIOS - Startscreen
Asus x99 BIOS – Startscreen

 

Asus x99 BIOS - Main Page
Asus x99 BIOS – Main Page

 

Asus x99 BIOS - AI Tweak Pages
Asus x99 BIOS – AI Tweak Pages – The Voltage update (1.29) doesn’t show up here.

 

Asus x99 BIOS - DIGI Pages
Asus x99 BIOS – DIGI Pages

 

Asus x99 - Internal CPU Power Management Page
Asus x99 BIOS – Internal CPU Power Management Page

 

Asus x99 BIOS - CPU Power Management Configuration
Asus x99 BIOS – CPU Power Management Configuration

 

 

 

Another challenge for Corsairs DDR4, i7-5930K and Kraken x60 – new BIOS 0801 for Asus x99 Deluxe

Almost a week now since i purchased all the good new parts for my new computer. A few days now playing with overclocking (OC) parameters. Yesterday my computer froze two times and i had to start figuring things out again. You may know from my previous post, that i had to run the DDR4 RAM Corsair Vengeance LPX 2800 MHz at 1.35 V because i was experiencing issues and that the CPU i7-5930K was clocked at 4.1 GHz which was fine so far. The root cause for the system hangs is unknown yet. Could’ve been either CPU or RAM. The baseclock hadn’t been touched since today in the morning.

 

Sorry guys, i’m not going to show you lots of graphs of games and benchmarks.
But i can offer a link to SiSoftware Sandra results.
Little update 26. September: 4.5 GHz achieved. Video clip soon. Scroll down for more information.

 

Well, the first things i tend to do was adjusting DRAM voltage and set CPU back to its basic settings. That worked so far with little throwbacks – if i remember correctly – but even than that i decided to check Asus webpage for new BIOSes for the Asus x99 Deluxe and there it is.

X99-DELUXE BIOS 0801 

 

Seen, downloaded, installed.

And suddenly the XMP profiles did work pretty well with my DDR4 RAM. But there was a downside. The baseclock got raised to 127.5 MHz and the CPU received a slight voltage bonus and runs at 1.250 V now. (In the following picture the CPU runs at 4.2 GHz which was not the fact today in the morning).

 

CPU-Z: i7-5930K at 4.2 GHz and 1.25 V and 127.5 baseclock
CPU-Z: i7-5930K at 4.2 GHz and 1.25 V and 127.5 baseclock

 

That’s what was happening last night till today morning. I also made the first steps towards temperature enhancements. But failed. I set the CPU voltage to 1.110 V and hoped it would be enough to run the CPU smoothly and be able too cool it down. Negative Houston. Not stable enough for prime95. The overclock-process continues. When i came home from work today in the night (now) i proceeded the work on this. I configured the XMP profile and made no changes to the CPU voltage but i added 1 step to the ratio, means 4.2 GHz for the CPU.

Remember i donated a watercooling system to my computer. The Kraken X60. The Corsair fans i installed in place of the Kraken fans are not made to handle so much heat – it seems. The temperature hits the 92 ° C  mark. Not good at all.

 

i7-5930K at 4.2 GHz and 90 ° C
i7-5930K at 4.2 GHz and 90 ° C

 

There is at this moment no way i can enhance the cooling yet if i want to stick to my purple fans. Two fans are covering the radiator and if i would go quadro-fan i had to buy a new case or install the radiator in the fron which in turn would mean good-bye 3.5″ inch harddrives.

I started prime95 right before i started to write this post and it did accompany the hole time. The result now is, that the CPU and RAM seem to work stable but the temperature is really an issue here. I have to point out that the problem with the temperature occurs with the increase of the baseclock. I had no problems yesterday when the baseclock was at 100 MHz.

Now i could:

  • buy another case and install 4 fans on that radiator and leave it installed in the top
  • install 4 fans on that radiator an move it to the front of the case and lose 3.5 inch harddrives
  • remove the purple fans and try the Kraken fans or any other fans which cool better and have to chose between decibels and efficiency and leave it in the top of the case without losing harddrives
  • compare the cooling system to other cooling systems and buy a new one or directly start with a custom water cooling system
  • or  put the baseclock back to 100 and see if i can get it stable without XMP
  • or reset to basic factory default settings … what? who did say that?

 

 

SiSoftware Sandra Benchmarks with Intel i7-5930K

 

Three weeks later and with an Intel i7-5930K at 4.375 GHz i still am juggling with temperatures. Even when running the Kraken X60 at full speeds, the temperature hits 91 °C during the prime95 stress test. I didn’t change anything yet but my first attempt, my first step will  be to install the Kraken fans in place of the Corsairs. Will update this post today once again.

 

cpu-z i7 5930k at 4.375 GHz
CPU-Z: i7-5930k at 4.375 GHz

 

Ok today (26. September 2014) i installed the Kraken fans

which come with the Kraken x60. The results are much better. The fans tho, are noisy as fuck but i can get things straight now. I also managed to weak the i7-5930K at 4.5 GHz with a vcore of 1.390 V. The temperature almost instantly raised to 95°C when running heat-tests with prime95. With the fans at fulls-peed this is really the limit. Just when graphics card would kick in, or something else that generates more heat in the sytem, i’m pretty much fucked. So when you were looking for a review of Kraken X60 and i7-5930K i can tell you that you might achieve those 4.5 GHz with that Kraken X60 water-cooling-set but you will not be happy with it. I will try some other fans in the near future. I spent a lot of time at work to compare fans, their pressure and throughput etc.

 

4.5 GHz achieved

temperatures > 90 °C (with prime95 heat-test  and Kraken fans at 100%). Regarding prime95 and current settings (after publishing this post) please read this post, important!

 

I made a short clip of the system when running at 4.5 GHz to capture the noise too. It was a very important step and lucky me, the right one to get my temperature problems solved and detect what the problem relies on.

Well, since i reached the limit of my current built i will go back to 4.375 GHz where temperatures and water-cooling run smoother. When running a heat-test the temperature does not hit the 90 °C mark and fans are not going crazy.

 

 

5930k_4.375ghz1.29
CPU-Z: i7-5930k at 4.375 GHz [1.290 V]

As soon as the Vcore, preselected by the mainboard, does not lead to a stable system, you are in that performance spectrum of the CPU, where you 1. start to lose Performance/Watt 2. and have to add some extra Volts on the preselected value to make it stable.

It turned out that when i want to run my system at these 4.375 GHz, i add 0.01 – 0.02 extra Volts to it (preselect value 1.27 sometimes 1.28) and will end up with a Vcore of 1.29 . Obviously i did not get the first price in the silicon valley lottery but it could be worse and with only 0.01 extra Volts i’m very close to the stable region of that die. However, the preselected Vcore value at 4.5 GHz was 1.310 Volts. I had to add 0.07 Volts to make it run stable. Hot, but stable. That does also mean that for 1 extra ratio / multiplier i have to add almost three times as much Volts to the preselect value as i have to when running at 4.375 GHz.

 

 

 

I definetly will get some other fans but for now they do their job pretty well. To be continued.