Over clocker noob needs a hand

…to hold and to guide me.
It’s been years since I overclocked anything, and I could use some help.

I have a i7 4790K CPU that runs stock @4GHz. It sits in a ASUS Gryphon Z97 Armor Edition and is cooled by a Corsair H100i. RAM is 2x8 Gb Corsair Vengeance Pro 1866MHz CL9 XMP.

I should be able to squeeze a few extra Hz out of this…but how…?

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And here I thought I finally had my moment to shine and let my impervious knowledge about lockers produced between 1972 and 2003(may) be used for good purposes :frowning:

Anyway, I just click “OVERDRIVE” in my bios and my motherboard does all the overclocking. Haven’t had a lot of issues with it. Can’t help you with all the specifics though.


Agreed, your mobo bios should have a facility to overclck automatically.

You can probably find a specific guide for your mother board at overclock.net. I’ll let you do that searching. But here is a general guide: http://www.overclock.net/t/1567/intel-overclocking-guide. You should be able to get to 4.5 fairly easily by just changing the multiplier (not the base clock). Use the guide though as it will guide you through stability testing, which you will want to do.

Another thing that you will want to do to squeeze more performance out of your machine is to disable hyperthreading. It might be listed as “virtualization” in your bios. It’s easy to do and you can always switch back if you want to.


There’s a few ways, but first up it’s best to overview the bits you can play with and the whys. If any of this doesn’t make sense then just ask, as rather than point you at articles it’ll be easier if you just ask questions on anything that sounds odd (yay, forum!):

  • Clock Frequency, what the CPU internal clock is set to.
  • Clock Multiplier, the interval at which the CPU and the rest of the motherboard talk at.

The internal CPU frequency is a combination of those two things, e.g. a 4.5 GHz would often be a frequency of 100 using a clock multiplier of 45. The rest of the PC runs at a slower clock (say 100 Mhz) and the so called ‘North bridge’ and ‘South briges’ step between these speed regions e.g. a PCIe can speak faster than the old ISA stuff etc). Overclocking is usually just CPU overclocking, although RAM speed and how the ‘Northbridge’ is linked can be interesting too.

In most CPU’s the modifier value you can set is locked, but in the ‘K’ series of chips you can change it either in software or the BIOS when you start up. Most Intel’s are also set up by default to ‘power save’ (called SpeedStep) when idle and dynamically drop their multiplier on the fly. A good first step into this is to download Core Temp and check out the various values you have now (if you wiggle the mouse and drag a window you might see your base and multiplier change):

The balance is then between the quality of the CPU to be able to run at a higher core frequency reliably. The thing that helps improve this reliability is to draw more power, i.e. voltage increase. There are various voltages set in a PC, but the key one for overclocking is the VCore, the voltage given to drive the CPU. This is often reported back as ‘VID’ (Voltage ID). As the CPU does more stuck at a faster frequency it’ll draw power at various rates, and the VCore target is regulated but can drop. The amount of allowed ‘drop’ is called Vdrop and is also another important overclocking setting.

Given that it would be easy just to Frankenstein Power a CPU with a massive voltage, the down-side is of course heat. What stops a CPU from working in overclocking is the power draw creating more heat than can be dissipated away from the chipset. Modern CPU’s protect themselves from heat pretty well, and will internally shutdown at a given temperature to protect themselves (i.e. a fan stops working etc). So overclocking is actually a balance between how good your cooling is vs how much Vcore/Vdrop to tweak when increasing your Clock multiplier.

Modern Bios’s all automate a lot of this, as in you can set ‘auto’ to most values and set a ‘OC’ profile in the ASUS bios to let it give you a nice 20% ‘free’ overclock. This is probably the easiest way to get it done, but personally when it comes to stuff like this I like to see what the system is trying to do and then maybe tweak it myself, i.e. turn a lot of the auto stuff off, set stuff up manually that makes sense to me, measure it and then if the auto stuff is going to do the same then feel happier that I ‘get’ what it is up to.

So first steps will be to screencap your Core Temp utility window and then we can try either an ‘auto’ setting or do a manual overclock. Nearly all overclocking should be done in a ‘small single variable tweak, measure, repeat’ loop and the only time that overclocking used to go bad was when people aren’t actually sure what the values meant and then just slammed in maximum values. So put another way, the overclocking is actually pretty easy and safe, but it needs some context of what’s going on first.


Great! I knew I would find some helpful souls here…
Hyperthreading is of. Got that tip some moths ago.

I’ll d/l that coretemp app and have a look. Will get back to you.

That knowledge include over lockers…?

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One does not simply overlocker!

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“Watch the vcore, watch the v… :boom:



I ain’t got no time for sentence! :slight_smile:


Ok… Here goes.

Frequency 4400? Shouldn’t that read 4000? Is it running overclocked already?

Seems to run on Turbo even without load. You might have disabled energy save mode.

That is so not green :sweat:

Ah! Yes… Stuck in turbo.

I have tried the BIOS autotuning feature. I think it engaged turbo again because now I get between 4000 and 4500.

First a pic before tuning, running DCS. Temps around 50C.

And another pic running DCS after tuning.

I’m thinking it can do better… Or maybe 4600 is good enough? Should I disable turbo to force it at 4590MHz?


4.6 GHz is pretty f-in great!
I am stunned your CPU has a stock Turbo of 4.4, which, for most other CPUs (including my i5-4690K) is considered a pretty good overclock, sometimes even the maximum achievable.

If you like that multiplier, you can try turning down the Vcore and stress-testing for stability.
I use Intel Burn Test for that, don’t have a clean link here now, will post it tomorrow.
It’s super fast, love that tool! Do set all your fans to maximum before you start it though, because it really does burn! (Hit 85 degrees Celsius on my machine)

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So, @BeachAV8R, are you trying to tell me, in your own subtle way, to mount a camera outside my house before attempting to go higher…? :boom:

So I only just now noticed the VID that is above 1.30V

That is considered extreme overclocking.
Most guides tell you to stay below 1.30V.
Then again, if you can handle the heat, what does an extra 0.02V mean?

LiveStreaming is all the rage. Hey…send me your home cockpit setup before you go burning your house down. I’ll keep it safe for you…

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