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5960x X99-Pro Overclock Issues

Level 7
Hi all,

Running into a few problems when trying to overclock a 5960X on an ASUS X99-Pro/USB 3.1.

It's been a few years since I last overclocked anything, so any help would be great.

I'm using 32GB Patriot Viper 4 which is rated to run @ 2800Mhz (16-18-18-36), at 1.2v.

Without XMP, the system is stable for several hours of RealBench with:

5960x @ 4.1Ghz (my target speed), 100 BCLK.
Uncore @ default clockspeed.
vCore: 1.03
Cache voltage: default (0.815v)
VCCSA: +0.001 offset (0.85v)
Input voltage: 1.8v

This is with the RAM running at the stock 2133Mhz.

When I apply XMP, the overclock fails, causing freezing or rebooting relatively quickly when I try HCI MemTest (or Intel XTU).

When XMP is applied, it sets VCCSA to 1.14v and input voltage to 1.9v. I've noticed it also occasionally sets the DRAM voltages to 1.5v! It also attempts to set the cache multiplier to 31, for some reason.

Considering it wasn't working anyway, I therefore disabled XMP, entered RAM timings manually, and attempted to tune VCCSA.

Using any variation of VCCSA between 0.85v and 1.1v, the overclock still fails. This is with the RAM voltage set to the default 1.2v.

Since the RAM is rated to run at 2800Mhz @ 1.2v, I haven't tried changing RAM voltages.

Any idea where to go from here? What should I be looking at tweaking next to get the overclock to stick?

Thanks for any help.

Level 11
XMP on these systems is a bit iffy/dodgy depending on your country of origin. You have to double check it every time. I typically enable it and then go through everything manually.

1. Are you fixing input voltage at 1.8v? I wouldn't. It likely is going to require more than that with 32G >4GHz. Start with that at Auto, but you may need to set it to 1.9 or higher.

Oh and to step back, I've seen very little (no objective) difference between my RVE and X99Pros when it comes to OC, but who knows, the RVE might have a little more headroom here or there. So, the guides here, saving any Rampage specific BIOS settings are applicable.

2. This is specific to each system, but with 32G, I was seeing 1.12-1.18v chosen when Auto and I could never do better manually (different story with 128G - that's 1.22).

3. There are 2 DRAM voltage settings - the one you see on the first page is the boot voltage. There is an "eventual" voltage as well. I typically fix the eventual voltage at the advertised capability of chip. Per the various guides, the boot voltage typically needs some head-room to account for training. Give it an extra 0.01 or 3 (start low, more is not always better).

4. Check all the timings in the SPD readout. It is often pretty incomplete, but use whatever it will give you to fixup the memory timing

5. In digi+, try the "extreme" settings in the phase tuning.

6. I typically start all my OC at 1.3 and work down (core and cache). You may (I have) found that uncore/cache voltage impacts the memory controller's ability to handle higher rates pretty drastically. It may not be linear, but short version is that for any given OC, it needed a little more when the ram was also clocked higher. Oh and offset only in the cache voltage, not adaptive (cpu adaptive is fine, but will require more stability testing). I don't know if they ever fixed that, but adaptive has never worked fo rme.

7. I've always started my XMP exploration after f5 defaults on everything else to learn what the DDR wants on its own. x99 + XMP is a "suggestion" not a promise (putting it lightly - I've not had a single one work out of the box).

8. if all else fails, dial back to 2666 (not 2133) and start working those headline numbers 16-18-18-36. Drop them each by one to start and then see where it leads you... (there is some math to be aware of there - check the sticky on this forum (modern memory timings or something to that effect).

Level 11
Oh and do update the BIOS. I have seen some vague improvements with 2101 vs older specifically with memory.

Thanks for the reply cekim -- that's very helpful.

Regarding point 2, are the voltages you're referring to VCCSA?

I'll try all that and get back to you 😛

caracal77 wrote:
Thanks for the reply cekim -- that's very helpful.

Regarding point 2, are the voltages you're referring to VCCSA?

I'll try all that and get back to you 😛

Yes, so I guess I should say a .12-.18 offset for 32G and .22 offset for 128G is what my chip(s) like. Older and Rampage BIOS had a total voltage in there where newer stuff is an offset. I presume to a nominal 1.0 max, but see prior - offset of .12 to .18 for me is what I meant.

Go slow, watch your temps, bring enough cooling.

Okay, cheers for the clarification -- temps are fine for the moment, although my VRM hits ~62c after a few hours of stress testing. Is this acceptable?

It's not actively cooled -- I'd rather not introduce more noise to the system -- but I'm more concerned with longevity than anything else, so if needs be...

Level 11
62C is pretty (very) tame for a VRM under heavy load. They tend to run quite a bit warmer than the CPU and and designed to tolerate it. Cooler is always better though for longevity. 4.1 is pretty mild, all things considered, but particularly if you start at 1.3v and work your way down, it never hurts to stand a fan somewhere to move a little more air over it and your ram as you tune (assuming your fan has no conductive edges exposed to short things out of course).

Level 11
BTW, I don't know if you've found it already, but the "eventual" voltage is well down the page inside the DRAM tuning section where you set the timings. Near the bottom.

cekim wrote:
BTW, I don't know if you've found it already, but the "eventual" voltage is well down the page inside the DRAM tuning section where you set the timings. Near the bottom.

Yeah, I found it. Currently testing with input voltage on auto... have to see how it goes.

Thanks again for all your help.

Level 7
Turns out the problem was with the cache voltage as you suggested, cekim.

Final voltages are:

Vcore: 1.03v (though AiSuite reports this rising to 1.04v while stress testing)
VCCSA: 0.85v
Input Voltage: 1.8v (I believe this is stock?)
Cache Voltage: 0.98v (anyone know what the stock voltage is for this one?)

Do these voltages all seem OK, again with the focus being on longevity? (Hence the conservative overclock). Temps are fine.

Thanks again for any help.