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9900k OC, trying to make sense of it all

R0x0r
Level 7
Hello fellow ROG overclockers,

I’m a new overclocking, I am experiencing some difficulty and I like to tap into your breadth of knowledge and advice. I would appreciate your patience and understanding if I am breaking any unspoken rules.

First the important build deets:
MOBO: ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E Gaming
CPU: Intel i9-9900K @3.6 ghz (Cooling Noctua-NH-D15)
RAM: 32 DDR4 GB G.Skill 3200 mhz
GPU: Asus 2080TI
PSU: 750W
Storage: 1) 1TB EVO SSD 2) 250 EVO SSD 3) 3TB HDD 4) 3TB HDD (no, no RAID unfortunately))
OS: Windows 10 edu

After reading up on the guide found here: https://rog.asus.com/articles/overclocking/how-to-overclock-your-system-using-ai-overclocking/ I decided to embark on my OC journey…I’ve also done a fair amount of reading for similarity (see: https://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?108153-ROG-Strix-Z390-H-i9-9900k-instability-when-overcloc...)

At stock clock settings, I ran the RealBench tool to stress the system to calculate the cooler score, which after several stress tests, went from 97 -> 167 and finally had landed on 197.

Based on that cooler score, the AI Optimized settings predicted that the OC could ramp all the way to 5.2 ghz, which as a surprise to no one, when the AI was enabled, failed to load into the OS. After several BSOD errors, I figured I needed to try something different. Therefore, after some manual tweaking, I found that the manually modifying the AI Optimism setting to 90 (equivalent to 4.8 ghz) would successfully load the OS and again, and, after several stress tests, the OC has proven stable never surpassing 79*C under stress.

With this information in front of you, I have 2 questions:
1. What are the steps I need to take to OC my XMP enabled ram from its current speed at 2666 mhz to its rated speed of 3200 mhz?
a. From what I understand I cannot leverage the AI AND XMP
2. Is there a better way intervene on the AI prediction rather than modifying the Optimism score? What would you recommend?

A final statement, as an enthusiast I want to squeeze out as much performance as possible, but a realist, I only play games (PUBG, FO76, CoD, BF, and so on) on the PC (granted would love to play at 4K and VR in the future, along with Anthem and Division 2). Would any other realists like to talk me out of pushing the chip any further?

Thanks for your advice ahead of time!
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51 REPLIES 51

djmarks wrote:
Improving cooling is in progress. I'm getting another 3 corsair ML120mm fans to sit on other side of h150i pro radiator to do push/pull with intake from top of pc instead off exhausting out top. I'm just wondering if it's better to just use a y-splitter to join/sync fans together or use commander pro to connect the 3 extra tax fans as well as the front 2xML140mm intake fans and the ML140mm exhaust fan at the back. I want to use rgb version of the ml fans so not sure if the cpu pump can pass rgb info from fans to corsair link or will I need the commander pro.

After coolings sorted, I'll re-look at the avx setting


Set your AVX offset as you mentioned....offset -2.....theres no reason at all to run your CPU at greater than 95c temps during stress test.....when your CPU is closing in on 100c that should be a "flag" to back off....

rjbarker wrote:
Set your AVX offset as you mentioned....offset -2.....theres no reason at all to run your CPU at greater than 95c temps during stress test.....when your CPU is closing in on 100c that should be a "flag" to back off....


Thanks rj. I've had to leave my avx offset at -4 (4.6ghz) as even on -3 it was heading to the high 80's. I'm in the process of re-configuring my h160i pro radiator to a 6 fan push/pull setup, drawing cool air in from top, so hopefully that will help with temps and I can decrease the offset then.

rjbarker
Level 11
No worries...I wouldnt get to hung up on Stress Tresting with AVX instructions......the heat simply isnt worth it...although some games do use AVX .....Im pretty sure Wildlands does (as with AVX offset set to -2 my Cores frop 200 Mhz playing).....but the CPU still wont load up like a Stress Test with AVX instructions will.....sitting there watching your CPU at 100% all threads with temps in the upper 90's is silly....and not necessary....... I have a pretty decent Custon Loop and my personal thermal cut off is upper 80's while stress testing....
..my upper max vcore is 1.385v......if I cant reach my OC within those parameters I dial back and retry 😉

rjbarker wrote:
No worries...I wouldnt get to hung up on Stress Tresting with AVX instructions......the heat simply isnt worth it...although some games do use AVX .....Im pretty sure Wildlands does (as with AVX offset set to -2 my Cores frop 200 Mhz playing).....but the CPU still wont load up like a Stress Test with AVX instructions will.....sitting there watching your CPU at 100% all threads with temps in the upper 90's is silly....and not necessary....... I have a pretty decent Custon Loop and my personal thermal cut off is upper 80's while stress testing....
..my upper max vcore is 1.385v......if I cant reach my OC within those parameters I dial back and retry 😉


Thanks rj! I've put my avx offset back to -2 and not going to bother with p95 tests. Ran XTU stress test again overnight and no problems in a 6 hour test.

I see you've the dominator platinum memory modules!? I'm considering buying a set of them. Are you oc'ing yours or just stock speed? And mind if I ask why you chose them over vengeance or other modules?

Cheers again for your advice!

djmarks wrote:
Thanks rj! I've put my avx offset back to -2 and not going to bother with p95 tests. Ran XTU stress test again overnight and no problems in a 6 hour test.

I see you've the dominator platinum memory modules!? I'm considering buying a set of them. Are you oc'ing yours or just stock speed? And mind if I ask why you chose them over vengeance or other modules?

Cheers again for your advice!


No worries.....been using Corsair Doms for the last 3 builds X58...X79 and now this Z390....started using them and continue to use em as I've never had an issue with them...whether it be failing or not reaching rated speeds......although I am considering trying out a 3866 Trident Z kit.....
...generally I dont bother trying to OC Memory, once I find my sweet spot with the CPU w Memory at rated speed (whether it be XMP enabled or Manual input) I simply cant be bothered going thru all the testing again.....

x-rated
Level 8
high speed memory needs high io and sa voltage 🙂

x-rated wrote:
high speed memory needs high io and sa voltage 🙂


What level is high x-rated? I've mine at 1.1v - what's a comfortable max?

Edit- now you've got me thinking about it I remember when I stuck xmp ii profile on and got the crazy memory oc, dram voltage was 1.45v and vccio and sa were 1.35v

x-rated
Level 8
i use 1,3V io & sa in bios for 4,3 GHz 17-18-18-38 with 1,45 vdimm

x-rated wrote:
i use 1,3V io & sa in bios for 4,3 GHz 17-18-18-38 with 1,45 vdimm


Have you loosened your timings too?

x-rated
Level 8
i have 2x F4-3600C16D-16GTZR, i tweaked settings to match F4-4266C17Q-32GTZR, which means:
1) timings: 16-16-16-36 -> 17-18-18-38
2) vdimm: 1,35 -> 1,45
i didnt try anything else