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Beginner to Z370, would welcome any general advice!

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Processor i7 8700K
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#1
Hello guys,

Long story short: after years of carrying on with a trusty FX 8350 and some GPU upgrades, the latest being a GTX 970, I finally upgraded to something modern. Thing is, to get the essential components I wanted, I had to cut corners everywhere else, so I am stuck for a while with a pretty poor Thermaltake Versa case, Zalman GW 700W PSU, Zalman CNPS10x Optima 2011 cooler - these on top of the new stuff, 8700K, GTX 1070 Ti, 16 GB 3000 MHz CL 16 DDR4, MSI Z370 Gaming Plus MB.

Obviously, after I set up things and put everything together, I wanted to see what's with this CPU and how well it does. Didn't go nuts on it, just messed around mildly with Intel XTU, managing a 5 GHz with some insane 91C temp spikes at around 1.31V after a few blue screens with default voltage and below 1.31. Pretty sure it's not stable for things like Prime, and I just put everything back to stock afterwards.

My questions are:

- is there any point for 1080p gaming to overclock this on my GPU? Even @1080p, it seems to drive the 1070 Ti to 99% in every game I tried, something that the old FX 8350 struggled with mightily even with the GTX 970.
- other things I do: browsing, somewhat light work on Adobe PS/AfterFX/Illustrator/Indesign, which I doubt needs an OC
- the cooler seems incapable to offer what I would regard as "normal" temps under OC. Even at stock settings, temps would jump to 75/core and drop back to 60-ish. I mean, my old FX 8350 would throttle after 60C, obviously different lithography etc., yet seeing these temps is a bit worrying. They seem to be normal for the 8700K. When should I be worried?
- to do anything above 4.5 GHz I had to raise the 2 Turbo Boost Power settings in XTU. To get to 5 GHz, 180W had to be set to avoid Power Throttling. At the default 120/90W, it throttles even under heavier loads at stock. Is this normal behavior?
- any general advice for this platform? Am I missing on something awesome other than performance? New tech that would be useful? Apps? I went through MSI's site and downloaded most of those, only to uninstall everything a day later, felt like bloatware to me.

Thanks, basically any opinions and advice is welcomed. I'm just curious to learn more about this new toy, already read a lot about the platform these days.
 

eidairaman1

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#2
How odd, my cpu never throttled and I'm at 5.0GHz.
 

lyndonguitar

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#3
if you game on high refresh rates (e.g. 144hz). OC'ing the GPU would give you more FPS and will allow you to reach desired FPS. it runs 99% GPU all the time now because there's no more CPU bottleneck. you basically have the best gaming CPU right now(8700k) so it's pretty much 'GPU bottleneck' from now on. not saying you should buy a new GPU but the GPU is now the primary limiting factor.
 
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#4
Out of curiosity, why didn't you buy a 1080 instead of a 1070Ti? I would OC the graphics card at least 10-15% as it gives you a nice boost in performance without any noticeable downside, also I would leave the CPU on stock for now until you get a better cooler. You won't gain that much anyway from OC-ing the CPU so you could have it stock and you'll be just fine
 
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#5
- the throttling I was talking about is for the new 8700K, not FX 8350
- still have my old monitor @60Hz. Difference from 1070ti-->970 is some games look marginally better due to better antialiasing from DSR/renderscale settings, with few exceptions like Deus Ex or ME: Andromeda being able to dial in max settings vs. having to compromise with the 970. Played with OCing the 1070Ti, went without issues to 2050 MHz, put it back to stock now.
- about the 1080 vs 1070Ti thing. I had one store to choose from with quite a few limitations. The budget was quite tight too, in fact I extended it some to buy a 8700K instead of 8600K or Ryzen 1600X. Obviously I would have even went for the 1080Ti if I had the money, but in this store, the difference in price from the promotion they had on this 1070 Ti model to the cheapest 1080 was 125 Euro, which in itself, even if I had them, they would have went on a new PSU/better cooler.
- oh yes, with the FX 8350 CPU/GTX 970, the CPU limitations were pretty comical (yeah, they're gone now, feels good). I used to play WoW a few years ago. The GPU utilization would drop into the 40-50% in raids/towns etc., and ever overclocking the FX to 4400 MHz didn't do much. Other games, even single player, would simply just perform worse in any scenario that had many drawcalls, any town, hugely open space were a bane to the poor FX.
But, truth be told, this CPU served me for 6 years and it still works, together with the mobo and RAM, and if AMD would have had something on par with 8700K for single thread, I would have bought that instead. But I got burned quite a bit with the FX, gaming-wise.

Anyway, thanks for the replies guys. Again, any additional info is welcome.
 

peche

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#6
- the throttling I was talking about is for the new 8700K, not FX 8350
Cooler used in that 8700K is?
1513350538587.png

The cooler itself seems decent, the fact with temps is the mounting method, also thermal paste, how are your temps?

Regards,
 
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#7
That's the cooler, yes. I used the included thermal paste. The temps seems rather close to what I've seen on the very few reviews on the web (for older CPUs though). A few notes:

- I still have an Arctic MX3 tube of thermal compound if that's needed/better, although I doubt it would make a huge difference
- I do have another 120mm fan, but it's not PWM. It would probably run at about 960 RPM@12V. Should I bother using it on the back of the cooler? There's enough room I guess, took a look in the case now.
- heard the high temps are pretty much the result of cheap paste between the IHS and the CPU die. Delidding is however out of question, I need the warranty. This thing is to last me for 3 years at least.
 

peche

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#8
- I still have an Arctic MX3 tube of thermal compound if that's needed/better, although I doubt it would make a huge difference
Arctic paste is one of the best solutions, rated by several editor, page and reviews!
results may vary with this one, also as stated before, application and mounting method are something to consider and care, recommended a little pea size dot in the middle of CPU IHS and tint a bit cooler base with a little thermal paste, then apply equal pressure when screwing cooler.

- I do have another 120mm fan, but it's not PWM. It would probably run at about 960 RPM@12V. Should I bother using it on the back of the cooler? There's enough room I guess, took a look in the case now.
seems like your cooler might be able to run or take advantage of push / pull fan setup, this wont lower 10C on themps, but will warranty better flow to the hot air outside the case when pointing to exhaust rear grill or fan.

- heard the high temps are pretty much the result of cheap paste between the IHS and the CPU die. Delidding is however out of question, I need the warranty. This thing is to last me for 3 years at least.
delidding is the only way to successfully lower temps on most i7's, this require somethings such as patience, nerves of steel and plenty balls, also a razor blade and liquid metal thermal solution, Coollaboratory liquid ultra is the easiest way to doit and generally the best,

Regards.
 
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#9
Overall with the current CPU cooler you might be (have been, not sure if you can still return parts) MUCH better served with just going for an i5 8600k, clock that to 5.0 Ghz comfortably and within 85 C temp limits (it stays a lot cooler) and forget about the mostly pointless HT threads altogether.

The money saved can go towards a decent case + perhaps nicer CPU cooler or even that 1080ti.

Net result: up to 35% more ingame performance at similar price. With the current CPU cooler you've basically restrained your 8700k to a lower clock, and clocks is all you need for gaming.