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Upgrade to 8700K (core components only)

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#1
Hi, I've pretty much decided to upgrade my trusty old Sandy Bridge 2700K to the new Coffee Lake 8700K. I already own some of the components so I'm looking to just upgrade my core system components: CPU, motherboard, RAM and cooler.

Already own:
Case: Fractal Design Define R5
PSU: Corsair HX750i 750W
GPU: nVidia GTX 1080 Ti
[Edit] SSD: Samsung 840 PRO 256GB and 2x 850 EVO 500GB

Planning to upgrade to:
CPU: i7-8700K
Mobo: Asus ROG Strix Z370-H (???)
RAM: G.Skill Trident Z Black/White DDR4 3200MHz CL16 2x8GB
Cooling: Noctua NH-D15

I'm planning to overclock the 8700K to about 4.5–4.8GHz if possible. So I'm still wondering which motherboard/mainboard I should go for, hence the question marks. I selected the H because it's cheaper than the other two. Do all those Asus ROG Strix ATX mobos (H, F, E) have the same properties when it comes to stability when overclocking? Is it just the feature set which is different? Do you have other suggestions for which mobo I should choose? It doesn't have to be Asus of course.

Opinions on the other upgrade components are also welcome. :)
 
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#2
I think that is a mild enough OC to reach in just about any z370.... mostly depends on the CPU you get...

What are your storage plans?
NVMe isn't necessary but a good SSD is imo.
 
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System Name Vaksdal Venom
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Memory G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-3200 16GB 16-18-18-38-2T
Video Card(s) nVidia Geforce GTX 1080 Ti
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Case Fractal Design Define R5
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#3
Right, forgot to mention that. I'm moving over those Samsung SSDs that are listed under my specs, so that's taken care of. :)
 
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#4
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#5
My extreme4 is a beast , ive been buying the extreme series since sandy bridge when i had my 2500k. I can easily reach 5ghz. Of course your luck with your CPU will also play a part, because even the nicest motherboard in the world will not give you ,what your CPU is not willing to do. I've worked with, installed, and used ,nicer boards ,and cheaper boards ,and I find Asrock holds what i like in a board. There are higher end boards, but what the extreme4 series has is the important options, ime, fancier boards add stuff that are only bells & whistles, & nothing more for true performance. Things like built in wifi, or redundant amounts of m.2 ports, etc, wastes of money.

That's my personal experience
 
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#6
Can vouch for AsRock boards as well and everything Extreme4 and up is really good.

<- See system specs

Other than that you have made very fine picks - not that the Asus board is bad or anything, there are just better boards at better prices and AsRock basically has the lockdown on everything midrange and up, with the Taichi as one of the best high end boards at a very competitive price point.
 
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#7
My 8700K on the Maximus X Hero does 5.0 on auto.
 
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System Name Vaksdal Venom
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#8
Yes, the Extreme4 looks like a very good deal. I think I will go for that one. Good input guys!

Shame that there are so few USB-ports on the rear panel though. Looks like I'll have to get a couple of those 2.0 and 3.1 Gen 1 USB back panel expansion brackets (or whatever they're called). Also a shame that no manufacturer seems to include those nowadays; they used to some years ago. Oh well, no need to get grumpy I guess.

The only thing left now is to find out if those G.Skill DDR4 sticks will stay clear of the Noctua NH-D15. Is there any way to find that out?
(The Define R5 and Extreme4 are compatible according to Noctua's sheet.)

EDIT: Googling around a little it looks like worst case I will have to lift one of the fans a little. Hopefully not a big issue.

EDIT2: It will fit. My mem sticks are 44 mm. Distance to fins is 64 mm. Total cooler height with fan raised is 165 mm. Case supports coolers up to 180 mm height. All good.
 
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#9
My test bench. Aka the kitchen table, lol. :D
That Noctua is monstrous! :eek:

workbench01.jpg
 
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#10
My 8700 sits by default on 4300/4400 just high performance mode in panel control :D
 
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#11
My test bench. Aka the kitchen table, lol. :D
That Noctua is monstrous! :eek:

View attachment 100017
Nice :) Tip: when in BIOS, set it to advanced mode by default so you don't push 'easy' buttons that royally screw with your rig's efficiency for any kind of OC. Its childs play doing it yourself and you will learn the BIOS settings proper by using advanced. Also makes it easy asking for help over here :)
 
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#12
I have a serious issue here. Forgot to insert sata cables, so now I have to remove the graphics Card. It's Just that the thing won't budge. I have tried to push that tap underneath both ways but no go. It doesn't help that the noctua is partly in the way. Any ideas? Im NOT removing the noctua.

Never mind. Got it. Phew!

Nice :) Tip: when in BIOS, set it to advanced mode by default so you don't push 'easy' buttons that royally screw with your rig's efficiency for any kind of OC. Its childs play doing it yourself and you will learn the BIOS settings proper by using advanced. Also makes it easy asking for help over here :)
I could actually use some help overclocking, to finalize my build. I only did this once, years ago on my Sandy.

So what are the simplest steps to achieve a simple overclock of say 4.7GHz on all cores? Activate XMP, Inter Turbo Boost and EIST and then just set CPU ratio to 4.7 for All Cores and leave everthing else on Auto?
What about the Enhanced Turbo feature, should that be disabled?
Also, should I mess with cpu volts at that speed, or just leave it at auto?
 
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Old-Greg

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#13
I could actually use some help overclocking, to finalize my build. I only did this once, years ago on my Sandy.

So what are the simplest steps to achieve a simple overclock of say 4.7GHz on all cores? Activate XMP, Inter Turbo Boost and EIST and then just set CPU ratio to 4.7 for All Cores and leave everthing else on Auto?
What about the Enhanced Turbo feature, should that be disabled?
Also, should I mess with cpu volts at that speed, or just leave it at auto?
Dunno about the ASRock bios but I do just that on my Asus Z370 mobo, sits nicely a 4.7GHz without the need to increase voltage.
 
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#14
set it to advanced mode by default
F6 , i hate that easy mode....useless for setting options,

I could actually use some help overclocking, to finalize my build.
what is it that your unsure about? i have a similar board, and a 8600k, got it to 5200Mhz, pretty certain i could go higher too. the bios is pretty striaght forward, watched a few videos, read a few threads , felt pretty certain about it, after adding a little actual tinkering with the bios
 
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#15
what is it that your unsure about?
Well first of all, what is vdroop and LLC (load line calibration) and why should I care? Btw, LLC is currently on 5.

Second, what is the actual cpu core voltage in HWinfo below? VID, or Vcore? The VID value went as high as above 1.4, which had me fairly alarmed. Although, temps weren't high after playing Far Cry 5 for about half an hour at 4.5GHz.
Note: CPU core voltage is on Auto in BIOS.

CPU_voltage.jpg
 
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#16
Well first of all, what is vdroop and LLC (load line calibration) and why should I care? Btw, LLC is currently on 5.

Second, what is the actual cpu core voltage in HWinfo below? VID, or Vcore? The VID value went as high as above 1.4, which had me fairly alarmed. Although, temps weren't high after playing Far Cry 5 for about half an hour at 4.5GHz.

View attachment 100125
Vdroop is when a drop in voltage occurs as a cpu transitions from low usage or idle to a loaded or strained state.

LLC is what helps to correct vdroop. Settings for load line calibration can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but if you look in your manual you'll find either 1 or 5 is what you want to be on if you're doing significant overclocking. Asrock has LLC 1 as their preferred setting, iirc Asus has LLC 5 as theirs. Essentially it provides an additional voltage or current to ensure even and steady current is applied to the CPU.

The reason you should care about either is really relative to whether or not you want to overclock. If you're not intending to overclock neither of them make a difference to you, and you can ignore them. If you do intend to overclock ,the solution is simple , set your motherboard to load line calibration number 1 or 5,and you can overclock with stable voltage.

If you're looking for your CPUs voltage ,don't do it with any software. Boot into your bios ,and check in there ,because any other readings are often inaccurate. Vcore should be what your looking for.

You need to figure out what LLC is appropriate for your mobo. Its either 1 or 5. The manual or google will assist.

Keep in mind, these matters are only a portion of what is required knowledge for Overclocking. You should look into motherboard specific settings , and either watch a video or more, or read an article or your manual first, to be certain you know what and where your settings are.
 
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#17
If you're looking for your CPUs voltage ,don't do it with any software. Boot into your bios ,and check in there ,because any other readings are often inaccurate. Vcore should be what your looking for.
Thanks for explaining vdroop and LLC. :)
However, regarding voltage: The problem is that since I use Speedstep and have voltage on Auto, then I assume it self-regulates. So I have to monitor it in Windows, since it goes up and down depending what I do there.
Is CPU-Z more accurate maybe?
 
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#18
Thanks for explaining vdroop and LLC. :)
However, regarding voltage: The problem is that since I use Speedstep and have voltage on Auto, then I assume it self-regulates. So I have to monitor it in Windows, since it goes up and down depending what I do there.
Is CPU-Z more accurate maybe?
Regardless of what 'auto' settings you will finally use for 24/7, a really useful bit of info is actually knowing what vCore your CPU needs for the clock you're aiming for. If it is 4.7 Ghz all core, I'd say start with 1.3 - 1.31v (either through a fixed voltage or by using 'adaptive' which basically works as a modifier to the 'auto' voltage setting) and work your way down until you hit instability. Its probably faster than 'working your way up'. You can 'test' each setting by using a quick and dirty stress test of say 5 minutes in OCCT. When you run into an error it'll let you know right away and you get nice graphs that show how stable your core voltage is (if its not stable / sticks to the voltage you set, you can use higher LLC to counter that).

Auto voltage settings will always push 'too much' voltage through the CPU, to be on the safe side and Intel puts a serious bit of headroom in there.

When you know what vCore is optimal for that clock you can then start tweaking some finer details like VCCIO and VCCSA (generally you can put them at 1.1V with no problems and still have headroom, which means a reduction in temps). Also, if you intend to use an XMP profile just apply it right away because it also influences the voltages you need elsewhere. It'd be a shame if activating XMP (Later) would put you back to square one :) You can also manually set timings for RAM but that's advanced user stuff, maybe something for later down the road.

For voltage monitoring I use a combination of the monitoring offered in HWINFO, CPU Z and OCCT side by side - sometimes the stress test application can hang while monitoring in a separate app will keep going, so it offers a nice little backup in that way. About accuracy: vCore monitoring is quite accurate but more importantly: stick to a single method of monitoring and regardless of whether the reading is 'off' from reality, you will see the same devation every time so in a relative sense, you still have a perfect grasp on what's happening.

The core VID is not quite relevant at all and 1.4V is not alarming in any way. What you will see is when you stress test several different OC settings the relation to vCore and VID is... shaky at best. Its just not a number to go on.

You can also just leave all the Intel speedstep and C state stuff as is. Just let the CPU do its normal thing, all you need to really touch is core volts, additional tweaks are optional.

As for 'how far can I go' - 1.45 V Vcore would be an upper limit and definitely not something to use 24/7. Personally I'd recommend staying under 1.4V for Vcore, also in terms of cooling, longevity of the chip and traces on the board. Temperature wise, don't worry until you start hitting 90 C, because ambient temps do change every season but more than a 10 C gap between highest and lowest isn't realistic. Thermal threshold is 100 C, so if you see 100% load on all cores hit 85-90C that's probably the limit of your cooling.

Keep in mind that the temperatures on an i5 8600K are quite different than those on the 8700K, the extra 3 MB of cache + HT does add to the power and cooling requirement.


When you finally settle on a voltage and clock, put it through a longer stress test in several different applications, such as a full fat AIDA 64 stress (tick all the boxes) and/or IntelBurnTest, possibly Prime 95 (though that is a very extreme scenario and it WILL push temperatures up considerably, Coffee Lake doesn't play well with this). A 30 minute run in each of them is sufficient to see how thermals behave in prolonged loads. Beyond that, I'd say just 'use it', as long as you don't use the rig for critical tasks. If you do, run tests for a longer duration until it feels right to you.

Last but not least, go here:
https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/i7-8700k-8600k-7700k-overclock-results.240682/

Share your experiences and use what's in there for more answers to some inevitable questions :)
 
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#19
Thanks for taking the time to put together such a comprehensive post. Appreciate that. :)

So far it's looking good. I did about 2 hours in Far Cry 5 with buttery smooth frames. Turns out I was right in my suspicions about the need for a modern CPU. This was with vsync at 75Hz. The nice thing about locking the fps that way is that it saves the GPU from having to render a ton of frames, thus saving the graphics card from a lot of heat. I will sync all my games between 75 and 120 probably. Depending on performance of course.

The temps hovered arond 50 for all cores, sometimes fluctuating down to the 40s and up to the 60s. Which seems pretty good at 4.7GHz. Maybe I had a bit of luck in the silicon lottery. Although maybe 4.7 isn't exactly a yard stick.

The game froze two times (for about a second, then came alive again), with about 15 minutes between each freeze. I'll chalk this down to alt-tabbing out and back in for now. That tends to destabilize games. But I will test further (without alt-tabbing out).

The Vcore (and CPU-Z core voltage) was at 1.296 and 1.312 almost the whole time, so that doesn't seem to bad.

And yeah, I have tested with Prime95 before. It's pretty extreme. Far more than I have ever seen in any game.
 
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#20
Thanks for taking the time to put together such a comprehensive post. Appreciate that. :)

So far it's looking good. I did about 2 hours in Far Cry 5 with buttery smooth frames. Turns out I was right in my suspicions about the need for a modern CPU. This was with vsync at 75Hz. The nice thing about locking the fps that way is that it saves the GPU from having to render a ton of frames, thus saving the graphics card from a lot of heat. I will sync all my games between 75 and 120 probably. Depending on performance of course.

The temps hovered arond 50 for all cores, sometimes fluctuating down to the 40s and up to the 60s. Which seems pretty good at 4.7GHz. Maybe I had a bit of luck in the silicon lottery. Although maybe 4.7 isn't exactly a yard stick.

The game froze two times (for about a second, then came alive again), with about 15 minutes between each freeze. I'll chalk this down to alt-tabbing out and back in for now. That tends to destabilize games. But I will test further (without alt-tabbing out).

The Vcore (and CPU-Z core voltage) was at 1.296 and 1.312 almost the whole time, so that doesn't seem to bad.

And yeah, I have tested with Prime95 before. It's pretty extreme. Far more than I have ever seen in any game.
You have the exact same motherboard I do (if the specs you have listed are accurate, the extreme4 z370). if you would like I could throw up some screenshots for you to take a look at ,and get an idea of what I have set for my overclock ,it may help you at least in working towards the main settings to adjust, then you'll just have to deal with fine-tuning yours.

I allow my overclock to only be used when it's needed since theres no point in having 5GHz pinned all the time ,as it makes no difference other than increasing temp ,so I keep speedstep or spread spectrum (whichever is the intel setting that decreases clocks when they arent needed) on.
 
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#21
der8auer explains vdroop, vcore, and load line calibration here in an easy to understand form

One concern with running the highest LLC setting, the setting that provides the most voltage correction, is that you have transient overvolt applied to your processor. These transient high voltages long term can degrade it and are so brief they are not always detectable with software. It is up to you how much risk you want to assume, but using a moderate LLC is fine long term.
 
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#22
der8auer explains vdroop, vcore, and load line calibration here in an easy to understand form

One concern with running the highest LLC setting, the setting that provides the most voltage correction, is that you have transient overvolt applied to your processor. These transient high voltages long term can degrade it and are so brief they are not always detectable with software. It is up to you how much risk you want to assume, but using a moderate LLC is fine long term.
That's one of the reasons I don't see a point in running 24 seven heavy overclocks. There's people who run over 4.8Ghz 24/7 even when at idle , or while watching Netflix etc. I can't understand why a person would do that ,but apparently it's more common than I was aware, because I've run into about 4-5 people in the last couple weeks that do just that. I can understand that mild over clock, but why people dont use a dynamic OC is beyond me, its their $ :rolleyes:
 
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#23
You have the exact same motherboard I do (if the specs you have listed are accurate, the extreme4 z370). if you would like I could throw up some screenshots for you to take a look at ,and get an idea of what I have set for my overclock ,it may help you at least in working towards the main settings to adjust, then you'll just have to deal with fine-tuning yours.
That would be pretty useful, thanks. :)

Ok, after seeing the video above (and the one below) I have to confess I probably misunderstood something fundamental. And I got a little confused. In those videos they say that as the CPU draws more power the voltage actually drops? Huh? When I look at the Vcore value in both CPU-Z and HWinfo the value goes up as the system comes under load. What am I missing here? Sorry if I'm just being plain stupid. :)

 
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#24
That's one of the reasons I don't see a point in running 24 seven heavy overclocks. There's people who run over 4.8Ghz 24/7 even when at idle , or while watching Netflix etc. I can't understand why a person would do that ,but apparently it's more common than I was aware, because I've run into about 4-5 people in the last couple weeks that do just that. I can understand that mild over clock, but why people dont use a dynamic OC is beyond me, its their $ :rolleyes:
There is actually a reason for that. When you let the CPU downclock , so do the voltages , though you might have achieved a stable overclock those P-states might not be fully stable , therefor switching between these states may crash your system.
 
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#25
When I look at the Vcore value in both CPU-Z and HWinfo the value goes up as the system comes under load. What am I missing here?
It can drop, it can go up, or it can stay pretty much the same. It all depends on your motherboard and your LLC setting. Your job is to find the setting that keeps it the smoothest. I keep my motherboard's LLC on "turbo," my last motherboard achieved the same results with just setting it to "medium."
You've gotta stress your system and watch what the voltage does with each LLC level, see which one gives you the smoothest voltage.
 
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