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Skylake-X Overclocking Guide

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Feb 27, 2018 12:00 am

Disclaimer Overclocking your CPU technically voids your warranty. However, if you want to overclock and still be covered, Intel does provide an aftermarket overclocking warranty here: (PTPP). Overclocking can also damage your CPU, especially if done incorrectly. This guide is about how to overclock, but doesn't take responsibility for damages that could occur; you bare sole responsibility for any damages that may arise. The price of the PTPP ranges from as low as $69 for the 7800X to $150 for the 7980XE.



Have you Overclocked Before?



If you have overclocked before and understand hardware selection and the basics of overclocking, you should skip to the next page. The first part of this guide is for those who want to know what to do before overclocking.


Where do I start?

Skylake-X Overclocking Guide Systems


CPU: You will need a "K-SKU" CPU, but all Intel Skylake-X CPUs are X-SKUs which is basically the same thing. The guide does not cover Kaby Lake-X CPUs, as they are different.


Motherboard: You need an X299 motherboard, but there are two stages so far. The first stage is the first round of X299 motherboards launched at Skylake-X launch, and they are solid for CPUs up to the 7900X. However, it quickly became clear that those earlier X299 motherboards didn't have the best VRM heat sinks, and the VRMs would actually throttle the CPUs if they weren't cooled, so vendors went back to the drawing board since Intel's HCC CPUs were coming out and the initial launch motherboards weren't enough. If you have a CPU with 12 or more cores (HCC), look at the stage two motherboards that were launched months after the initial motherboards launched. You can typically tell if a motherboard is stage two if it uses larger heat sinks that have more surface area.


DRAM: Intel and motherboard vendors have greatly improved DDR4 compatibility and speed potential, at least compared to Broadwell-E. While we still recommend buying a kit off your motherboard's Qualified Vendors List (QVL), up to 3600MHz is a good target for easy stability, and you should take advantage of quad channel memory and buy a kit with four or eight sticks.


Cooler: High-end air coolers might be okay, but we recommend at least a 240mm all-in-one watercooler. Custom watercooling is best, but it might be complicated for many. The new Skylake-X CPUs use a lot of power, and that power has to go somewhere.


PSU: I would leave about 400-500W aside for a nice overclock on an 7980XE.


You enter the BIOS/UEFI by hitting delete or F2 (on most boards) during boot up. For most boards you have basic and advanced modes, I always skip to the advanced mode and tend to navigate with the keyboard. To enter a setting you either type (or delete and then type), use +/- keys, or you click and scroll. Then you have to "Save & Exit" the BIOS/UEFI for the settings to apply (typically F10 key).

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