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Intel Core i9 9900K/KF Overclocking Guide (Page 4)

Steven Bassiri | Oct 17, 2019 at 03:49 pm CDT - 3 mins, 1 sec reading time for this page

Power Saving Settings

Intel Core i9 9900K/KF Overclocking Guide 09 |

Enhanced Intel Speed Step (EIST or Speed Step) and Intel C-States are the two mechanisms by which your CPU can down clock itself when idle to save power. Don't disable any of these settings and leave your Windows Power Plan to "Balanced" if you want to save power and have the CPU frequency drop at idle. You should also set your VCore to Adaptive or Offset mode, so it drops as well. MSI has an option (CPU Mode: Fixed or Dynamic) that will change the settings for you, but it's not hard to do on your own.

If you want your CPU multiplier to stay at maximum at all times, on some boards all you have to do is set Windows Power Plan to High Performance, on others you also need to disable C-States. EIST is part of how Turbo Mode works, which is how we are able to overclock, so on some boards if you disable it, you can't overclock the CPU. Window's High-Performance power plan and disabling C-States should allow you to run full speed all the time, but if it does not, you can also try disabling EIST (it depends on how the vendor has implemented the setting).

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While we have power saving settings that we can manipulate, we also have power limitation settings that we might also need to increase. If performance is not scaling (try running CINEBENCH every multiplier step to see if performance increases), power restrictions are probably to blame. These power limits are set in place by default, and on some motherboards, these settings are automatically changed behind the scenes when you overclock, but not all. It is best to increase these limits.

On Supermicro motherboards, setting "0" will maximize the power limit. These settings are found in multiple places in most UEFIs (I mashed them up in the image above); check advanced PWM features, CPU configuration (sometimes not on the OC page), voltage, and CPU overclocking menus.

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We always recommend using XMP memory profiles for easy memory overclocking. XMP is easy to use and will take the memory to speeds it was designed to operate at. You can also manually set the DRAM multiplier and change between 1.00x and 1.33x reference clock multipliers to expand the granularity of memory speed settings (so memory speed can be set in 100MHZ and 133MHz increments; i.e. 2600MHz, 2666MHz, 2800MHz, 2933MHz).

If you manually set the multiplier, you must also manually set DRAM timings and voltage, as XMP sets those for you. Memory timings are a bit more difficult to conquer as there are so many of them, but you can mess around with the primary timings (like CAS latency). Some motherboards like ASUS's ROG boards also have built-in memory overclocking profiles made by their extreme overclockers.

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There are three main voltages for overclocking DRAM. DRAM voltage is the voltage that the DRAM is fed, and on most motherboards when you set XMP, the motherboard will automatically increase DRAM voltage. Some motherboards also have auto-rules for two other voltages, System Agent (VCCSA) and System IO (VCCIO). These two voltages can be set up to 1.3-1.35v, but I would start with around 1.2v on both of these if default voltage levels don't work for your memory overclock or if they work and the auto rules took them too high.

Be careful; some motherboards have auto-rules that will increase both VCCIO and VCCSA to 1.3-1.35v by default, essentially maximizing them but also increasing temperatures and power consumption. On those motherboards you can try setting them a bit lower.

Last updated: Oct 18, 2019 at 06:11 am CDT

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Steven Bassiri

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Steven Bassiri

Steven went from a fledgling forum reader in 2003 to one of the internet's brightest tech stars by 2010. Armed with an information systems degree, a deep understanding of circuitry, and a passion for tech, Steven (handle Sin0822) enjoys sharing his deep knowledge with others. Steven details products down to the component level to highlight seldom explained, and often misunderstood architectures. Steven is also a highly decorated overclocker with several world records.

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