Over voltage on MSI Z490 Gaming Plus?

Robertomcat

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Hello, good morning.

I have this motherboard with a 10900k processor, with the motherboard updated to the latest BIOS. In the BIOS I have not changed any value of anything, I have only activated the XMP profile. The heatsink that I am using is a Noctua NH-U12A, which I think is not enough for this processor, and I am going to incorporate a custom liquid cooling.

From the Dragon Center I have put the "custom" profile to modify the fan curves, but I haven't changed any value of the voltages either.
2020-09-15_11h13_44.png


In the Intel XTU profile I have made a slight modification in the core voltage offset, and I have also set all cores to 5.2.
2020-09-15_11h15_14.png

2020-09-15_11h21_57.png

2020-09-15_11h50_43.png


The voltage that appears in this last capture of the XTU is a peak, not constant.

Do you have any reference guide to adjust the voltages and frequencies, or everything is correct, what is your opinion?

Thank you!
 

citay

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In the top image, i can't see which voltages it shows. Activating XMP will usually already set too much IO and SA voltage. It's better to select the memory speed by hand, set DRAM voltage to 1.35V, and IO and SA to default or slightly higher, but not massively like XMP does.

Setting all cores to 52x multi on the 10900K is insanity. As you can see, it requires way too much VCore, making the power consumption and heat production shoot up massively.

Every review you read of this CPU, they say it makes no sense to overclock it. Intel put this right at the limit from stock, with roughtly 225W under load. The turbo modes squeeze almost everything out of this CPU already.

Let me just quote a few publications.

Computerbase.de (well-respected German site, translated):
Buyers can also overclock an Intel Core i9-10900K using the multiplier - at least in theory. In practice, however, the air is thin. No wonder, since the all-core turbo is already at 4.9 GHz and consumes over 200 watts in most applications.

Enabling 5.3 GHz as an all-core multiplier for all ten cores fails. In turn, the mix of 5.0 GHz for up to ten cores and 5.3 GHz for four-core load generates 350 watts of package power (Cinebench R20) and therefore such a large amount of heat that the cooling is always at its limit, and thermal throttling occurs after longer use. Even 5.1 GHz in all-core mode seems almost impossible with air cooling and conventional all-in-one water cooling, and that's only 200 MHz above the nominal frequency - overclocking has rarely been as sobering as with Comet Lake-S.
Techpowerup.com:
My highest all-core maximum stable overclock using an air cooler was 5.1 GHz, with 1.33 V. The limiting factor here is the CPU voltage. The more voltage you feed the CPU to make the OC stable, the higher the temperature. At some point, the CPU will reach its thermal limit and start throttling, which keeps you from achieving higher frequencies.

Using a 240 mm AIO I could get 5.2 GHz stable, but with even more voltage, which causes CPU temperatures to reach over 95°C, right at the throttling point—despite watercooling. Definitely not worth it.
Overclocking is largely limited by temperature because the 10-core Intel Core i9-10900K will overpower any ambient cooling solution. Depending on settings, the system will either crash or severely drop frequency.
Hexus.net:
Overclocking - Is it worth it? Given how well the chips turbo out of the box, the answer is yes for the 10600K and arguably no for the 10900K.
Bit-tech:
The Core i9-10900K runs at an all-core 4.8GHz under load, opportunistically boosting to 4.9GHz if temperature is sufficiently low enough. That's already a high bar for 14nm silicon, so even by manually inputting 1.35V we only managed to raise the all-core speed to 5.1GHz. That tells us that most users are best advised to leave overclocking alone; it's not worth it.
And so on.

Power consumption quickly skyrockets:

Screenshot_2020-09-06 In Spielen König, sonst eher ein kleiner Prinz Intel Core i5-10600K und ...png



Even a custom 360 mm watercooling cannot handle this anymore, let alone the best AIO watercoolers or air coolers.
 
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Robertomcat

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In the top image, i can't see which voltages it shows. Activating XMP will usually already set too much IO and SA voltage. It's better to select the memory speed by hand, set DRAM voltage to 1.35V, and IO and SA to default or slightly higher, but not massively like XMP does.

Setting all cores to 52x multi on the 10900K is insanity. As you can see, it requires way too much VCore, making the power consumption and heat production shoot up massively.

Every review you read of this CPU, they say it makes no sense to overclock it. Intel put this right at the limit from stock, with roughtly 225W under load. The turbo modes squeeze almost everything out of this CPU already.
Yes, the truth is that it is quite a powerful processor and I think it is quite well squeezed.

I have been trying several configurations to be able to leave it stable, but I think that in the end I will leave the processor that works automatically with the default configurations.

I also set all the default settings by setting the frequency to 5.2GHz, and the processor without load has a voltage of 1.37, and when tasks that require more electrical juice start, the voltage goes to 1.39. I think that for me would be the maximum limit for this CPU.

The temperatures are pretty well controlled because I have it with a custom liquid cooling.

In the case of wanting to leave the processor at 5.2 with all the other default values; would you have any recommendations regarding the voltage?

Thanks for answering.
 

citay

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In my opinion, with 1.39V, you are way past the range in which the CPU works efficiently. You are squeezing a rock at this point.

Let's look at the facts. For calculating efficiency, we have to consider 1) performance, and 2) power consumption (which results in heat production). Ideally, you'd want to look at "energy spent per time spent per calculating task", but for a rough estimation, it is enough to compare benchmark results and the momentary power consumption during that load.

1) Performance:
1600511639261.png


So let's compare the 10900K at all-core 5.2 GHz (VCore 1.385V) vs. the 10900K with no PL1/PL2/Tau limits in the BIOS.
We have 6616 vs. 6375 points in CB R20 multi, which almost exclusively responds to CPU performance. This is a 3.7% increase in performance.

2) Power consumption:
1600511837665.png


Here is the big downside. The CPU gobbles up 384.7W at all-core 5.2 GHz. This is a 70.45% increase (!) over stock with all power limits removed.

For each single percent of performance improvement over stock, you basically have to take a 20% increase in power consumption. This is almost unheard of in previous CPU generations, and it demonstrates that Intel put this CPU right at the limit of efficiency by default. Going above it simply makes no sense. In fact, Intel released the 10850K, supposedly because they don't have enough yield from their wafers to bin enough dies as 10900K.

By the way, these are the voltages they needed during OC:
1600512167447.png

Their cooling was a custom Alphacool water cooler with 360mm radiator.
 

Robertomcat

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In my opinion, with 1.39V, you are way past the range in which the CPU works efficiently. You are squeezing a rock at this point.

Let's look at the facts. For calculating efficiency, we have to consider 1) performance, and 2) power consumption (which results in heat production). Ideally, you'd want to look at "energy spent per time spent per calculating task", but for a rough estimation, it is enough to compare benchmark results and the momentary power consumption during that load.
Performing a test with the Cinebench, I get a score of 6612, setting the BIOS to automatic except for the frequency that I have set manually to 5.2GHz. This test has consumed a total of 270 W and the voltage has been over 1,395 V (At rest it is working at 1,370) and a maximum temperature of 80°.

With the same configuration if I pass it in the Prime95 (which is not a realistic scenario but to check the stability) the temperatures go up to 95° having only 20 or 30 seconds, because if I leave it I think they would go up to 100 little by little.
 

citay

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AVX code is used in more and more programs. For example in Handbrake (video encoding). This will heat up the CPU a lot.

For me, it wouldn't be worth it to accept this additional power consumption for not even 4% performance increase. You know how easily you can get 4% better performance just from tuning your RAM a little, with maybe just 2 to 4W (!) additional power consumption? With the high-end Intel and AMD CPUs, this makes infinitely more sense than CPU OC.
 

Robertomcat

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AVX code is used in more and more programs. For example in Handbrake (video encoding). This will heat up the CPU a lot.

For me, it wouldn't be worth it to accept this additional power consumption for not even 4% performance increase. You know how easily you can get 4% better performance just from tuning your RAM a little, with maybe just 2 to 4W (!) additional power consumption? With the high-end Intel and AMD CPUs, this makes infinitely more sense than CPU OC.
Well, I think I'm going to leave it for a while with the configuration I have right now. Because I need it for a software to work as fast as possible, because when it starts working for a few seconds, it does so using all the cores and for about 5 or 10 seconds.

Thank you very much for all your answers!
 

citay

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You're welcome. If you want to optimize your RAM settings, i can help you there too. If the software you use relies a lot on RAM transfers as well, this can make a difference.
 

Robertomcat

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You're welcome. If you want to optimize your RAM settings, i can help you there too. If the software you use relies a lot on RAM transfers as well, this can make a difference.
As for the RAM, it depends more on the amount than on a quick configuration, but I still have two 32GB modules that work at 3600MHz with the XMP profile. No need to optimize it, thank you very much.

Do you know how many volts the 10900k could support without being damaged over time?
 

citay

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Ah ok.

About maximum "safe" voltage, sorry, i don't know. The higher the voltage, the faster the CPU degrades on a microscopic level (electromigration), this we know. For the 10900K, there isn't much data about good voltage ranges, because many enthusiasts quickly found out that this CPU isn't very OC-happy at all.

If you think of voltage vs. frequency, it plots a certain graph, which can look like these:



Don't mind that's it's a different CPU and a different topic. Just observe towards the top right, how the curve will rise ever more steeply. This means that, after a certain point, for ever smaller performance increases, the power consumption rises a lot more.

This is basically the CPU telling you that it is at the limit of its optimal efficiency range. In the past, these curves were a lot flatter initially. Intel had no reason to go to the limit, because they dominated AMD and had no real competition at the high end. So they left a lot "in the tank" and focused more on efficiency by default. This was the day when CPUs still had a sizeable OC headroom. These days are over. AMD has become a dangerous competitor, and both manufacturers go right to the limit with their high-end CPUs.

If these curves were plotted further, at some point they would go up horizontally, meaning no additional VCore can get this CPU to perform any better without becoming unstable or throttling itself.

What i'm saying with all this is, if you notice power consumption jumping up considerably for a minor OC, this is the CPU shouting "enough". So to find a "safe" voltage, you need to determine a point where power consumption doesn't rise as steeply yet. For the 10900K, this is at default or very slightly above, that's my best guess. Anything way above is personal risk-taking that you can decide on, nobody can really give you an all-clear for that.
 

Robertomcat

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Well, I think it's going to stay at 5.2 forever, as I see that it's all a bit more controlled in terms of the voltage and temperatures. Thanks for all your explanation.
 
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