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Author Topic: MSI MAG Z390 Tomahawk With An i7 9700k - Success Is In The Settings!  (Read 702 times)

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thatguydaveTopic starter

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I am new to overclocking as of 6 months ago and I have found that I am quite intrigued by all the variables that come into play when doing so. I have done a lot of research on the different adjustments focusing on how they work and more importantly, WHY they exist. I advise anyone new to this overclocking stuff to first read articles, browse forums, watch videos… There is a lot of information out there about most components available... Educate yourself a bit first. Take most opinions and suggestions with a grain of salt, even mine. But rest assured I have done plenty of testing with both the 9600k and the 9700k, so this will certainly be more relatable as a newbie than an already experienced enthusiast.

I didn’t want to get myself too deep into things right off the start, so I began small… I started with an MSI B365M motherboard and a 9400f, and being limited with that setup I found myself curious about overclocking. Then I bought an MSI Z390 Tomahawk and a 9600k so I could learn… After a few months, I found a 9700k new at a great price and I bought one.

I read some reviews that did not speak well of joining the 9th gen, 8-core processors with the Z390 Tomahawk, even though the motherboard is able to support the 8-core processors. One article in particular mentioned how much “optimizing” was needed in the BIOS to get a 9900k to work well on this board (Toms Hardware). Anyone would have to optimize their BIOS to work well with a 9900k! Not to mention it is quite unlikely a person would pair this Z390 Tomahawk and 9900k together to get the most out of that processor.  Another particular review questioned whether this motherboard would fully handle any 8 physical core processor (Laurent Choice). In contrast to the less than positive reviews, I also found plenty of information that pointed to this working quite well. So I was determined to figure it out. I was slightly worried when I bought my 9700k, but the deal was SO GOOD, that I couldn’t pass it up. I am here to tell you there is nothing to worry about! The MSI Z390 Tomahawk works great with a 9700k, with the correct adjustments.

Firstly, cooling and ventilation are important for this to work. Setting up an extra fan may help a great deal! I would suggest choosing a high quality CPU air-cooler or a decent 240mm AIO cooler. Next I suggest planning to use both the 8-pin and 4-pin CPU power plugs. If you want to get the most out of a 9700k, you’ll need the extra power. Then look into a way that air can be blown over the VRM area, it is very important to keep that area cooler under heavier workloads! Testing is key to this process, so be sure to remain patient and make SMALL adjustments. Also, don’t go and change a number of things at once! Work on one adjustment at a time. Think, ‘Less is more’.

**Do not run your computer on the edge of stability. Find your system’s max limit, then bring it back a degree or so** PLEASE BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR COMPUTER. COOLING IS IMPORTANT! START WITH LOWER SETTINGS AND DO TESTING! ALWAYS BE WATHCING YOUR SYSTEM’S TEMPERATURES DURING TESTING!


Here are my settings:

->CPU Ratio – 50 (51 max)
-> CPU Ratio Apply Mode – All Core
->CPU Ratio Mode – Fixed
->Ring Ratio – 47 (46 helps with OC testing)
->CPU Core Voltage – 1.35V (~1.32-1.35V to start, 1.375 ONLY for 5.1Ghz OC testing)
->LLC – Level 4 (Level 3 ONLY for 5.1Ghz OC testing)
->Intel C-state – Disabled
->TVB Ratio Clipping - Disabled
->Long AND Short Duration Power Limit – BOTH max to 4096 (CPU will only use what it needs)
->CPU Current Limit – Max to 256 (CPU will only use what it needs)

My rig is stable at 5Ghz CPU ratio @ 1.35V with a 4.7Ghz CPU ratio, a BCLK of 101, 8Gx4 2666 DIMMs @ 2963Mhz with an overall  92% on Userbenchmark. AIDA64 tested for hours, not a single problem. VRMs got to 80 degrees and stayed there! Not too bad for this motherboard, eh?

With how tricky I found the 9700k to get to behave well at 5.1Ghz, I think overclocking a 9900k would be quite difficult with this board.If you are going to use an i9 9900k processor, choose another board with more VRMs... And if you can afford a 9900k, you can afford a better board.
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-Intel i7 9700K
-MSI MEG ACE Z390
-MSI 2070 Super Ventus GP OC
-Corsair Vengeance Pro 3000 8GB x 4
-Creative X7
-XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB (main)
-XPG SX8200 Pro 2TB (games)
-WD Blue 1TB SSD (multimedia)
-WD Blue 4TB HDD (backup/storage)
-Corsair H100i Pro
-Corsair HD120 Fans x6
-Noctua NF-F12 3000 x2
-Corsair RMX 750
-Corsair Premium Cables
-Fractal Design Meshify C

thatguydaveTopic starter

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Re: MSI Z390 Tomahawk with a 9700k - Success in the settings!
« Reply #1 on: 10-February-20, 22:26:16 »

All the RGB... All the time! 

I am a newbie, so I am aloud to enjoy the bright lights!
Logged
-Intel i7 9700K
-MSI MEG ACE Z390
-MSI 2070 Super Ventus GP OC
-Corsair Vengeance Pro 3000 8GB x 4
-Creative X7
-XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB (main)
-XPG SX8200 Pro 2TB (games)
-WD Blue 1TB SSD (multimedia)
-WD Blue 4TB HDD (backup/storage)
-Corsair H100i Pro
-Corsair HD120 Fans x6
-Noctua NF-F12 3000 x2
-Corsair RMX 750
-Corsair Premium Cables
-Fractal Design Meshify C
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