View Full Version : Cant overclock at or past 4Ghz with a 5960X on a Strix X99 Gaming board

02-10-2017, 12:07 PM
Hi folks, as the topic says, i cant reach stable 4Ghz, which is a little odd, because it should be reached easy according to this article: https://rog.asus.com/articles/overclocking/rog-overclocking-guide-core-for-5960x-5930k-5820k/

My current overclocked specs:

Asus Strix X99 Gaming mainboard with latest 1401 bios
i7-5960X at 3.900 Mhz with 1.350 Core Voltage (manual setting)
64GB G.Skill RipJaws V DDR4-3200 DIMM CL16 Quad Kit at 1.35 DRAM Voltage and XMP Profile enabled: 3200Mhz 16-18-18-38-2T
Corsair 115i All-in-one watercooling 28cm dual-radiator with a push-pull solution.
PSU 850 Watt EVGA SuperNOVA G2
KFA2 GeForce GTX 1080 EX OC

According to the article, i am only missing this: "If running full-load stress tests over 4GHz, active cooling of the VRM heatsink with a fan is advised due to current requirements of the (8-core) 5960X "

Problem for me is, where exactly is this VRM heatsink placed on my board? So i would put a additional 80mm fan next or on top of it.

Second problem is the AIO watercooling. It has its own fan management and according to their manual i should connect it to the cpu-fan pin, which i did.
Should i give up on this and seperate the fans and connect the pump to the pump connector of the board and the fans to the cpu+cpu-opt. fan connectors?
What else important stuff i am missing?

02-10-2017, 12:39 PM
Not to sound condescending but if you really don't know where the VRM heat sink is you really shouldn't be pushing that hard on this hardware.
Ill give you a hint. There are only two heat sinks on your motherboard. One is the Voltage Regulation Module and the other is the Platform Controller Hub.
One contols all things volltage, CPU, RAM, PCH, and everything in between. The other is a data hub. One involves chokes and capacitors, the other is just a huge on board chip.

Second bit of advice, an 8 core processor isnt the best choice for a first time overclocker. More cores=more of a challenge. Most end up getting overclocks on a single core and the others are either at stock or just above, kind of defeats the purpose IMO.

As for cooling, if you really want to take the path of getting serious with overclocking remove that AIO and find the nearest dumpster and throw it in there, then jump in behiond it and stomp on it. If you read the article you linked it also said those speeds required some serious cooling of a 140 watt CPU at stock voltage which will hit 150 watts easily with 1.35Vcore. AIO cooling solutions are marginal at just replacing a huge heat sink and fan combo for air cooling and making it less noisy at stock speeds. After the carnage of late posted right here on this forum you coulnt give me an AIO for free to put in my system. They are extremely cheaply made plastic. They break at the entry to the block and radiator with an alarming rate of incidence and shower your PC will coolant. Add this to their ineffective cooling and its just a bad proposition all around. How you have it connected is of no consequence unless you use its optimal configuration which is tied to a cinder block and on the way over the railing of a bridge with a very deep river.

Lastly you have to take into consideration how good your luck is. Unless you bought a binned chip your OC potential is a game of chance, AKA the silicon lottery, Some do very well, others wont make it past 4Ghz. If you check the leader boards on this chip the average is about 4.4GHz, all on custom WC rigs and none with a Strix X99. Most ASUS boards in the leader boards are rampage V extreme.

02-10-2017, 01:18 PM
To me that does seem like a real heap of voltage just for 4.0GHz, when it comes to the AIO connections just follow corsairs instructions. Whether or not they're the best solution is irrelevant at this point since that's what you have. I do agree with Justin on you CPU selection. Even for experienced overclockers the 5960x can be a challenge.
If it were me I would start over from defaults in bios. Without setting XMP etc. The only thing I would change here is VCCIN set it to ~ 1.9v Just test the CPU on auto voltage by raising the multiplier and booting to windows. Open CPUz and see what voltage you are getting. Rinse and repeat until it won't boot. I have hd a couple of these CPUs and my "bad" one would still get up to 4.0 with ~ 1.25v. Now I'm not saying that yours will, just saying that most should.

02-10-2017, 01:27 PM
I come from an older school of thought when overclocking, and that is change one thing at a time and ease into it. Jumping straight for a high clock with high voltage is going to be a problem. Proof of this would be that you're maxed on vcore and only at 4ghz. I'm working on a log right now in the x99 forum and it seams extremely basic and slow to produce result's, but you might want to check it out. This morning I hit 4ghz on my 5820k @1.10 vcore. I stress tested last night at 3.9ghz and previously 3.8 3.7 3.6 all at 1.10 vcore. My method here is to set a certain vcore a bit over stock and slowly bump the ratio into it, when unstable add a little voltage. It's how I did it when I started and how I prefer to do it, I don't use adaptive or speedstep or turbo boost or any of that. There are methods that work using those but I prefer not to.

Basically your method is lacking if you got that voltage at that speed.

02-10-2017, 05:42 PM
@JustinThyme What a answer for a first time poster :( , but ok, i will try to explain some things. First, i got a very good deal for the 5960X and the Strix board, second my intention is not overclocking to win a competition or to show how big my penis is. I want to build a workstation and have a effective machine for my adobe suite and cinema 4d. I want to be able to overclock the machine with a single click, if it comes to rendering the work, which is the most CPU and timeconsuming process in my work and i think this is a understandable reason. I read many reviews and no one mentioned that a 4Ghz overclock with a 5960X needs a non-plus-ultra mainboard, that alone costs 500-600€. So i excuse my naive thoughts, that a 4Ghz overclock that is even a whopping 500Mhz under the "average" expectation, is doable with my crappy hardware.

Regarding the watercooling, this is what is written there: "Depending on your ambient temperatures, full-load voltages over 1.25Vcore fall into water-cooling territory (dual-radiator). With triple radiator water-cooling solutions, using up to 1.35Vcore is possible. For air cooling the value is much lower, limiting total overclock, so plan your cooling investment appropriately."

Well the 115i is a dual-radiator and a huge one too. Nowhere it is stated that you need a custom-build water cooling set, maybe someone should add some line here, that AIO sets are only garbage and commonly known for that.

Regarding your leaderboard, well look at it: http://rog.asus.com/rog-pro/realbench-v2-leaderboard/?ipage=1&Laptop=desktop&CPU=intel&VGA=NVIDIA&cpuseq=i7&view=1
And tell me what you see at the 11th place there, on my side of the screen, i see a "STRIX X99 GAMING Intel Core i7 6950X 4199.0 MHz 1599.7 MHz". So that is a 10 core CPU which i guess is even harder to overclock, at a 4200Mhz overclock with RAM speed settings same as mine. Sadly i dont see what kind of cooling-magic is used to achieve that, but i still hope you maybe understand a little, why i have assumed i could achieve the same with a older 8-core CPU.

So to summarize it, the linked guide gives me the conclusion, that it is a big misleading horse**** and nothing else. :o
I still thank you for your deep insight and for telling me what the VRM is, but not where it is placed. I guess it is over the cpu socket and the reason why i cant have stable 4000Mhz, as reaching nearly 60 degree celsius for VRM seems a little to much. My cpu temperature is between 72-78 celsius under heavy load. I dont get blue screens, i just cant pass the stress test (1hour). It just stops after about 15-20min.

02-10-2017, 06:55 PM
It's possible that your VRM are causing you these issues but not likely 60c isn't really that high. There's a decent guide here https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz2VRRbLPrZnMXpJY3k5Vk8zSVU/edit From Raja it goes over a lot of the main points that need to be covered like the 64Gb of ram you're trying to run at 3200 XMP. I believe this is where your problem is starting and V_Core won't fix that.
If you look through that guide you'll see their recommendation in the memory section. This is why I recommended try at defaults from bios without the XMP enabled. This will help rule out whether or not your instability is core related or memory/controller related.

02-10-2017, 07:03 PM
Which program are you using to test for stability?

Arne Saknussemm
02-10-2017, 07:16 PM
This is your VRM

These are my settings in BIOS for a 4.4GHz OC.....just as a guide...voltage will be different for your board (maybe some BIOS options too)...a bit of experimentation required. But 1.35v is a lot for 4.0GHZ


Check slow mode switch is off if there is one

Make sure 8pin and 4pin ATX power are both properly connected etc.

Is XMP enabled with switch or in BIOS?

There is an jumper for allowing volts to the CPU on that board...not sure if you have to move it to allow voltage increase for mild OC or not...maybe try it in enabled position?

Have you checked the CPU cooler is making good contact with the CPU?...sounds quite hot to me...

02-10-2017, 08:14 PM
I use ROG Realbench for the tests. I have the XMP switch enabled on the board and in bios too. I must admit that the switch alone will not work, to enble the XMP speed and timings. Didnt touch the jumper, cause i didnt consider 4.000Mhz as extreme overclocking. As you all say that 1.35 core voltage is high, i will try to lower it to 1.25 and see what will happen :) . 3.900Mhz is stable for sure, didnt had any BSOD or hangs etc. while stress testing or working. Problems start with 4.0Ghz and with 4.2-4.4 it will become really unstable with occasional blue screen and so on.

Arne Saknussemm
02-10-2017, 08:30 PM
If it blue screens...try and catch the message....

clock watchdog...or machine check exception or irq not equal...that kind of thing...

I would leave the XMP switch off and set XMP in BIOS.

02-10-2017, 09:05 PM
Ignore the drama, AIO is fine, I have one on my x99 right now.

I'm in the process of actually sitting down and working on my x99 properly for the first time in a year.

You need to look at thing's like system agent and vccio, Just 10 minutes ago I used those to help me get my "XMP" spec's in manual mode.

It's a learning experience, every time I learn about a specific setting it allows me to do something new. Just keep asking questions and listen to the people who give useful feedback.

02-10-2017, 10:44 PM
I use ROG Realbench for the tests. I have the XMP switch enabled on the board and in bios too. I must admit that the switch alone will not work, to enble the XMP speed and timings. Didnt touch the jumper, cause i didnt consider 4.000Mhz as extreme overclocking. As you all say that 1.35 core voltage is high, i will try to lower it to 1.25 and see what will happen :) . 3.900Mhz is stable for sure, didnt had any BSOD or hangs etc. while stress testing or working. Problems start with 4.0Ghz and with 4.2-4.4 it will become really unstable with occasional blue screen and so on.

See if you can get your CPU overclock stable without enabling XMP. In other words, run your memory at stock defaults (2133MHz).

02-21-2017, 06:56 PM
Ok, so here is a new update.

First i need to say that the description and the chronology how to install Asus drivers are catastrophe at least. While the software as is, is really not bad, it becomes very unfunctional as soon as you start using other monitor-software.

Lets start with my Asus Frontbase: You can download the latest drivers and utilities, but the driver-setup wont update your firmware, even if it says the installation was successful. If you dont check it for yourself, you will not notice it at all and you will be left with a partial functioning piece of hardware. So if you dont check the FBFW folder and start the ROG FRONT BASE.exe there, your firmware will not be updated. To function properly, you also need to install the ROG connect Plus driver, where the funny stuff starts. You can download the driver from the support site for the ROG FRONT BASE, which is version 1.00.32 for a Windows10 64bit OS, BUT in my case there is a newer version on the support site for my ROG X99 Strix Gaming mainboard which is version 1.00.33 for a Windows10 64bit OS. The sad thing is, you cant install it :D It will leave you with this message "Does not support this Operating System: WNT_10.0P_64" and quits the installer.... WTF !!!

So a older version will install fine and a newer one will not install at all. Same goes for the Realtek audio driver, just the opposite way. The ROG FRONT BASE support site has a newer driver, than the support site for my ROG X99 Strix Gaming mainboard. WTF is wrong with Asus here??? Not to mention that all this stuff is undocumented, like i.e. how to change your clock from 12hours to 24hours display etc.

Ok so far so good (or bad) but lets get back to topic and to the serious stuff. All my assumptions in my previous posts, regarding the stability and overclocking performance, let me thought i was doing something wrong or have a weak CPU sample. All of this is wrong and the truth (and bluescreens) lies in the inability to run the Asus Suite and the Corsair Software simultanously. This is the fault of ASUS and weak programming: "The general rule is if a monitoring program does not have the Mutants/Mutexes open you should not run ANY other monitoring software at the same time. ASUS AI Suite does not, so if you run any other monitoring program at the same time you are effectively playing Russian Roulette, hence you will get blue screens and instability."

What I did now is, connected only the waterpump to the waterpump connector and turned the pump into performance mode with the Corsair-Link software. I disconnected all fans and connected them to the mainboard, so that the board is handling the cooling. Turned off the Corsair-Link software and started the AI suite with the 5-way program. Now i have a stable 4.3 Ghz overclock with 1.25V Core Voltage and it never gets hotter than 73celsius in a 1hour stress test with Asus Realbench. The only downside is the RAM that only runs with 2666Mhz instead of the XMP Profile with 3200Mhz. So thats something where i need help, as i wish to run the RAM with the XMP profile, even if it means a little less Ghz for the CPU. Sadly i cant tell the 5-way-program from the AI suite, that it should keep the XMP profile or at least i dont know how. You may ask now, why i want this. The reason is, i had better benchmark results with 3.9Ghz and the XMP enabled RAM profile, as I have now with 4.3Ghz and only 2666Mhz RAM. So i think RAM speed does matter a lot.

The last wish is, to exactly understand the 1-click overclock of the ROG Frontbase. Its nowhere explained how this really works. I only know that my board supports only 1-level OC with the ROG Frontbase, whatever this means. I would like to assign one working OC profile to this button, but i dont know how to do this :( .

Any help here is highly appreciated.