My build log and overclocking--i7 7700K kaby lake @ 5.1 GHz watercooled

sram

[H]ard|Gawd
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Jul 30, 2007
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Warning: This might be long for some with so many images so be aware.

Perhaps you have seen my multiple threads/posts in the previous months regarding my new kaby lake build, well here it is with photos. Unboxing computer hardware is no less fun than undressing a gorgeous lady I must say! This is an overclocking oriented enthusiastic build, hence this sub-forum.

Let's start with the case. This time I wanted a quad fan radiator, and I was lucky enough to find somebody recommend the me the thermaltake Core X9. This case ended being nothing short of impressive. I like everything about it. Here it is

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Very very roomy! You can actually fit more than one quad fan radiator.

For the cpu, I ordered mine from silicon lottery (5.1 GHz) for little more than the retail price. My i7 7700K is also De-lidded.

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Bad photo, sorry.

For my mobo, I couldn't resist going for the ASUS Maximus IX formula, which got a golden rating here. It is sexy!

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I don't probably need all the features in this mobo, but I don't regret getting it at all.

And here is my 64 GB kit of G.SKILL DD4-2400 RAM along with the Samsung sm961 SSD drive (The oem equivalent of the samsung 960 Pro).

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And this is my Seasonic PRIME 850 Watts PSU. It is a masterpiece.

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The bag it came in is just like the one you find with luxury watches. Amazing.

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And the ASUS Strix 1080 GTX

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I was so unlucky because I bought it just before the launch of the Ti. I don't know how that happened, but it happened. When searching, there was no clear indication whether we will see a Ti or not. I guess Nvida surprised us.
 
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sram

[H]ard|Gawd
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Building of this rig went smoothly with no issues at all. But since this is about overclocking and cooling, and that I went for a large radiator to cool my cpu, I actually started by using my good old TRUE 120 extreme as my cpu cooler. I wanted to see the difference (I will talk about the difference I saw later).

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I liked that there is a removable tray which you can fix the mobo into. You can remove it from the case, install the mobo and others parts and then return it. Heatsink ( I used an old ordinary 120mm fan for the TRUE) and RAM installed >

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The room was sure a messo_O

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The mobo inside the case with the video card installed. You can that I also installed a 200mm fan on top of the case.

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Almost done>

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How do you like cable management? I didn't put any effort into that. It was just made easy for me. It is something I'm bad at.

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And it is finally on and working from the very first time!!! Cool!


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Notice that the cpu temp is the BIOS is ~ 27 degrees. This is with the TRUE 120 extreme + 1 fan. My ambient is 27--32 depending on the time of the day and whether the AC is on.
 

sram

[H]ard|Gawd
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Windows 10 installed. I wish I had the option not to install it, but I had to it. I have a kaby lake and Nvme SSD. And it is to run some tests.

This is the temp at stock speed with no load with the TRUE heatsink (~ 25 degrees)

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Same thing with the TRUE but at full load ( One core reached a maximum of 60 degrees). Reminder: This is a De-lidded i7 7700K

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This is with a higher stress level ( 63 degrees):

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I didn't want to overclock with air cooling, so I stopped here and went on to install my water loop next.
 

sram

[H]ard|Gawd
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Okay, so I opened the case again to install my custom water cooling loop from XSPC. This is the extreme water cooling kit with dual pump and quad fan radiator:

http://www.xs-pc.com/watercooling-kits-rx/raystorm-pro-d5-bayres-rx480-watercooling-kit

I was planning to also install my blu-ray writer but it didn't happen unfortunately (more on this later).

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I flushed the radiator:

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And then, I basically followed the guide and had to get the kids outside of the house! And there you go:


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Adding water as its level lowers


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And almost done ( see the radiator on top)


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Here in this photo, we see why I can't fit my optical drive. It needs to be on top of the reservoir, but there is no space as it will hit the radiator. Not necessarily the case fault but....



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And finally it is on and working:



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At the time of me building this things, I was excited to see the temps! So, let's do that in the next post.
 

sram

[H]ard|Gawd
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Hmmm. Call me crazy, but I also wanted to do it here in steps. I installed the radiator with no fans at first. And here is what I got:


With no load of course I just got the same temp basically ( ~ 25), and at full load with my water loop on action with no fans attached to the radiator:



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As you can see, the maximum is 53 which is 10 degrees less than the TRUE approximately.

And now comes the fun part: Overclocking. Of course I should reach 5.1 GHz as this is bought from silicon lottery. I followed the best guide I found and here are the results:


This is 5.1 GHz overclock at full load with no fans
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And this is 5.1 GHz with no load water cooled with fans:

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And this 5.1 GHz at full load water cooled with fans:


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For my four radiator fans, I used the infamous gentle typhons from Nidec Servo ( the pwm version).

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The fans made a big difference at load. The cores reached 81 degrees with no fans, but they hardly went above 65 degrees when the fans are installed, with a 5.1 GHz overclock that is.

I was able to reach silicon lottery's advertised overclock but unfortunately with a relatively high voltage of ~ 1.4. Although temps are good, I'm reluctant to keep it at 1.4 for 24/7. I was expecting a better chip out of silicon lottery.

The good:

Water cooling is effective


The bad:

I couldn't install my optical drive. It can't be actually done if the radiator is mounted on the top of the case. I can mount it somewhere else and install my optical drive, but I don't feel like doing it.


Thanks for reading, and sorry for the lengthy thread. Questions and comments and critiques are welcomed. It couldn't have happened without you guys in the first place anyways.

Parts list:

i7 7700K kaby lake CPU
RayStorm RX480 WaterCooling Kit
ASUS Maximus IX Formula
64 GB G.SKILL RAM
512 GB Samsung sm961 SSD
ASUS Strix 1080 GTX
Seasonic Primce PSU
Monitor: The almighty LG 34uc98
Thermaltake Core X9 case
 
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Panmaster

Limp Gawd
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Is the Core Temp VID the actual voltage being run through the chip? 1.44V is over the safety limit.
 

sram

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Is the Core Temp VID the actual voltage being run through the chip? 1.44V is over the safety limit.

It is actually 1.424 volts as you can see in one of the cpuz shots. I know it is large, but I don't really know if it is not safe. Is it really bad if the temps are okay?
 

GlacierNine

Limp Gawd
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Yes.

Excessive voltage causes physical degradation of the transistors over time. Too much heat also causes this.

The two things relate to each other, but BOTH need to be under control in order to keep a chip running in the longterm without problems. You can't fix only one problem, it will only slow down the degradation, not stop it.


Try and reduce your voltages a little. SiliconLottery guarantees their overclocks at quite a high voltage but that doesn't mean the chip can't run at a slightly lower one and still be stable.
 

sram

[H]ard|Gawd
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Well, I did mention it is relatively a high voltage. I couldn't really get it to be stable with less than that voltage. That's why I was like !><? I got this from silicon lottery. I'm using adaptive mode.

Let's ask this: I know there is vdroop and that voltage drops when the cpu is at load. Now which I should really account for? Also, with speed step (or whatever that's called) and power states, the cpu voltage is much less so it is only at that high voltage for say 40% of the time of the day. How does that factor in?
 

STR

Gawd
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Is the Core Temp VID the actual voltage being run through the chip? 1.44V is over the safety limit.

VID is the level of voltage the chip is requesting. vCore is what the motherboard is actually delivering to the chip.

Well, I did mention it is relatively a high voltage. I couldn't really get it to be stable with less than that voltage. That's why I was like !><? I got this from silicon lottery. I'm using adaptive mode.

Let's ask this: I know there is vdroop and that voltage drops when the cpu is at load. Now which I should really account for? Also, with speed step (or whatever that's called) and power states, the cpu voltage is much less so it is only at that high voltage for say 40% of the time of the day. How does that factor in?

On Z270 boards you can pretty much just set Load Line Calibration (LLC) to 5 right off the bat. It will eliminate vDroop, and it some boards cause a bit of a voltage spike at the beginning of a heavy load. If you're worried, you can drop vCore by 0.02 volts and see if you ever spike over your "ideal" voltage.
 

sram

[H]ard|Gawd
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Okay let me tell you this:

I thought I would use a trick and see how it works. I used the auto overclocking feature in my mobo to overclock my cpu to 5.0 GHz. That should be stable for sure because silicon lottery reached 5.1 GHz with my cpu. It worked of course. I know that the auto feature exaggerates with voltages, but I got 1.392 volts. I then--without changing anything else--upped the multiplier to 51 and saved the settings and went into windows and tested for stability. The system was fully stable. So now I'm at 5.1 GHz with 1.392 Vcore. Before I couldn't get it to be stable with less than 1.424 Volts. What could have the auto feature done to make stable without increasing Vcore? I didn't even start overclocking anything other than the cpu yet. I followed Raja guide in ROG forums. I guess I'm bad at overclocking:confused:
 

GlacierNine

Limp Gawd
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Chances are good that it did a minor tweak like disabling Spread Spectrum Clocking.

It's my understanding that SSC as a feature, is actually detrimental to performance and stability of the CPU - it's on by default because it reduces RFI and noise produced by the motherboard, thus allowing it to meet various worldwide regulations.

Disabling it means it no longer meets those regulations, but can also improve stability.



There are other things it could have changed, but that is the one that comes to mind as the only one I personally understand the effect of.
 

sram

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Hmmm. I'm not fully familiar with those settings. I'll go check this out and find where they are. I'm tempted to do 52 multiplier but I'm sure it won't happen because silicon lottery would have seen that for sure and it will make my chip super.

Will come back in few minutes...
 

GlacierNine

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sram - SiliconLottery aren't in the business of testing each chip to it's limits and then selling appropriately.

They're in the business of binning CPUs to a higher standard than Intel is prepared to warranty.

They decide on a range of possible products to offer, and then they test chips to see if they meet the standards for product A, B or C.
 

sram

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Thanks GlacierNine. I asked silicon lottery at the time when I bought my cpu if I should play with it to reach 5.2 GHz. Their answer was along these lines:

"Sure you can try it, but don't go in expecting it"

I kinda of know what you said and that's why I asked them, specially that I'm using water cooling. I went extreme with my cooling this time. The quad radiator massive and I'm using the best fans available in the market. I really hope that I can reach 5.2 GHz. Not that I need it, but it is just fun.

Thanks again.
 

sram

[H]ard|Gawd
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Just for the lols, I upped the multiplier to 52 in the same 5 GHz profile (Voltage ~ 1.39), but it crashed immediately when I started stress testing. I guess this means I can't achieve 5.2 GHz stable with a reasonable voltage (Maybe only with considerably higher voltage than 1.4 volts, which is unsafe anyways). I think I'll just settle with 5.1 GHz with the lowest voltage I could manage to make stable with.
 

sram

[H]ard|Gawd
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5.1 GHz stable is still a great place to be, cheers.


We at [H] are always greedy. I think I'll throw in another sm9610 and raid0 it with my current one for an OS drive. Just for bragging rights!!!
 

Nebulous

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Very nicely done! 1.424 Volts is way over my comfort zone voltage wise, but nicely done none the less. I'm in the middle of my upgrade as well. My target is 5.0Ghz with 1.35v or less.
 
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