Overclocking the Intel Core i9-7900X X-series Processor

FrgMstr

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Overclocking the Intel Core i9-7900X X-series Processor - We have finally gotten some time to spend with the new Intel Core i9-7900X, which is a 10-core 20-thread CPU built to be used with the new X299 chipset and motherboard platform. Is this $1000 3.3GHz to 4.3GHz CPU good for overclocking beyond stock? Overclocking the 7900X takes a good bit of cooling, and then a little more for overclocking.
 
How felt the platform in general vs your personal system Kyle? Im eyeing the 7900X and looking for motherboard options but still waiting for better availability on some Asus TUF x299 level board.. never dissapointed by those.
 
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How felt the platform in general vs your personal system Kyle? Im eyeing the 7900X and looking for motherboard options but still waiting for better availability on some Asus TUF x299 level board.. never dissapointed by those.
I do not know at this point but I see no real reason to upgrade.

Don't know, have not used that board.
 
It's interesting reading these issues with skylake-x and how they mirror my experience with sandybridge-e. That was 6 cores at 32nm so it's not surprising we're back in the same power envelope at 10+ cores at 14nm with all that increased density.

My vrms hit 80C when protein folding back then, did people just not notice or did motherboard manufacturers forget how to make their products? I don't get why there are calls for extra power sockets and stuff, a sandy-e at 5ghz could pull over 200w pretty easily and I don't recall anyone freaking out about vrms and power deficiencies back then.
 
It's interesting reading these issues with skylake-x and how they mirror my experience with sandybridge-e. That was 6 cores at 32nm so it's not surprising we're back in the same power envelope at 10+ cores at 14nm with all that increased density.

My vrms hit 80C when protein folding back then, did people just not notice or did motherboard manufacturers forget how to make their products? I don't get why there are calls for extra power sockets and stuff, a sandy-e at 5ghz could pull over 200w pretty easily and I don't recall anyone freaking out about vrms and power deficiencies back then.

That's because there was no real competition on the market. Now everyone is jerking off on AMD's Bandwagon .
 
It's interesting reading these issues with skylake-x and how they mirror my experience with sandybridge-e. That was 6 cores at 32nm so it's not surprising we're back in the same power envelope at 10+ cores at 14nm with all that increased density.

My vrms hit 80C when protein folding back then, did people just not notice or did motherboard manufacturers forget how to make their products? I don't get why there are calls for extra power sockets and stuff, a sandy-e at 5ghz could pull over 200w pretty easily and I don't recall anyone freaking out about vrms and power deficiencies back then.
Running AVX 512 loads will push the 7900X well past 300W, approaching 400W in some cases. Under normal overclocked circumstances it will pull around 200W. The former situation has shown VRMs pushing past 100C on some motherboards.

I think the power issue has been overblown and taken advantage of for clicks and views by certain people. Unless you're doing specific workloads that are using AVX instructions you will never run into any power issues.
 
Running AVX 512 loads will push the 7900X well past 300W, approaching 400W in some cases. Under normal overclocked circumstances it will pull around 200W. The former situation has shown VRMs pushing past 100C on some motherboards.

I think the power issue has been overblown and taken advantage of for clicks and views by certain people. Unless you're doing specific workloads that are using AVX instructions you will never run into any power issues.
This is very true, and one of the reasons I have gravitated to HandBrake since is uses AVX instructions in a real world application that many folks use. I looked around for some desktop AVX-512 apps that might be used on the desktop but did not find any. If you have some to suggest, I am all ears. Thanks.
 
4.6 is better than I expected. Even if it was with a top of the line water cooling solution.
Honestly I didn't think it would go beyond 4.2 or 4.3 fully stable.
Premature launch or not, that ryzen doesn't look all that appealing anymore.
 
That wattage is definitely getting back to 1st/2nd gen Core i7s. Anyone have core die measurements for those vs the new processors? Wonder if the surface area is roughly the same to dissipate all that heat effectively.
 
I wonder if putting the VRMs under water will help, I ran into throttling and instability due to over-temp VRMs when I pushed my 3930k over 200w.
 
I wonder if putting the VRMs under water will help, I ran into throttling and instability due to over-temp VRMs when I pushed my 3930k over 200w.
I think the cooling system was working great on this MSI board. I think if you started pushing some heavy AVX or AVX-512 instruction sets, things might get different very quickly.
 
I am curious, is there a "mesh" frequency adjustment, I looked at manual online and saw ring bus, but not sure that is same. This would supposedly improve performance on the new high core count Intel chips with X299.

Just wondering if that is right and if you messed with it the outcome.

PS: I don't have X299 but I saw someone say it helps performance compared to older ring bus.
 
I am curious, is there a "mesh" frequency adjustment, I looked at manual online and saw ring bus, but not sure that is same. This would supposedly improve performance on the new high core count Intel chips with X299.

Just wondering if that is right and if you messed with it the outcome.

PS: I don't have X299 but I saw someone say it helps performance compared to older ring bus.
Yes, you can overclock the Mesh setting from its base of 2.4GHz. Outcomes of this have been all over the place. I did not overclock the Mesh at this time until I get a better understanding of the impact both in terms of performance and power.
 
Thanks for the report, I find it interesting but I really could care less about the 7900X ---- I am NOT spending that kinda $s. I'm far more interested in the 7800X and 7820X. Otherwise I wouldn't jump to the X299. I'll wait for the pricing battle that AMD Threadripper might trigger before I update anyway. I was a long ago an AMD overclocker (decades) before they gave up that ship.

What are the thoughts on VRM cooling? I'm have little doubt you know the reference. You provide some comments that I might consider related to that BUT such unclear comments are of little value. What did you find related the temps on those components. Add to all that that this MIGHT be related to production control associated with installed VRM "hear sinks" anyway and their installation, i.e. that they're finally becoming a player in overall performance of this generation.
 
Thanks for the report, I find it interesting but I really could care less about the 7900X ---- I am NOT spending that kinda $s. I'm far more interested in the 7800X and 7820X. Otherwise I wouldn't jump to the X299. I'll wait for the pricing battle that AMD Threadripper might trigger before I update anyway. I was a long ago an AMD overclocker (decades) before they gave up that ship.

What are the thoughts on VRM cooling? I'm have little doubt you know the reference. You provide some comments that I might consider related to that BUT such unclear comments are of little value. What did you find related the temps on those components. Add to all that that this MIGHT be related to production control associated with installed VRM "hear sinks" anyway and their installation, i.e. that they're finally becoming a player in overall performance of this generation.
From what I understand after watching der8auer's video (and update) as well as the very wordy followup by oc3d's Tom Logan, unless you're doing some serious overclocking (bypassing most of the safety stuff in bios to get the highest possible stable overclock) you won't really have to worry about vrm temperature. With a reasonable overclock without bypassing those safety settings, you may need a fan over the vrm if you have limited airflow in your case.
 
I wouldn't debate that observation (by Nobu) but clarification by Hardforum, supporting or disagreeing or yet to be determined, would help.

Maybe they (Kyle) has said what they're willing to say and I realize the "whys" behind that. We all know it is about the lawyers and getting sued.
 
Maybe they (Kyle) has said what they're willing to say and I realize the "whys" behind that. We all know it is about the lawyers and getting sued.
I am not worried about getting sued or telling the truth. I have done this for 20 years and that has not stopped me yet. But you are going to have a lot more pointed questions for me to understand what exactly you are looking for in terms of information.
 
4.6 is better than I expected. Even if it was with a top of the line water cooling solution.
Honestly I didn't think it would go beyond 4.2 or 4.3 fully stable.
Premature launch or not, that ryzen doesn't look all that appealing anymore.

$1000 CPU? I'd suggest the $270 R7 1700 looks more than appealing for workstation loads up against this behemoth.
 
$1000 CPU? I'd suggest the $270 R7 1700 looks more than appealing for workstation loads up against this behemoth.
Well the real question is the 7820X. I'm not interested in the 10 core. So I'd like to see a comparison between an oc'd R7 1700 and I9 7820X. The price difference between those is about 1:2. I expect the performance difference won't be far off that. If this "behemoth" can go up to 4.6 then there is possible even more headroom for the 8 core.
 
Thanks for your reply Kyle.

2 quick questions: Did you apply new TIM to the board's heatsinks? Did you detect any throttling while you were overclocking at the higher levels?
 
Exciting year! Love these OC adventures on new stuff. Those temperatures to me look excellent, not sure of the hoopla for the platform unless only this board has no issues with the power requirements. Seeing improvements from delidding will be most welcome and fun to watch as well.
 
Please compare your 6950k to a 7900x in a series of gaming tests as well. Reviews are all over the place and nothing definite. And then we have this Hardware Unboxed guy that shows Skylake-X with "awful" gaming performance and later burned his 7800x. LOL
 
Quite a different story than from what have else been told by certain "techsites".
 
Just a heads up for those with a Microcenter near you, they list this CPU for $999. I've been amazed by the CPU (and motherboard!) pricing at Microcenter for the last couple of years - I've saved almost half on my last two i7 builds with their lower base pricing, bundle discounts and rebates they were offering.

Their Atlanta location has one in stock - road trip anyone? :)
 
Well the real question is the 7820X. I'm not interested in the 10 core. So I'd like to see a comparison between an oc'd R7 1700 and I9 7820X. The price difference between those is about 1:2. I expect the performance difference won't be far off that. If this "behemoth" can go up to 4.6 then there is possible even more headroom for the 8 core.

The 7820X is a great chip. I posted my overclocking results here.

Recap:
  • 7820x at 4.6Ghz on 8 core loads, 4.7Ghz on 4 core, and 4.8Ghz on 2 core (Turbo 3.0)
  • 1.20V CPU core effective peak
  • 3.0Ghz Mesh
  • 90C peak core temp under Prime95 small FFT after 15mins. 70-80C max on other benchmarks, 1 hour stress (Cinebench, Realbench, ADIDA, etc). 60C gaming for multiple hours.
  • Max 260W CPU package power under Prime95 v28.5 AVX512 small FFT. 230W under Prime95 v26.6 and Cinebench.
  • VRMs on a Gigabyte Aorus Gaming 9 max at 60C under Prime95 small FFT, 1 hour stress, or muti-hour gaming. (dual heatpipe-connected heatsinks help tremendously).
Cinebench score 2009. Timespy w/1080Ti score 10040.
 
mesh overclocking results being all over the place
It is very much application dependent. Some show no real advantage while some show larger, but still somewhat small but larger advantages.
 
Great review Kyle! I read every word of it and I felt like it was a relaxed compared to so many other reviews I have been reading.

I am surprised or maybe should be so surprised that this is 6 months old an the mainboards are still the same? was thinking by now the boards would be Rev 2..?.. maybe after CES but I don't assume boards will be released for CES, (cross fingers)

The market just hasn't moved? Are the new BIOS better? have the boards "matured" ?

I am looking at this 7900X and have a line on one if I want it, but I am not sure if I want it, I don't know what I really need a 10c/20t proc for? gaming :)

Thoughts on boards that are on the market that can handle 4.6Ghz? open for suggestions. This MSI is still for sale on the market and seems like a good board and I have read good things about the Gigabyte Gaming 7 board as well.

preThanks to any helpful comments

PS: sorry if I am waking the dead :)
 
Great review Kyle! I read every word of it and I felt like it was a relaxed compared to so many other reviews I have been reading.

I am surprised or maybe should be so surprised that this is 6 months old an the mainboards are still the same? was thinking by now the boards would be Rev 2..?.. maybe after CES but I don't assume boards will be released for CES, (cross fingers)

The market just hasn't moved? Are the new BIOS better? have the boards "matured" ?

I am looking at this 7900X and have a line on one if I want it, but I am not sure if I want it, I don't know what I really need a 10c/20t proc for? gaming :)

Thoughts on boards that are on the market that can handle 4.6Ghz? open for suggestions. This MSI is still for sale on the market and seems like a good board and I have read good things about the Gigabyte Gaming 7 board as well.

preThanks to any helpful comments

PS: sorry if I am waking the dead :)
Seems like they've their hands full between AMD's and Intel's new platforms (server, hpc, and consumer) even just getting the firmware in order. They might have some new rev Intel boards coming up, but I couldn't guess at when.
 
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