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Thread: Z77A-GD65 + i5 2500K Overclocking - How to start?




  1. #1
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    Default Z77A-GD65 + i5 2500K Overclocking - How to start?

    Hey guys,

    I just got my Z77A-GD65 board a few days ago and installed everything, I have a brand new i5 2500K along with 8GB of 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 sticks, my CPU cooler is the Zalman CNPS10X Extreme and I wanna start overclocking.

    I have a lot of experience in overclocking Gigabyte boards, but never MSI boards, so the first things I did were to:

    1. Disable EIST
    2. Disable Intel C-State
    3. Disable C1E
    4. Disable Overspeed Protection
    5. Set CPU Ratio (Multiplier) manually to 33
    6. Set memory frequency manually to 1600MHz instead of Auto

    Haven't touched Load Line Calibration (Vdrop) settings or any other settings yet.

    Since this is a Sandy Bridge and the memory runs on 100MHz constantly, is there any need to fiddle with any more memory settings?

    Also, are there any additional settings I need to enable/disable in the BIOS before I start increasing the multiplier? Basically I'm looking for a set of optimized settings you need to set in order to get your overclock started.

    I'd love to get an explanation on the board voltages as well as they are different than the ones I had in my old EP45-UD3P.

    Thanks for your help
    CPU: i5 2500K @ 4.5GHz (45x100 1.35V) ~ BIOS 10.5
    Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD65
    Memory: 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24
    GPU: XFX Radeon 7950 Black Edition 3GB
    Soundcard: Native Instruments Audio 8 DJ
    HDD: WD 1TB Caviar Blue
    Cooling: Zalman CNPS10X Extreme
    PSU: Seasonic X-650 80+ Gold
    Case: Corsair Obsidian 650D

    OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
    Gamepad: Microsoft XBOX360 Wireless Controller + Wireless Gaming Receiver
    Wireless Set: Logitech Cordless Desktop LX710
    Monitor: LG 42LE5300 42" Led FHDTV [1080p @ 60Hz]

  2. #2
    profJim's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Z77A-GD65 + i5 2500K Overclocking - How to start?

    With a 2500K Sandy Bridge cpu and an Ivy Bridge motherboard, you will miss out on some Ivy Bridge features such as gen3 pci-e bandwidth and somewhat limited memory overclocking.

    From MSI Global Mainboard - Z77A-GD65:
    Support four DDR3 DIMMs 1066/1333/1600/1866*/2000*/2133*/2200*/2400*/2600*/2667*/2800*(OC) DRAM (32GB Max)
    - Supports Dual-Channel mode
    * To support DDR3 2200*/2400*/2600*/2667*/2800*(OC) ,you must install an Intel 22nm CPU

    3 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots <--- these will operate with PCIe 2.0 bandwidth with a Sandy Bridge cpu

    TweakTown reviewed your motherboard with a 2600K cpu: MSI Z77A-GD65 (Intel Z77) Motherboard Review :: TweakTown USA Edition
    Correction: The TweakTown z77A-GD65 review that I linked to used an Ivy Bridge cpu.
    One of the other motherboards in the benchmarks comparison used a 2600K cpu.

    HardOCP gave your motherboard their Editors Choice Gold Award: HARDOCP - Introduction - MSI Z77A-GD65 LGA1155 Motherboard Review

    Search the web for an MSI Z77 overclocking guide or for forums dedicated to your motherboard.
    Keep in mind that the information will deal mostly with Ivy Bridge processors, such as **Official** MSI Z77A Owners/Discussion/Information/Support Thread and Club (GD65, GD55, G45, ...overclock.net).

    An excellent information resource is MSI HQ Users-to-Users Forum - Index:
    Intel Core-iX boards for non-overclocking information and questions
    and in the Technical Assistance area Overclockers & Undervolting & Modding Corner for all overclocking questions and information

    You should create your own thread when you have any questions in the MSI forum.
    Be sure to read their FAQs, including their recommended bios flashing procedure.

    Their are several excellent Gigabyte z77 reviews and threads here and you might learn some things by reading the TT threads.
    Keep in mind that there are unique recommendations and issues with each motherboard brand.

    I'm impressed with the quality and performance of both of my MSI video cards and I might go with an MSI motherboard if/when I build my Ivy Bridge system later this year.

    Keep us updated with your progress along with the good, the bad and the ugly.
    Hopefully some TweakTown forum members can provide you with MSI specific advice and/or recommendations.
    Last edited by profJim; 06-12-2012 at 05:27 PM. Reason: added correction
    Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
    P35-DS4 [rev: 2.0] ~ Bios: F14
    4x2GB OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1094MHz @5-5-5-15
    MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack (1GB) video card <---- SLI ---->
    Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
    WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data)
    Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (boot)
    SLI @ 16/4 works when running HyperSLI
    Cooler Master 120XL Seidon push/pull AIO cpu water cooling
    Cooler Master HAF XB computer case (RC-902XB-KKN1)
    Asus VH242H 24" monitor [1920x1080]
    MSI N460GTX Hawk (1GB) video card
    Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium
    HT|Omega Claro plus+ sound card
    CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
    E6300 (R0) @ 3.504GHz [8x438MHz] ~~ P35-DS3L [rev: 1.0] ~ Bios: F9 ~~ 4x2GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500, 876MHz @4-4-4-10
    Seasonic X650 80+ gold psu (650w) ~~ Xigmatek Balder HDT 1283 cpu cooler ~~ Cooler Master CM 690 case (RC-690-KKN1-GP)
    Samsung 830 128GB SSD MZ-7PC128B/WW (boot) ~~ WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data) ~~ ZM-MFC2 fan controller
    HT|Omega Striker 7.1 sound card ~~ Asus VH242H monitor [1920x1080] ~~ Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium ~~ CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD U.P.S
    .


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Z77A-GD65 + i5 2500K Overclocking - How to start?

    Hey Jim, so nice to hear from you :)

    Yeah I know that Ivy are 5-10% stronger clock to clock and do support PCI-Gen 3 whereas the Sandy doesn't, however, we still don't have any PCI-3 cards out there so I don't see it as a real issue, plus I can always upgrade the CPU next year if the performance different is massive, so it's ok :)

    I don't consider the memory overclocking an issue since I will only touch the CPU multi to perform the overclock.

    I chose the Sandy Bridge for overclocking for the exact reason you mentioned, Ivy CPUs run much hotter when increasing voltages, so I preferred to take a 2500K and get lower temps when overclocking to high ratios.

    Do you think I made a mistake by choosing the 2500K? I don't intend to invest in watercooling for now so I thought the Sandy would be the best choice due to temps.

    I've also read most of the reviews you linked to and already posted (That's why I chose this board :)) in MSI's forum last night and got a few tips on how to start, I will start my first set of tests and update soon.

    I've also noticed that most of the reviews refer to Ivy CPUs since this board is tagged as an Ivy Bridge platform, but is there a reference to this board being used with a 2500K somewhere?

    Thanks
    CPU: i5 2500K @ 4.5GHz (45x100 1.35V) ~ BIOS 10.5
    Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD65
    Memory: 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24
    GPU: XFX Radeon 7950 Black Edition 3GB
    Soundcard: Native Instruments Audio 8 DJ
    HDD: WD 1TB Caviar Blue
    Cooling: Zalman CNPS10X Extreme
    PSU: Seasonic X-650 80+ Gold
    Case: Corsair Obsidian 650D

    OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
    Gamepad: Microsoft XBOX360 Wireless Controller + Wireless Gaming Receiver
    Wireless Set: Logitech Cordless Desktop LX710
    Monitor: LG 42LE5300 42" Led FHDTV [1080p @ 60Hz]

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Z77A-GD65 + i5 2500K Overclocking - How to start?

    Your approach makes sense and no I don't think that you made a mistake.
    Your approach with a Sandy Bridge cpu should be easier to overclock and not have the added expense of needing a mid-level water cooling solution to hold down cpu core temperatures.

    Correction: The TweakTown z77A-GD65 review that I linked to used an Ivy Bridge cpu.
    One of the other motherboards in the benchmarks comparison used a 2600K cpu.

    I expect that you might have to mix and match some voltage settings with your 2500K, as I don't think that you can just use z68/2500K guidelines or z77/3570/3770 guidelines. You're going forth where few have gone before.

    My concern with a SB cpu and z77 motherboard is how much QA testing was done with with Sandy Bridge processors in the z77 boards.
    There are some reported problems with Ivy Bridge processor overclocking in the older p/67 and z68 motherboards that still need to be addressed with bios fixes. The mobo manufactures promised Ivy Bridge compatibility with some p67/z68 boards.

    From what I've seen, most z77 boards offer a quick and stable overclock to about 4.2GHz with the press of the magic o/c button. Isn't instant gratification great!!

    I think that it will take a lot of web searching to find owners that have posted results with a system similar to yours.
    Post this question here and in the MSI o/c forums and hopefully you will get some meaningful replies with links.

    I remember reading some z77 mobo reviews where they used a z77/Sandy Bridge combination before the Ivy Bridge cpu was officially released.
    Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
    P35-DS4 [rev: 2.0] ~ Bios: F14
    4x2GB OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1094MHz @5-5-5-15
    MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack (1GB) video card <---- SLI ---->
    Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
    WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data)
    Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (boot)
    SLI @ 16/4 works when running HyperSLI
    Cooler Master 120XL Seidon push/pull AIO cpu water cooling
    Cooler Master HAF XB computer case (RC-902XB-KKN1)
    Asus VH242H 24" monitor [1920x1080]
    MSI N460GTX Hawk (1GB) video card
    Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium
    HT|Omega Claro plus+ sound card
    CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
    E6300 (R0) @ 3.504GHz [8x438MHz] ~~ P35-DS3L [rev: 1.0] ~ Bios: F9 ~~ 4x2GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500, 876MHz @4-4-4-10
    Seasonic X650 80+ gold psu (650w) ~~ Xigmatek Balder HDT 1283 cpu cooler ~~ Cooler Master CM 690 case (RC-690-KKN1-GP)
    Samsung 830 128GB SSD MZ-7PC128B/WW (boot) ~~ WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data) ~~ ZM-MFC2 fan controller
    HT|Omega Striker 7.1 sound card ~~ Asus VH242H monitor [1920x1080] ~~ Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium ~~ CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD U.P.S
    .


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Z77A-GD65 + i5 2500K Overclocking - How to start?

    Thanks, I've already received a reply on the MSI forums with some basic settings to start with, will start testing and make sure to update you guys.

    Have a good one for now :)
    CPU: i5 2500K @ 4.5GHz (45x100 1.35V) ~ BIOS 10.5
    Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD65
    Memory: 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24
    GPU: XFX Radeon 7950 Black Edition 3GB
    Soundcard: Native Instruments Audio 8 DJ
    HDD: WD 1TB Caviar Blue
    Cooling: Zalman CNPS10X Extreme
    PSU: Seasonic X-650 80+ Gold
    Case: Corsair Obsidian 650D

    OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
    Gamepad: Microsoft XBOX360 Wireless Controller + Wireless Gaming Receiver
    Wireless Set: Logitech Cordless Desktop LX710
    Monitor: LG 42LE5300 42" Led FHDTV [1080p @ 60Hz]

  6. #6
    profJim's Avatar
    profJim is online now Chief Munchkin + moderator
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    Cool Re: Z77A-GD65 + i5 2500K Overclocking - How to start?

    Yeah I know that Ivy are 5-10% stronger clock to clock and do support PCI-Gen 3 whereas the Sandy doesn't, however, we still don't have any PCI-3 cards out there so I don't see it as a real issue, plus I can always upgrade the CPU next year if the performance different is massive, so it's ok :)
    List of 140 PCI-e gen 3, 3.0 video cards currently available at Newegg.com - Desktop Graphics Cards, PCI Express 3.0 x16, price range: $100 - $1050 (USD)

    The question is, as of today, does the 3.0 bandwidth really make a difference?
    With 2 or more large monitors?
    With a multi-gpu setup?
    Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
    P35-DS4 [rev: 2.0] ~ Bios: F14
    4x2GB OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1094MHz @5-5-5-15
    MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack (1GB) video card <---- SLI ---->
    Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
    WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data)
    Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (boot)
    SLI @ 16/4 works when running HyperSLI
    Cooler Master 120XL Seidon push/pull AIO cpu water cooling
    Cooler Master HAF XB computer case (RC-902XB-KKN1)
    Asus VH242H 24" monitor [1920x1080]
    MSI N460GTX Hawk (1GB) video card
    Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium
    HT|Omega Claro plus+ sound card
    CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
    E6300 (R0) @ 3.504GHz [8x438MHz] ~~ P35-DS3L [rev: 1.0] ~ Bios: F9 ~~ 4x2GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500, 876MHz @4-4-4-10
    Seasonic X650 80+ gold psu (650w) ~~ Xigmatek Balder HDT 1283 cpu cooler ~~ Cooler Master CM 690 case (RC-690-KKN1-GP)
    Samsung 830 128GB SSD MZ-7PC128B/WW (boot) ~~ WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data) ~~ ZM-MFC2 fan controller
    HT|Omega Striker 7.1 sound card ~~ Asus VH242H monitor [1920x1080] ~~ Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium ~~ CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD U.P.S
    .


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Z77A-GD65 + i5 2500K Overclocking - How to start?

    Right you are, I stand corrected.

    However, after reading quite a lot I understand that PCI-E 3.0 is most useful for a multi-GPU setup and doesn't quite make a difference for a single card setup, like the one I have now so I'm fine with it :)

    OC updates soon
    CPU: i5 2500K @ 4.5GHz (45x100 1.35V) ~ BIOS 10.5
    Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD65
    Memory: 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24
    GPU: XFX Radeon 7950 Black Edition 3GB
    Soundcard: Native Instruments Audio 8 DJ
    HDD: WD 1TB Caviar Blue
    Cooling: Zalman CNPS10X Extreme
    PSU: Seasonic X-650 80+ Gold
    Case: Corsair Obsidian 650D

    OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
    Gamepad: Microsoft XBOX360 Wireless Controller + Wireless Gaming Receiver
    Wireless Set: Logitech Cordless Desktop LX710
    Monitor: LG 42LE5300 42" Led FHDTV [1080p @ 60Hz]

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Z77A-GD65 + i5 2500K Overclocking - How to start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zach_ View Post
    Right you are, I stand corrected.

    However, after reading quite a lot I understand that PCI-E 3.0 is most useful for a multi-GPU setup and doesn't quite make a difference for a single card setup, like the one I have now so I'm fine with it :)

    OC updates soon
    Managed to get 4.4 GHz stable, for more updates and details you can view this link, all the info is there:

    Z77A-GD65 + i5 2500K Overclocking - How to start?
    CPU: i5 2500K @ 4.5GHz (45x100 1.35V) ~ BIOS 10.5
    Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD65
    Memory: 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24
    GPU: XFX Radeon 7950 Black Edition 3GB
    Soundcard: Native Instruments Audio 8 DJ
    HDD: WD 1TB Caviar Blue
    Cooling: Zalman CNPS10X Extreme
    PSU: Seasonic X-650 80+ Gold
    Case: Corsair Obsidian 650D

    OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
    Gamepad: Microsoft XBOX360 Wireless Controller + Wireless Gaming Receiver
    Wireless Set: Logitech Cordless Desktop LX710
    Monitor: LG 42LE5300 42" Led FHDTV [1080p @ 60Hz]

  9. #9
    profJim's Avatar
    profJim is online now Chief Munchkin + moderator
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    Thumbs up Re: Z77A-GD65 + i5 2500K Overclocking - How to start?

    Good to see that you're getting some solid MSI specific recommendations.
    One of the Z77A-GD65 + Ivy Bridge reviews reported cpu core temperatures about 5 - 8o (C) lower than competing z77 motherboards.
    I'm curious to see how your idle and load temperatures are with your 2500K cpu when overclocked and running stress tests.
    Posting a RealTemp screen-shot showing maximum and minimum temps should be pretty cool (pun intended)
    Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
    P35-DS4 [rev: 2.0] ~ Bios: F14
    4x2GB OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1094MHz @5-5-5-15
    MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack (1GB) video card <---- SLI ---->
    Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
    WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data)
    Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (boot)
    SLI @ 16/4 works when running HyperSLI
    Cooler Master 120XL Seidon push/pull AIO cpu water cooling
    Cooler Master HAF XB computer case (RC-902XB-KKN1)
    Asus VH242H 24" monitor [1920x1080]
    MSI N460GTX Hawk (1GB) video card
    Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium
    HT|Omega Claro plus+ sound card
    CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
    E6300 (R0) @ 3.504GHz [8x438MHz] ~~ P35-DS3L [rev: 1.0] ~ Bios: F9 ~~ 4x2GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500, 876MHz @4-4-4-10
    Seasonic X650 80+ gold psu (650w) ~~ Xigmatek Balder HDT 1283 cpu cooler ~~ Cooler Master CM 690 case (RC-690-KKN1-GP)
    Samsung 830 128GB SSD MZ-7PC128B/WW (boot) ~~ WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data) ~~ ZM-MFC2 fan controller
    HT|Omega Striker 7.1 sound card ~~ Asus VH242H monitor [1920x1080] ~~ Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium ~~ CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD U.P.S
    .


  10. #10
    Chike is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Z77A-GD65 + i5 2500K Overclocking - How to start?

    If LinX/IBT get too hot simply don't use them. Personally I only use it as GPlops test and quick stability test.
    Prime usually fail where LinX/IBT would and sometime does when they pass too. It is also easier to pipoint weather the error is due to I/O or core settings.

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