Overclocking of i7 3770k

Overclocking of i7 3770k

Posted: 06.06.2016 20:50 by Mikael

Overclocking of i7 3770k

In this guide I’ll be detailing how to overclock your CPU with both offset and fixed voltage methods, along with ideal board/BIOS parameters for your new clock to remain stable.  So are you ready to overclock?

Disclaimer: This guide is meant as an information resource and not an instruction set for overclocking a CPU. Overclocking in many cases voids the warranty on your product. If any damage arises from you following this resource, cannot be held accountable. We did not change your settings, you did.

Before you start, there are a few pieces of software I’d recommend you get to both monitor and test your new overclock. There are many available, but the suites I use are:

Prime 95: A rugged stress test that puts your CPU to full load. Prime95 is for extended stability testing. Testing with Prime95 is not recommended if you’re not going to let it run for a recommended 8 hours plus.
IntelBurnTest: IBT is a suite designed to REALLY stress your CPU over short periods. It puts your CPU to full load and then continues to push it. It runs 10 tests that all complete in a relatively short amount of time. I have seen temps rocket past my Prime95 max temps in a matter of seconds. Do NOT run IntelBurnTest on a high overclock without testing PROGRESSIVE overclocks first. It can push your CPU over its Thermal Maximum and you will risk damaging your chip.
CPU-Z: CPU-Z will give you detailed information on your installed processor, including the thing we need to monitor the most: voltage.
RealTemp 3.7: A good temperature monitor that will detail min/max/current temperatures, and the “distance” to your CPU’s thermal maximum. There are other alternatives, but RealTemp is mine, and many others, favorite.

An Introduction to Overclocking Ivy Bridge:

Every processor has a FSB (Front-Side Bus) speed, this is also known as BCLK. Ivy Bridge’s FSB is 100mhz.

Each chip works on a multiplier. As this guide is written from the perspective of the 3770k and 3570k, the maximum multiplier is 63x. What this means is that you take your 100mhz FSB and multiply it to give you a clock speed.

The 3570k’s base clock speed is 3.4ghz, or 3400mhz. So this is a 34x multiplier on the 100mhz FSB.

In theory, Ivy Bridges theoretical maximum clock speed under air or water is 6.3ghz (100MHZ FSB x 63x multipler.) It’s unlikely you’ll achieve this though, as temperatures are a major factor in your CPU’s performance and lifespan.

As I’m sure you know, hot = bad. Ivy Bridges thermal maximum (as in, the temperature it can hit before it shuts off to save itself) is 105C. That isn’t what you should aim for, though. If your overclock hits 90c full load on Prime95 at any point over the duration, reduce the voltage or reduce the multiplier.

Terms & Maximums
Aside from temperatures, there are other maximum settings that you should not go over in order to prevent chip degradation or damage. Here are some terms you’ll need to know and understand if you want to achieve a nice overclock.


VCC – AKA VCore: Intel recommends you do not exceed 1.52 volts. So don’t. This is the voltage your CPU receives directly. If you’re overclocking on air or water, I wouldn’t recommend you go over 1.45v, as this is where temperatures can get pretty high.
VCCPLL – AKA CPU PLL: Stands for Phase-Locked Loop, this is the voltage of the internal clock on your CPU. Reducing PLL can have a nice effect on temperatures but can affect overclock stability. If you’re hitting the max on your VCC, you can try raising the the VCCPLL. Do not go over 1.89v. Reducing the VCCPLL can have a significant affect on your overclock performance if you drop too low. Don’t go lower than 1.709v.
VCCIO – AKA QPI/VTT: This is the voltage received by the integrated memory controller on the CPU. It can help when stabilizing high memory overclocks. You shouldn’t need to touch it for overclocking your CPU. There are some instances where you may need to, and I’ll list them later.
VCCSA – AKA IMC/System Agent: You shouldn’t touch this setting unless you’re extremely confident with overclocking . That said, adjusting this voltage helps with high memory overclocks and/or BCLK overclocks. Max is 0.971v.
DRAM Voltage – AKA DDR Voltage: This is the voltage your RAM receives. Intel recommend a maximum of 1.5v, but there are numerous 1.65 kits on the market, and if you’re overclocking RAM then chances are you’ll need to increase this. Do not exceed 1.65v.
VGFXVID – AKA IGPU or IGFX Voltage: Voltage for the integrated graphics controller. Not needed for overclocking. Max is 1.52v, though.

Exceeding these maximum values can and in many cases will damage your CPU irreparably, so be careful.

LLC: LLC stands for Load-Line Calibration. In short, when a CPU reaches full or loads, the VCC tends to drop down. If the VCC drops too far, this can lead to stability issues including BSODs and freezes. LLC was made to combat this. Each board is different, but my ASRock is set up so that Level 1 gives you the most compensation for Vdroop, and level 5 the least. I found that using Level 1 causes my voltage to spike upwards, so I tend to go with Level 2 or 3. What you’re trying to achieve is as close to the same voltage under load in Windows (use CPU-Z to check) as it reports in your BIOS when you’re configuring things.

Configuring your CPU for Overclocking
There are a number of settings in your BIOS that need to be set correctly for overclocking.

Before we start, update your BIOS. Go to your motherboard manufacturer’s website, download and install the latest version. This is important, so do it.

Next, we need to set some of the more generic settings for good overclocking capability.

It is worth noting that I am taking the names of these settings from my ASRock board. The correct names could be different on your board.

Spread Spectrum: Always disable. This is of no use to us when overclocking.
Internal PLL Overvoltage: A matter of preference, Enabling it will give you more stability on your clock, but will likely cause issues if you wish to “Sleep” your computer. I always set this to “Enabled” when overclocking.
Intel SpeedStep Technology: This lets your voltage drop when you’re idling (if you’re using offset mode.. more later.) Enabled.
Intel Turbo Boost Technology: Enabled. This allows you to set the following parameters.. These settings are simply “limits” and when we’re overclocking we don’t like limits. So, we’ll set them to max.
Turbo Boost Power Limit: Manual
Long: 500
Long Duration: 1s
Short: 500
Additional Turbo Voltage: Auto

Next we need to configure our RAM. Go to your BIOS RAM section, and load the XMP profile that your RAM is rated at. The most common clock speed at the moment is 1600mhz, so I’ll use that as an example. Some boards will automatically load the correct settings, but some will not. Check the sticker on the side of your RAM and match the speed that you see, as well as the timings, to your speed/timings in BIOS. We’re not going to overclock your RAM right now, and that’s for another guide.

Now, to overclock!


CPU Ratio Setting:
CPU Ratio: Stock on a 3570k is 34x, on a 3770k it’s 35x. This is how we overclock the chip. We change the multiplier to gain speed. If you want an overclock of 4ghz, you pick 40x as the multiplier. 4.5ghz is 45x, and so on.

Next, you need to decide HOW you want to overclock your CPU. You have two options, fixed voltage mode, where your chip will run at the voltage you set as well as the speed 100% of the time. Or, there’s offset voltage mode, which will allow your CPU to automatically drop its speed and voltage when you’re idle. I like to go offset, but it’s a matter of preference.

CPU Core Voltage: Auto, Offset, Fixed. Don’t choose auto.. we’re overclocking, remember?

After this, another option becomes available to us. Offset Voltage or Voltage, depending on your choice to the previous option. Set the voltage your chip receives here. See below for how to deal with this setting.

Power Saving Mode: Always disable. We’re overclocking, we don’t want to save power. We want moooore power!

DO NOT CHANGE THE BCLK (aka FSB) SETTINGS. It allows you to but you NEVER SHOULD. This guide is written for the Sandy Bridge 1155 chipset, and changing the BCLK is STRONGLY NOT RECOMMENDED.

Memory Voltage: Match this to your RAMs rated voltage for now. Don’t exceed 1.65v.


CPU PLL: PLL can reduce temps if lower, but this can affect system stability. Many people think that the stock voltage is too high. I won’t comment on that, but if you’re not confident with this setting, leave it on Auto.

VTT Voltage: Can help stabilize and overclock, but don’t touch it unless you get a BSOD code that signifies you should. Intels max is 1.08v which you shouldn’t exceed if you can avoid it.


Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Advanced CPU Settings:

If you have a 3770k, you’ll be able to disable Hyper Threading here. Leave it on. You bought the i7 for this reason.

You’ll also be able to disable some cores, don’t do this either.

There are some Intel settings too; Hardware Prefetcher, Adjacent Line Cache prefetcher, No-Execute Memory, Intel Visualization. Leave them alone.

Thermal Throttling: This will shut off your CPU if it gets too hot. Don’t turn it off, or you can exceed the TJ Max and risk chip damage. Enabled.

The next thing you may need to change in this section are the C-States. C-States are the main functions of the CPU and should generally be left alone, however depending on how you’re overclocking you’ll need to set the following:

C1E: Enabled.
C3: Disabled.
C6: Disbaled.
C State Package: Disabled

C1E: Enabled.
C3: Enabled.
C6: Enabled.
C State Package: Auto

This is where the fun begins!

First, set your VCC offset to +0.005v if you’re using offset, or set the VCC voltage to 0.005v higher than stock if you’re using fixed.

Now, increase your multiplier. Take it up 1 or 2 steps from stock. So up to 36 on a 3570k, or up to 37 on a 3770k. Reboot. Do you boot? Cool! Run Prime95’s Blend Test for 10 minutes. Do you get a BSOD, or a Fatal Error in Prime95?

Go back to your BIOS.

If you did get a BSOD or error, follow the steps according to the BSOD information below, and then try again.

If you booted and tested with no problems, increase your multiplier by 1.

Save your settings and attempt to boot again.

Remember you can use LLC Level settings to help with stability, too. You’re aiming to have the same voltage under load as the voltage you’ve set in the BIOS. If your VCore is dropped below what you’ve set when under load, increase your LLC compensation level.

Continue these two steps until you are at the clock speed you want, within the required voltage settings, and aren’t going over 90C.

Next is REAL stability testing. Run Prime95’s Blend Test for 8 Hours. If you remain error free, congratulations! If you’re going to be Folding@Home or other high-load applications, run Prime95 for a full 24 hours.. and just so you know, playing video games is not “high load.”

If you’d like to further test your overclock, run IntelBurnTest. WATCH YOUR TEMPS RUNNING THIS PROGRAM.


Some common important ones for reference:
0x124 = add/remove vcore or VTT voltage (usually Vcore, once it was QPI/VTT)
0x101 = add more vcore
0x50 = RAM timings/Frequency add DDR3 voltage or add VTT
0x1E = add more vcore
0x3B = add more vcore
0xD1 = add VTT voltage
0x9C = VTT most likely, but increasing vcore has helped in some instances
0X109 = add DDR3 voltage
0x0A = add VTT voltage
0x1A = Memory management error. It usually means a bad stick of Ram. Test with Memtest or whatever you prefer. Try raising your RAM voltage. Can also mean more juice for the south bridge ICH volts
0x19: memory voltage

Disclaimer: This guide is meant as an information resource and not an instruction set for overclocking a CPU. Overclocking in many cases voids the warranty on your product. If any damage arises from you following this resource, cannot be held accountable. We did not change your settings, you did.