X99 Overclock Settings

One of my readers suggested making a little post on overclocking so I thought I would do a short and sweet post.

Here is the video that I initially watched to learn more about overclocking my Intel 5930K CPU before doing it.

I first Googled around to see the recommended overclock settings for each CPU. Here is what I found as recommended results with adequate water cooling.

Intel 5960X
4.6GHz @ 1.30V = Good Result
4.5GHz @ 1.30V = Average Result
4.4GHz @ 1.30V = Fair Result

As the 5930K and 5820K feature six cores in stead of eight usually speeds of around 4.5 to 4.9GHz are achievable. This is because of heat and because with less cores you have a higher likelihood winning the silicon lottery.

Silicon lottery

When chip manufacturers like Intel, TSMC, UMC, GF, etc. make wafers, there are slight variations in material quality across the wafer surface and variations in how the lithography, metal vapor deposition, photoresist chemical deposition, etc. are done. This can yield a significant contrast between how good the best chip of a given batch will perform vs how bad the worst chip of the same batch will perform.
When you get a better chip that will in essence overclock better you have thus won the silicon lottery.

Start Low and Stay Low

I recommend you start with safe settings and stay below what your CPU can handle. I have found that with a lower overclock setting the computer actually seems faster than when I am pushing the envelope. And it's a heck of a lot more stable.

Here are my Geekbench 4 results:
Geekbench Results

My Conservative Overclock Settings

Here are my BIOS settings:
1. CPU core ratio - 42 (sync all cores)
2. CPU Vcore - 1.30
3. Fully Manual Mode - Enabled
4. Turbo mode - On
5. Speedstep - Off

I have no memory overclocking or changes to the bus speed. These leads to more problems than it's worth for the negligible performance boost.

Clover
I then set the CPU speed and enable C-states in Clover config.plist.

<key>CPU</key>
<dict>
    <key>C2</key>
    <true/>
    <key>C4</key>
    <true/>
    <key>C6</key>
    <true/>
    <key>FrequencyMHz</key>
    <integer>4200</integer>
    <key>UseARTFrequency</key>
    <false/>
</dict>

After restarting, your system profile will then reflect your new speed. It will not show speeds above 4.3GHz even though it is possible. Your Hardware Overview in the System Information app should show the accurate value above 4.3GHz.

System Info

Here are some helpful resources to check out for overclocking:


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