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Intel i7 OC'íng the 8086K on Z390 a Motherboard.

This guide will work for the i7 8700K as well as the i7 8086K the only difference is that the i7 8086K skew is binned at the expense of the i7 8700K skew, that said the i7 8700K should reach 5.0Ghz in most cases whereas the i7 8086K should be able to get between 5.1Ghz and 5.2Ghz or even 5.3Ghz if you have a golden chip. The settings here are an example to guide you to achieve your own overclock and will be different on a case by case basis, each component is different per build as well as the silicone lottery playing its part. Furthermore, this will be for the Z390 platform but it should also work for the Z370 platform with the main difference is wifi support for Z390 on the chipset as well as some minor BIOS tweaks. I have also added my vcore curve for mine 8086k overclocking experience as well as the LLC, AVX offset, Ringbus, and validation methods.


My Rig:

This is first and foremost a gaming PC with high overclock in mind, optimized for gaming and showcase PC. AMD Ryzen is still a great value option and in my opinion and makes a better workstation, NAS Rig and Capture Rig. With more cores for less AMD Ryzen is a great entry into a work station and productivity and does not require a higher clock speed and overall benefits more from more cores. However, this does not go for all application that for instance benefit the Intel integrated graphics however if you stack core per core AMD offers much greater value. For that instance I made my main gaming build with Intel and AMD is the productivity build.

You can find my other guides relates to the above here:
Ryzen 5 OC'ing the 1600X.
Ryzen 5 OC'ing the 1600.
Streaming and/or recording using OBS NDI Tutorial.


Getting started with the 8086k overclocking.

The usual checks, BIOS update, Windows update, driver updates and remove bird shit from the silicone(delid). For delidding and relidding, I used the Aqua-Computer Dr. Delid tool, the Der8auer Delid Die Mate 2 also works. If you do not want to delid you will run into higher temperatures and CPU throttling at lower voltages. The Z390 motherboards offer a more robust VRM over the Z370 motherboards but they also should work fine for the Intel i7 8086K and 8700K. In this case, I am using the Maximus Hero XI that has a nice Prediction display section on the left side it will give you a rough range of voltages and clock speeds for you to work with as well as a rating for your cooling solution, however, this is still guesswork on the ASUS motherboard side and is not featured on other brands like MSI and EVGA etc. Do take this with a grain of salt my initial overclock range was lower and I managed to get to 5.2Ghz stable and even boot into 5.3Ghz on my i7 8086K. Something else to consider is your clock with AVX loads, it will give a ballpark idea on what your voltage is for the overclock with AVX and without AVX loads.

ASUS Maximus Hero XI UEFI BIOS Prediction


BIOS Settings.

Time for some preparations and do some of the basic settings these are the Digi+ Power Control and Internal CPU Power Management settings. As usual, the settings naming convention might be different for other motherboard vendors like MSI but here an ASUS Maximus Hero XI was used. The most important part here will be the CPU Load-line Calibration you want to predict your Vdroop and ensuring you do not over or undershoot. In my case, I picked LLC 6 so I have a slight undershoot vs picking LLC 7 that would overshoot and generate a lot more heat. Again this will come down to the silicone lottery in each case and how much voltage you need for your overclock vs the Vdroop you have and the LLC you need to compensate for it.
For a more detailed rundown on LLC, VDroop and voltages for overclocking reference this article: https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/load-line_calibration.

Extreme Tweaker --> External Digi+ Power Control Settings.

Boot Voltages is really only needed when you want to extreme overclock on LN2 etc. These settings do not apply for overclocking on Air or a Closed or Open Liquid Loop.

ASUS Maximus Hero XI External Digi+ Power Control

 Extreme Tweaker --> Internal CPU Power Management.

ASUS Maximus Hero XI Internal CPU Power Management

Advanced --> CPU Configurations --> CPU - Power Management Control.

ASUS Maximus Hero XI CPU Power Management Control


Overclock Settings: CPU Core Ratio, voltages, Ringbus, and misc voltages.

First, an important to note about the core voltages also known as Vcore, there are different save voltages for different cooling solutions and whether you delidded your CPU. As mentioned above having a delidded CPU with liquid metal and a closed or open loop will have greater overclocking potential. While the actual voltages will not kill the CPU the current could kill your CPU thermal protection and other safeguards are in place but it is better to play it save so adhere to the Vcore guidelines listed below. Ignoring these could lead to faster chip degradation and instabilities as well as thermal throttling.

Again it will vary what your CPU will run on voltages wise however the general rule is that lower voltages are better and you will overclock higher if your chip reaches higher frequency on lower voltages. Now let's dive into applying those overclock settings, there are some settings that vary between motherboard types and vendors you should be able to double check on the internet for your motherboard. However, the ASUS series should have the same naming conventions and lower end motherboard might have fewer settings you can change.

Extreme Tweaker.

Starting from the top, set your memory XMP under Ai Overclock Tuner to XMP you can tinker with your RAM settings once you have confirmed your CPU overclock is stable.BCLK Frequency will affect your entire overclock, so any changes here will change the CPU core frequency, Ringbus frequency, and RAM frequency leave this alone for now. ASUS MultiCore Enhancement is for stock settings it does not affect manual overclocks so it should be Disabled.SVID Behaviour I left at a Typical Scenario however it does not affect your 8086k overclock or 8700 overclock since you will manually override these settings.CPU SVID Support should be Disabled since you are manually entering settings.

ASUS Maximus Hero XI Extreme Tweaker Part I 

ASUS Maximus Hero XI Extreme Tweaker Part II

The above settings are important so your actual overclock will not be affected in any way shape or form now it is time to dial in the final settings and test the overclock. First, the important setting is the AVX Instruction Core Ration Negative Offset, AVX is in simple terms an instruction set for your CPU that gives it a heavy workload that requires more voltage thus generates more heat and is usually found in productivity and not in gaming or day to day tasks. Therefor motherboard vendors added the option to offset your CPU frequency for AVX loads so that you may achieve greater overclocks for none AVX loads like gaming. Some synthetic benchmarks like Prime95 will use AVX loads so be aware of that. Below are some suggestions for you to test out but I simply start with AVX frequency for the 8086k of 5.0Ghz and 4.8Ghz for the 8700K.

ASUS Maximus Hero XI Extreme Tweaker AVX

Next up is setting the CPU Core Ratio this setting will determine your CPU frequency in Ghz, so a setting of 50 will result in a 5.0Ghz frequency. For the Maximus Hero X and XI you have the option to either set the frequency per core or Sync All Cores . To achieve the best performance it is best to use Sync All Cores so select that and fill in desired starting frequency under 1-Core Ratio Limit, for the 8086K we will start at 50 to get a 5.0Ghz frequency overclock. The 8700K it is best to start at 49 to achieve a 4.9Ghz frequency overclock. The BIOS will set the same frequency for all the other cores later on you can revisit this and see if you, for instance, can apply a higher overclock on cores 1 through 3 and lower the overclock on cores 4 to 6.

ASUS Maximus Hero XI Extreme Tweaker CPU Core Ratio

Next up is the Ringbus of your CPU, basically is the internal CPU communication speed, cache, IGP, memory controller etc. Performance gains here are very small none the less any gain of performance is wanted. But it is wise to start with the stock Ring Bus speed of 43 as in 4.3Ghz and revisit this setting once you confirmed a stable core overclock. A 1:1 overclock is considered the best but I run mine at 4.8Ghz unofficial the best overlock are within 0.5Ghz or less over the CPU frequency. Another important setting here is CPU Core/Cache Current Limit Max set this to the maximum, for the Maximus Hero XI that is a 255.75 setting. And leave the Ring Down Bin setting to Auto. Also, ensure the Min. CPU Cache Ratio and Max. CPU Cache Ratio remains the same.

ASUS Maximus Hero XI Extreme Tweaker RingBus

The final step is setting the Vcore or CPU Core/Cache Voltage, this setting will apply to the CPU and the Ringbus in order to maintain a stable overclock. And you will revisit this section multiple times when your overclock passes or fails. For now, you can set the CPU Core/Cache Voltage to Manual Mode other modes are more finicky and manual mode while being less power efficient does offer greater overclock stability. Under - CPU Core Voltage Override fill in 1.3 this will apply a 1.3 voltage to your CPU for the 8086K this should be more than enough to reach 5.0Ghz and the 8700K should be able to reach 4.9Ghz. The CPU VCCIO Voltage and CPU System Agent Voltage should be initially left to Auto but should be changed later on to lower voltages and decrease thermal output but only once you established a stable overlock. You can opt to save your settings under Tool or proceed with hitting F10 to save your settings and reboot your PC. The first boot might power up and down this is your PC testing out your overclock settings but should boot into windows. If your PC fails to boot the overlock failed and you should either lower the voltage of the CPU Vore/Cache Voltage or lower the CPU frequency CPU Core Ratio.

ASUS Maximus Hero XI Extreme Tweaker Vcore


Stability Testing.

Now that you have booted into windows you should do some stability testing to ensure your overclock is stable I usually start out with Cinebench and do 3 runs to give me a good indication as well as ensuring the overlock does not generate more than 90C of heat preferable lower than that. If your initial Cinebench runs pass you can head back into the BIOS by holding Shift then click restart from the windows menu, then select Advanced Troubleshooting Tools, Advanced Options and select UEFI Firmware Settings or simply restart and keep pressing Del or F2 when booting up. Depending on a pass or fail you either lower or increase the CPU Core Ratio and boot back into windows and run Cinebench again to see if you fail or pass. Failing again you will need to lower the CPU Core Ratio until you are stable at the same CPU Core/Chache Voltage.

If you pass you should increase the CPU Core Ratio until the Cinebench runs fail and then increase the Vcore but not above 1.4 volt. Once you have established the max possible overlock you should do a final stability test using Prime95 using the Small FFT's setting and run that for at least 30 minutes without crashing or the program reporting errors. Very important as well is ensure with the final test to check your temperatures with a program like HWiNFO64 and make sure you do not go beyond 90C or thermal throttle altogether. When doing so make sure you either have a fan curve that will run at 100% with temperatures above 75C or set your fans manually to run at max RPM.

Once you completed those test you can consider your overclock stable you can now opt to adjust the Ringbus speed and lower the CPU VCCIO Voltage and the CPU System Agent Voltage and repeat the stability testing with starting with Cinebench runs then confirming stability with Prime95 while keeping an eye on temperatures in HWiNFO64. And remember to give the Load Line Calibration a shot at setting 5.


8086k Vcore Curve.

For the purpose of helping out some other overclockers, I went back into the Bios and did some testing with various clock speeds to show the vcore curve for my 8086k. Here are my results yours may vary due to the silicone lottery.

8086k @ 5.0Ghz

8086K @ 5.1Ghz.

8086K @ 5.2Ghz.

8086K @ 5.3Ghz.

Now you should have a firm grasp on how to overclock an 8086k or 8700K on a Z390 motherboard. The numbers used in the pictures are for my end use case and might vary with you. Cinebench runs scores should be around the 1700 mark. Slight instabilities can also be spotted when Cinebench hangs for a second or more. Increasing the CPU Core/Cache Ration by 0.005 can even fix that. Remember to share my guide if you find it useful.

- Paul "HisEvilness" Ripmeester.