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Friday, January 29, 2016

Let the Gaming Resume!

For all intents and purposes, the system upgrade is complete! Last night I installed the SanDisk Extreme PRO SSD and copied all my game installs over to it. Then I changed the drive letters around so make certain it has the same letter as the SSD is was replacing and, presto-change-o, I was back in business. Yes, it really is that simple. Once I'd replaced the outgrown SSD and removed the old slow original 400 GB platter drive I no longer used, I closed the case for good and began the overclock (OC) optimization.

The first thing I did was run the EZ Tune in the ASUS bios. It asks a couple easy questions, like whether the PC is for everyday use or gaming/media use, and then sets the bios. It only set the Turbo Performance Unit (TPU,) and not the DRAM. It defaulted to a 15% OC, which was nice.

I then tried the 5-Way Optimization of the Dual Intelligent Processors 5 provided with the ROG Maximus VIII Hero system board. This attempted a per core TPU optimization and a DRAM optimization. However, the system reboot failed with a 55 error showing on the LED Q-Code display of the motherboard: no memory installed. I restarted, went into the BIOS and removed the attempted DRAM speed increase. On restart the 5-Way Optimization completed sans DRAM boost. It left the DRAM at it's safe (SPD) setting.

I ran my first 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark at these settings. Here are my results.

This was a marked improvement over the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark I ran earlier this month. There is a point by point comparison near the end of this post.

I then dove into the BIOs to see if I could manually set the DRAM to it's XMP 2.0 value of 3200 MHz. Once your frequency setting is done, 103.0x47.00 in my case, the BIOS presents a list of DRAM frequencies you can select. This includes frequencies over the XMP specification of the DRAM installed if you wished to be daring. I did not wish to be daring after the first Q-Code 55 error, so I selected the closest frequency to 3200 I could get: 3193 MHz.

I then restarted the system and ran the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark again. Here are those results.

The DRAM boost added almost 200 points to my overall score. It may not seem like a lot, but so long as it's stable every bit helps. While I was running the benchmark, I also kept track of the CPU performance. Here's the 5-Way Optimization Report with real time CPU and DRAM speed listed at the bottom.

I also ran EVGA's Precision X 16 software to watch my GPU heat and performance.
This was about the hottest my GPU got. The temperature on the CPU did get a bit hotter than this considering it was running at nearly 4.8 MHz. It topped out at 61 degrees Celsius during the benchmark, well below its imposed 71 degree Celsius limit. Hooray for water cooling!

Now it's time to give you the comparison I promised above. Here are the two benchmarks I ran today compared with the Benchmark I ran January 11th with the old system board, i7-2700k CPU and DDR3 DRAM.
Two of the scores were actually better before I overclocked the DRAM, but remember I was also running the 5-Way Optimization program and Precision X 16 as the same time. That affected the GPU ever so slightly.

There is only one more screen capture to show you. It explains itself.
I am certain there are other optimizations I can make. This system board gives me the ability to tweak to my heart's content. However, I'll put that off for awhile to ensure the system is completely stable as it currently is. I've not had a chance to run all my software since upgrading, and I've already run into one that's not behaving itself. It seems I can't get into Developer mode in Lightroom 2015 (CC.) And I've a photo I have to post today! Well, I've other programs I can use to do the processing I need to do. I've also got other systems. I just hope the issue is resolvable. I'm not even sure right now what's causing it, but I'm leaning toward a GPU issue, not an OC issue. (EDIT 1/29/2016 5:02 PM PST: It was the GPU acceleration in Lightroom that was causing this problem. I deselected GPU Acceleration in Preferences and no more problems. Whew.) Anyway, that's it; all done. I already know World of Warships works just fine. I got in three matches last night before I began the overclocking today. They were all sweet victories. I'll have a Sunday Highlight next, so until then, have a great weekend!

1 comment:

Be civil, be responsible and most of all be kind. I will not tolerate poor form. There will be no James Hooks here. We are all better than that.