Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Finalizing the CPU overclock


Apparently, CPUs also seem to have a burn-in time as well - or at least Haswell does. Despite being capable of running at a respectable 4.6GHz, my Intel Core i7 4790K CPU managed to crash the system with a BSOD on last Friday while transcoding a video. It was a BSOD 124 which suggests the Vcore needed to be raised a notch, however as it was already reaching the limits of the Noctua NH-U12S cooler’s cooling capacity, I defaulted. There were instances where the CPU core temps would touch 90C while using Handbrake at those settings. That is terrible.

Hence, I decided to drop the multiplier one notch and settle with a clock speed of 4.5GHz. 4.5GHz could absolutely be considered subpar when it comes to Devil's Canyon which many believed would reach 5GHz effortlessly. At least in my case, temperature issues are unavoidable due to the size of the chassis.

Lowering the multiplier allowed me to reduce the Vcore from 1.26V (which was inadequate to begin with) to 1.21V. Even though the reduction seems miniscule, it resulted in a massive 10C drop in temps while running Handbrake! That’s Haswell for you.


While I care less about extending the lifespan of the CPU as I am a frequent upgrader, the ability to run the fans lower resulted in a vastly comprehensible reduction in fan noise. Despite the reviewers saying that the NH-U12S is dead silent, I could easily hear it at full fan speed, perhaps because the case was much closer to ear. However, the biggest improvement came from the speed drop of the main intake fan, the 180mm Silverstone Air Penetrator fan which is installed on top of the case.

The onboard fan controller on my Asus Maximus VII Gene board, which I use to power up the fans and control them, has one issue. It would make the fans rotate at their maximum speed once the CPU temperature (not the core temperature which is about 10C more) exceeds 75C, which I believe is in place as a safeguard. There is no way to bypass this limitation unless you use low-noise adapters. At full speed, the 180mm air penetrator is noticeably loud though, it is intolerable as a high-pitched noise. I am in the opinion that noise is indicative of quality of a PC build.

So there it is. 4.5GHz; an underwhelming overclock especially when the CPU would automatically boost to 4.2GHz is thermals are not restrictive.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Error 0x80070013–0x20005 while trying to install Windows 10 Technical Preview on the Asus T100 Tablet

I downloaded the 32bit ISO and ran the setup from within Windows after mounting the ISO on Explorer. But I got an error and it reverted to the old installation (refer to the last image in the album). I am unsure what went wrong; I could not find any references to this error code.

I am not sure if this is accurate, but while searching the internet for similar instances I came across a post by someone stating the minimum system requirements for Windows 10 TP.

1 GHz processor with SSE2 support, NX and PXE
1 GB (32-bit) and 2 GB (64-bit) RAM
16 GB (32-bit) and 20 GB (64-bit) disk space for a clean installation
80 GB (32-bit) and 130 GB (64-bit) disk space for the upgrade
GPU-compatible with DirectX 9

I definitely do not have 80GB space in here. This tablet has a measly 32GB eMMC storage device. Guess I have to do a clean install then. The recovery functionality needs to be sorted out first.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Be watchful if you have a GeForce card–it might not be entering low power mode

Today I received a chat message from a friend, linking me to a forum post where a MSI GTX 970 card owner was complaining about the high idle temps of his new graphics card. It is a known fact that MSI decided not to spin the fan on Twin Frozr V cooler until the GPU temps exceeded 65C, just like the cooler on Asus Strix cards.

As soon as I read the post, I knew what the problem was. It was a driver issue. I have observed the exact same thing before, where the GPU and memory clocks would not drop below the base values at idle. The last time I resolved this issue by cleaning up the drivers using Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU for short) and reinstalling the newest drivers. Well, they were exactly the same version as I had installed – so there was not bug with the driver, if you installing it fresh.

I was worried that my Palit GTX 670 would be acting the same way, thus I opened up GPU-Z and went into the sensors tab hoping to check what clocks the GPU was running at. I am afraid to say that the clocks were running at base clocks – or the overclocked base clocks.

Here is what was shown on GPU-Z


I am thankful to the guy who brought this issue to my attention because I would have paid a huge power bill being unaware of this issue. By the way, this happened once, and I ended up paying about JPY 2,000 more for electricity.