Wednesday, August 28, 2013

[Article] Haswell stress testing using Intel Extreme Tuning Utility(XTU)

I'm still trying to find the sweet spot for my Haswell CPU overclock. Prime95 has been failing on my in a weird way. Sometimes it would go for hours without failing. Sometimes even a slight voltage bump would cause it to crash instantly. If I go back to the settings that worked fine earlier, it would crash again.

Last night I decided that it was high time that I moved away from Prime95 and found something new that worked well with Haswell. I have tried AIDA64, but people have been complaining that even after passing it for 12Hrs, it would crash in games. I don't know if that is a good stress test either. Plus, you have to pay for it.

Some guy one Overclock forums recommended that he is using Intel's own stress testing utility called Intel Extreme Tuning Utility (a.k.a Intel XTU). People say that it fully supports the new AVX2 instructions, doesn't make the Vcore go out of control when the CPU is bombarded with AVX instructions and it also shows all the voltages and temps on the same screen (so that you don't have to run a separate monitoring utility (or utilities) as is the case with Prime95. AIDA64 also shows the voltages and temps while stress testing. However, XTU also allows you to overclock the CPU from itself. But I don't really like overclocking using software, especially when AISuite III is installed there and it can clash with other software.

So, I started a stress test in XTU last night and I ran it for 13hrs without a crash or error. However, I'm not confident that not failing XTU alone is a good indication of stability. So I am running a few hours' long H.264 transcode queue in HandBrake. If I can get through it without an error, then I guess I would be stable in everything that I do. I only stress tested the CPU portion. I skipped memory for now. If H.264 fails, I would test Memory as well. Otherwise I don't see why I need to do that because the clocks, timings and voltage is pretty standard for today.

The current overclock settings stands as follows.
  • Core multiplier: 44x (sync all cores enabled)
  • Vcore: 1.285V manually set in BIOS (should change to Adaptive later)
  • Un-core multiplier: x39 (AUTO)
  • Un-core voltage: 1.15V (AUTO)
  • RAM speed: 1600MHz (XMP)
  • RAM timings: 9/9/9/24/2T (XMP)
  • RAM voltage: 1.50V (XMP)
  • Input Voltage: 1.75V (AUTO)
  • Extreme Tweaking: Disabled
  • EPU Power Saving Mode: Disabled
  • Everything else: AUTO
※This is on hte Asus Maximus VI Hero board with BIOS ver.711.

Here's proof.

Time remaining says 10hrs 58min because I set it to 24hr stress test. Deduct that from 24hrs, and you get 13hrs 2min. 

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