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Old 04-05-2016, 10:39 PM   #1
exc
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Asus Z97-A USB 3.1 and more

Hi Guys.

I bit the bullet, I could not afford what I want to buy, That would have taken me years at my current place of employ.
So I bought what I could afford now.
I upgraded my Motherboard, CPU, CPU Cooler, SSD, Video card and Ram.
Some of you are going to ask, didn't I just replace my gtx970 strix, and yes I did.
I started having the same issue with the new replacement as I did with the original one.
So I went back to Micro Center and just traded up to the 980ti and paid the difference.
So far, I have not seen a trace of the issues I was having with the 970's.

New Parts
Motherboard - ASUS Z97-A/USB 3.1 LGA 1150 ATX
CPU - Intel Core i7-4790K Devil's Canyon Quad-Core 4.0 GHz
CPU Cooler - Noctua NH-D15, NF-A15 x 2 PWM Fans
Video card - EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 06G-P4-4995-KR 6GB SC+ GAMING
Ram - CORSAIR Dominator Platinum 16GB (2 x 8GB) CMD16GX3M2A1866C9
SSD - SAMSUNG 850 EVO 2.5" 500GB SATA III MZ-75E500B/AM

Parts from old setup
Case - Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower
PSU - CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-1000HX 1000W
Monitor - Asus VH238H Black 23" Full HD HDMI LED Backlight LCD Monitor
CD DVD - ASUS 24X DVD Burner Black SATA
Case Fans - Noctua NF-A14 PWM 140mm x6 3 intake 2 exhaust and 1 replaced the factory PSU fan that died
Hard drive 1 - OS Install, Samsung SSD from above with Windows 10 Pro 64bit
Hard drive 2 - Programs and data, WD VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS 150GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s originally had 2 setup in raid 0
Hard drive 3 - Storage and Backup, Western Digital Blue WD10EALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
Logitech - Keyboard / Mouse / Speaker system

The Install / Upgrade went very pleasant
Save for not having the cpu cooler arrive yet and me being impatient.
I used the stock cooler that came with the 4790K while I waited for the Noctua to get here, Not a good idea "at all" not even at stock settings.
Tracking said my Noctua wouldn't be here for another day.
I can not believe intel has the nerve to call this thing a cpu cooler and ship it with the 4790K.
This thing is about the size of a bic lighter. pic showing it below "with a bic lighter next to it".
Anyway, with the stock cooler on, The temps at idle and all settings set to default was in the mid to upper 60's.
So I did not want to play around in the bios. I just looked around in there to get familiarize with the EUFI.

My Noctua NH-D15 came today
I got her installed and temps are tons better. At all default setting, idle temps are high 20's to very low 30's
Now lets play with this and see what she has under her hood.
These pics are at stock with XMP set, will play more as time goes.
Temps should come down further as my thermal past settles in I think.
And let us not forget about this thing intel is calling a cooler
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Stock-4000-XMP.jpg (222.8 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg Valley-4000-XMP.jpg (60.3 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg IntelCooler.jpg (82.9 KB, 16 views)
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Last edited by exc; 04-06-2016 at 01:03 AM.. Reason: Spelling errors
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:42 PM   #2
exc
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Re: Asus Z97-A USB 3.1 and more

Had some time to play, got her up to 4400
I have to say, For an entry level motherboard, The Asus Z97-A USB 3.1 is really nice, Has a lot of option to play with, And has 5 way Optimization.
But it's not the RVE I wanted
I have not tried overclocking the video card yet, perhaps after I get settled in on an every day cpu overclock.

here's some more pics.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Test2-4400-CPUZ-Realtemp.jpg (152.3 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Test2-4400-OCCT.jpg (339.8 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Valley-4400-XMP.jpg (62.5 KB, 11 views)
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Old 04-06-2016, 01:35 AM   #3
GWillakers
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Re: Asus Z97-A USB 3.1 and more

Congrats Exe!

Hey I noticed your CPU-Z says 4C/4Th.

You have an 8TH processor... did you turn Hyperthreading off?
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WorkStation SuperMicro X9SRA BIOS 3.2/Intel XEON E5-2687W 8C/16T (3.1 GHz -3.8GHz) 20MB cache/Noctua NH-U12S/ASUS GTX 970 STRIX graphics card/Thermaltake core X5 EATX Case/Antec Earthwatts 650 PSU/4x8GB Kingston KVR16E11/8I/System drive Samsung 850 Pro 512GB /2x Seagate 3TB ST3000DM001/1 TB Seagate/Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
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Old 04-06-2016, 01:38 AM   #4
GWillakers
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Re: Asus Z97-A USB 3.1 and more

That Intel cooler does look tiny.

I actually like my Intel LGA2001 coolers.
They are a bit larger than the ones for LGA1150's
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Internet/Gaming ASUS P9X79 WS/BIOS 4802/Intel XEON E5-1650 V2 3.5GHz (4.4 GHz O/C) 6 Core/12 Thread - 12MB L3/Intel Stock AC Cooler/Antec P180 case/Thermaltake Smart M 850W PSU/4x8GB Kingston KVR16E11/8I/PNY GTX 1070 8GB graphics card/System drive Samsung 850 Pro 512GB/Data drives Intel 520 series 240GB/Intel X25-M 80GB/Windows 10 Pro (64-bit)

WorkStation SuperMicro X9SRA BIOS 3.2/Intel XEON E5-2687W 8C/16T (3.1 GHz -3.8GHz) 20MB cache/Noctua NH-U12S/ASUS GTX 970 STRIX graphics card/Thermaltake core X5 EATX Case/Antec Earthwatts 650 PSU/4x8GB Kingston KVR16E11/8I/System drive Samsung 850 Pro 512GB /2x Seagate 3TB ST3000DM001/1 TB Seagate/Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
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Old 04-06-2016, 02:25 AM   #5
exc
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Re: Asus Z97-A USB 3.1 and more

Hi GWillakers

Yes, I turned off Hyper Threading, also turned off Intel Speed Step and Turbo Boost.
I read somewhere that these will interfere with a good overclock.
But now that I think about it, I might be confusing Hyper Threading with another setting that should be disabled.

Benching at 4500 as I type this, will probably let it run for the rest of the night and see how it goes in the morning.
I'll probably enable Hyper Threading and see how it does at 4500 now that you brought it to my attention, Thanks

Will post bench results and pics after I get some sleep.

sleep well guys
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:37 AM   #6
fvbounty
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Re: Asus Z97-A USB 3.1 and more

Congrats on a Great upgrade and your temps and scores a very good....how did you like the mounting system on the Noctua?
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Old 04-06-2016, 11:29 AM   #7
Sir Skully
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Re: Asus Z97-A USB 3.1 and more

Very, very, nice hardware upgrades exc ...
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Old 04-06-2016, 12:10 PM   #8
exc
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Re: Asus Z97-A USB 3.1 and more

Quote:
Originally Posted by fvbounty View Post
Congrats on a Great upgrade and your temps and scores a very good....how did you like the mounting system on the Noctua?
Thank You fvbounty!

I love this Noctua cooler, my temps are extremely good. I am very impressed with it!
Actually, I did a fair bit of research on this cooler. A lot of reviews are saying that the Noctua NH-D15, NF-A15 x 2 PWM Fans is comparable to the Corsair Hydro Series™ H100i,
Of course, the H100i coming out ahead, but I don't have anyplace to mount that in my case.
Install was a piece of cake even though I had to remove the motherboard to install the back plate.
I did a bit of cable management when I did this upgrade, so removing the motherboard now is just a matter of unplugging a few things and removing the standoff screws.
Easy Peasy now!
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Old 04-06-2016, 12:23 PM   #9
exc
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Re: Asus Z97-A USB 3.1 and more

Quote:
Originally Posted by GWillakers View Post
Congrats Exe!

Hey I noticed your CPU-Z says 4C/4Th.

You have an 8TH processor... did you turn Hyperthreading off?
I had brain fog last night GWillakers, I had confused Hyper Threading with CPU Spread Spectrum which I wanted to disable.
Thanks for pointing that out
I made the switch and starter OCCT running at 4500 and went to bed.
Ended up letting it run for almost 9 hours at that setting. just got home from work and everything looks GREAT!

Will post pics in a bit.
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Old 04-06-2016, 12:43 PM   #10
exc
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Re: Asus Z97-A USB 3.1 and more

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Skully View Post
Very, very, nice hardware upgrades exc ...
Thank You very much Skully

As you may or may not know, I have sat in the shadows here for the past 9 years following several member's builds, With special interest in following You, Sandog, fvbounty.
And I especially enjoy GWillakers, JimTram and Griff's input and insight on many different things.
You have no idea the amount of respect and admiration I have for ALL OF YOU!
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Old 04-06-2016, 12:56 PM   #11
exc
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Re: Asus Z97-A USB 3.1 and more

Okay, so I made some changes (thanks to GWillakers for pointing out that I had Hyper Threading turned off).
Everything is looking Awesome, Temps are better then what I had expected.
Voltages seem to be okay. may have more headroom to push even higher
Let me know what you all think.

Here are some pics of the last bench run @ 4500
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 4500-CPUZ-Realtemp.jpg (150.2 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 4500-OCCT.jpg (309.7 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Valley-4500.jpg (60.6 KB, 8 views)
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Old 04-06-2016, 03:22 PM   #12
Sir Skully
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Re: Asus Z97-A USB 3.1 and more

Quote:
Originally Posted by exc View Post
Thank You very much Skully

As you may or may not know, I have sat in the shadows here for the past 9 years following several member's builds, With special interest in following You, Sandog, fvbounty.
And I especially enjoy GWillakers, JimTram and Griff's input and insight on many different things.
You have no idea the amount of respect and admiration I have for ALL OF YOU!
Well that made my day...
Thanks my friend, for such a really nice Complement...
Sometimes I forget there are others, on the forum that are lurking...
Its folks like you that keep me going, and PC'c of course...
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OPTANE SSD-9 480G
SAMSUNG PRO 960 1tb M.2
MountainMods UFO case
Corsair 1200i watt psu
SAMSUNG 34" curved monitor
AudioEngine speakers
Ducky keyboard
ROG SPATHA gaming mouse

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Old 04-06-2016, 04:24 PM   #13
exc
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Re: Asus Z97-A USB 3.1 and more

Pushing a tad more, got her up to 4600 little over an hour with OCCT

benchies at 4600
last pic was realtemp running while valley benchmarked!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CPUZ-Realtemp-4600.jpg (150.3 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg OCCT-4600.jpg (358.3 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Valley-4600.jpg (59.6 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Realtemp-Valley-4600.jpg (52.1 KB, 9 views)
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Old 04-06-2016, 08:30 PM   #14
GWillakers
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Re: Asus Z97-A USB 3.1 and more

Real good scores Exe and thanks for the compliment.

One more thing. You mentioned that you are running with Intel Speed step off. I would advise running with it on.

Speed step should not prevent you from obtaining higher Overclocks.
It allows the processor to down volt and down clock from it's baseline speed
when it is almost idle.

Some people who look for performance records will turn it off when benchmarking. This will assure them that the processor is already "revved up" when the benchmark starts.

However I feel this is little gain for what one misses out when the processor is not allowed to downshift and cool itself when idle. Also remember that most systems are at idle
for a greater period of time than when under a heavy load.

Sort of like a car waiting at a red light, in neutral but petal to the floor.

I suggest: With speedstep turned off : Watch "Multiplier" and Vcore in CPU-Z when you run some work and then when the process comes to an end. See how the Multiplier and Vcore effect the temps.

Then go in and turn on Speedstep. Watch how quickly the CPU downshifts multiplier and Vcore, when the workload terminates. The processor should shed its heat at a faster pace.

Then decide how you want to run 24/7
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:43 PM   #15
exc
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Re: Asus Z97-A USB 3.1 and more

Quote:
Originally Posted by GWillakers View Post
Real good scores Exe and thanks for the compliment.

You mentioned that you are running with Intel Speed step off. I would advise running with it on.

Speed step should not prevent you from obtaining higher Overclocks.
It allows the processor to down volt and down clock from it's baseline speed
when it is almost idle.

I suggest: With speedstep turned off : Watch "Multiplier" and Vcore in CPU-Z when you run some work and then when the process comes to an end. See how the Multiplier and Vcore effect the temps.

Then go in and turn on Speedstep. Watch how quickly the CPU downshifts multiplier and Vcore, when the workload terminates. The processor should shed its heat at a faster pace.

Then decide how you want to run 24/7
Thanks GWillakers, Make a lot of sense and I like the engine revving analogy!
I've been an automotive mechanic / body and refinishing tech for about 35 years now, I started when I was 17yrs old, so that hit home with me!

I do seem to have an issue with "speedstep" though. If it works as you explained it!

From the time I installed the mother board / other hardware, and installed windows on the ssd for the 1st time, I left everything at Optimized Defaults which has Speedsteep and Turbo Boost set to Enabled.
The only setting I changed in the beginning was to set XMP so the system would recognize and run my ram at it's rated speed.
The CPU was recognized, and auto set to 4.0 and 4.4 with turbo boost.
And running CPU-Z / Realtemp / OCCT right after windows 10 got installed updated and activated, it has never once down clocked the core ratio or the Vcore.

So, Over the last few days now "after your suggestion" I have tried diligently to get speedstep to work the way you said it should.

I have went back to the very beginning, set Optimized Defaults to get back to the basics, NO Down clocking.
I have looked at / read up on / and tried just about every setting in the UEFI that might be related to speedstep or energy savings. No Down clocking.
I even flashed the bios, even tho my motherboard came with the latest version, Thinking that speedstep or turbo boost might be wacked and a bios flash would fix it. still no down clocking.

Unless I'm missing something, I can not get speedstep to work as you described it to work.

Any suggestion would be very much appreciated as I am very interested in getting it to work as intended.
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