Intel i5 13600K on MSI Z690/Z790 - need voltage & power settings advice

OpenSource Ghost

Limp Gawd
Feb 14, 2022
MSI MPG Z790 Edge DDR4 motherboard comes with Game Boost mode that overclocks all Intel i5 13600K P-Cores to 5.2Ghz, all E-Cores to 4Ghz, but sets voltage to 1.4v. Isn't that voltage too high? Temps are good with my air cooling, but I want this CPU to last me at least a couple of years. Assuming my i5 13600K is a typical/average overclocker, for what voltage should I aim? I want stable static/fixed OC on all cores without throttling (except for AVX scenarios).

Is there a guide for tweaking advanced MSI Z690/Z790 voltage and power settings? For my old ASUS Hero X motherboard OC I followed Der8uer's Guide - . I need something similar for MSI Z690/Z790 because MSI uses different OC setting/parameter names. I already disabled C-States, all Speed Shift technologies, all needless onboard devices (WiFi, BT, Audio)

I aim for average OC, but with optimized settings. My old ASUS Hero X had all kinds of Load-Line Calibration settings that allowed for stable static 5Ghz (except for -3 AVX offset) on Intel i7 8700K on all cores without throttling. MSI motherboards have different settings/parameters that I can't seem to figure out...
Never ever use default/auto voltages on these CPU's on MSI boards. Not sure if its CPU thing or MSI thing but they overdid voltage on these boards. At 5.2GHz you can probably drop voltages to 1.1 or 1.15V levels and get much better temperatures than default. Even better: lower power consumption/temperatures with OC than default settings!

I set my 13600KF to 1.250V vcore for 5.5GHz p-core 4.3GHz e-core with Hyper Threading disabled.
I disabled Hyper Threading because I cannot imagine any (mine) real-life situation where having it enabled would be beneficial. Also in real-life I quickly found cases where it hurts performance (long story short HT allows background processes to steal performance out of p-cores) and otherwise HT increases power consumption/temperatures a lot and at any given clock requires more voltage increasing power consumption even more.

On my system core voltage is fixed (override) at 1.25V and load-line at level 0. I set e-core L2 voltage and CPU SA at the same 1.25v. Not entirely sure if its necessary or not yet but power usage seems to not budge much with it changed so it probably doesn't matter much if there are set too high.
As for AVX I use default 0 offset and positive guardband scale of 143 (zero at 128). Not entirely sure if it really does what it is supposed to do (my testing is inconclusive yet) but I figured its probably good idea to give CPU more juice with AVX loads so I set it.
Loadline is at mode 0. In theory it might be better to use higher voltages and higher mode to get better stability with like mixed load scenarios and this is exactly what I did with 9900K but on that CPU I had stability issues when running mixed loads without boosting voltages and setting such high voltages all-core was out of the question and not necessary for all-core workloads. Core i5 13600KF in comparison behaves beautifully and with voltages too low for all core load system seems to run just fine otherwise.

Here are my current settings:
For said 5.5/4.3 the settings are the same as shown, just different multipliers and vcore and e-core L2 at 1.25V.
I am playing with squeezing most of the performance out of my 13600KF by utilizing the fact some cores are better than others and can be clocked higher with little vcore increase. Windows will always schedule processes on faster cores so having even one 5.6GHz core makes single threaded applications run like on 5.6GHz CPU... at least as long as Windows knows its the fastest core which is not given whhen using Speedstep/Speed Shift hence its disabled.

Actually disabling Speedstep is recommended as is disabling core parking in Windows. These features do not decrease iddle power consumption in any meaningful way. Apparently when v-core is already fixed it doesn't make any difference if core is parked or not and if its doing nothing at 5.5GHz or 0.8GHz 🙃 It makes however difference if core has to unpark and spin up or not because its not instant and takes some cycles.
Looking forward to check this out when I get home. My i5 136000 runs 5.5 with ease. At 5.6 I am getting a shutdown during UserBenchmark CPU test so I think it needs a bit more juice, everything is default atm. (1.27-1.3 volts)
I got it stable at 5.5Ghz and VCore set to 1.30v Manual Override. Does that mean 1.30v applies to both P-Core and E-Core? There aren't any indicators that specifically show current E-Core voltage.
I bumped my voltage from 1.25 to 1.33 and now I'm stable at 5.6. Not sure where I should stop, but might try for 5.7 later tonight. I told myself I wasn't going to become obsessed with overclocking this thing but it's funny how fast that rule gets broken once you start tinkering.