I would like to find information about overclocking my XPS 8900 with i7-6700K Processor. In the BIOS options I found two options OC1 and OC2. I assume this is for overclocking and that OC2 would make the CPU faster than using OC1, but I have not found any documentation about this. Are there disadvantages for using OC2? Is there any information about CPU speed gains?
If you download tools like Intel XTU and HWiNFO64 you may see what is different. You can also run some quick stress tests. I would not expect much, but you might be surprised.
I would watch temps very closely. CPU core temps in particular, but memory and CPU package also.
You can get the temps off of both XTU and HWiNFO64.
Caveat: I haven't touched a skylake system and don't own an 8900 but the principles are the same as other chips and chipsets.
The overclocking option is only available with the Intel Core i7 6700K processor. We do not have any specific data on what GHz you will achieve by OC1 and OC2. You will need to use something like CPUZ (or the ones listed by Dan-H) to get the Normal, OC1, and OC2 readings.
Here are some things to consider before overclocking:
Cooling – Due to the excessive heat produced by overclocked components, an effective cooling system is critical to avoid damaging the hardware. Because most stock cooling systems are designed for the amount of heat produced during non-overclocked use, a more effective cooling solution, using heavy-duty heat sinks and more powerful fans are often required. Water cooling is often used as well, and when properly implemented, provides much more effective cooling than heat sink and fan combinations.
Stability and functionality – An overclocked component is by definition operating outside of the manufacturer's recommended operating conditions, which may lead to system instability. An unstable overclocked system, while fast, can be frustrating to use. Testing the system is required to determine whether or not it is stable. In most cases, a balance is reached between speed and stability.
Measuring effects of overclocking – Measuring the actual improvement from overclocking may be problematic. The statistics for the clocks may demonstrate an increase; however, the actual perceptible improvements may not be visible. As with most situations, users only experience the benefits under certain conditions or when running certain applications.
Thank you Chris. I am aware of the general issues with overclocking. I have an XPS 8900 with Intel Core i7 6700K. I was wondering if there is any specific information about the OC1 and OC2 setting for the cooling system that comes with the XPS 8900. The OC1 and OC2 option are opaque. Would it be fair to assume that Dell provides these two options as reasonable alternatives for the XPS motherboard and cooling system?
No, I could not find any specific data on the OC settings and what they can do to the CPU. All you can do is test them. They are not alternatives to the XPS motherboard and cooling system but instead work with the XPS motherboard and cooling system.
I tried out the XPS 8900 BIOS overclock settings.
OC1 will overclock 1-3 active cores to 43x (4,300 MHz) and 4 active cores to 41x (4,100 MHz)
and OC2 will overclock 1-3 active cores to 44x (4,400 MHz) and 4 active cores to 42x (4,200 MHz)
I also notice that even if I am using Intel Extreme Tuning Utility, I cannot overclock 4 active cores past 42x so it seems the Dell XPS Bios has a hard limit to overclock 4 cores performance to 42x - which is completely safe and easily attainable with the i7-6700K. Looks like Dell did this purposely to prevent users from setting the wrong settings and accidentally damaging their CPU.
Can someone confirm the above regarding the ceiling limit of 42x for 4 active cores?
Chris is right on the money folks. Don't overclock. It stresses thermal junction temperature. A lot of engineering goes into determine how much heat that CPU is going to be allowed to generate, and the means to dissipate it within a closed case, so that thermal junction temps aren't exceeded.
If you need that kind of horsepower, get a faster system.