Overclocking... is it time?

I have seen a number of posts regarding the practice of OVERCLOCKING recently.
So, as, hopefully, food for thought and to serve as a cautionary word or two, please…

Back in the day an overclock say of an i7 from a stock 2.67 MHz up to 4.00 MHz, was routinely achievable. That represents an overclock of 50%! My own i7 operated at 4.00 MHz [on water] for years with no trouble at all!
However, that was then and this is now. Today [unless one intends to get into a very specialist area
involving some exotic, heavy duty cooling solutions] clocks of such a magnitude are simply not possible. Manufacturers, in an effort to outflank the competition, have effectively pre-clocked today’s chips -in factory- just to be seen to be competitive in all the performance comparison charts.

This now leaves the enthusiast with little margin for clocking at home. Resulting in, at best, merely marginal gains in performance. Eg. say an i9 from 4.7GHz stock to 5.00GHz or 5.10GHz at best.
And the biggest problem now is HEAT! Heat and lots of it! Even our, now mediocre clock, is generating so much heat that a point can quickly be reached where the operational lifetime of the CPU itself can become seriously compromised.
And I have not even touched upon the issue of fan/case noise that can become a serious pain in the ***!

As I have intimated, I used to routinely clock my builds to 50%.
These days I no longer clock anything - Not CPU, nor GPU!
I then, am not surprised that I have never [apart from component failure, proper] had a blue
screen of death or a crash to desktop. Not even while using MSFS 2020.
I do not believe this is luck!!!
I do not even believe in luck!!!

A certain Mr Tyrell once said: “the flame that burns twice as bright, lasts half as long”.
In other words you don’t get owt for now’t.

Even after these many years, Mr Tyrell still gives me pause for thought!

I use an I7 9700k OC’d to 5Ghz and have not had issues. That being said, I personally wouldn’t recommend it currently for use within MSFS - it really will strain your CPU. If you’re an experimentalist like me, I like pushing the limits, but for the person who doesn’t want to risk damaging their CPU I would urge against it. I9’s get quite a bit hotter than the i7 series’ lineup so there’s no surprise a heating issue would occur (and this has been documented plenty of times) and I couldn’t imagine it getting any better running it clocked high in MSFS.


Yes, we are clearly in agreement here.

Am I correct in assuming then that you are NOT currently multi threading?
I ask because I, use my machine for other things that benefit greatly from the extra threads
so I choose to have it turned ON, even when using MSFS.

Yes - I utilize programs that benefit greatly from multi threading. MSFS does not currently.

I have my i9-9900k OC to 4.9ghz done by the ai overclock in bios and the gpu I did use afterburner oc, but recently I now use the new geforce experience performance tuner and not had a problem with crashes so far.
I do have quite a large case that has lots of room inside, well ventilated and is watercooled so never had dangerously high temps.
Think only once saw 77c after prolonged sim usage during a heatwave, usually sits between 65 and 70c. Gpu temps is limited to 80c anyway.

I think there are only issue’s when people push things to far.

Wow! A 5.00 GHz clock to a 9700K CPU with multi threading. Impressive!
I bet your room [possibly whole house] is nice and toasty, for the time of year. Haha.

Heh - I keep it nice and cool with a water block. I also like to keep my AC around 73, so it’s usually not too bad!

Good one.
I am on the self same chip at present and I had a 5.00GHz clock for testing purposes for a while.
But the marginal gains in performance were more than offset by the desire not to have my poor,
abused [I used to play in band’s] ears suffer the resultant din! Haha.

Curious how my performance at 4K might improve with an overclock, I set my 9700k to 5.1GHz the other night and saw exactly zero increase in framerate. I know others have seen different results, and the recent AMD 5900 previews have suggested that framerate could scale with faster CPUs, but in my case it did not. Haven’t tried to OC my 2080Ti yet but may do that this week.

You are then, I assume, in broad agreement with the premise of my original statement.
For your findings show just what is to be expected with the very modest 6 to 7 % increase in
CPU frequency that we are discussing here.

Also we should not expect ALL of our clock generated ‘bonus’ to be available exclusively
for the use of any one particular task. Which includes, of course, the task that may well
have prompted us to go for an overclock in the first place!
CPu’s and the systems that support them just don’t work that way.

Any given model of microchip, I would argue - even with an imaginary limitless capacity to be overclocked - would still anyway be ‘generationally’ hidebound by the limits of it’s own onboard
caches etc. And no amount of overclocking can change this.


5.2 GHZ 8700K, Water-cooling, Copper IHS, Gallium.
Also Hyperthread disabled in the BIOS for more single core performance.
Work’s perfect.
GPU OC 2070S OC @ 2040MHZ and +600 memory clock.

The gain of OC CPU from example 4.5 to 5.2 does not result in more performance. Sadly there is something limiting ! V-SYNC OFF at my side.
Tried 30-60 FPS but OFF is more fluid.

GPU OC does the trick but hard to find the right spot. Thread optimization ON at NVCP result in my setup with lower FPS. Turned it OFF.

I have this thread bookmarked regarding MSFS2020 settings. It’s continually updated after every in game graphics update.

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Hi, and thank you for your informative remarks.

Thank you also for the link to the performance guide.
I shall give this some scrutiny.

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For Ryzen (at least Zen 2), I’d recommend using PBO. It shouldn’t damage your hardware if the scalar is left at 1x.

My 3700X can do 4.2 GHz @ 1.275V manual, and with PBO it’ll boost to 4.250GHz all core (it does drop when temps increase, but that’s due to the stock cooler lol) under the same load!

And interesting remarks, cheers.

Can I ask, is your quoted value of 4.2GHz the result of a sustained ‘permanent’ clock
or more a transient CPU generated ‘boost’ up from the base clock of 3.6GHz?

I ask for clarity because I know very little of the ‘doings’ of the Ryzen family of chips.

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Permanent. I’ve never seen my CPU dip below 4GHz at any time, and my case airflow is pretty bad (NZXT H510).

It usually hovers around 4.275 or 4.3 GHz on all cores (aside from when the cores go to “sleep” obviously)

I understand.
Even your minimum of 4.0GHz represents a frequency increase of about 11% over stock for your chip.
Slightly better than an i9, though still very much in the margins - in terms of sheer clock-ability - compared to my old i7.
Though with this, and other previously discussed reasons in mind, I doubt that you can actually ‘feel’ any
performance boost, even if a careful FPS count or some other, more sensitive test, can
demonstrate to the contrary!

I do though think that if your CPU runs happily - and by that I mean, never exceeds
it’s safe thermal limits, as set out by the manufacturer - then why not?

So at the risk of sounding like an old telecoms ad campaign…
It’s good to talk.


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It is true, I am one of those who many, many years ago took great advantage of overclocking (when there was no program for it and we played with the BIOS modifying the bus values, memory latencies, etc).
Today it is like that, practically the margin is low and risky; getting a little more speed that will not exceed 3 or 5% does not justify the risk of raising the voltage values ​​(even less on motherboards with a dubious regulation stage or inadequate ventilation).
Although I have an Intel K Series processor, I have not noticed a difference in the game that already works well.
Neither on the video card (a 1070ti), but I did notice sporadic crashes and artifacts, as well as higher temperatures and coolers buzzing like bees!
Folks, my recommendation is the same (and I’ve been in computer repair since 1980, so I speak knowingly) DO NOT OVECKLOCK; there are always other ways to improve performance, be it with graphical details, removing background programs, or a clean reinstallation of the system.

My i5-9600k is at 5.0Ghz 1.31v, temps between 55-60 when running the sim. Should I back down a bit?

No unless you have crashes when eg running a CPU benchmark such as Prime for example.

I run the above benchmark on 4.9GHz on an i9700k without problems. Never had a crash on FS2020 either.

Temps for FS2020 are 55 to 65deg. roughly.

Yes the FS2020 is sensitive to bad over clock attempts and over ambitious RAM speeds but when you can run Prime for extended periods you are fine with the FS.

The myth of not overclocking seems persistent. There are plenty of technical reviews which prove otherwise. Yes the difference between 4.8 and 5Ghz probably can’t hardly be perceived but between the stock clock and 4.8 or higher definitely.

But of course I am not denying there are also or in addition other ways to optimize.

I run an I7 6700K @ 4.5 on 1.313v on water max temps 53c along with a 1080fe ti @ 2012 and mem @ 5508 also on water max temps 45c.

This is what I consider my 24x7 settings. I can run it with HT on or off. Runs MSFS just fine with a mix of Medium High & Ultra setting 30-57 fps on a 3440x1440.

I have been an avid overclocker from the 8088 days on. I have an old Q 6600 that has run at a 40% OC since 2007 still going strong in fact it is my internet rig.