Overclocking Intel Core i5-4690K Overclock @ 4.5GHz on Air

1- System Specs

2- Tools and Test Methods

3- ASRock F-Stream Tuning

4- System Noise

5- Temperature

6- OC Tweaker

7- Overclocking

8- Video Conversion Test

9- Far Cry 4 Test

i5-4690KIntel’s Core i5-4690K with 88W TDP (at base frequency of 3.5GHz) and unlocked multiplier is a re-release of i5-4670k. Intel claims that they have addressed and rectified the TIM issue which was causing heat dispense issue between the cores on the original Haswell processors.

Today we are going to overclock the i5-4690K to 4.5GHz using ASRock F –Stream Tuning utility, but first let's look at our test setup:

System Specs:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K
  • Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty Z97X Killer
  • Graphics card: MSI GTX 970 GAMING 4G
  • RAM: 8GB (2x 4GB) G.Skill DDR3 1866MHz (running at 1600MHz)
  • SSD: Samsung SSD 850 Pro 256GB
  • HDD: Seagate 2TB 7200RPM (ST2000DX001-1CM164)
  • Case: Thermaltake Chaser MK1
  • PSU: Cooler Master V750 (RS-750-AMAA-G1)
  • CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS9900DF
  • OS: Windows 10 64bit

Also, Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste is used for heatsink.

Tools and test methods:

  • ASRock F-Stream Tuning Utility
  • 1GB video file conversion to 720p AVi (6.4GB)
  • Far Cry 4 (Ultra settings, maximum field of view, 1080p)
  • Hardware Monitor (HWiNFO64 v.5.04)
  • IntelBurn test v.2.54 (Maximum stress test, 10 times)

ASRock F-Stream Tuning

Below you’ll see the default default system settings as well as the interface on F-Stream Tuning utility.

System Information

ASRock F-Stream Utility

As you can see, the operational mode is set to "Performance", which is equivalent to "High Performance" in Power Options. Before any overclocking attempts, make sure the system power options is set to "High Performance" mode. You can access the power options by going to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options (See below)

System Power Options

Now, lets monitor the noise and temperature.

System Noise:

F-Stream Tools menu

Open F-Stream tuning and navigate to "Tools" menu to see extra options for system tuning. Let's adjust the CPU and chassis fan speed by going to FAN-Tastic Tuning utility. Before tuning the fan speed, I used an app on my phone to measure the amount of noise at system idle. It was around 41dB at 20 inch (50cm) away from the case. After tuning the system noise reduced to 38dB which was noticeably quieter than default settings. During burn-in test (at 4500MHz), fan noise reached 45dB (at maximum speed).

FAN-Tastic Tuning - Fan speed before tuning:
FAN-Tastic Tuning
FAN-Tastic Tuning - Fan speed after tuning:
Fan Tuning
Always use after market cooler for overclocking purposes. Stock cooler is best suitable for CPU at it's base clock or turbo frequency only.


Room temperature was around 25°C.

Ambient temperature

With CPU clocked at 4500MHz (idle), case internal temperature measured at 28°C which reached the maximum of 29°C during IntelBurn test.

Ambient temperature Ambient temperature

OC Tweaker:

Here you'll find some basic yet effective voltage and clock tuning controls to quickly overclock the CPU. There are two important voltage options that you should apply for fine tuning the Vcore and cache voltage:

  • CPU Vcore Voltage Mode: Always select "Override Mode"
  • CPU Cache Voltage Mode: Always select "Override Mode"
OC Tweaker settings 1 OC Tweaker settings 2

The reason for selecting "voltage override for both Vcore and Cache" is to avoid excessive voltage that will automatically apply to the CPU and cache by motherboard during overclocking test. For example cranking up the CPU directly to 4500MHz with Adaptive Mode and running stability test, increased the CPU Vcore and cache voltage to 1.2V and 1.208V respectively.

Always play with CPU and cache voltage to find a sweet spot for system stability.

How do you figure out the balance between voltage and CPU clock?

The easiest method is to first overclock the CPU by increasing the CPU multiplier and cache ration through OC utility (F-Stream Tuning in this case) at default Adaptive voltage mode, then run the system stability test and monitor the voltage and temperature using hardware monitoring tools. Keep record of the maximum voltage during test then go back to OC utility and change the voltage settings from Adaptive to Override mode and gradually reduce the Vcore and cache voltage and test the system each time until you find the best CPU/cache voltage settings.

Voltage threshold for Haswell and Devil's Canyon CPUs is between 0.8V - 2.0V. Always try to avoid any Vcore/cache voltage above 1.5V as it increases the temperature and will shorten the CPU's life span in long run. Bear in mind that voltage higher than 1.0V is usually necessary during 100% CPU load, that is why Intel designed it's processors with Turbo Boost technology to give you the option for extra performance when needed while keeping the voltage under control in other circumstances.


As mentioned earlier, first open the ASRock F-Stream Tuning utility then adjusted the fan settings (from FAN-Tastic Tuning menu) to reduce the noise emitted from CPU and chassis fans, then navigate to OC Tweaker menu and increase the multiplier from X35 to X45 but keep the Base Block (BCLK) frequency at 100MHz and both Vcore and cache voltage at their default Adaptive Mode. Next, increase the cache ratio to x39 (maximum turbo frequency speed). Now, let's monitor the system at idle using HWiNFO utility.

We plan to achieve the minimum CPU and cache voltage at 4.5GHz with maximum temperature of 90°C during our IntelBurin test.

4500MHz Adaptive voltage - idle
Avg Cores VID [V] Avg Core Temp [°C] Maximum CPU Package Temp [°C] Vccin [V] Vcore [V] CPU Cache [V] CPU Digital IO [V] CPU Analog IO [V] CPU SA [V]
1.165 28 30 1.792 0.808 0.856 1.008 1.008 0.832

4500MHz Adaptive voltage - 100% load
Avg Cores VID [V] Avg Core Temp [°C] Maximum CPU Package Temp [°C] Vccin [V] Vcore [V] CPU Cache [V] CPU Digital IO [V] CPU Analog IO [V] CPU SA [V]
1.175 84.25 96 1.792 1.2 0.856 1.016 1.016 0.840

VCCSA, VCCAIO, and VCCDIO voltages need to be adjusted when increasing the BCLK frequency which we don't cover in this article.

Next, we'll switch to Override mode for Vcore voltage but keep the cache voltage at default Adaptive mode. Below you can see the settings:

4500MHz Vcore override voltage - IntelBurn test
Results CPU Input Voltage offset Vcore Override Voltage Vcore Voltage Additional offset Avg Cores VID [V] Avg Cores Temp [°C] Max CPU Package Temp [°C] Vccin [V] Vcore [V] CPU Cache [V] CPU Digital IO [V] CPU Analog IO [V] CPU SA [V]
BSOD 0 1.135 0.005 1.139 76.35 89 1.733 1.168 1.200 1.016 1.016 0.832
BSOD 0.010 1.135 0.005 1.139 76.98 89 1.735 1.166 1.200 1.016 1.016 0.832
Pass 0 1.145 0.005 1.149 80.27 91 1.724 1.174 1.200 1.016 1.008 0.832

The system finally passed the IntelBurn test, however the cache voltage is still high at 1.2V and maximum CPU temperature reached 91°C degree which is a tad higher than planned 90°C.

IntelBurn test pass1

Next, we will change the cache voltage mode to override and set it to 1.015V, however, the system automatically adjusts the cache voltage to 1.032V during test.

Results CPU Input Voltage offset Vcore Override Voltage Vcore Voltage Additional offset Avg Cores VID [V] Avg Cores Temp [°C] Max CPU Package Temp [°C] Vccin [V] Vcore [V] CPU Cache [V] CPU Digital IO [V] CPU Analog IO [V] CPU SA [V]
BSOD 0 1.145 0.005 1.149 77.49 91 1.733 1.168 1.032 1.016 1.014 0.832
BSOD 0 1.145 0.005 1.149 77.49 91 1.733 1.168 1.032 1.016 1.014 0.832
Pass 0 1.145 0.005 1.149 77.72 90 1.733 1.174 1.047 1.014 1.014 0.832

The system passed the IntelBurn test with vcore voltage of 1.174V and cache voltage of 1.047V. Also, the temperature didn't exceed 90°C during stability test.

IntelBurn test pass2

Video Conversion Test:

To compare the performance of i5-4690K at 4.5GHz I've converted a 1GB video file to Avi 720p (the file size increased to 6.4GB). Below you can see the time to finish the conversion (shown in min:sec) and performance increase.

Frequency (GHz) 3.5Ghz 3.9Ghz 4.5Ghz
Time 15:26 (100%) 13:24 (113%) 11:53 (123%)
Frequency [%] 100% 113% 128%

As you can see from the results, CPU frequency increase has substantial performance boost in video conversion.

Video Conversion Test

Far Cry 4

Frequency (GHz) 3.5Ghz   3.9Ghz   4.5Ghz  
Maximum FPS 121 122 122
Minimum FPS 71 72 72
Avg CPU Usage [%] 52.8% 52% 51%

Far Cry 4 doesn't benefit much from CPU frequency. The performance difference between 3.5GHz and 4.5GHz is negligible in this game.