SkatterBencher #12: Intel Core i5-10600K Overclocked to 5200 MHz

skatterbencher #8 core i5-10600K

We overclock the Intel Core i5-10600K processor up to 5200 MHz with the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero motherboard and EK water cooling.

The Core i5-10600K is the baby of the overclockable 10th generation Core CPUs. With 6 cores and 12 threads, it’s noticeably less equipped than the 8 core i7 and 10 core i9. On the flip side, the base frequency of 4.1 GHz is the highest among the 10th gen K CPUs. Then again with a single thread turbo of 4.8Ghz and all core turbo of 4.5 GHz it’s trailing the i7 and i9 by respectively 200 and 300 MHz. The PL2 for the i5-10600K is 182W and MSRP comes in around $262.

The 10600K was launched together with the other Comet Lake parts and should be on the shelves already.

In this video we will cover the basic overclocking steps to get your CPU all the way to 5.2 GHz using custom loop water cooling

We will dig into three overclocking strategies.

First, we’ll use Asus’ one button unlocked limits BIOS option. Second, we’ll use the Asus AI overclocking feature. Then lastly we’ll dig into manual overclocking as well.

Intel Core i5-10600K: Platform Overview

Along with the Intel Core i5-10600K processor, in this guide we will be using the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero motherboard, an ROG Strix RTX 2080 Ti, a pair of G.SKILL Trident Z DDR4-4266 memory sticks, and of course EK water cooling. All this is mounted on top of our favorite Open Benchtable.

The cost of the components should be around $3,000

  • CPU: $260
  • Cooling: $200 + $400
  • Motherboard: $400
  • Benchtable: $200
  • Memory: $200
  • VGA: $1300

Benchmarking Software

Here’s a list of the benchmarks and software utilities used in this guide, including download links:

Intel Core i5-10600K: Stock Performance

Before we get started with pushing the performance of the Intel Core i5-10600K processor, let’s first take a look at the scoring at stock settings:

  • SuperPI 4M: 41.596
  • Geekbench 5 (single): 1,274 points
  • Geekbench 5 (multi): 6405 points
  • HWBOT X264 4K: 11.588 fps
  • Cinebench R20: 3,563 marks
  • ROG Realbench: 119,488
  • Final Fantasy XIV: 96.25 fps
core i5-10600k prime95 stock

Running Prime 95 small FFT with AVX at 4500 MHz and 1.066v, we’re seeing peak CPU temperature of 62C and peak VRM temperature of 56C with an average CPU package power of 115 watt.

Step 1: Core i5-10600K F3 Unlocking

The first step is definitely the most easiest: Clear the BIOS and press F3 to unlock power limits for increased performance.

We re-ran the benchmarks and checked the performance increase compared to default operation.

  • SuperPI 4M: same
  • Geekbench 5 (single): +1.65%
  • Geekbench 5 (multi): same
  • HWBOT X264 4K: same
  • Cinebench R20: same
  • ROG Realbench: : +8.82%
  • Final Fantasy XIV: same
core i5-10600k 4500mhz prime95

Running Prime 95 small FFT with AVX at 4500 MHz and 1.083v, we’re seeing peak CPU temperature of 62C and peak VRM temperature of 57C with an average CPU package power of 117 watt.

Now, let’s move on to the ASUS AI overclocking

Step 2: Core i5-10600K AI Overclocking

ASUS AI Overclocking is a genuinely novel approach to automatic overclocking. Rather than using a brute force approach with pre-set frequency and voltage, AI OC uses an algorithm to predict the optimal performance settings.

The algorithm monitors system workload, the temperatures, fan speed and power draw to assess the quality of your CPU and cooling solution. Based on these inputs, it then adjusts the frequency real-time to ensure a stable overclock.

Before you enable AI OC, you must enter the Operating System and run your preferred high-load workload for 10 to 30 minutes. Then reboot.

In the BIOS, navigate to the AI OC Guide submenu or press F11. Read through the quick guide to get more familiar with the automatic overclocking procedures. If you’re ready press Enable AI

Save the settings, and exit the BIOS.

We re-ran the benchmarks and checked the performance increase compared to default operation.

  • SuperPI 4M: +7.40%
  • Geekbench 5 (single): +6.44%
  • Geekbench 5 (multi): +5.39%
  • HWBOT X264 4K: +6.54%
  • Cinebench R20: +7.77%
  • ROG Realbench: : +12.27%
  • Final Fantasy XIV: +1.93%
core i5-10600k 5000 prime95

Running Prime 95 small FFT with AVX at 5000 MHz and 1.252v, we’re seeing peak CPU temperature of 82C and peak VRM temperature of 65C with an average CPU package power of 191 watt.

Now, let’s move on to the manual overclocking

Step 3: Core i5-10600K Manual Overclocking

Last but not least, let’s get into manual overclocking.

Upon entering the BIOS, navigate to the Extreme Tweaker menu.

  • Set Ai Overclock Tuner to XMP II
  • Set AVX Instruction Core Ratio Negative Offset to 2
  • Set CPU Core Ratio to Sync All Cores
  • Set ALL-Core Ratio Limit to 52
  • Disable Ring Down Bin
  • Set Min. and Max CPU Cache Ratio to 45
  • Set CPU Core/Cache Voltage to Adaptive Mode
  • Set Additional Turbo Mode CPU Core Voltage to 1.45v
  • Set CPU VCCIO Voltage to 1.24v
  • Set CPU System Agent Voltage to 1.24v

Then save the changes and reboot.

We re-ran the benchmarks and checked the performance increase compared to default operation.

  • SuperPI 4M: +9.43%
  • Geekbench 5 (single): +6.75%
  • Geekbench 5 (multi): +16.21%
  • HWBOT X264 4K: +14.70%
  • Cinebench R20: +10.67%
  • ROG Realbench: : +21.17%
  • Final Fantasy XIV: +7.76%
core i5-10600k 5000 mhz prime 95

Running Prime 95 small FFT with AVX at 5000 MHz and 1.243v, we’re seeing peak CPU temperature of 80C and peak VRM temperature of 65C with an average CPU package power of 184 watt.

core i5-10600k 5200 mhz prime 95

Running Prime 95 small FFT without AVX at 5200 MHz and 1.341v, we’re seeing peak CPU temperature of 82C and peak VRM temperature of 63C with an average CPU package power of 171 watt.

Conclusion

Alright, let’s wrap this up.

First, I have to address the elephant in the room. Why would anyone buy 600 dollars of custom loop water cooling to cool a mid-range Core i5 CPU? Especially considering even a highly overclocked 5.2GHz 10600K barely breaks 220W CPU package power. Even a $90 tower air cooler like the Bequiet DARK ROCK PRO 4 will handle up to 250W!

And to those people I’d say: you are right!

From a functional perspective, meaning cooling down the CPU, there’s no need to buy custom loop water cooling.

However, some people seem to appreciate the custom loop aesthetics and for those people there are cheaper options available. For example, the EK Classic KIT D-RGB S240 starts at 260 dollar. Or you can go to an even more low end brand like Bykski or Barrow and put together your $150 dollar loop.

In the end it’s not just about the cooling but also about how you want your system to look.

Moving on to the overclocking.

Frankly, I was a bit disappointed to see the overclocking result. With 4 fewer cores than the 10900K, the 10600K should have more head room right? Well, it seems like Intel did a pretty good job sorting the good silicon from the average and put all the good stuff in the Core i9s. I can’t say I’m pissed off about, I mean, it just makes good business sense.

Overall, overclocking the Core i5-10600K is very easy and you’ll get an easy 15 to 20 percent performance gain without having to worry too much about the temperatures. What’s not to like?

That’s all for today. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop them in the comment section below. If you liked the video, you know what to do.

See ya next time!

1 Comment

  1. SkatterBencher #23: Intel Core i5-11600K Overclocked to 5100 MHz | SkatterBencher

    […] The Intel Core i5-11600K is the little brother of the overclockable Rocket Lake K-sku CPUs. It is the successor of the i5-10600K which we overclocked once before to 5.2 GHz, also with a Maximus Hero motherboard. […]

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