CPU Overclock, Better with Offset or Fixed Voltage for 24/7?

One of the debates that has been flooding the Internet for years is the typical one about the voltage to use when overclocking. And it is not easy to discern when to use one or the other, since reality is more complex than a simple categorical statement as such. When should we use one or the other? Is any scenario conducive to this type of CPU voltage? We are going to shed light on this little internal debate.

Although we have already explained the types of voltage separately, when we come together to decide which one to use, the doubts do nothing but stand out in forums and websites on the Internet. The fact is that there are as many questions as information that end up contradicting each other, generating more controversy if possible.

CPU Overclock, Better with Offset or Fixed Voltage

Offset voltage


Offset voltage is a much more advanced CPU voltage mode than fixed voltage. Its bonanzas are very clear, since we will not have to depend on a constantly high consumption in our CPU.

The offset voltage is synchronized with the ups and downs of the processor frequency by means of the PL algorithms, so in idle it will consume much less energy than in full, which has an effect on lower temperature and less degradation of the CPU.

Fixed voltage


It is the typical manual voltage of a lifetime. It is invariable and comes in handy to calculate the VDROOP that our motherboard has with respect to the VRMs and the CPU. Today it does not have a really clear advantage over Offset, since there is only one scenario where this type of voltage can be convenient.

This scenario is nothing more than passing the benchmark to try to get the highest possible score, both under stock speed and for overclocking. Although the frequency varies, the time it would take for the voltage to vary in Offset enables the CPU to always seek the lowest power state, while with fixed voltage the time is zero and the boost remains active for more seconds after the benchmark.

What is better CPU voltage and in what situations?


The problem with fixed voltage is that it needs a fixed frequency to make sense and here a technology that has been forgotten, but which is still used as SpeedStep (in the case of Intel, of course, PowerNow in the case of AMD) comes into play.

The voltage and frequency relationship with this technology enabled only makes sense if the workload is going to be close to 100% for the processor, otherwise it will always try to lower the maximum frequency possible to maintain the ratios due to high voltage.

This would logically force us to deactivate SpeedStep or PowerNow and work with a fixed frequency so as not to lose benchmark performance. But this is something that has to be punctual, since if used 24/7/365 what we would be achieving is a fairly high temperature rise over time while the system is on, as well as a very accelerated degradation of the processor, which curiously is going to affect the cache and the BMI more than the processor cores themselves.

Offset voltage will have a small lost performance GAP, perhaps miniscule depending on the platform, but it will protect our processor much more in the long run, it will make us need less cooling system to keep the temperature at bay and it will avoid as much as possible the acceleration of electromigration .

As we say, except in benchmarking environments, where the power plans are also changed and everything is optimized for maximum performance, the rest of the scenarios are much more optimal to use Offset, or Adaptive if possible, as long as our platform supports it.