What Is VID Voltage? Understanding The Basics

A computer is made up of several bits of electronics components that work towards one common goal- fulfilling the given set of functions. And this is how complex mechanisms like VRM were developed. 

You can consider the unit to be similar to that of a transformer, where the primary role is to provide appropriate supply voltage as required by the CPU or its motherboard. With lower CPU core voltages, you can expect lesser power dissipation and optimal values of the thermal power.

When it comes to communicating the correct supply voltage to the system, the microprocessor uses the concept of VID (Voltage Identification Definition). In simple words, VID sets up a logical loop within the VRM to act as the voltage regulator, and keep providing constant value to the processor. 

Therefore, today we would be focusing on the basics of ‘What is VID voltage?’. Do not worry, we have got it covered for you in the simplest terms. 

What Is VID Voltage? 

In simple terms, VID is the default voltage at which the CPU runs without getting overclocked, or showing the necessary signs of passing stability at the stock speed. This terminology became famous majorly due to Intel’s technology that aided in detecting non-faulty motherboards effortlessly. 

In some cases, VID is considered as the maximum voltage that can be tolerated by the CPU without undergoing any major failure. It is correlated to the Vcore values, and can easily be studied through BIOS. 


Where Does VID Voltage Show Up?

One of the common methods of reading the VID is CoreTemp. Just go to your BIOS, turn on the default settings, switch off C1E and C-State, and finally restart the windows. At this stage, the Vcore value that comes up at the idle load is your VID. There may be little variations, but it would help you in giving a rough approximation.  

How Is VID Voltage Determined?

VID voltage can be determined at the default clock speeds, and you can witness the variations while overclocking the system. Visit the BIOS and check the CPU Core Voltage. VID is calculated at the maximum point where the system stability is maintained despite being overclocked. 

This is also characterized by the changing heat dissipation from the system. Record the voltage when the CPU is under load, switch to the Load Line Calibration, input the voltage into BIOS, and finally get the output as approximate VID of the CPU.   

Examples of VID Voltage with Explanation

Two major factors determine safe VID voltage for any CPU:

  • Maximum and minimum voltages are mentioned in the specifications sheet.
  • Batch code mentioned on the motherboard.

For example, the values in the 65 nm Core 2 and 45 nm Core 2 series are 1.55 V and 1.45 V respectively. Similarly, when it comes to A batch of Core i7, the overclocking capacity is not considered to be ideal. 

So, VID is a correlated concept. 

What Should My VID Voltage Be?

The answer to the question is quite straightforward- VID should be as low as possible. One of the core factors that determine the value is the batch from where the processor is produced. With lower VID voltage, it causes lesser heat dissipation from the system and eventually higher speed.

But there is a catch to it. The value should not be that low that it affects the overclocking capacity of the processor. For example, Q6600 with a VID of 1.1 V shows poor performance in overclocking. Therefore, you need to maintain the proper equilibrium between overclocking capacity and acceptable VID. 

Always refer to the datasheet of the processor to determine the exact values for the voltage. For example, the pin configuration of VID is quite important to decide the power that can be drawn by the CPU. And this comes in very handy while determining the compatibility of overclocking.   

It would not be wrong to assume that VID is limited by the temperature limits on the processor or chip. You would not like to go for the value that exceeds the thermal limits and causes failure in the cooling system. 

What Is the Safe VID Voltage?

It depends upon the model of the processor that is being used in the CPU. On average, it is always recommended that the VID should not go to the maximum limit as defined in the specs. It must stay at least 70-75% of the upper cap. 

It is because the cooling systems are not always efficient in handling the high temperature dissipated due to the greater voltage values. And with this, you may compromise on the safety of the device. For example, Ryzen responds best in the voltage values of 1.35-1.37 V. As per its VID specifications, the value can also go up to 1.45 V. But you need to have a robust cooling system to mitigate the power losses. 

With this, you would be having the concern of how to monitor VID voltage. Well, the answer is quite simple- just keep looking at the BIOS in the system. It would display the default voltages, as well as define the one during overclocking. Have a practice of including benchmarks and stress tests to keep a check on the stability, and accordingly play with the multipliers to boost the given values. 

What to Do if there’s any CPU VID Voltage Fluctuation?

There is nothing much to worry about if your CPU shows VID voltage fluctuation. This is related to the ups and downs observed in the core values of the voltage, as:

  • Lesser core voltage would mean lower power dissipation, but unstable frequencies and an eventual drop in the performance.
  • Higher core voltage would mean greater power dissipation, stable frequencies, and yet greater load on the cooling system. 

If it still bothers you, then you may follow either of the approaches:

  • Improvise your cooling system so that it functions optimally even at the overclocked speeds, and you may never witness uneven values.
  • Refer to the user guide of the manufacturer to learn the ways of changing VID voltage, and yet not compromising much on the overall performance. 
  • In the worst case, go for the replacement of the complete unit of processor and instead choose the one that belongs to the best batch by the manufacturer. Read the instructions on overclocking, its effect on the core voltage, and the ways of controlling the same. 

Therefore, it has become quite easy to understand and mitigate the general issues observed during the VID voltage fluctuations in the CPU. 

How to Change VID Voltage?

As mentioned previously, one of how the VID voltage gets changed is during overclocking of the system. So, the steps to change it (like AMD VID voltage changes) is also the same as that of overclocking process. Refer below for more details:

  • Prepare your CPU to meet the cooling requirements of the system, like adding a greater specification of the cooler, or modifying the specs mentioned in the motherboard to bring necessary changes for matching the higher performance.
  • Enter BIOS settings and play with the base frequency and CPU multiplier values. Remove the auto mode within it, and set the value to one that gradually increases the stability of the system. You may need to reboot your system after executing the step.
  • Test for the stability of the overclocked system. The best way to do so is using Prime95. You have the options for Stress and Torture tests, and accordingly, it would help you in determining if the components are ready to handle the changed VID voltage or not.
  • Now comes the step of increasing the voltage. Go to the BIOS, enter into the field of CPU Core voltage, and increase the value with minor increments. Yes, the temperature would increase and you need to check the maximum limit from the user manual. 
  • Repeat the given steps if you are finding challenges in the previous setup. 

The baseline states that you need to control the basic values for seeing major changes in the system. 

FAQs 

1. Is VID actual voltage?

VID voltage can be said as the maximum that can be tolerated by the CPU system under a given clock speed. Whereas Vcore is the actual reading for the cores. In simple terms, VID is the upper cap on the voltage specifications of the system. Refer to a similar article- What is CPUTIN?

2. What is a VID value?

VID value is the upper cap at which the CPU can be overclocked without witnessing major changes either in the power dissipation or system stability. It can be seen in the BIOS settings. 

3. What is the VID motherboard?

It refers to the value given in the specifications sheet of the processor used in your motherboard. In simple words, you cannot exceed the given threshold without damaging the thermals of the system. 

4. What is a normal CPU voltage?

It depends upon the manufacturer of the processor, as well as the batch code from where it has been picked up. On average, it lies in between 1.25-1.5 V. 

Final Words 

Therefore, the final verdict states that VID voltage is an important indication in determining the overclocking capacity of your system. It is the upper limit beyond which the stability is bound to be affected. Therefore, as a responsible user, you should keep a check on the value. Refer to our article as a guide for checking VID in the BIOS, and changing the same as and when required. 

Also, keep referring to our website for more of such informative content- like ‘What is PCI latency timer?’, ‘What is NB frequency?’ and many more. Till then, happy reading and stay safe.