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Nearly 1GHz OC on my ULV i5. With Zero extra voltage. Here's how..

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Before Starting this thread I would like to give Credit to UncleWeb and DavyGT over at Notebook review for their hard work in developing the software that has enabled me to do this. Also thanks to the creators of SetPLL and the modded Creative Drivers.

I’ve been playing with my Alienware M11X R2 over the weekend to try and get the most out of it. I’ve had great success. So I thought I’d post my results and links to what I did so owners of the same or similar laptop’s can try their luck.

Here are the factory Specs.
CPU ULV i5 @ 133BLK. 4 Threads 12x Multi, 2 Threads Multi 14x Max 1862MHz (Temp Idle 42C, Load 64C)
GPU Core 450Mhz | Shader 1080 | Memory (Not sure).

My Specs
CPU ULV i5 @ 197BLK. 4 Threads 12x Multi, 2 Threads Multi 14x Max 2758MHz (Temp Idle 45C, Load 68C)
GPU Core 590Mhz | Shader 1500 | Memory 900Mhz.


Quite a jump. In games its gone from 17FPS on the Witcher 2 in the starting camp to 27FPS. This is the difference between Playable and not. Temps are fine never getting anywhere near the danger levels of 85C on CPU or GPU.

What I did.

Step 1.Flash the Bios so the GPU voltage goes from 0.90 to 0.95V. This makes a nice little difference and can get you around 40Mhz on the core and around the same on the shaders. I use EVGA Precision for OCing and DavyGT’s modded Bios. Guide found here: http://forum.notebookreview.com/alienware-m11x/567917-r2-335m-nvidia-bios-flashing-increase-voltage.html

Step 2.Right click on the desktop and go to the Onboard Intel Graphics card and go to power management section and set the Power Plan to Maximum Battery Life. This is a very important step since the Intel GPU is connected to the CPU. With this set to Balanced I could only get 170BLK, with it set to Max Battery I could get 197BLK.

Step 3.Stock the RAM runs at 6-6-6-15 (I think) which is pretty fast and this is usually what hampers overclocking rather than the voltage or quality of the i5 Processor. What I did next was set higher timings of 7-7-7-20. This will give you more overclocking head room as the RAM clocks with the CPU. To do this purchase (Or install a 32Bit OS and use an earlier version) Thaiphoon Burner http://www.softnology.biz/download.html.
If you purchase the proper version (Like I did) make sure to boot using F8 to allow unsigned drivers.
You can now follow this guide: http://forum.notebookreview.com/alienware-m11x/576475-how-update-spd.html


Step 4.I then used a program called SetPLL which can alter the systems BLK from within the Windows Environment. Use this guide
http://forum.notebookreview.com/alienware-m11x/564464-how-use-setpll-overclock-your-r2-over-166-a.html

Step 5.For some reason in Windows 7 when overclocking your system using this method can make your games run out of sync like they are in turbo mode. So go to the start menu. Type CMD. When the Command Window opens type in “bcdedit /set useplatformclock true” (Without the Quotation Marks). This will solve the Turbo problem.

Step 6.Install ThrottleStop. This will stop the chip from throttling and help keep it at the maximum turbo levels. This program makes a HUGE HUGE difference. Use this guide: http://forum.notebookreview.com/alienware-m11x/524257-how-supercharge-m11x-core-i5-i7-um-cpus.html

Step 7.Now you have all the software you need to stability test your system using your favourite Stability Tester. I used IntelBurn Test and the maximum RAM I could for 30+ runs. Monitor your temps as you don’t want your CPU to get into the high 70’s early 80’s as this is dangerous. If your testing for a long period of time I suggest putting the laptop on 4 bottle tops to raise it off the surface to allow for more air flow while testing.

Optional Step 8.You can also install modded Creative X-FI drivers on the M11X. This will give you bonus features like 3D surround Via headphones and the other Creative Suite bonuses. Info Here: http://forum.notebookreview.com/alienware-m11x/578226-getting-best-out-our-sound.html

Here is a pic of my results. I have yet to run a Final 3DMark06 run but the gains are around 1700points (Low 7k’s to Nearly 9k) You may say this is a poor result but for an 11” gaming net book which plays games at 1360x768 its perfectly fine. The new £900+ R3 gets low 9k’s so for my £500 machine to get only a few points less and next to no difference in game this is a phenomenal result. The main difference is CPU dependant games are now fluid and we get a nice FPS boost due to the GPU overclock. This is all achieved with only a 0.05V increase to the GPU and zero voltage increase to the CPU.

197BLKstresstesting.png

Good luck if your trying this yourself.
Edited by mardon - 6/13/11 at 7:24am
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x2 Sandisk x100 120GB in RAID 0 + 3tb WD Green Slim Slot Loading Bluray Corsair Hydro H55 + Geild Slimline 120mm Fan Windows Pro 8.1 
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post #2 of 10
Can it turboclock still (for even more speed?)
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
The max 2.7Ghz (14 Multi 2 Threads) or 2.36Ghz (12 Multi 4 Threads) is with constant turbo. Throttle Stop keeps the chip at turbo levels. Obviously it drops back down when not under any load.
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x2 Sandisk x100 120GB in RAID 0 + 3tb WD Green Slim Slot Loading Bluray Corsair Hydro H55 + Geild Slimline 120mm Fan Windows Pro 8.1 
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LG OLED 55EA9800 55" TV Rocat Sova If it ever comes out! Silverstone SFX-L 500W Silverstone RVZ01  
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Roccat Overclockers.co.uk Denon AVRX-500 5.1 Amp with Dolby True HD & DTS... Microsoft Surface Pro 2 - For Steam Stream 
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x2 Sandisk x100 120GB in RAID 0 + 3tb WD Green Slim Slot Loading Bluray Corsair Hydro H55 + Geild Slimline 120mm Fan Windows Pro 8.1 
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LG OLED 55EA9800 55" TV Rocat Sova If it ever comes out! Silverstone SFX-L 500W Silverstone RVZ01  
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post #4 of 10
Wow thats very cool
Very nice for an 11". Nice comprehensive guide for others too, I like that thumb.gif
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post #5 of 10
Dude that's pretty cool; especially the GPU overvolt. On my R2 (i7 chip), I can OC my CPU to 166BLCK (~2.8ghz? w/ throttlestop) with no GPU OC but my temps sometimes start to hit the low 80s when I game. DAMN I wanna OC higher!! >.<<br />
Should I drop my CPU OC and OC my GPU? Only game I think that benefits from a CPU OC is TF2 :/
Edited by infomancer - 6/13/11 at 2:45am
    
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post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mardon;13852555 
Step 3.Stock the RAM runs at 6-6-6-15 (I think) which is pretty fast and this is usually what hampers overclocking rather than the voltage or quality of the i5 Processor. What I did next was lower the timings to 7-7-7-20..

headscratch.gif What? You did not lower any timings, it runs a bit slower with 7-7-7-20 in comparison to 6-6-6-15
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yeah I lowered timings as in made them slower (I see what ou mean though). I did this on purpose as the memory clocks with the CPU. The higher the OC the RAM usually trips up. By lowering the timings (Or setting higher timings would be the correct term) I can clock higer.

I'll change this thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by infomancer;13852754 
Dude that's pretty cool; especially the GPU overvolt. On my R2 (i7 chip), I can OC my CPU to 166BLCK (~2.8ghz? w/ throttlestop) with no GPU OC but my temps sometimes start to hit the low 80s when I game. DAMN I wanna OC higher!! >.<<br />
Should I drop my CPU OC and OC my GPU? Only game I think that benefits from a CPU OC is TF2 :/

You do not need to lower your CPU overclock. Leave it as it is. Just flash the bios with the new volt mod and you'll be able to get higher clocks on your GPU. You could then follow the other steps to try and go further on the i7. I'm pretty sure you'll be able to get up to 180BLK which would be 2.5Ghz (14x Dual Core Multi) or 2.88GHZ (16x Single Core Multi).

If your having issues with temps try applying some better thermal compound. Youb have to be pretty confidant to strip down the laptop though. Apparently it can make 4-5C difference. I've not done it on mine.
Edited by mardon - 6/13/11 at 3:06am
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x2 Sandisk x100 120GB in RAID 0 + 3tb WD Green Slim Slot Loading Bluray Corsair Hydro H55 + Geild Slimline 120mm Fan Windows Pro 8.1 
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post #8 of 10
Aww I get "danger" load temps then, 85c for the win !
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post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krakatau;13855401 
Aww I get "danger" load temps then, 85c for the win !

I was speaking to a tech at Alienware a couple of days ago about a bad stick of RAM and was asking about temps. He said 85C was the danger zone so I class 80C as the hottest i'd be comfortable with before the chip could possibly start to degrade after time. Also i'm going to S/E Asia in 4 weeks for 6 months so my ambient temp is gonnabe 10/15C hotter than usual smile.gif I'm just playing it safe. Stripping mine down this week to put some new TIM on so it'd be great if I can get stock temps when overclocked with the new TIM.
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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x2 Sandisk x100 120GB in RAID 0 + 3tb WD Green Slim Slot Loading Bluray Corsair Hydro H55 + Geild Slimline 120mm Fan Windows Pro 8.1 
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LG OLED 55EA9800 55" TV Rocat Sova If it ever comes out! Silverstone SFX-L 500W Silverstone RVZ01  
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Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
x2 Sandisk x100 120GB in RAID 0 + 3tb WD Green Slim Slot Loading Bluray Corsair Hydro H55 + Geild Slimline 120mm Fan Windows Pro 8.1 
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LG OLED 55EA9800 55" TV Rocat Sova If it ever comes out! Silverstone SFX-L 500W Silverstone RVZ01  
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post #10 of 10
To be honest, if your going to do something stressing your cpu that much, investing in a cooling pad would be a good idea. Doubt it can get that hot off battery as well.

Though the idle temps on mine are in the 50s hehe, gpu temp i saw max at 70, but CPU is a whole nother story, damn thing is hot like hell.
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