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Newbie needs help overclocking

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am completely new to this overclocking business, but I have a nagging feeling that leaving my i7 920 at stock speed is a huge waste, so here I am...

First though I sort of know that the bus speed of the cpu is related to the RAM speed, but I forgot the stock speed of my RAM (and can't be arsed to open up the case)... is there a way I can check? I looked at CPU-Z and it says DRAM frequency is 539.7MHz, so does this mean my RAM is 1600MHz? >_>

Anyway... I have been reading this tutorial:
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu...g_2.html#sect0

But I am not sure how good that tutorial is, so I will really appreciate any additional help.

I am looking to push the speed to around 3.6GHz to 4GHz (I assume the higher I go, the shorter the lifetime of my CPU becomes?)

I don't use water cooling though (I have installed 3-4 fans), so I don't think going to 4GHz will be a good idea... but what do I know >_>
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post #2 of 12
Some basics HERE, will get you going for i7-920. For fine tuning later on, there are a lot of good guides here on OCN but the above link is OC bare minimum.

Edit:

Further down the road, there is another good guide easy to understand for starters, explaining in details of what other voltages related to its function and Overclocking The definitive "How to overlock the i7"
Edited by Ken1649 - 8/21/11 at 3:26pm
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post #3 of 12
i have an i7 920 co/c1 at 3.67Ghz. A 1Ghz improvement over stock speeds. CPU Voltage is 1.25v. anything above 3.67ghz, for me, requires a huge voltage jump. Not worth it to me to raise temps, voltage, and noise(faster fans) just to get a .3ghz increase. but i guess that depends if you have a d0...

And for your ram, DDR means double data rate so 539.7 x 2 = 1079.4... Stock for the i7 920 is 533mhz x 2 =1066mhz. Most likely your ram is 1333mhz and 1600mhz with the x.m.p. on, but just check online or the box your ram came in.

Higher speeds does not necessarily mean shorter life span, it depends on your temps and your voltages. intel says you should NOT go over 1.4v.. and max temps i read somewhere that intel says its 100C but most people try to stay around 70C-75C running prime95.
And remember raising voltages = raising temps.

that link you posted is the one i used and along with some posted here on OCN
Edited by PoNGxB - 8/21/11 at 5:13pm
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post #4 of 12
Welcome awtchiang!

first things first, no just because your ram says that in cpu-z it might not mean its actual speeds, sometimes ram is downclocked and so your gonna have to bend over and open the case to see what it says on the ram sticks...

As for overclocking guides, check out this one from overclock.net member

http://www.overclock.net/intel-cpus/...920-930-a.html
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hmmm seems like I am jumping ahead of myself, as I run into a rather basic problem I think...

I tried doing overclocking without increasing my voltages, and according to an article I read, in this case i7 920 should be able to reach 3.5GHz, but when I tried to test with OCCL or prime95, my cpu overheats.

I just realise that I am actually using stock fans from CM690, so maybe that's a problem? I am running GeForce 280GTX, so I suppose that gives off quite a bit of heat , and I am waiting for 680GTX >_> can't wait, but I digress... Should default voltage be overheating my system like that? I did overclock the bclk to 175MHz (so 175x20 = 3500), but I thought that doesn't affect heat much if at all? Should I change my cpu fan first?

Slightly off-topic, I am thinking of investing in water cooling... how newbie-friendly is the installation into a CM690?

EDIT: I checked my RAM, it's 1600MHz corsair 3x2Gb DDR3 >_>

Also I notice my CPU fan seems to be turning slower than the other fans... not sure why, but I also recently shipped my computer from the UK to Hong Kong (I moved out of the UK), so I opened it up to clean up the dusts a bit... did I accidentally damage the fan or is it supposed to be spinning more slowly than the other fans at the start of system?
Edited by awtchiang - 8/22/11 at 1:27am
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post #6 of 12
When you said stock voltage, did you put in BIOS manually or just leave it on 'auto'?

Edit: Is HK is using same Voltage and Hertz as in UK? If not, that might be the reason.
Edited by Ken1649 - 8/22/11 at 1:34am
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post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yes HK should be using the same voltage and Hertz as the UK (about 97% sure <_<), HK being an ex-colony and all that.

As for your question, short answer, not everything is on auto, Long answer will need some explaining, my computer was overclocked by someone who knows what they are doing (I hope), and for the first year or so ran 3.6GHz, but I never stress tested my rig. Sometime after the first year, my computer crashed and I guess the bios automatically resetted some settings so when I looked at CPU-Z, my CPU speed is shown as 2.67GHz (stock speed). So when I tried to do overclocking myself now, I had to try to start from default voltage, and I tried to decrease the voltages back to the default voltage (as displayed on my bios). So should I be using auto instead? My bios also comes with a setting for set-everything-to-default, but it comes with two flavours: fail-safe and optimise. So I didn't use any of that, since I wasn't sure what either of them do.
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post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by awtchiang View Post
Yes HK should be using the same voltage and Hertz as the UK (about 97% sure <_<), HK being an ex-colony and all that.

As for your question, short answer, not everything is on auto, Long answer will need some explaining, my computer was overclocked by someone who knows what they are doing (I hope), and for the first year or so ran 3.6GHz, but I never stress tested my rig. Sometime after the first year, my computer crashed and I guess the bios automatically resetted some settings so when I looked at CPU-Z, my CPU speed is shown as 2.67GHz (stock speed). So when I tried to do overclocking myself now, I had to try to start from default voltage, and I tried to decrease the voltages back to the default voltage (as displayed on my bios). So should I be using auto instead? My bios also comes with a setting for set-everything-to-default, but it comes with two flavours: fail-safe and optimise. So I didn't use any of that, since I wasn't sure what either of them do.
No. that was what I was afraid of that you left the voltages on auto. The BIOS will set the voltages higher to maintain stability than required to run at the same bandwidth compared to manually set in BIOS. When the second BIOS kicks in, it will reset everything to default. If that is the case, you need to go into BIOS and to load 'Optimized Defaults', save and exit, re-start then go into BIOS again to manually change your settings.

As for your CPU fan slow at system start-up is the way it should be, it is a PWM smart fan enabled in BIOS. The fan will spin up faster when CPU temp rises set by the BIOS.

Take your time to see all the guides offered by members here, they are all good. If you have specific question, post it here. You will get the best helps around from all fellow OCN.
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Optimised Default seems to place all my settings to auto :X I'll run a stress test on this first. Everything default, even bclk.
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post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hmmm.... stress testing with Optimisd Default (everything on auto) using OCCT seems to suggest that the CPU temperatures hover around low-80's...

Is that normal? My CPU heatsink reads Nero... I suppose it's one of the lowest tiered cooling system?

EDIT:
There are many voltages settings that are set to Auto, like PCIE, QPI PLL, DRAM Termination etc. Should I set those manually as well?

EDIT EDIT: Minor success: I set everything manually except for some memory settings that I have no idea what they are, and set bclk to 160MHz. I have been running OCCT for about 5 minutes now, and so far no overheating has occurred. But core 2 seems to hover dangerously close to 100C, with a minute or so reaching 100C, while the other 3 cores hover around 90s. I should be concerned about reaching these temperatures right? A friend once told me that high end GPU of the series like the 280 GTX I am using should be watercooled, is that the reason I am getting high temperature for my CPU? My GPU seems to be running at around 54C only...
Edited by awtchiang - 8/22/11 at 2:31am
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