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Help a newbie on his first overclock

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello!

I am a newb when it comes to overclocking, but in the past weeks I've read several guides and I can say that I'm starting to get the feeling of it. Could really use a few tips about getting my 950 to a stable 4GHz though.

I wasn't that confident at start and before setting anything up in BIOS, I tried the CPU Level Up feature for a couple of days and got my cpu to 3.7GHz. Then I found out that this isn't the way to go and OC'ing from software is unstable. Therefore, after proper documentation, I got into BIOS and started to get familiarized with the settings and stuff. After a bit of trial and error and 1 BSOD, I came up with:

Code:
Ai Overclocking Tuner - Manual
Turbo Power Limit - Enabled
SpeedStep - Enabled
CPU Ratio Setting - 21
BCLK Frequency - 191
PCIE Frequency - 100
DRAM Frequency - DDR3 - 1531Mhz
CPU Voltage - 1.28000
QPI/DRAM Core Voltage - 1.30000
DRAM Bus Voltage - 1.50000
QPI LLC - Auto
Everything else - Auto
Got into Windows and started a Prime95 test and let it ran for 1 hour and 4 minutes. After 1 hour Worker #6 failed giving me this error:



I let the other Workers finish to see if they get the same error, but they didn't.

I have a few questions about the best settings to OC this cpu. Almost every guide I've found out there was for 920 and the majority say that it's similar to 950 and there's no need for another guide. Although the default multiplier for this would be 23. Some say it's best to leave it like that or use 21. I'm confused

Apparently if I use 23 multiplier I can't get DRAM Frequency higher than 1375 or so. And the next setting available would be 1720 and my RAM is only 1600 so that might be the reason. Not sure though.

Also, I'm not sure what Turbo Power Limit does and if it's best to leave it enabled or disabled. Same would go for SpeedStep and CPU TM Function.

Most confusing setting I've come across is QPI LLC. I've read something about LLC and that it helps with Vdroop, but I don't have that in BIOS. I only got QPI LLC and I can only set it to Auto, 0% calibration, 50% or 100%. I left it on Auto for now as I'm not sure if it's the same as LLC setting I've read about on other guides or just totally different.

Sorry if there are any grammar mistakes, but english isn't my native language

Thanks a lot for reading! Any help is appreciated!
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post #2 of 9
Try bumping vcore up a bit, 1.28 is still pretty low, that typically fixes rounding errors (although not always) also you can try linx or intel burn test too, they usually give you a stability answer quicker and can sometimes stress memory better than prime.

Memory speed is a problem with the locked multipliers on intel chips. This is another reason (on top of the price) as to why the 920 was so loved because the 21 multiplier had convenient memory speeds. It's also why people were willing to pay so much for the extreme editions as they let you dial your memory in perfectly. Having said that, 191 bclk is nothing to worry about, so if you want to run 21x rather than 23x then do it.

In general turn any power limits or efficiency stuff off like c1e, tm, speedstep etc

Get used to dialing in your cpu overclock first, then you can see about overclocking your memory later. Dont' forget you can adjust memory timings also to compensate for the frequency changes.

Yes LLC tries to calibrate for the voltage droop when a power supply gets loaded. Some people dislike it, I'd say most people favor it. Not sure why it says only QPI LLC and that there isn't a regular LLC. Hmm, seems you have a R3E which is the same as mine, although that rig is currently down after a pump fail. I'll check back in this thread when I can get in to the bios and let you know what mine says.
     
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your answer! I bumped Vcore to 1.3, started Prime95 and went to bed. When I got up everything was running smooth except RealTemp stopped working for some reason :S

I decided to let it run for 1 more hour to see what temps I would get and stuff. Sadly right when I was about to stop it an error popped up



I'll try bumping Vcore to 1.31 and redo this. I'll also try IBT.

Previously with the CPU Level Up thing @ 3.7GHz it had 1.35 Vcore. I believe that was more than enough and maybe not needed. Would I have to increase QPI/DRAM Core Voltage as well though? At the moment it's 1.30.

Also, regarding memory timings... they seem to have changed from 8-8-8-20 to 9-9-9-24. I didn't touch anything and everything is left on Auto. On the kit it shows 8-8-8-24 @ 1.5V.

Thanks again for your help! Very much appreciated!
Edited by lywyu - 11/3/11 at 5:18am
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post #4 of 9
Yes to get 1600-8-8-8-24 you'll most likely need more than 1.3Vqpi. My 920 D0 for example would need about 1.4V to do those freq/timings. If it's set to auto then I imagine the memory couldn't hit 8 at 1.3Vqpi. However it's hard to know what the motherboard is really targetting and what algorithm it uses to get there.

Sometimes it's hard to know whether it's memory or cpu core. Somewhere there's a thread of what errors mean, but it's not always 100%. You can try to isolate the two by underclocking your memory to see if it then passes.

>> edit you may want to run memtest on the sticks to make sure they really can handle those freq/timings at that voltage. Some of the vengeance units haven't been up to spec recently.
     
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
I see. I'll raise Vqpi and check what's up. Memtest would be last resort as I have no clue how to run that at the moment :/

This is what CPU-Z shows on Memory tab:



As for the CPU, I raised the Vcore to 1.31, but didn't have time for too much stress testing. Only 15 mins of Prime95 and ~20 mins of IBT. While running Prime95 small FFTs temps peaked at 83C. That might be a little bit high, but the Vcore was bumped only a couple of notches...

While in IBT I ran 5 loops on Standard and temps didn't go over 75C. After that I tried Maximum, but only had time for 1 loop. Again, temps didn't go over 75C.

During gaming + stream temps peaked at 69C and everything went smooth with no errors/BSODs. I might start Prime95 again before I go to sleep and report tomorrow with what I see there. Can't say I'm comfortable with those temps though.

Thanks again for giving me great info! I'm starting to understand how overclocking works Even though it seems confusing at times, I still find it pretty interesting.

+REP for you!
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post #6 of 9
more voltage, low temp = stable PC
    
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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
For some reason I thought it is the other way around. My bad

ty
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Razorscale
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post #8 of 9
Let us know how it goes. Different people have different definitions of what stable means for them. Personally my metric is stable for folding. Others just want to be stable for gaming. Other people have differences in opinions on temps. Generally though if you're below 80C in every day I wouldn't worry too much. For IBT you probably want to run at least 20 runs, and make sure the memory size is set to 4gig (for me 4 gig is the worst case for some reason), it takes about an hour or two.
     
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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
I use my PC mostly for gaming, streaming the games I play and render a few videos from time to time. In these past 2 days I noticed a big performance boost in games and now I can't tell the difference when stream is up which is awesome because before it used to stutter a bit.

Most demanding game on my PC atm is BF3 and max temp was 75C while playing it and also streaming it. Other games wouldn't even get over 68C.

I'm pretty happy with my first oc and it wouldn't have been possible without your help. Thank you very much for taking the time to help a newb

PS. Didn't have time to run IBT with those settings yet, but will do asap.
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Razorscale
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