Originally Posted by neoprimal
Hey all, throwing in my 2c, or maybe $2 re: this board. It has been a real problem for me.
I got this board very recently...yesterday actually. I have read many things, good and bad about the board. I got it for the simple reason that I didn't want to lock myself into a board that I wouldn't be able to upgrade a year or 2 down the line. So I got one capable of SLI and overclocking even though I have absolutely no interest in doing so right now. The other features are great too and the cost of the board didn't put it out on a limb vs. the non-sli version. I got the 3570K for the exact cost of the 2500K and only $6 more than the 3550 so, why not right? That was a no brainer. I was overwhelmed with board choices and ended up going to 5 of the most popular review sites and avging the board reviews. Most of them ended up recommending Asus/MSI and Gigabyte. The Asus is expensive, I wouldn't have gone there and the MSI was also $30 more for the same features available on the Gigabyte. Of all of them the Asrock Z77 Extreme4 was my second choice of well recommended board, but I decided not to get that because one reviewer stated it was missing some feature (Turbo Mode/Turbo Boost? I forget) and also I'm not familiar with Asrock. I'm kinda old school and back in the day it was all about Asus, Abit, Biostar, DFI, Gigabyte, Foxconn, MSI so on and so forth. My main 3 were always Abit, Asus and MSI. Anyway, suffice it to say the Z77x-UD3H and UD5H came highly recommended and I went with the wifil/bt-less 3H.
I haven't at all been as lucky as the reviewers of this board. I've been having steady problems with it since install. Suffice it to say, it's "the freezing problem" that you've probably either experienced yourself or have read about elsewhere is the main issue.
The saving grace has been that this happened so far, only consistently in Windows 8. I realize that pretty much none of the drivers are written for Windows 8 yet, but I figured that whatever Windows 8 (and MS) installed were good enough. The system doesn't stay up though and I have tried just about everything.
Tried a spinner (1TB 7200rpm Seagate)
Tried another PSU (Antec 600w)
Tried setting BCLK to 100.1
Tried disabling all CPU Power Features (EIST, C1E, C6/C5 state)
Tried removing AUTO from all Motherboard Power Features (like pwm etc. I set that all to standard/normal, whatever their alternative settings are)
Set vcore to 1.1
Nothing at all seemed to work.
System works fine for about 5m then it just slowly locks up. Works for longer if I'm not playing music. Seems to work fine while I'm playing a game. The lockup symptoms are skipping/repeating music at a certain point, then the mouseover text stays on the screen, then some buttons will become unresponsive. After a short while the mouse locks up as well and there's a beep. There's no offending/tell-tale code on the board and no event to speak of in the journal except the typical "system shut down unexpectedly".
By the next day, all my excitement had worn off and I'd gotten fed up so I decided to go to Windows 7 in the likely chance that it was a driver issue. (I know USB hardware and drivers can be a real pain and this stuff is sorta new)
The system has been stable now for some time so I have set some things back to default except for the base clock because when I do set that to auto, the bios itself freezes. Maybe I've gotten the settings customized just right? Who knows...I'm too scared to go try optimized defaults at this point.
In the back of my mind, I'd really like the auto/stock settings to work. I would especially like to set the VCORE back to Auto or some lower number, 1.1 feels like I may be pushing it unnecessarily. I've read about folks doing 4.x OCing with 1.1 and here I am at a measly 3.4-3.8. I'm frankly just scared of going back because the system as of right now hasn't crashed since. My temps are OK, not wonderful for IB. 40c idle, 45c playing D3. Initially though, before I moved VCORE up, I was rocking 30/35c idle, 40c max load. Right now the system seems to be floating between 1.080 and 1.092 VCORE...ironically going to 1.080 at full load and 1.092 when idle (I don't get that).
In any case, my questions to you are:
Is anyone currently running Windows 8 stable and what are your bios settings? I'm asking because I 100% prefer 8. I've been using it since day 1 of the consumer preview (I'm on release preview now, since day 1 of that) and 7 feels like a backward step. I know it's not but I've gotten used to a new way of doing things so I'd really rather be using it. It's also coming in 3 months and I want to be ready for it.
The Abit board I had does run Windows 8 stable, I'm sure it helps that it's an older board with no "native USB 3" or highfalutin features.
Is anyone running at the optimized defaults? (vcore set to auto, turbo boost set to auto/enabled, all cpu power saving enabled, all 3d power settings at auto). As I mentioned, I'd rather have everything set to stock/auto and have it work. I don't really need C1E enabled, but would like EIST switched on since I've seen errors in the event journal (on my Q6600) when it is off. I like my event journal, non eventful. Since it currently doesn't, that's telling me that either GB has provided a dirt BIOS or I'm doing something wrong....maybe a little of both? If it works for you and not for me then I know it's definitely me. If it doesn't work for you either then I figure GB has some splainin' to do.
If you're running a 100% tried and true stable system, could you please in detail post what settings you're currently using or email me your profile(s)? Any setting you've manually switched or whatever, I'd be open to hearing it and messing with mine in the same manner. Even if you're OCing, I would do that as well as long as I'm not running hot. I would rather OC at 1.1 VC than let it sit at stock settings. I'm just scared to go below for fear of the freezing to return.
My last board was an Abit IP35 Pro which still works like a champ. It has currently replaced my MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum and AMD as a bench/beta test PC along with my E2200 from my HTPC which was replaced by the Q6600 from my previous build. I feel sort of cheated in getting this nice $150 "reviewer recommended" board and not have stuff work properly right out of the box (not blaming the board, as I mentioned it might just be me). Are the days of having everything set to auto gone?
So my current, seemingly stable settings are:
BCLK = 100.1 (tried setting to auto and bios freezes)
Turbo Boost set to Auto
VCORE set to 1.1v
All the power stuff for the board changed from Auto to Balanced/Standard/Normal, whatever the setting is. Basically I don't want the bios attempting to do anything on-the-fly.
So far, so good in Windows 7.
Thanks for any and all help/advice you could possibly give.
*Note: I'm using the stock cooler because I couldn't find the 1155 bracket add-on that would make my Zalman 9700 work with it. It's listed on Newegg but for auto-notify, not even Zalman has it for sale so I may have to end up getting another cooler, though the stock one seems to be working fine (in terms of not letting the cpu blow itself up).