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i7 920 Help A Chump Overclock His CPU (Chapter I)

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
Disclaimer: After a BIOS Flash at the end of these attempts, I have decided to start fresh and open up a new thread. This one precedes that fresh start found in Chapter II.

 


Well, years ago I thought buying an overclock worthy CPU would benefit me later on. Two days ago, after 5 years I thought, it was finally time to ramp my old 920 up. The problem is, I'm pretty much the "Stock Guy"...

I went ahead and bought extra fans and cpu cooling in anticipation of the stocks' inadequacy. Then I spent the rest of the day rearranging the case, getting it the way it currently looks. But little did I know, OC wasn't about only temperatures but a whole bunch of other stuff. Stuff that I've been researching on and reading about since then...

So I decided to sign up to the place where I constantly found myself perusing through it's content. Here I am.

Ladies and gents, I need your helping hands and loving hearts to help me wake this beast up - please, do help me.

I have all my system specs right here. I have written comments on every item which I thought required it - supplemented some with CPU-Z Screenshots even.

 

 

 

Here's a quick overview of what I have inside the case:

 


The reason I'm getting confused with all the stuff I've researched is that I always seem to have something in my system showing a different value than it's supposed to. (or I'm checking the wrong labels for the wrong values)

I had the PC assambled by the store specialist when I bought the parts back 5 years ago.
- CPU, has Turbo enabled, all other values are stock.(CPU-Z Screenshot)
- GPU is stock (tried ATI Overdrive some while back, to no avail, changed back).
- RAM, the guy configured them to the current settings(CPU-Z screenshot) and it has stayed that way, I have no idea what to do with them.

I would very much appreciate suggestions on how to set the Memory values in accordance with the CPU values.

As with the cooling issue ; is my logic correct or can I lower the temperatures even more? How high do you think this rig could be overclocked with this cooling scheme?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Case (max): 34C | CPU (idle): 33C | CPU (max): 52C
Core0 (max): 68C | Core1 (max): 65C | Core3 (max): 64C

 

(Core temp. values are as reported by SpeedFan ; tested with LinX)

 


By the way, as a side question, might the stock 920 be bottle-necking the GPU in any way?

I'm really looking forward to what you guys think. Thanks in advance for taking the time. thumb.gif

 

 

 

 

UPDATE


I have managed to reach 4.0 GHz Clock Speed with a VCore of 1.3.1V and a Max Core Temp of 72 C (H-T Disabled, refer to image for other details).

Albeit it wasn't stable. When I ran Prime95, it would give an error on one of the CPUs (same one every time).

When I tried the Prime95 settings with the lowest strain on RAM, I noticed that this supposedly faulty core ran pretty well.

Conclusion: My Memory is messing the stability... Still trying to stabilise, all help is welcome tiredsmiley.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE 2

 


While I was trying to stabilise the memory, I played around with CPU Clock Skew (to +300 ps) and CPU Voltage Amplitude (to +800 mv). These resulted in a boot cycle where I couldn't get into BIOS because of constant system restarting.

I had to Clear CMOS at this point.

Then I decided to test the newly-reverted default BIOS Settings with the Prime95, just to make sure Stock was passing tests with flying colors.

It did not. It neither passed the Heavy FFT test, nor the Light FFT test (which the o/c before Clear CMOS event could!)

I'm baffled as to what to think right now. Will probably revert back to before Clear CMOS overclock settings and try again to see if results from the previous update are still attainable.

 

 

 

These were the BIOS settings before it all went awry: (Click to show)


Advanced CPU Features:
CPU Clock Ratio ................................[19x]
Intel(R) Turbo Boost Tech .................. [Enabled]
CPU Cores Enabled ............................ [All]
CPU Multi Threading .......................... [Disabled]
CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E) ................... [Disabled]
C3/C6/C7 State Support .................... [Disabled]
CPU Thermal Monitor ......................... [Enabled]
CPU EIST Function ............................ [Disabled]
Virtualization Technology ................... [Enabled]
Bi-Directional PROCHOT ..................... [Enabled]


Uncore & QPI Features:
QPI Link Speed .............................. [x36] - 7.23GHz
Uncore Frequency .......................... [x16] - 3216Mhz
Isonchronous Frequency .................. [Enabled]


Standard Clock Control:
Base Clock (BCLK) Control ................[Enabled]
BCLK Frequency (MHz) ..................... [201]
PCI Express Frequency (MHz) ........... [Auto]

C.I.A.2 [Disabled]

Advanced Clock Control:
CPU Clock Drive .............................. [700mV]
PCI Express Clock Drive ................... [900mV]
CPU Clock Skew ............................. [0ps]
IOH Clock Skew ............................. [0ps]


Advanced DRAM Features:
Performance Enhance ...................... [Standart]
Extreme Memory Profile (X.M.P) ......... [Disabled]
System Memory Multiplier (SPD) ........ [x8]
DRAM Timing Selectable (SPD) .......... [Quick]

Channel A + B + C

Channel A Timing Settings:
##Channel A Standard Timing Control##
CAS Latency Time ........................... [8]
tRCD ................................................ [8]
tRP ................................................... [8]
tRAS ................................................ [24]
Command Rate (CMD) .....................[2]

##Channel A Advanced Timing Control##
tRC .................................................. [Auto] - 27
tRRD ............................................... [Auto] - 4
tWTR ............................................... [Auto] - 4
tWR ................................................. [Auto] - 8
tWTP ............................................... [Auto] - 19
tWL ...................................................[Auto] - 7
tRFC ................................................ [Auto] - 60
tRTP ................................................ [Auto] - 4
tFAW ................................................ [Auto] - 16
Command Rate (CMD) ......................... [2]

##Channel A Misc Timing Control##
Round Trip Latency ......................... [Auto] - 55



Advanced Voltage Control:

CPU
Load Line Calibration .................. [Enabled]
CPU Vcore ............................... [1.356v]
QPI/VTT Voltage 1.150v ............ [1.340v]
CPU PLL 1.800v ....................... [1.880v]

MCH/ICH
PCIE 1.500v ........................... [Auto] - 1.500v
QPI PLL 1.100v ....................... [Auto] - 1.150v
IOH Core 1.100v ..................... [1.200v]
ICH I/O 1.500v ....................... [Auto] - 1.500v
ICH Core 1.1v ........................ [1.200v]

DRAM
DRAM Voltage 1.500v .............. [1.640v]
DRAM Termination 0.750v [AUTO] - 0.750V
Ch-A Data VRef. 0.750v [AUTO] - 0.75V
Ch-B Data VRef. 0.750v [AUTO] - 0.75V
Ch-C Data VRef. 0.750v [AUTO] - 0.75V
Ch-A Address VRef. 0.750v [AUTO] - 0.75V
Ch-B Address VRef. 0.750v [AUTO] - 0.75V
Ch-C Address VRef. 0.750v [AUTO] - 0.75V

 


Turns out, things are way weirder than I initially thought with this overclock-stuff ; and just as I was starting to believe I understood the logic behind it...

 

 

 

 

UPDATE 3


Alright, I have been at this my entire weekend, fullday... To no avail whatsoever...

I'm going to try and Flash the BIOS with the latest non-beta version.

Then I'll start from scratch with baby steps, taking photos of the BIOS settings for every single step. Maybe even videos...

I'm determined to methodically eradicate the possibility of failure, until it's finally impossible to fail.

I'll be back... cigar.gif

 

 

UPDATE 4

 

This thread continues here:

 

http://www.overclock.net/t/1458683/i7-920-help-a-chump-overclock-his-cpu-chapter-ii

 

Thanks!


Edited by Mike Dowson - 1/12/14 at 6:32pm
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post #2 of 64
Nice rig! I dont believe your cpu is bottlenecking the gpu. Nehalems are still beautiful cpus.

Btw you can show your rig in your signature.
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post #3 of 64
Thread Starter 
Seriously? Thanks! thumb.gif

Btw, I was just looking to enable that feature, I'm feeling like a not-so-smart person...

Edit: Got it! Yay!
Edited by Mike Dowson - 1/10/14 at 8:58pm
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post #4 of 64
No problem thumb.gif

Btw d0 chips overclock very well so you got lucky there. Im not sure about how well your motherboard does with overclocking. I had a nehalem i7 950 before and I couldnt overclock really because my motherboard wasnt too good for it somehow. I think the vrm cooling was bad (had northbridge and southbridge overheating problems)

Btw heres a good guide for you smile.gif

http://www.overclock.net/t/538439/guide-to-overclocking-the-core-i7-920-or-930-to-4-0ghz
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post #5 of 64
Thread Starter 
I knew this stuff was good for overclocking, I remember doing a thorough research before buying ; but as I've been reading these past few days, landing on a d0 was indeed lucky!

I've come across several reviews of my motherboard and all said it passed with flying colors ; except that it did not "coldboot" when the RAMs were set at above 1.35V or something. (I don't yet understand that rolleyes.gif)

I'm pretty confident that my motherboard will do well - I hope at least... (it says it has 2oz of copper on the bridge coolers as opposed to 1oz traditional, that ought to do it! biggrin.gif)

I read that article and it was the main reason why I signed up here ; but nevertheless, I'm too afraid to damage anything, as I may not be able to replace them any time soon, so I came asking for help.

Thanks for pointing out though, appreciate it!
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post #6 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Dowson View Post

I knew this stuff was good for overclocking, I remember doing a thorough research before buying ; but as I've been reading these past few days, landing on a d0 was indeed lucky!

I've come across several reviews of my motherboard and all said it passed with flying colors ; except that it did not "coldboot" when the RAMs were set at above 1.35V or something. (I don't yet understand that rolleyes.gif)

I'm pretty confident that my motherboard will do well - I hope at least... (it says it has 2oz of copper on the bridge coolers as opposed to 1oz traditional, that ought to do it! biggrin.gif)

I read that article and it was the main reason why I signed up here ; but nevertheless, I'm too afraid to damage anything, as I may not be able to replace them any time soon, so I came asking for help.

Thanks for pointing out though, appreciate it!
You're supposed to be nervous, it's OK though. I've had a pretty similar system overclocked to 4.0GHz for the last 6 years and it's still running perfect. Your core temps are high 60's in Linx? You can go mid-high 80's safely (and I'm quite conservative, many allow 90's in Linx) so you've got quite a bit of room left.

Just start increasing voltages slowly, however, with that system and cooling you could just apply the "quick and dirty" 4.0GHz and most likely get it stable very quickly.

That RAM is a 1.65v kit to run at 1600, which you'll want, and the board will be fine to do it. All the 1600 kits were 1.65v back then and all the boards could run it. (back then, my reasonably powerful system is now considered an antique smile.gif)

Just take a look at that "Quick and dirty 4.0" in the guide, the values there are the accepted max safe values, you probably won't need to go as high for most but don't go much higher on any. Except CPU of course, Intel specs are 1.36v max for CPU, 1.4v is more commonly accepted as safe among overclockers, as long as temps are good.

Also take a look at MSI Afterburner or EVGA Precision to overclock your GPU, The ATI Overdrive is, um, hopeless smile.gif
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post #7 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by malzmidx View Post

Nice rig! I dont believe your cpu is bottlenecking the gpu. Nehalems are still beautiful cpus.

Btw you can show your rig in your signature.

If a game is CPU limited or not at X fps or in certain situations is entirely dependant on the engine and settings
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post #8 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren9 View Post

You're supposed to be nervous, it's OK though. I've had a pretty similar system overclocked to 4.0GHz for the last 6 years and it's still running perfect. Your core temps are high 60's in Linx? You can go mid-high 80's safely (and I'm quite conservative, many allow 90's in Linx) so you've got quite a bit of room left.

Just start increasing voltages slowly, however, with that system and cooling you could just apply the "quick and dirty" 4.0GHz and most likely get it stable very quickly.

That RAM is a 1.65v kit to run at 1600, which you'll want, and the board will be fine to do it. All the 1600 kits were 1.65v back then and all the boards could run it. (back then, my reasonably powerful system is now considered an antique smile.gif)

Just take a look at that "Quick and dirty 4.0" in the guide, the values there are the accepted max safe values, you probably won't need to go as high for most but don't go much higher on any. Except CPU of course, Intel specs are 1.36v max for CPU, 1.4v is more commonly accepted as safe among overclockers, as long as temps are good.

Also take a look at MSI Afterburner or EVGA Precision to overclock your GPU, The ATI Overdrive is, um, hopeless smile.gif

This is really helpful. I'm going to update the post with my findings as soon as I complete my first attempt, thank you!
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post #9 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Dowson View Post

I knew this stuff was good for overclocking, I remember doing a thorough research before buying ; but as I've been reading these past few days, landing on a d0 was indeed lucky!

I've come across several reviews of my motherboard and all said it passed with flying colors ; except that it did not "coldboot" when the RAMs were set at above 1.35V or something. (I don't yet understand that rolleyes.gif)

I'm pretty confident that my motherboard will do well - I hope at least... (it says it has 2oz of copper on the bridge coolers as opposed to 1oz traditional, that ought to do it! biggrin.gif)

I read that article and it was the main reason why I signed up here ; but nevertheless, I'm too afraid to damage anything, as I may not be able to replace them any time soon, so I came asking for help.

Thanks for pointing out though, appreciate it!

Well as the 1366 platform was an enthusiast product so there really where no bad x58 boards made and pretty much all of them can max the potential of an 920. It will probably come down to cooling for you. An overclocked 920 suck a lot of juice and run pretty damn hot.

malzmidx already pointed you to the local OC guide which is very well written and will take you most of the way. If you start to have heat issues and you probably will if you use the quick and dirty 4.0 Ghz settings you should roll back the BCLK to 200 when using the x19 multiplier or 190 when running x20/auto this will give you an clock speed of 3.8 GHz which will need much less vcore.

Then you just reduce the vcore until the system is no longer stable and then bump it back up a step or two. This depends a lot on the chip and you might still need 1.30 or get down to under 1.20.

Really BCLK and vcore are the two settings you will be adjusting the most to find out what your chip and cooling can do.

After you got thous sorted you might drop down the qpi/uncore (VTT): from that 1.35 a few steps and safe some more heat and power.

Its also worth remembering that some chips won't run high clocks with speed step enabled (the thing that dynamically adjusts the multiplier and saves a ton of power). You should be able to run 3.7 -3.8 even with speed step though.
    
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post #10 of 64
Thread Starter 
CPU VCore: 1.22V
QPI/VTT: 1.22V
DRAM: 1.64V
Bclock: 200 mhz
Freq Multiplier: 20 (Turbo Enabled with EIST Disabled)
Uncore: Auto (3800 mhz)
DRAM: 1600 mhz (Multiplier: 8)

The system won't start normally. Sometimes it opens, shows the boot menu but then restarts and it gives an error similar to the one found in this article. Other times the BIOS/Q-Flash boot menu freezes altogether and I have to manually shutdown or restart the PC.

What is going on here?

Edit: LLC is Enabled. PLL is auto (1.8V)
Edited by Mike Dowson - 1/11/14 at 2:21am
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Mike's Rig
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 920 (@ 4 Ghz) Gigabyte EX58-UD3R Radeon HD 5870 Kingston HyperX KHX1600C8D3K3/6GX 6GB (3 x 2GB ... 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 3 x Cooler Master A12025-12CB-3BN-F1 1 x Xigmatek XOF-COLORFUL Corsair Hydro Series H60i 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit Philips 221T Microsoft Keyboard Corsair TX750 
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Cooler Master CM 690 A4Tech XL-750BH Nope. 
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