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980X - my RAM is not stable while CPU kept at stock speed

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Hi people, I'm new to the forum and to overclocking and I've got a problem setting up my RAM to work at its rated speed with an i7 980X. I know this CPU is a bit outdated, but I'm sure there are a few good people on this forum who has experience with it.

Basically, I can't seem to find a stable setting for my 1.65V OCZ Gold RAM at 1600 MHz using my "new" i7 980X. I switched this CPU two days ago with my 930, which was giving me no problems after finding the correct settings through experimenting and testing. I'm not even trying to overclock the CPU here, just trying to get the RAM to pass memtest at its rated speed while using stock speeds for the CPU.

My stable configuration for the RAM with the 930 was:

BCLK: 133
Uncore multiplier: 24
Memory multiplier: 12
QPI / uncore voltage: 1.300 V
DIMM Voltage: 1.62 V
Command Rate: 2T
DIMM Reference Voltage Training: OFF


From what I've read, the only difference between the 980X and 930 concerning RAM is that the 980X is able to accept a minimum Uncore multiplier / memory multiplier ratio of 1.5 instead of the 2.0 for the 930; which means I should be able to go below 24. And that does happen, however strangely enough, I can't go above 21. When I do, POST fails even if I take QPI / uncore voltage all the way up to 1.375 V.

Now I've got to say first of all that I'm reluctant to change any of the settings that concerns only the RAM and nothing else (such as timings and DIMM voltage), because I had these settings work fine with the 930, and since (from my understanding) these settings have no dependency on the CPU. Although I've tried a few combinations with DIMM voltage set to 1.66 V and DIMM Reference Voltage Training and Command Rate set to auto just in case. It felt less stable with Vdimm at 1.66 V. The other two didn't seem to make a difference.

I'm guessing the problem is about finding the correct Uncore multiplier and QPI / uncore voltage combination. I've tried so many combinations but still couldn't get a clean memtest result. It seems that an uncore multiplier of 18 and QPI voltage of 1.250 is most stable (however, still unstable overall) as it can always complete a single pass on memtest until it starts giving errors. There are a few more combinations that also do this. As far as I can remember uncore 20 & Vqpi 1.250 was also similar, but the PC feels faster with uncore 18 (or it might just be me). Has anyone got experience with overclocking the 980X or 990X?

Also:

1) Does the time it takes for memtest to produce errors correlate to the level of stability? (I know stable should have no errors, but at least the tests should tell you whether you're getting closer to or further away from the sweet spot, right?)

2) Should I also be looking at changing Core voltage even though I'm not overclocking the CPU? Could this have an effect on stability at stock speeds?

3) Should I have the dynamic power options such as Speed Step disabled or enabled?

4) Can things like Turbo Boost or HT have an effect on this, ie. if I disable them could it help?

5) What about some of the other settings like IOH core voltage or CPU VR Current or Power Override settings?

6) Can I trust memtest? Should I double check each unstable configuration using memtest86+?


Thanks in advance to all who reads this and tries to help.


* My mobo is an Intel DX58SO.
post #2 of 2
I honestly can't speak towards a stock 980x. When I replaced my 920, I didn't bother clearing the BIOS first. Immediately booted up with the 920's settings and honestly it worked flawlessly.

I of course went back and optimized it for the new chip afterwards, but it has never ever been stock. It accepts my Kingston HyperX 2000MHz RAM far better than my 920 did (920 practically had to run the thing at 1033 if I didn't want to BSOD constantly until I found a sweet spot that allowed 1600ish).

Honestly I'd say just jump into overclocking the thing and playing with the ram settings until you get some results you like. These older I7s are finicky, but the extreme editions should give you plenty of potential to work with if it isn't a dud chip.

Make sure your mobo is up to date though. Outdated BIOS can cause all kinds of issues, especially on intel branded boards and higher-than-spec ram (which is exactly your scenario)!
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Arcane
(33 items)
 
Sanctum
(9 items)
 
Fukurou
(15 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Ryzen 7 1700 MSI B350M Mortar Arctic RX Vega 64 G.Skill TridentZ  
Hard DriveHard DriveOSPower
Samsung EVO 960 Consatellation Windows 10 Pro Corsair HX 1050 
Case
Raijintek Aeneas White Window 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Core i5-661 GA-H55-USB3 12GB DDR3 1333 WD Caviar Black AALS 640GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
WD Caviar Green EARS 2TB Vertex Turbo 60GB (SSD) Samsung Blu-ray, Samsung DVD Burner H50 (With push/pull nocturas) 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 10 Professional 64 LG 47inch LED LCD Saitek Eclipse Lite-touch Wireless Seasonic X750 Gold 
CaseAudio
CM690 II Passive bookshelfspeakers + amp. 
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