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First Overclock - basic questions

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi all. Working on my first overclock here, I have some questions that I couldn't find answers for via a forum search. I apologize in advance if I missed one and I'm asking something that's been covered.

First off, right now, I'm trying for 3.8GHz (181x21). I'm having trouble finding a stable build that doesn't rocket my temps up. I have my vCore at 1.20V and my VTT at 1.25V. When I run stress tests, the temps stay fairly low (around 60C), but the tests have been failing. What should my first step be when, say, LinX fails? It doesn't say why it failed, it just fails. Same with IntelBurnTest. It just tells me my system is unstable. Should I bump the vCore up a bit? Down? VTT instead? Should I set one of them fairly high so that I know it's got plenty of power and then try to fine-tune the other one?

Regarding memory: When I load the optimal defaults, my memory timings are 9-9-9-24. However, as soon as I start playing with OC settings, my timings change to 11-11-11-29. If I try to manually set them back to the defaults, the system won't post. Any ideas?

Lastly, speaking of temps: Even when I load the optimal defaults (no OC settings at all), my cores idle around 30C. I've seen screenshots posted of idle cores around 17C. Is 30C high for idle for my system? It seems like if I had a lower baseline, I wouldn't have so much trouble finding stable voltages that wouldn't also raise my temps >90C while doing stress tests.

Thanks in advance for any answers. There are +reps waiting for you all here...
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post #2 of 12
The two most important to deal with is your Vcore and Vtt also known as qpi. 1.2 is probably a little on the low side for 3.8. I would slowly start to nudge up the Vcore first... you might end up closer to 1.25 vcore and 1.3 VTT. Then from there you can tweak it down a bit.

As for RAM don't try to OC both at the same time... start by downclocking your RAM frequency first- take it out of the equation. Get your system clearing some LINX runs and then once that happens THEN you can dork with your timings. So just let them do what they're going to do... but all you should be doing with your RAM right now is lowering it below stock.

If you're having problems, just load setup defaults... and then go back in and start over. You're close enough to the start to not have to change much. Like I said- Vcore, bclock and multiplier. And, to be honest, many might just advise to start by isolating bclock first and then once you have max bclock figured out start to introduce multiplier. Frankly, with the OC you're attempting it's pretty conservative so you shouldn't have too much trouble with that chip.

Good luck- keep us "posted"
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
OK, so I took your advice and started back from the optimal defaults. I was able to manually set the RAM timings to the default settings (9-9-9-24) so I'm just working with the bclock and voltages. I tried manually lowering the RAM ratio to 2:6 to put it below stock like you said, but the system failed to post, so right now it is back at 2:8 (stock setting).

I'm still at 3.8GHz, but it's with 200x19 now, instead of 181x21. My Vcore is 1.25V and my VTT is 1.30V. Those seem low already, but the system is idling at ~40C, and Prime95 pushed it to 94C before I stopped it. LinX failed after the second run, and IntelBurnTest passed Standard but failed on High. If I increase the Vcore or VTT for better stability, I'll also push temps up, and they are already too high. It seems like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.

One more thing about temps. I notice when I run P95 that that the temps jump up a bit at first, and then slowly keep climbing, to no end. I've seen on several posts here about running P95 for 12 hours or more. How is that possible? Are temps supposed to max out at some point, because mine don't appear to. They just keep slowly going up until I have to cancel the test for fear of overheating.

Lastly, there are a couple of BIOS settings that I've seen mentioned on other posts that I'm not sure if I should mess with. One is QPI Frequency Selection. My options are [Auto|4.270 GT/S|4.800 GT/S] Another is VDroop Control. A lot of people apparently disable it, but I've seen others leave it on Auto. Any suggestions on these settings?
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post #4 of 12
I'm stuck typing on my phone right now but I have answers

I'll be back in in the morning- working, merry christmas- and I will get you information. I'm used to a different bios than you are so to get you the right info I need to research what you are looking at specifically. I wouldn't touch ram timings at all- not manually. Whatever it wants to do at this point let it do. Also- ensure you have the latest bios update.

Talk soon!!
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
OK, more info inc. I finally got a LinX test and an IntelBurnTest to go all the way through. I'm running now at 181x21 = 3.8GHz, all RAM settings on auto, Vcore @ 1.35V and VTT @ 1.30V. Both tests completed 5 runs at 1/4 RAM usage with no errors, but the temp maxed out at 98C (LinX) and 93C (IBT), so that's not good. Prime95 made it through Test 1 on blend before the core temp hit 98C, and I stopped it there. At least it's a step in the right direction, though. LinX and IBT had been failing consistently until now.

So I finally have a stable (if hot) build. Should I start by lowering the Vcore until I find the lowest stable voltage, or should I start with the VTT instead?

Sorry for bombarding you with questions on christmas. Have a great holiday and don't work too hard.
Edited by mpipkin76 - 12/24/10 at 10:20pm
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post #6 of 12
Looks like you mixed up the Vcore and Vtt... At 3.8 you should be okay around 1.3 vcore and 1.35 vtt... And even then some might argue you could drop some vtt because you're not running very much RAM. I'm not sure- is that RAM tri channel? You won't get it into "tri channel" mode until you get those 3 slots filled in.

So go and swap those settings around and see if you keep it cooler this time around.
Also, I know the Vdroop control as load line calibration... which on my board guys encourage load line calibration to be enabled. At that clock you MIGHT not need to touch it for now... until you get bored and want to start inching up again.

I might suggest turning off turbo mode, and speedstep- or whatever it's called on that mobo. These throttling / power saving features will make your OC less stable just by virtue of the fact that they cause the settings to change beyond your control. We typically turn off all those power saving features to increase stability... that would include C1E, virtualization... A couple more but again... let's leave those alone for now- but that's the direction we're going to likely be pushing you eventually.



Merry Christmas! (From those of us at Horizon Emergency Services)
Edited by Eno75 - 12/25/10 at 6:32am
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post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Good morning! Man, you're hardcore, posting at 6:30am after an all-night EMS shift. Regarding your suggestions, I already had C1E, SpeedStep and C-STATE turned off, as well as any board functions that I don't use (2nd network adapter, firewire, E-SATA, etc.) Also, my board supports dual channel memory, not tri-channel

I did post my voltages correctly, I have Vcore at 1.35 and VTT at 1.30. I've seen some profiles posted here with the VTT lower than Vcore, but you're saying that I should keep them the other way around (Vcore lower than VTT)? I'll swap the voltage settings and do some more tests to see if that helps, and then if it's stable, I'll start dropping the VTT.

What happens if I have Vcore at 1.30V and I get the VTT dropped to 1.30V as well and it's still stable? Should I, at that point, start dropping the Vcore instead so that it remains lower than VTT, or should I just keep dropping the VTT until I find the lowest stable voltage there, and then start working on Vcore?
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post #8 of 12
Yeah I just meant the settings should be reversed it's stable but a bit on the warm side because that vcore is quite high.

If you can drop your vcore down as far as 1.25 or so you might be good to drop vtt to 1.3. They probably won't stabilize if they're the same. One will need more or less than the other generally but then most of the settings I'm used to are based on tri channel.

I wasn't working last night but I am now
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well, I managed to find some stable settings with Vcore 1.26875 and VTT 1.35. However, when I drop the VTT any lower, it becomes unstable. The culprit may be my memory modules, though.

Windows Action Center told me I may have a problem with my RAM, so I ran the Windows RAM test and it came back with all kinds of errors. Then I ran MemTest86 to be sure, and each module (I ran them separately to be sure) had errors. I guess I'll have to return these and get new modules before I can proceed. With error-prone RAM, I imagine that I can't really trust my test results, and it's probably best if I put this whole thing on hold until I get good memory modules.

Thanks for the help. I'll post more questions (I'm sure) once I have new RAM installed and I'm working on OC again.
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post #10 of 12
Awesome on the 1.26 vcore though- nice! See ya
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