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***Sandy Bridge Overclocking Guide [OCN Members Only].

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
Final is right here sorry for the inconvenience:
http://www.overclock.net/intel-general/910467-ultimate-sandy-bridge-oc-guide-p67a.html






This is a rough draft of somthing coming very shortly, it is part of a OC guide/ performance review, just thought I woudl share, i am not formating this as its a draft and i have no time, but the final will be much more edited:
Overclocking Made Simple:
If you are brand new to overclocking or a veteran from the Pentium 4 days you are in for a crash course in the “new generation” of overclocking to go along with a “new generation” of processors. Turbo multipliers are a new name for ratios and K series chips are the only ones that want to overclock past 4 GHz.

What you want to initially do is increase your turbo multipliers or CPU clock ratio. Now if your board is properly certified for Serial VID, you can usually tell by VDR12 Certified or if you’re VID changes after changing the multiplier. If this does not occur, skip down to the voltage section. If you board has proper SVID implemented you can keep reading (most do).

First you need monitoring and Stability programs. You need CPU-Z, Tmonitor, at least one Temperature monitor, and one voltage monitor.
REQUIRED: CPU-Z will give you processor frequency info as well as Vcore
REQUIRED: Tmonitor: will tell you the state of the system multiplier, even if you did not set turbo, you are still using turbo to OC, please use this program to monitor multiplier/ratio as well as Thermal Throttling.
Pick Two or your own:
HWMonitor will give you voltages and temperatures
Motherboard Software (such as EasyTune 6(GIGABYTE), TurboV(ASUS)): will give you voltages and temperatures as well as in windows voltage and multiplier change options.
Core Temp for Temperatures
Real Temp for Temperatures
Speed Fan: system monitoring
Lastly you need Stability Monitor, something that will take your CPU (all cores/threads to 100%)
I like Intel burn Test because of its time (short)(run 10 runs per frequency)
LinX is also another option (virtually the same as IBT)
Prime 95
There are others as well, just make sure all cores/threads go to 100%

Step #1: Do not overclock RAM yet, let it run at stock frequencies. RAM is not like it was on previous platforms, it can run at 1333mhz and you can do 5.2ghz, believe me I have. Let’s tackle one thing at a time.

Set the frequency you want for a high but modest overclock (not your final), something like 4.0- 4.5 GHz, set ratio or turbo frequencies (40x-45x), if you only have the option for turbo frequencies make sure they are all the same. If you are on a Gigabyte board, and just want to use one Ratio setting, you need to enable Ratio Change in OS option; this will gray out the Turbo Settings.

Do not touch BLCK as it always needs to be lowered as your overclock higher, at stock or low OC (under 4.3 GHz you can increase BLCK no problem). Make sure you make note of Stock VID/Vcore (vcc). Upon reboot if the system boots into BIOS check the new VID under voltages settings or CPU Vcore (vcc) under health monitoring, take this value and compare it to this:
Stock-4GHz on Stock VID
4.0-4.3GHz 1.3-1.35v
4.3-4.5GHz 1.35-1.4v
4.5-4.8GHz 1.4-1.45v

Above you can see the VID change from 1.23 to 1.370 for 3.4 to 4.5 GHz automatically, if this occurs SVID is working properly.

If that fails to boot into BIOS, then set it to 4 GHz (40x), and SVID should work upon reboot. You should end up with a stable 4 GHz overclock with automatically increased Vcore/vcc. Those values listed above are optimal voltage for optimal overclocks up to 4.8 GHz. You want to stay within the low spectrum of those voltages for temperature and processor integrity sake.
Both my 2600Ks will boot into BIOS at 4.5 GHz without anything else changed, only multiplier to 45x, VID changes from 1.18 to 1.365 on one and 1.23-1.370 on the other. While both boot at 4.5 GHz into BIOS, one only can do 4.8 GHz while the other can do 5.2 GHz (the one with higher VID), both D1 stepping chips. Retail D2 stepping chips should be better overclockers.

Step #2 Step up the multiplier one by one until the system fails to boot. If this happens, clear CMOS. Many boards have auto recovery that works perfectly in this manner, such as this P67A-UD7.
I was able to step up frequency until 4.9 GHz. At 4.8 GHz VID was 1.375v.
Now if none of this is working or even if it is, let’s move on to Voltages.


Voltages:Now let’s move to voltages, this is very important and I think anyone looking to overclock should have a thorough introduction to the variety of voltages that the user is able to control.
Make sure to pay attention to my tid-bits on Vcore(VCC) and VTT(VCCIO), these are most important for overclocking, other voltages can help too.
Here is a table I put together from Intel’s product data sheet; it defines the processors maximum voltages and maximum amperage- These are OFFICIAL Min and Max Values:

Here are the technical signal names as well as a short description as well as explanation of every one and what it has to do with overclocking:
VCC: Commonly Called Vcore, the voltage supplied to the processors inside the CPU. This voltage is a large part of Sandy Bridge overclocking. Now from personal testing, and weeks and weeks of headaches and hard ships, I have a few things I would like to share about this voltage.
I say maximum voltage for Vcc/Vcore is 1.50v for 24/7, 1.55-1.60v for extreme benchmarking, please stay below to 1.6, and don’t use any type of Load Line Calibration past 1.55v.
Load Line Calibration or Vdroop control is a setting that eliminates/reduces processor voltage droop under load and in many extreme cases many reverse voltage droop. Voltage droop is there so that under load conditions where current (amperage) is increased the processor stays within TDP (Thermal Design Power). There is also vdrop which is implemented by the motherboard manufacturer, vdrop is there and it drops every voltage on the board from what is set in BIOS, no matter the load. LLC can reverse Vdroop and Vdrop in many cases.
Let me explain.
Voltage x Amperage = Wattage.
As you can see in the table above there is a TDC and a TDP. Now TDP is max heat output of the processor (wattage), let’s say we stick within Icc (current/amperage) of 85amps at load. 85amps x voltage=95watts (TDP). So If voltage is increased for overclocking, then at idle the processor needs to droop the voltage so that amperage x voltage doesn’t exceed TDP, you do not want to drop amperage because it is almost all the power, voltage is nothing but a signal without amperage behind it. Of course with Sandy Bridge you can set the upper limit on TDP and TDC and you won’t push that much amperage until critical point, plus Sandy Bridge can exceed TDP on its own.
Many people are 100% against LLC and many are 100% for it, I sit on the fence as I find it useful, and haven’t killed a processor from it, but other things can occur and the life span of the processor will be reduced by too much voltage, with or without LLC. LLC will improve stability, please read the lesson that I learned with 1.5+V on Sandy Bridge.
Important Learning Lesson about VCC and LLC: Let me share a little about electron migration and processor degradation. When I first received these beautiful 2600Ks, one could boot 5.2 GHz with 1.475v with Load Line Calibration enabled to level 2(Vrise / Total Vdroop eliminated), real processor voltage was at about 1.5v. Temperatures were through the roof under load. 80C-100C was common and so was thermal throttling (I will talk about cooling problems in a little bit); using handy software I was able to monitor the throttling. Through the next few weeks the processor voltage for 5.2 GHz stable (even boot in some cases) eventually rose to 1.55v LLC Level 2, which gives a total voltage of 1.58v. Benchmarking with CPU intensive load (100%) was impossible because of the heat produced. Eventually I was able to back down frequency one multiplier to 5.1 GHz and use 1.475v with LLC level 1 (elimination of vdrop and slight elimination of vdroop (still droops under load)) with my air cooler: Eclipse II. Temperatures don’t even touch upon 70C at 5.1 GHz. I have a heavy duty watercooler that can handle 220W load, and my i7900 series at 4.5 GHz with 1.55v (more calculated power output than this chip). With these chips unique thermal capacitance features, thermal output at high loads is very intense, make sure you buy a good cooler. One thing to mention is that my chip is a D1 stepping processor and the PLL Overvoltage unlock feature does not work with these earlier revisions, but all retail chips will be D2, and should overclock significantly better with less vcc/vcore.
VCCIO: more commonly known at QPI/VTT voltage on x58 platform, this is the VTT voltage. Formerly known as Processor power for I/O it is the voltage for the integrated memory controller as well as the PCI-E controller. While Intel’s Maximum is 1.05 +/- 3% = 1.08v, you can go higher, much higher. I would recommend staying below 1.25v for 24/7 use, but depending on the quality of the IMC on your chip, I have seen 2133 MHz done on as little at 1.1v. I used 1.12v for overclocking my Dominator 1600 MHz to 1866 MHz, and it did it without any problems. Do realize that this voltage contributes heat as well to the whole thermal package.


VDDQ: more commonly known as Vdimm or Vdram, this is the voltage for your memory. Formally known as I/O voltage for DDR3, Intel states maximum at 1.575. YOU should run this at whatever it says on your RAM. At the time I am writing this article, 1.575 is not the standard, but 1.5v has been stock voltage on many DDR3 RAM modules for a long time. While at 1.5v you can run at stock speed of 1333 MHz and SPD 9, 9,9,24 to run your RAM at a higher speed, such as 1600MHz, most RAM requires 1.65v. Do not be afraid, if it says 1.65v on your RAM stick, set it to 1.64 or 1.66v. For overclocking higher than what your RAM is rated for you can take this up, I have used up to 1.76v, but for my tests I used 1.72v to run my 1600mhz Ram at 1866mhz. I wouldn’t run this voltage over 1.8v unless you are going for some crazy high clocks.

VAXG: internal graphics processor voltage, not applicable to this processor.


VCCPLL: Commonly known as CPUPLL, this voltage is for the internal clock generator for the CPU. Intel states maximum at 1.89v, and stock at 1.8v.
What does the PLL do, you ask? Here is how you get 3.4 GHz. A constant frequency input (BLCK) is generated by the PCH (P67), the BLCK is then multiplied by the core ratio by the internal phase lock loop (PLL) and then you have a greater resulting core frequency. CPU PLL is the PLL that gives you 3.4 GHz at stock and 5.2 GHz overclocked.
I would leave this voltage at stock, at one point I thought this voltage helped me lower Vcore, but it was just the processor playing tricks on me. In fact on X58 systems lowering the CPU PLL was thought to help lower temperatures and thus improve stability, on the other hand at very high frequencies this voltage is creased by many overclockers. I say increase it to 1.89v if you like, but don’t go north of that, if you want to save power and keep temperatures low turn it down to 1.71v.
Instead of messing with this, use the Unlock CPUPLL Overvoltage Option under frequency control; this should help you get past 5.2 GHz on D2 stepping chips and beyond, if you need more oomph after that, increase it.

VCCSA: More commonly known as System Agent Voltage. Intel’s maximum System Agent Voltage (Vccsa) is 0.971v and minimum is 0.879v. Stock is 0.925v. System Agent Voltage should NOT be touched, it is supposed to be a fixed voltage, and it powers many things that the VCC does not power. One of the most important is the Power Control Unit (PCU) which controls internal power of the processor. This voltage is to be generated by a separate VRM than used for SVID. So on the P67A-UD7 this voltage is generated by a two phase buck analogue PWM, with 4 phases, this voltage and the VTT (Vccio) come from the same VRM(not surprisingly voltage read points are right next to each other as well).


Overclocking Continued:
Now Serial Vid was discussed in short in the in depth preview, it’s a new way for the processor to basically communicate with the motherboards voltage regulator module (VRM). Serial Voltage Identification or SVID has the ability to automatically scale processor voltage up to 1.52v.


Step #3: If for instance you are at 4.5 GHz and 1.4v that is excellent, I would set 1.4v and run some stability tests. If it’s stable back off the voltage, down 10-15mv (3 steps) at a time. Test and repeat until it is unstable, then push back Vcore/VCC a few more notches. If you are unstable upon boot, then go back into BIOS and increase Vcore/VCC one or two notches and then try to boot back into windows. Run stability tests until you are satisfied with your Overclock. Make sure to watch temperatures. If you are hitting 80C at 100% load then that is your Vcore/VCC limit, go no further until you get better cooling.

Step #4: BLCK Options. Now let’s face it, sometimes it’s just not practical to OC to 5 GHz and use that every day, the heat output is harsh and the system is loud and you want a lower overclock, but you want to maximize performance along with it. Here is where BLCK adjustment comes in handy. Boot into BIOS, do not try to change BLCK in Windows, and try raising BLCK by 0.2mhz, I have found that even at 5.1ghz I was able to boost BLCK a fraction of a MHz If you want to push more than a fraction of a MHz, you will need to increase Vcore yourself. Try 0.1MHz per 5mv adjustment. I personally do not think it is worth it, I would rather the extra vcore go to multiplier, but hey every little bit counts.

Decrease BLCK if you are getting stuck at 5.2ghz and 100blck, many people if not all have to drop BLCK to 99.8 to allow for a lower vcore to be used for 5.2ghz and beyond. Even try increasing PCH voltage one notch, I found that increasing it a tiny bit may help BLCK in some instances. Make sure you don’t go over 1.1v for 24/7 use, I have also found the CPU PLL also helped a tiny bit, you can try up to 1.89v, but this also increases heat output. I was able to do 107blck no problem at stock, at 5.1 GHz I messed around with BLCK and brought it up to 100.8, this put me right up at the same 5.2 GHz frequency but I ended up with the same Vcore and even more heat. I found that adjusting BLCK up 0.2-0.4MHz was no problem below 5 GHz, but above 5 GHz you need to watch your BLCK, drop it or lower it to accommodate your OC the way you like.
Step #5: If you are still unstable upon boot, and be stable, then try these options:

A.Select CPU PLL Overvoltage to enabled, this allows most people to go beyond 4.8 or 5.2 GHz whatever your barrier is. If you have a D1 stepping processor, enabling this option will cause you to fail to boot.

B.If not already using turbo options, please do so. Now set upper limit on TDP and TDC at 200-300 to removed TDP and TDC limitations. If your board has OCP (over current protection) you can disable this if you want a very high overclock.

C.You can try to enable Load Line Calibration to its full extent.

D.Try disabling Fan control under health monitor

E.Try disabling extra features not in use, such as extra SATA6G controllers and USB3.0 controllers (make sure if you have mouse and keyboard in those ports to move them to USB 2.0 ports.)

In the end if you are unable to get above 4.8 GHz then hey 4.8 GHz is still a heck of a lot of power for only the cost of a 2600K or even cheaper chip. I have two 2600K chips, both are the same batch and both are D1 stepping. One will OC to a max 5.2 GHz and one to 4.8GHz no matter what I do it won’t budge any higher. Goes to show you every processor is different.
Here was my Max OC, seems to be the max for any chip that is D1 stepping, D2 stepping chips should use PLL overvoltage enabled to get past 5.2GHz if your chip can.


HEAT:
(You can see in the above picture that the CPU is throttling, Tmonitor shows throttling of each core separately.)
Now along with the new turbo multipliers comes a technology that is aimed at pleasing the end user, and that is Sandy Bridges ability to shortly for (25 seconds implemented, but motherboard manufacturers extended this to allow TDC and TDP extension) exceed TDP to utilize thermal capacitance of the internal heat spreader and heatsink. What this means is that frequency can be increased as well as overall thermal load resulting from voltage and current increase, and that the system can absorb more heat as soon as the high frequency is engaged to take advantage of the heat up time of the internal heatsink and external cooler. Intel found that in the beginning of high thermal output load, the “package” (cooler) can absorb much more heat than the processor puts out normally, so they incorporated the ability for the processor to give off more heat at the beginning and operate at max frequency. Now this is great and all because the processor can run cooler, but this also means that the processor is going to run extremely cool at idle, so cool that you will inadvertently take it for granted, and then when you apply load and the turbo multiplier increases, you will have a huge amount of heat that needs to be dissipated, instead of predictable heat output. Now don’t worry, Sandy Bridge has an internal overheating turbo throttle, which will reduce the multiplier by one and then take a voltage as low as it can and then re-measure temperature to make sure it is getting cooler, if not then it will reduce frequency again. This reduce and recheck cycle happens at an astonishingly fast 2us (microseconds). All of this thermal throttling control is part of the Thermal Control Circuitry (TCC). I have tested and found that this throttling happens at 90c-95c.

Crazy Cold Bug:

Above you can see Gflops performance increase drastically at 5.2 GHz, I used subzero air from Mother Nature to cool down the Heat Sink. The problem is that at 5.2 GHz my D1 stepping 2600K has a cold bug below 20C; the system has to be above 20C to boot, as well as bench. This cold bug is being circumvented with each new stepping Intel is releasing, so hopefully this will improve, because 20C cold bug is terribly high. My problem would be I could bench the processor, but as soon as the CPU load stopped my system would hang because temperatures drop below 20c.
Overclocking RAM: Now I am sure many of you know how to OC RAM. But you have to be aware that RAM is not like the processor, it cannot usually OC 50%+. If you have a kit with low latency you can probably push it up to the next level by increasing the latencies and RAM voltage. Make sure you increase VTT/VCCIO voltage along with it. You shouldn’t need more than 1.25v VTT/VCCIO. I have seen 2133 MHz on as low as 1.1v. Be aware that RAM amount makes a huge difference. 4GB (2GBx2) will OC easier and on less voltage than an 8GB (4GBx2) or 16GB (8GBx2) kit. The amount of Ram Modules makes a difference as well because each pair of slots has its own IMC/Channel (not to be confused with dual channel) if you have four sticks of Ram you are going to need more voltage for the VTT/VCCIO than if you have only two sticks. The same goes for 1 stick vs. 2 sticks.
Here is a list of Common BDOS Errors and what to do to get rid of them; these suggestions are from trial and error, and many BDOSes from hundreds of hours of overclocking. I have gotten many of these BDOSes and checked them out (tried to cause them) and I have modified that list, here it is.


BSOD Codes 0x124 = add/remove vcore or QPI/VTT voltage (usually Vcore, once it was QPI/VTT)
0x101 = add more vcore
0x50 = RAM timings/Frequency add DDR3 voltage or add QPI/VTT
0x1E = add more vcore
0x3B = add more vcore
0xD1 = add QPI/VTT voltage
“0x9C = QPI/VTT most likely, but increasing vcore has helped in some instances”
0X109 = add DDR3 voltage
0x0A = add QPI/VTT voltage
Edited by Sin0822 - 4/4/11 at 8:48pm
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post #2 of 49
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post #3 of 49
Thread Starter 
yea i said i wasn't going to format it, not now at least.
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post #4 of 49
I'll sub, I need to wait a few weeks before I grab the chip... but I'll be sure to refer to it when I'm trying to for every last Mhz.
    
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post #5 of 49
Thread Starter 
well my review/full guide will be up soon, so check it out then, it will tell you how to OC on your board.

The final version comes with pictures smile.gif
Edited by Sin0822 - 1/6/11 at 11:32pm
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post #6 of 49
D1 is better at ocing, not the D2 from what I've read. So those D1 chips you had are ideal.
    
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post #7 of 49
Do you always read one or two things then form an opinion based on little to no facts - after which you come here to spread your "facts"?
    
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post #8 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCactus;11922027 
D1 is better at ocing, not the D2 from what I've read. So those D1 chips you had are ideal.

this
http://www.overclock.net/intel-cpus/906568-warning-sandy-bridge-contains-hardware-level.html
and this
http://www.overclock.net/intel-cpus/908823-sandy-bridge-you-want-d1-stepping.html

i think you jump to conclusions very fast drum.gif
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post #9 of 49
Nice guide! Subbed, this will come in handy tomorrow!
post #10 of 49
Thread Starter 
D1 stepping chips are not as good as D2 stepping one. No D1 stepping chip can do over 5.2ghz, maybe 5.3ghz if you have a gold one. ONLY d2 stepping chips can do 5.5ghz, and work with cpu pll overvoltage. All retail are D2 stepping. Maybe they just aren't OCing right, when you hit 5.2ghz and want to go over you need to lift TDC and TDP, as well as engange cpu pll overvoltage, which is only avalible on gigabyte, asus, and intel motherboards.
X99 Main Rig
(10 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 5960X Extreme Edition @ 4.5GHz GIGABYTE X99-SOC Force VisonTek R9 290 G.Skill Ripjaws 4 16GB (4x4GB) DDR4 @ 3200MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung 128GB M.2 PCI-E 4x SSD Apotop 256GB SSD 1.82TB NAS Noctua NH-D15 with both fans 
OSPower
Win7 Pro Enermax 1000W 
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X99 Main Rig
(10 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 5960X Extreme Edition @ 4.5GHz GIGABYTE X99-SOC Force VisonTek R9 290 G.Skill Ripjaws 4 16GB (4x4GB) DDR4 @ 3200MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung 128GB M.2 PCI-E 4x SSD Apotop 256GB SSD 1.82TB NAS Noctua NH-D15 with both fans 
OSPower
Win7 Pro Enermax 1000W 
  hide details  
Reply
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