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CPU + NB Overclock: Voltage stable, but temperature crashes.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Heya forum,

I recently built a mineral oil pc for my Phenom II X4 system (see signature for system details). My question has to do with voltage vs. temperature stability for this chip.

I started overclocking the CPU, and ended up at about 4.06Ghz with 1.44v (measured after vdroop, in Windows). I was able to pass OCCT for 1 hour with no problems. Temperature maxed out at 62c towards the end of the test.

With the CPU overclocked, I started overclocking the NB. I got it up to 2700Mhz with 1.25v, and ran OCCT for about 57 mins before I got a crash. I know for a fact that the crash is heat related, and not voltage related. On a side note, here's why:

The ability of the oil to cool the computer is dependent on the temperature of the oil itself (duh!), much like your ambient air temps play a factor in air cooling. If I run OCCT in the morning (when the oil is about 24C, ambient), it'll run for close to an hour before crashing. It only crashes when the temperature gets up to 62-63C--not before.

So my question is this: Leave it, or back off the overclock? I'm leaning towards leaving it, because programs like OCCT heat up the CPU more than it will ever realistically be stressed during normal usage. Even when playing Crysis, for instance, my max temps are under 60C, easily.

I guess what I'm saying is that I am 99% positive that this rig is voltage stable, but only crashes when submitted to temperatures over 62C (the max temperature). So long as I can keep it under that, I think I should be fine...

Thoughts?

P.S. I'd be MORE than happy to discuss the ins-and-outs of the mineral PC. It was a blast to build, and is an amazing cooling set-up.
    
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post #2 of 12
can i see some pics?

well, ifs its heat related, as long as you are not using intensive stuff for long periods of time, i'd leave it. but the risk still remains, you dont want a blue screen in middle of work, eg halfway during processing a vid..
    
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Pictures? Why of course . This is just a crappy picture taken from my phone, but you can pretty much see what's going on. It's a 10 gallon fish tank from Petco, filled with about 8 gallons of mineral oil from Walmart and a local feed supply store. At the bottom there you can see 4 little LED fans (mostly for decoration). On the left is a heatercore from an old Ford truck I picked up from Pep Boys for $25. I have a pump situated directly above the CPU heatsink (Hyper 212+) pumping oil into the heatercore, and then back onto the other side of the case. It's not shown in the picture, but I now have 2 120mm fans blowing air into the heatercore.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/49784550@N03/5393434705/

Yeah, I don't think I'll have any stability issues during everyday use. I have CnQ enabled, so the processor hums along at a happy 900Mhz and about 35C while I'm doing everyday stuff. The radiator seems to keep it there pretty much all day. If I load up a game, temps can jump anywhere from 50-60C, depending on the temperature of the oil to begin with.

That said, I don't think I can overclock much more (if at all). The heatwall is definitely there. I'm thinking about strapping two more 120mm fans to the other side of the heatercore, but we'll see.
    
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post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Full album can be seen here on FB (I made it public): http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...9&id=583677880
    
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Weeelll, it may not be voltage stable afterall, but it's hard to tell.

I tried this morning to run OCCT again, and instead of making it to 50+ mins, I crashed at about 30 mins at 60C (error detected on Core 1)

New question: Any easy way to tell if stability is voltage related or heat related?
    
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post #6 of 12
Raise volts (max 1.5). If there's instability, it's temps.

Anyway, your temps should be under 55°C in overclock. AMD chips love cold better than voltage. Reduce your temps.
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post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fabrizziop View Post
Raise volts (max 1.5). If there's instability, it's temps.

Anyway, your temps should be under 55°C in overclock. AMD chips love cold better than voltage. Reduce your temps.
A blessing and a curse. I know the CPU is stable (4.06 @ 1.44v), it's the NB I'm worried about (2700Mhz @ 1.25). I'll try 1.3v on the NB.
    
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post #8 of 12
62c is toasty, I have run into temp issues and instability on meh 965 at more or less anything past 55c, every +1c means a higher and higher geometric chance of a crash.

Went to water, not looking back, run faster and cooler on lower volts every chance I get some time to tinker with volts (the quest for the sweet spot wattage to Gflops).

The issue of tdp=chip cap*(volts)^2*freq, dropping volts, being squared, squares the volt/temp effect, freq is big too, but hitting that "wall of heat" seems to be when the capacitance of the chip itself begins to resist more along an every increasing severity curve line, taking a piss around between 55~62cish. I noticed (on air) big temp spikes anywhere past 46c, 46~55 could happen in a couple seconds, around 54-55 again big spikes with high cool off times, that tells me something has changed dynamically. For what it is worth. Heat soak is a big one, but there are several factors I am sure.
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
@Soggy: Thanks for that informative analysis. That's a lot to digest.

I'm still pretty perplexed...I know that the CPU overclock is stable at the current voltage withOUT the NB overclock. It's the NB overclock that I'm working on that's causing problems. I have it at 2700Mhz, and have tried everything from 1.25-1.35v. It seems like on 1.25v it runs for a while (over 30 mins), but crashes because of too little voltage. At 1.35v, it runs just about as long, but crashes when temps get to about 64C. I know 62C is the max specified by AMD, but I've read that these chips can go a little past that.

I'm trying to make my pump/radiator combo more efficient in the hopes that I'll lower the temps a bit more. I think if I can get the temps down a bit more, I can run it at a stable voltage (maybe 1.3 or so on the NB). I suppose I could drop the NB multiplier down a notch, but where would the fun be in that? I'm SO close!

I'll keep ya'll posted.
    
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post #10 of 12
Your problem is temperatures, period. Lower your overclock back until you pass stability tests for a long time. Or get better cooling. Mineral Oil isn't exactly the best form of cooling, so of course you're not going to get great temperatures with it.
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