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How to Test & Stabilize your Over Clock (Tutorial)

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
You know you can run Prime95 / OCCT for an extremelly long time and not hit any bumps in the road, I've done it before, but the moment you run LinX a few times it can hit an error rather quickly! You sit back in your chair wondering, what happened?

Download LinX Directly Here

It's no small wonder why many people recommend LinX, because it stresses the living hell out of your CPU / RAM / & Main Board, and the added stress will tell you if something is wrong...

I use LinX for more than just stressing my CPU to check temps though, because if you know what your looking at, you will be able to tell if it's 100% stable or not! Though, keep in mind, temps are very important, and if you are running too hot, you will never stabilize your overclock, so keep temps below 70c if you can, the cooler the better!

Run LinX 10 times (always use the same Amount of RAM, I use 2048 MB) and see if your Time & GFlops are very consistent?

While testing, all of your times in each completed run should be within .3 - 1.0 Seconds, if you get 47 seconds for one time and 49 seconds for another time, then your overclock needs some more tweaking! (Keep in mind that you should NOT be moving your mouse or running programs while testing!)

Same goes for GFlops, if you get 50 GFlops on one test run (of 10) and the next shows up at 48 or 52 GFlops, then you are not 100% stable & optimized. If it's just one time out of ten that it happens it may not be a big deal, the main thing we look at is, that it's consistent across multiple runs of at least 10 runs, though, if you can hit stable across say 30 runs, then you will be even more certain that your overclock is 100% stabe!

When you have it correct all your times and GFlops will be very close to one another, and this is the best indication that you have a great & smooth running overclocked computer! When you have everything correct your computer should run like a beast! You will feel the difference the overclock makes, for you have found your sweet spot!

What most people do though, which is a mistake, is they go straight to overclock the CPU & RAM, by turning up the BCLK, then they turn up the voltage, and try to find stability this way, the problem is, it's MUCH HARDER to find it this way! Because you don't know where you settings are wrong, and because you have multiple things changed, it's hard to isolate where the problem is..

In my next post I'll be talking about stabilizing your overclock by following a precise method of isolation of components to ensure you aren't fighting multiple wrong settings and twisting your armchair off in the process to obtain a stable overclock..
Edited by _GTech - 2/28/11 at 3:09am
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post #2 of 20
Thread Starter 
I am by no means the authority on Overclocking, hardly, in fact I've only been doing it for a little over a year now, but I've read enough tutorials and practiced enough to get the hang of it, and that's the important part, understanding WHY you are successful or failing...

So today, I'm going to be giving you the run down on what is called isolating your components in overclocking, this tutorial is based around the original 1156/1366 - i3/i5/i7 CPU platform, and I may adjust it later to include 775 & 1155 Sockets as well..

Essentially, the process involves ensuring your RAM is at factory settings, your CPU Frequency is at as close to stock as possible, and your RAM & CPU are at stock voltages as well... The trick to keeping your CPU Frequency at stock frequency while turning up the base clock is to lower the CPU Multiplier.

The next step is to turn up your Base Clock / FSB to a point where you can keep your RAM at the factory RAM SPD, if possible, otherwise you will need to stabilize both your IMC & RAM together. In the event that you can get your RAM at it's proper SPD settings for your RAM, then all you have left to consider is adjusting your IMC voltage to achieve a stable overclock of your Base Clock / FSB...

Once you have your voltages correct, in each run of a LinX test the Time & GFlops (see above post) should all be very close to one another (within .3-1.2 Seconds or GFlops), the more consistency results you get the better, it's very possible to achieve a 10 Run test of LinX with all testing results extremely close to one another, and this is great!

After you have stabilized your BCLK / IMC Voltages to where it's good and LinX shows you it's stable & consistent, then you can start overclocking your CPU.

To overclock your CPU, you simply turn up the multiplier to the setting you want to achieve, and then turn up the voltage on the CPU (vCore) to a level close to the frequency you are using.

You will then run the LinX test 10 times to ensure you are stable, if not, then change the CPU voltage, reboot, and test till you get stability...

Simple Enough?

(More Later)

So what did you guys think so far?
Edited by _GTech - 2/28/11 at 2:44am
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The Rock
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post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Reserved for other platforms/sockets..
The Rock
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post #4 of 20
I like where this is going!
post #5 of 20
Not sure if you or others consider this part of the stability test, but if the IBT/LinX test fails within 5-10 minutes, I usually consider that an unstable CPU overclock. If it fails say 15-20mins+, it's most likely a Northbridge or RAM issue.

BTW, you should tell everyone to maximize the RAM used in the test, as the higher the RAM used, the longer it takes for each run and the more it stresses your system. What I like to do is choose max ram (normally 2.7gb out of my 4gb) and do a few runs and stop it. At this point, I can max it out again with anywhere from 3.3-3.6gb.
    
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post #6 of 20
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That's cool Kokin...

I'd like to iterate here that the entire purpose of my tutorial is to help the reader find the best settings for voltages, which in turn is what will determine if an overclock is stable, with an exception being RAM Settings, and you can use Memtest86 for to ensure your RAM is stable...

Being a mechanic I can tell you that, you don't have to rev a car up in the red line (running it at max) to tune it, that should make perfect sense to anyone with some sensibility... The point I'm making is, you are truly only using LinX to find the smoothest overclock settings and the most stable running position for voltages. I'm not saying don't run it max, I'm saying you don't really need to do it..

Furthermore, if your voltages were off by quite a bit, you would actually be doing more damage if you turned it up to the max. There is basically no need to run LinX on max unless you have found your stability, then it would be to ensure that there are no other issues, like RAM / IOH etc..
Edited by _GTech - 3/1/11 at 10:12am
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post #7 of 20
Is there a rule against outside linking? I had a surprisingly difficult time finding out what linx was and am still not sure if I have the latest or official. Not everyone knows linpack coming in here
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post #8 of 20
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Thanks ocpokey, I forgot to put a link in there, thanks, I'll get it in the OP.
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post #9 of 20
This is completely wrong.

If anything, and you want to be sure that Linx/IBT is the least bit reliable, always test with FULL RAM, and check for Gflops consistency from there. Testing with anything else besides full RAM is useless.

In case you didn't know, P95 and Linx/IBT stress different parts of the CPU/chipset.

IBT/Linx, runs the same instance of instructions over and over again, stressing the exact same part of the CPU.

P95, on the other hand, is a much more reliable "real-life" testing software. For LGA 775 Quads, for example, Large FFTs was ESSENTIAL to finding out of the GTL Refs and VTT were well calibrated. You could pass Linx all day long, and still fail Prime 95.

Prime 95 is a much better tool for finding long term stability not only on the CPU, but also for the motherboard/RAM.

Linx is more a "quick" testing utility, while Prime 95 is better used for long-term stability. So in the end, you need to know how to use both.
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post #10 of 20
i would venture to say that since SP1 & AVX came out recently IBT/LinX is a much harder test to pass than Prime95
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