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general overclocking pointers

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hello all, I've owned an i7 for the last 2 years (a 920 and now 950) and have done my fair share of overclocking with it. Right now I'm at a point of wondering what can impact an overclock beyond the simple vcore / qpi / ioh voltages etc.

Someone kindly pointed my attention to LLC via bios and jumper recently, which I wouldn't have thought to check otherwise. I still don't fully understand how the QPI voltages work as in some cases you need to bump QPI down instead of up for stability.

Many times now, I've also seen everywhere that RAM can effect the overclock, I just dont see how if you can simply lower the ratio as needed (perhaps someone can clarify?) and why having for example, 16 gigs of ram would make an overclock less stable than 6 gigs, or why having ram @2000mhz would be better for stability than 1600.

I've experienced for myself the fact that there's a bit of a tipping point, when you push past a certain speed, each step beyond that starts requiring more and more. I.e. you can go from 3ghz to 4ghz with, in most cases, a very minor bump in vcore, and yet to get from 4 to 4.5ghz can require a much larger, impacting increase on multiple voltages.

I'm wondering what voltages become more important once you pass that tipping point. At what point is your CPU maxed out?

I believe I read somewhere that whatever your highest stable speed is at 1.72 vcore is the highest you can get because beyond that, more voltage only lessens stability (obviously you wouldn't want to approach that kind of voltage without an extreme method of cooling)

So yea, in a nutshell, what starts making the difference and how once you start getting into the more detail critical overclock.
post #2 of 3
Thread Starter 
^bump
post #3 of 3
The issue with having more RAM I believe is more of a chance based thing, that is to say, if you have 6 sticks of RAM instead of 3, you have twice as much of a chance that one of the sticks wont accept an OC (or in some cases be able to run stock).

With reference to voltages, that is heavily dependent on the chips and boards, especially from different manufacturers but between the same models as well, at very high clocks the "maximum stable voltage" I would imagine will be different for every chip/board combination (not just model combinations).

As for the limit of a chip, that's very hard to say. I would say it depends on how long you want it to last.

In theory, running a fully stable overclock on a chip wont damage it, but it will increase wear on it, OFC minor instabilities in the chip will greatly increase wear, and that could occur as a result of capacitor degradation on the board reducing the actual voltage the chip is operating at over time.
    
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
e5645 @ 4.2Ghz P6X58D-E 5450 x2 6Gb Corsair Dominator 1600 
CoolingOSPowerCase
ALPENFOHN K2 Windows 7 Pro Antec Truepower Trio 650W Dell Optiplex 
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