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What is limiting my overclock?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I just bought a MSI G41M-P21 mobo to replace my ol' trustworthy (but completely against overclocking) Asus P5VD2-VM SE to inject new life on my E6400 while i get the rest of the parts to assemble my i3 ridge, and to prolongate it's usefulness using it in an HTPC, and BOINCing .

This mobo has a very easy to use BIOS, and lots of options to overclock. Right now it's running at 339x8= 2.71 GHz, from the stock 266x8=2.13. As the mobo also uses DDR3 memory, all i had to get was cheap KVR RAM and boost the bus. Atm it´s been 2 hours testing Prime95 small FFT's on a 339 MHz bus speed and no errors, gotta keep testing for 6 hours more tho to assure complete stability.

I'm looking to overclock it to at least 3.2 GHz, that'd be 400x8.

But, i've hit a brick wall. If i add just 1 MHz to the bus (from 339 to 340 MHz) the mobo won't POST, and i have to reset the BIOS on the jumper to erase the values. It's the same HTPC on my sig (except i'm using a 9400 GT instead of the GTS 450) up to the OS (it's a fully new installation of Win 7 x64, no leftovers from anywhere). I've got several theories of what's happening, or what might be, tho i need help seeing what might be:

- Volts on processor. Actually i have the voltage set on Auto, and with a 339x8 setting, CPU-Z reports it's using 1.275v at max. I've tried raising the volts (i've even tried with 1.35v with a manual entry) but it still won't post. Am i being too conservative on volts, or is my processor from a batch that does need more juice than that to run that fast? (batch is B2).

- Cooling. I'm using an old-but-good copper-core aluminum-fin Intel heatsink (came with an old Pent. D, the original that came with this C2D is worse than that one) while my other cooler arrives (a Thermalright Ultima 90i). After 2 hours of Prime95, my temps are now stable at 68°c (using HWMon). I do hope this number lowers at least to 60-62°c on the new cooler. But, do temps affect at booting? I've also looked at Intel's site, and it says the Tcase for this processor is 61°c. Is there any risk running it this hot?

- Mobo itself. It might suck at extreme overclocking. All i looked for was a decent overclocking mobo for 775's. It has the latest BIOS as well (v30.7, 02/23/2011).

- PSU. I'm using a cheapass generic PSU, which has stronger 3.3v and 5v rails than 12v rail. 'nuff said.

- RAM. I've got 2 sticks of KVR1333D3N9/2G, which is the cheap 2 GB DDR3 1333 from kingston. It's supposed to run at 9/9/9/24 and 667 MHz, but as i've left it on Auto, the mobo gets it to 678 MHz and 7/7/7/20 (reported from CPU-Z) as when i boost the bus on the processor it also tweaks the ram. Windows boots and all, no errors so far (testing memtest and blend prime after 8 hours of small FFT's), but that's a lot tighter and a bit faster than the stock.

- Anything else. Anything i might not have listed.

What might be hindering my overclock?
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post #2 of 17
I think the limiting factors are firstly the PSU, and then the motherboard. :/

However, another limiting factor is the cooling but it's nowhere near as bad as the PSU and motherboard here.
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post #3 of 17
What does the BOSD error code say?
Sounds like vcore to me though
 
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post #4 of 17
Well, there are things limitin your OC, that have been mentioned, but a few things you can try...

You need to control your voltages, especially with this socket, the computer doesn't know what's best for it... Set the V-core, you might hit a wall with temps until your new cooler arrives.

And you didn't mention VTT aka, northbidge voltage, you're pushing the northbridge further than stock by a fair way, you should give that an increase.

As for the RAM, I would set that into hard settings, lock it all at stock or below for now and get the CPU stable, then go back and tweak that back to fullspeed.
    
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post #5 of 17
G41 are horrible overclockers.

You need to bump your CPU multiple DOWN, and find the limit of your board's FSB. G41 can have trouble hitting even 400FSB, and that's probably your limiting factor. You can try adding NB voltage, but get some air on the NB and MOSFETS or you may burn it up.
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post #6 of 17
You've probably hit a FSB-wall on that board
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post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2thAche View Post
G41 are horrible overclockers.

You need to bump your CPU multiple DOWN, and find the limit of your board's FSB. G41 can have trouble hitting even 400FSB, and that's probably your limiting factor. You can try adding NB voltage, but get some air on the NB and MOSFETS or you may burn it up.
This...


The limiting factor is the board...
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post #8 of 17
...and the generic, low-quality power supply.
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post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
So, all in all, my mobo is the fail one?

No one told me what's the absolute temp wall with this CPU. The hottest i've ran it on prime was 69°c, and on SCII (details on high, can't run higher with my sorry 9400 GT) it ran at 64°c. Being too used to my old, sub-60°c temps on 100% load, this is worrying me a bit, especially since i plan to BOINC.

TwoCables: I've got an Antec TP-750 i can try on it, will do it once i get home.

Jump3r: i get no BSOD at all. i ran 12 hrs in small FFT, then 12 hrs in blend in prime95, no errors whatsoever. The only thing i'm worried are the high temps, tho i've got that covered once my new HS arrives.

Crabid: all volts are on AUTO for now. I've noticed the CPU is actually using less power than before (using 1.28v on this mobo, but used 1.30 on my old P5VD2-VM SE, it was also on auto and i couldn't modify it, it was at stock speed too). Also, the only thing i can lock from the RAM are the timings, because the speed is tied to the FSB. But i'll try locking all the timings.

2thAche: I've attached a 40mm fan to the NB heatsink, since it's big enough (if i had the time to get my hands dirty atm i'd attach two, it's so big) and i can look for some spare heatsinks to put on those MOSFETs to make a ghetto mod. But will that be enough? Or do i still need a fan on the ehatsinks on the MOSFETs?

Thanks for all the help, +rep
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post #10 of 17
Heatsinks will help. And some air across there if your case has room for say a door fan.
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3570K P8Z77-I MSI 560 Ti TF2 Samsung 20nm 
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Crucial M500 Kuhler 620 Windows 7 x64 52" Samsung LED TV 
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EVGA Hadron Air Denon receiver/ Polk audio 
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