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Q9400 OC stability issues on 780i

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone, I recently got an XFX 780i motherboard and a Q9400 for a spectacular price. Since the stock performance of it was worse than my 720BE@3.3GHz, I need to overclock it to play some of my games at full resolution. However, my system won't stay stable at whatever voltages I throw at it. Core voltage was pushed all the way to 1.4V before and no dice.

The GTLRef voltages are all set at +00mV instead of Auto. I read somewhere that it was better that it was at +00mV so I opted for that option. I've also done the Vdroop mod on my motherboard, but it seems I may have to do it again since I think I still have a little Vdroop going on. Any advice would be appreciated.



Didn't fail the test obviously, but I only ran 5 passes. It sometimes fails after only 3 passes, which probably means it's instable as all hell since I get random freezes every once in a while.
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Limeworks
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post #2 of 14
have you tried messing with northbridge, VTT (termination) and dram voltages?
 
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post #3 of 14
You'll need to play with NB volts and VTT as above. Don't just ream the VCore if it's not responding.

1: Pull 2 sticks of RAM and use only 2x2GB while testing.
2: Drop your CPU multiple find out your max FSB for that board. Add NB volts when it fails and re-test (Prime95 blend).
3: If your'e using DDR2 800 you're probably going to RAM fail long before the CPU fails.
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post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
I pushed up all of the VTT, NB, and DRAM voltages up a bit but left them after a while. Looks like I'll lower my multiplier and start some testing. It's a shame that I'm too cheap for good RAM. Thanks for the help, I'll bump after some more results.
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Limeworks
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post #5 of 14
It also has to do with the mobo being an nVidia chipset. It's been brought to my attention that the motherboard significantly drops the maximum Gflops that your CPU would allow. In Laymen's terms, clock for clock, your CPU would be faster on an Intel chipset board than it would an nVidia. My Q9450 at 3.2 Ghz on nVidia gets the same performance as a Q6600 at 3.2 Ghz on a P45 motherboard.

Unless you need the SLI, try moving to a P35/43/45 or X48 motherboard. Not only can you overclock better on one of those boards, you'll get the maximum potential out of the CPU. Some of them can even be hacked to get you SLI if you need it.

Hope this helps
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Heh, I wouldn't doubt it. The only reason I have it is because of how much I got both of them for, so eh. I'm fine with a slight bottleneck.

Definitely still getting a bit of Vdroop though, I set core at 1.35 and I'm only getting 1.336 for my troubles.
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Limeworks
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post #7 of 14
Your Q9400 should not need that high V-core for a lowly 3.4GHz... My Q9400 needs only 1.2v V-core under full load for 3.6GHz.. Even though it has a VID of 1.2875v. These R0 6MB L2 Quads are really cool running and can get away with a low V-core. Using it in secondary system with a Asus P5Q Pro Turbo.

My VTT is 1.34v for 450FSB. This is to be perfectly Prime95 Large FFT's stable.

I'm guessing your problems is related to using 4x2GB RAM. Try removing two sticks or try to unlink RAM and underclock them to 667MHz.

I found that my P5Q Pro Turbo is totally useless to overclock with when using 4x2GB RAM. My P5Q-E is a little better, but only with RAM:FSB at 1:1. However when using 2x2GB or 2x2GB + 2x1GB (6GB), they overclock very nicely.

In fact, I run perfectly stable at 1168MHz 6-5-6-15 in my P5Q-E when using 6GB RAM. Overclocks just as well as with 2x2GB. P5Q Pro Turbo is best with 2x2GB.
    
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post #8 of 14
Not too bad! I get a droop of about .034-.05 depending on the voltage. And that's after doing the pencil mod. I think the P5N-D is ridiculous, you'll probably be able to do better with that. If you can bear to do it, try reselling that motherboard (hopefully for a profit) and pick up an Intel board from the OCN marketplace.
post #9 of 14
Pencil Mod:



Use at your own risk, but people that have done this mod have seen improved stability and temps, YMMV.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I've done the pencil mod already. Been 425FSB for a few hours with a 6x multiplier, bumped it up to 450FSB now. Leaving all 4 DIMMs in at the moment just so I can make sure it'll be stable with all 4 of them in.

@Turrican9: You only need 1.2V core for 3.6 GHz? I might start undervolting if I can get 450 FSB stable then.
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