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10 Yr Old Overclock!!!

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-19-2019, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
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10 Yr Old Overclock!!!

Hey everyone,

So this thread will probably be looked over by everyone here, or possibly even deleted for discussing ancient stuff, but forums are for things like this and I want to share my experiences and hopefully get some input.

My Rig:
CPU - Intel i7-950
MOBO - Asus P6x58D-E
GPU - EVGA GTX 460 SE
RAM - G Skill F3-12800CL9D-8GBRK 9-9-9-24 1.5v (2x4GB)
Corsair CMz4GX3M1A1600C9 9-9-9-24 1.5v (1x4GB)
PSU - Corsair TX650W
HHD - Sandisk 128 GB SSD & WD 2TB HDD (doesn't really matter anyways)
COOLER - Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo (Single Fan)

So I built this rig with all new components in 2010 I believe, and I did so with the intention of overclocking. At one point in its early life I might have, but I never really got anything WOW or even reasonable to stick, and for my purposes the computer has always run perfectly fine. Now that I think of it, I probably told myself not to mess with overclocking until I upgraded my stock cooler, so I probably never even did any OC, although I had experience with an old AMD machine I had built years prior. I honestly (knock on wood) haven't had to replace anything in this machine other than hard drives during its entire life span. I obviously added a single stick of non-matching ram at some point, but the timings, voltage, and brand recognition are the same so for all intents and purposes, i consider them compatible, and have never had an issue with the RAM.

I used to be a big PC gamer, but these days with a family I mostly just use my desktop for day-to-day tasks (still my main machine, even my laptops aren't as snappy) and do mostly consoles for gaming.

I recently got into the digital pinball community (just before XMAS), and have been messing around with Future Pinball with the plan of building a digital pinball cabinet. I can run 95% of the tables on my current machine without issue, but there were a few that were laggy, so I decided to dig deeper into my components once again. I'm not trying to go to any extremes, because I'm sure after 9~10 years there has definitely been some degradation of my components, this machine is on almost 24/7. I decided I'd update all my monitoring apps and start with the GPU. I was able to get my GPU to an easy overclock of 800/1600/1700 without much difficulty (71C on OC Scanner Furmark test) and my CPU under normal usage (stock clocks, volts, fan, etc) was getting in the mid 80s so it was time to open up the case and do some Spring (Winter) cleaning.

It was then I realized i wasn't sure if i had ever reapplied thermal compound to the CPU/Heatsink, and I found more dust inside than I'd like to admit, so I cleaned up the filters, did some tidying of cables, and reapplied thermal compound on the CPU. When putting the stock heatsink/fan back on, one of the 4 retaining clips broke, so it was only being secured in 3 spots. Booted back up and temps skyrocketed to the 90s. This was Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, so I was able to get a new Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo on Thursday with some Arctic MX-4. Snapped it on and my temps on load (Prime 95 stock settings) dropped to 60 C max. Wow what a difference this cooler made! This is what prompted me to start overclocking. I had a ~10 year old machine that I wanted to squeeze a little bit more out of it. I will have to build a new machine for my pinball cabinet anyways (3 monitors so 2 GPUS, neither of which my 460 GTX SE will really work for) and I don't want to dedicate my main machine for my side project.

I have been following MIAHALLENs Overclocking guide, mostly because it was a simple 3 step process (no offense to any guides on this site), and it's gotten me almost to the end. I'm still running Prime tests to find my limits, so I haven't done an overnight stress test yet other than memtest, but this is where I am currently:


BLCK = 170
MULT = 23 (tried forcing 24, but it wont stick. CPUZ only shows 23, and if set to manual turbo boosting isn't an option)
EIST = OFF
Xtreme Full Power - ON
Spread Spectrums - OFF
VCORE - 1.325 (CPUZ shows 1.312)
C1E = OFF
PLL = 1.8
IOH Voltage = 1.3
VTT = 1.4
DRAM = DDR3-1363 (2:8)
VDIMM = 1.5
DRAM Timings = Manual (NO X.M.P) 9-9-9-24-2N
HT = ON

This was able to boot, Prime95 ran for at least 30 min (I had to head out at the time) without errors or crashes, and max temp was 75C.
While this was a decent overclock, I felt that I wasn't utilizing the full speed of my RAM, and I wasn't quite at a 4GHz overclock yet (3.9 is close, but 4.0 is the goal) I tried turning EIST on so I could turn Multi back to Auto to try and get that turbo boost to 24x, but it wouldn't happen, it would only stay at 23x (is there another setting I'm missing somewhere, or one of my other settings I also need to turn back on to get the extra Multi? I suppose it doesn't matter because I want my CPU around 4Ghz and my RAM around 1600)

I then decided I wanted to try for a 20x200 Overclock since that would bring my RAM to exactly 1600, and my CPU to 4GHz. All my settings from above were the same except I changed Multi to 20 and BCLK to 200. I should preface this by saying I spent the last few days isolating my BCLK and my DRAM Freq so I know their limits. CPU @ BLCK 210 (MULTI 12) ran Prime95 for over an hour without a crash or error, and DRAM @ BLCK 210, FREQ 1680 (2:8) ran in memtest86 for 4 Full Passes (11.5 hours) without any errors. If nothing else, this definitely confirms my mixed RAM chips are compatible and able to run at a little above their rated speeds. For DRAM testing I plugged in manual timings, and left the voltage at its rated 1.5V.

After about 10 min I got a BSOD during a prime95 test, max temp 75C (all my prime tests have been blended. Let me know if I should be running small or large fft instead) so I upped the voltage 1 tick (1.336...CPUZ and HW Monitor claim its only 1.320) and got another BSOD after about 10 min, max temp 76C. I'm about to up the voltage by 1 more tick (1.3375 on BIOS) and give it a run, but I'm inching closer to my limit of 80C with every VCORE addition.

I guess the whole point of this extremely lengthy life story that none of you will actually read is.....here are my main questions:

1. Should I continue to raise the VCORE to try and get a stable 20x200 OC?
1a. If so, what would you consider to be a "safe" max temp on a 10 yr old CPU? TJMAX is 100, but I really don't want to push this thing passed 80 on a stress test, as normal computing for me will probably never push it that high, but that is what a stress test is for...
1b. If not, what should I be aiming for, since I know the computer can handle a 210 BCLK
1c. If I go with a lower clock and higher multiplier (23x175) should I try and use 2:10 DRAM Frequency? That would bring the DRAM to 1750 and I haven't tested it that high on memtest yet, so I'd probably have to do that again, which would then force me to raise the VDIMM which is getting a little to extreme for what my end goal is. So I guess I answered my own question...
1d. I've read that come chips just prefer an odd number MULTI. This would apply to my x23, but should I maybe a 21x multi with a 190 or 195 BLCK? This would bring my RAM around the 1600 MHz speed, and attempt an odd MULTI.

2. The PLL, IOH, and VTT values were all defaults MALHALLEN specified in his steps, but he didn't really talk about adjusting them if I have instability. Would changing any of these help with stability, if so, how should I go about upping them? Should I set any of them to AUTO instead?

3. I believe I have a locked core, so is manually setting my MULTI to 24 even possible? The BIOS allows me to type it in, and accepts it, but after boot up and during Prime95, CPUZ shows a MULTI of 23 regardless of what I do. I have checked my Power Plan options (currently set to Balanced, was originally set to High Performance, but in my research someone said that can cause problems so put it on balanced)

4. When I run Prime95, what is the best torture test to run to find a stable 24/7 Overclock? Blend, Small FFT, or Large FFT, or a manual test?

5. I believe I am at my final steps and just trying to dial the final touches in, but please feel free to let me know if you have a differing opinion on how I should be attempting this OC, or if I should just aim for a much lower overclock since my system is so old?


6. I've noticed that under a load there is a 6-8 Degree difference between cores 1/2 and cores 3/4. Is this a sign of a bad alignment/too much or not enough thermal paste/ or just the nature of my chip? For example, max temp of cores 1 and 2 were just 77C, but max of cores 3 and 4 was only 69C



Anyone that actually made it to the end of this post I applaud you, and if I could give you a cookie I definitely would. I appreciate any advice of help on this VERY VERY old CPU/MOBO combo. HAPPY OVERCLOCKING!

Last edited by MayoTheGreat; 01-19-2019 at 09:10 PM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-19-2019, 08:45 PM
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I don't have the answers to your questions but I enjoyed the read and am happy to hear you got a nice boost out of your old trusty system.

Also I would like my cookie now please.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 04:31 AM - Thread Starter
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STABLE!

Finally got a stable OC running Prime95 Blend test for 6.5 hours 0 errors, 0 warnings. Voltage is a little higher then I think it needs to be, so I may reseat my cooler again, but my max temps were 79C on Core1 and 2, and 74C on Core3 and 4.

STABLE SETTINGS:

CPU: 4.011 GHz
DRAM: 1531 MHz


Ratio (Multi) - x21
EIST (Intel SpeedStep) - Disabled
Xtreme Phase Full Power - Enabled
BLCK - 191
PCIE - 100
DRAM Freq - DDR3-1531MHz (2:8)
UCLK - 3063
QPI LINK - AUTO (Should I set this manually to 6893MT/s (18x)?)
DRAM TIMINGS: 9-9-9-24-2N
CPU Voltage (VCORE) - 1.3375
PLL - 1.8
QPI/DRAM (VTT) - 1.4
IOH - 1.3
DRAM Voltage - 1.5
LLC - Enabled
CPU Spread Spectrum - Disabled
PCIE Spread Spectrum - Disabled
C1E - Disabled
Intel HT - Enabled

Other settings I ended up disabling that I don't think I use/need that may have helped with stability:

Intel VT - Disabled (from Enabled)
CPU TM Function - Disabled (from Enabled)

STABLE FOR 6.5 HOURS ON PRIME95 BLEND TEST!!!!

Going to try lowering the voltage a tick or 2 and see if I can remain stable.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 05:39 AM
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nice!

may I suggest a xeon to throw in and get more life out of it ?


suggested a W series or X series (update your BIOS to support the 980x ) and the xeon set up will work. you can get you a fancy 6-core 12 thread for around 40-50$ if i'm not mistaken now. I personally have the X5675 OCed at 4.2Ghz and it's been super stable.

I own the P6X58D premium board. Ours is basically the same board.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 09:09 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by MayoTheGreat View Post
Hey everyone,

So this thread will probably be looked over by everyone here, or possibly even deleted for discussing ancient stuff, but forums are for things like this and I want to share my experiences and hopefully get some input.
Don't worry about your stuff being old, its still appreciated. A few of the OC competitions here even use old hardware.

Quote: Originally Posted by MayoTheGreat View Post
Finally got a stable OC running Prime95 Blend test for 6.5 hours 0 errors, 0 warnings. Voltage is a little higher then I think it needs to be, so I may reseat my cooler again, but my max temps were 79C on Core1 and 2, and 74C on Core3 and 4.

STABLE SETTINGS:

CPU: 4.011 GHz
DRAM: 1531 MHz
Nice, a 1ghz gain is pretty decent, I'm sure its still a great system for day to day stuff.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-21-2019, 10:16 AM
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Congrats on your overclock, well done!

I had an AMD Phenom II 970 @ 4.0Ghz for close to seven years. Amazing how durable these CPUs are!

Phenom II Zosma 970 unlocked to X6 4.020Ghz
Phenom II 960T unlocked to X6 3.8Ghz
Phenom II 960T @ 4.2Ghz
Intel Q9650 @ 4.3Ghz
Intel E8600 @ 4.7Ghz
Intel Q9450S HTPC build @ 2.7Ghz
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-21-2019, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the support of my overclock. Like I said, I'm not looking for extremes, so I'm happy with 4 GHz considering I've used it at stock since the build 10 years ago.

It's crazy how 33% performance increase really makes everything more snappy. I tried lowering the voltage at current settings and it crashed, so I guess I'm happy where it currently is.

I haven't done any additional stress testing, but I haven't experienced any issues during use, no crashes, freezes, bsods, or dips in clock. I've kept cpuz, hwmonitor, and realtemp on constantly to monitor.

One thing I've noticed is that the VCORE in Bios and VCORE in monitoring apps don't match. I've tried several monitoring apps, and my voltage is always reported as lower then what the bios setting is. Bios setting is 1.3375. The usual reading on monitoring apps is 1.320 with a max spike of 1.328. While these numbers aren't extremely far apart I'm curious what the true value is. If CPUz, etc is accurate then I could probably bump up my voltage a little more and get a little more OC out of it. My max stress test temps at current settings was 77C, so I think I have some wiggle room as max temp during normal usage is in the low 60s.

Anyone able to answer this question or any from the original post?
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 06:53 AM
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1ghz overclock is nice and should help you get the most of your old rig.

new rig 2019:
Intel 9900k >5ghz | Asus Maximus XI Gene | Eisbaer 360 LT (custom loop in progress) | bequiet! Dark Base 700 white edition | Team group Nighthawk 16GB 4000mhz | MSI RTX 2070 Armor | Storage: Intel Optane 900p 280GB + Samsung 970 evo plus 1TB + WD Red 3TB | Corsair HX850i | Benq BL3200PT 1440p | 1Gbit ftth |
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 08:30 AM
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I never got up to a 200 bclk on that platform. My i7-980 topped out around 4.2GHz with a 175 bclk and around 1.32v. I have it in my notes and can pull it up later when I get home.

Trying to go past 4.2 and get to 4.5 required 1.4v+ and was just too hot.

I ran it at 4.2 for many years before decommissioning it down to HTPC usage on stock-clocks.

I should note, I once pushed for 190+bclk, but my benchmarks had higher results at 175, with much less heat.

Last edited by acquacow; 01-22-2019 at 10:15 AM.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-02-2019, 05:56 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by acquacow View Post
I never got up to a 200 bclk on that platform. My i7-980 topped out around 4.2GHz with a 175 bclk and around 1.32v. I have it in my notes and can pull it up later when I get home.

Trying to go past 4.2 and get to 4.5 required 1.4v+ and was just too hot.

I ran it at 4.2 for many years before decommissioning it down to HTPC usage on stock-clocks.

I should note, I once pushed for 190+bclk, but my benchmarks had higher results at 175, with much less heat.
this works fine
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