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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, after months of putting what I need together, I am finally going to start Phase 1 of the first (mostly) all new build I've done in almost a decade.

The last time I "seriously" started a new build, it was late 2007/early 2008. I ended up leaving my job with T-Mobile in April of 2008 (long story) and thinks have been kind of sketchy since then, so any PC upgrade was as I could manage to squeeze it in, replacing single parts or trying to salvage what I had and keep limping along as best I could.

The only parts being transferred over my my current system will be the Zotac 1070 AMP! Extreme and a 2TB hard drive that used to be my games drive.

So for the new system I went with -

  • Intel 8600K delidded and IHS replaced with the Rockit 88 IHS - This was delidded and the new IHS installed last weekend, I had a bit of a scare when only one DIMM slot was working, but managed to figure that out. Nothing was damaged on the CPU, testing under a dinky Cyrorig M9i air cooler went fine. It is sitting right next to me cranking out [email protected] work units @ 5GHZ 1.3V , ambient is 26C and the CPU cores are running between 55-60C. This will be water cooled, more on that later.

  • Gigabyte Aorus Z370 Gaming 7 Motherboard. I chose those because overclocking is pretty good on it and it also had the three M.2 connectors I wanted, more on that later as well. And of all the motherboard brands I have used over the last 20+ years of building, I usually have fewer problems with Gigabyte than any other manufacturer.

  • Memory. Ok, this is where my somewhat questionable choices start. Yes, I know that 32GB isn't really needed. I also went with slower DDR 2400. Let me explain. When I bought this it was right around the time of all the Black Friday sales and I managed to get a 32GB kit of GSkill Trident RGB for about $299. For the DDR 3000 it was about $100 more IIRC, and I was trying to maximize what I could get around sale time. Since then the same kit is over $400, so I at least dodged the further price increase. As to "Why 32GB", well...that was because I wanted to fill all the DIMM slots. Seriously. I have no better excuse. GSkill (and Corsair too, IIRC) don't (or didn't) have 4GB RGB parts where I could go 4x4. Oh well. It is a poor justification sure, but I am sticking with it. I am also pondering building a 2nd more basic Ryzen-based system (for non-gaming activities) in the near future so I might break that 4x8 kit and split it between systems in the future.

  • Storage - Yes, I put two MX300 m.2 SSD in RAID0. The only reason for this is that I wanted to move my approx 1.5TB games folder onto an SSD. This goes back to why i chose the Gaming 7. I knew I wanted an NVME OS drive and to utilize the other M.2 connectors for my games drive, and this motherboard ticked all those boxes for me. The ONLY reason the two drives are in RAID0 is for size only, although they are decently quick as well in RAID0. Looking at the available M.2 SSDs on the market, once you go over that 1TB mark, things get expensive FAST. And since these drive cost me about $285 each, it was the best choice at the time. For the NVME OS SSD, I went with Plextor's M8PeG 128GB NVME ($99 at SuperBiiz) drive. Plenty of room for my OS, and the few programs I usually throw on the OS drive. Most of what I use will be on the games drive, with a the old games drive from my current PC moving over as my new "All my Stupid crap I never erase" drive. Oh, and I have a new 3TB Hitachi UltraStar 7K3000 for periodic backups, still evaluating options for offsite backups if the worst happens. I'll decide on that once I have everything up and running. So that will be 5 total drives, with a total storage of upwards of 7TB. Should get me by for a couple of months. 3 M.2 drives, 2 traditional HDD.

  • Graphics card - this is the 2nd part I am carrying over, the 1st is the 2TB scratch drive, and the one I am kicking myself a little about. If I had started planning it earlier, I would have been able to pick up a GPU that would have been easier to find a waterblock for, but with the way Graphics cards prices skyrocketed late last year, I missed the chance here. So I will move it over, and maybe even be able to get it under a full cover water block as long as this Byski card I found indeed fits like it is supposed to.

  • Display - really I could count the two monitors I am using as transfers from the old system, but I am thinking about going ultrawide curved in the future, so how long they stick around will depend on what I decide to go with monitor wise over the next few months. I would like to step up from the current 1920x1080 24" monitors I currently have, but size is critical for me. I work from home, so I currently have a 2x2 monitor arrangement, and the new display will need to fit in the limited space under my two work monitors.

  • PSU- While I was tempted to stick with beQuiet! here, I have had a serious crush on the Seasonic Snow Silent 750W ever since I saw it and saw the stellar review it got on jonnyguru.com. Solid performer, fully modular and pretty as a fresh snow fall.

  • Case - beQuiet Dark Base 700 - #1 reason for getting this case - inverted ATX. My current case is a Coolermaster STC-01 (OG STACKER, BABY!) It is a monster of a case, and ever since I inverted the mobo a few months after I got it (2006 or 2007), I never wanted to switch it back. I like having the case on my left, and my current desk setup (see my Walter White Home office link, that reminds me, I need to check the pics to make sure they are still there) and it is easy to see why my current desk favors the case being on the left side. The RGB lighting on the front was less of a checkbox for me, but as you may have gathered from the inclusion of RGB RAM...yeah, there will more RGB to come. I do wish the tempered glass side panel was not as tinted as it is, but I guess that will cut down on the OMGRGB glare when all is done. Right now, other than flipping to the inverted layout, nothing else has been altered on the case, that will be coming in Phase 2.

  • Water cooling. I have water cooled for about 15 years now, and most of my current loop has been slowly getting upgrades as I needed them. Currently the 1070 is under a EK Thermosphere universal that I got when I was running dual MSI 650ti's up until I think around a year ago. The Thermesphere waterblock is good, but the 1070 AMP! Extreme is taller than reference 1070s, so I had to so into the ports a little weird and it is solution I was never happy with. I could have approached this a couple of different ways, as my new case will allow for vertical GPU mounting, but, well, pride reared it's ugly head here and I really didn't want the GPU water block and the copper heatskinks stuck onto the accesible RAM on the GPU to be THAT exposed. So I exposed myself to Aliexpress, ordered a Byski water block that is SUPPOSED to fit, and when that took too long, finally found one on Amazon that wouldn't take nearly as long to ship...and it arrived last night. As long as it fits, I will be good. Otherwise it is back to the Thermosphere and ugly routing of hardline tubing until I can replace that card and go full cover again.

    So, the rest of the water cooling starts with a HardwareLabs 360 GTX which will be mounted up front. I briefly entertained the idea of going with 2 480 rads, one on top, on in front, but the GTX360 should cover my cooling needs of one Mobo monoblock and the GPU block easily. Speaking of monblocks, this was another reason to go with the Gigabyte Gaming 7 Z370, as EK does make a mono block for CPU and VRM cooling. So unlike my current Gigabyte mobo, I won't have to jury rig a better VRM cooling solution. Not that I have seen excessive heat issues on the motherboard as is. What else? Oh yeah, a 250 Bitspower res, D5 PWM pump and acrylic hardline 3/8ID 5/8OD. Fittings are Monsoon Economy hardline fittings, with a few odds and ends, like a 3 port splitter and finally putting a drain valve in one of my loops. Other than the hardline fittings, it is a mix of Barrow and Bitspower mostly, with a flow sensor and a temp sensor thrown in for giggles. Fans on the HL rad will be Cryorig QF120 PWM, which will be controlled by the case's included fan hub. Going back to the mobo for the PWM control rather than using the switch on the case front panel. I chose those fans because they were about $10 cheaper than anything else I was considering and have been happy with the performance of Cyrorig fans in the past. Fan coinfig on the rad will be a little strange at first, 5 fans on the rad, with 3 in push and 2 in pull due to limited space where the bottom shroud is on the case. I am also going to be using 2 Phanteks 140mm PWM fans, one up top and the other on the rear exhaust over the i/o panel. Those will probably be set to very low speed and left there. I will try a few fan curves and see how temps are. Although I don't expect much of a problem there.
    lastly, as I mentioned about a month ago in the Water Cooling subforum, I am going away from over a decade of just distilled/biocide and will be using CryoChillz in Orange.

So that covers everything I needed for Phase 1, so today (as soon as I finish typing) I am finally going to get started, need to mount the EK CPU block, get the graphics card out of the current system (and see if this Byski block fits) and everything in the new case so I can start working on the tubing runs. Yes, it is also my first time with hardline tubing, but I ordered more than I need, so I should have enough tubing. And yes, I went Acrylic not PETG. Mostly due to the clarity that acrylic has over PETG although I doubt the end product would have looked too much different. Experimentation is fun.

So what will be in Phase 2, and why is there a phase 2? Pretty much one reason. Painting. Winter is still hanging on stubbornly here in Central Oregon, so I need to wait for better weather before I can turn the inside of the Dark Base 700 into the White Base 700. Outside of the case will be staying the stock brushed aluminum (most likely) but the inside will be all painted white. Although, I am considering repainting the white HL rad to orange, if I can find a shade that goes well with it. I am also planning on some interior plexi panels, most likely edge lit. how much of the theme "Hex" I work into that depends on how well I can realize a few ideas I have had into reality. Since my history of under performing is foremost in my mind, I will keep quiet on those to keep expectations low. :D
Other parts that I am planning on painting. The black metal edge of the EK block will be turning either white or orange. I also want to paint much of the motherboards plastic covers, over the I/O and so on. I picked a bunch of the Phanteks Halos RGB fan frames, and since they can be easily taken apart, those will be repainted as well, and I am undecided about the fan frames at this point. I have 2 12 packs of the Monsoon hardline fittings, in both white and orange, and once I have them in, I will be assessing a possible color change on them as well. Either all white or all orange depending on what looks better. Phase 2 will also be the cable sleeving extravaganza. Planning on full custom cables and sleeving for everything I can, with a theoretical white/orange/grey scheme. I still need to order some samples from cable-sleeving.com. Yeah, most likely going with MDPC-X.

As for the fans on the rad, as I mentioned in the water cooling section, I will initially only be able to fit 4 in push/pull and the 5th will be push only. Once everything is in the case, I will be able to see how much room I will have to trim back the metal portion of the basement shroud to fit a 6th fan. So that is undetermined for now.

And now dropping in a few crappy phone pics of how things are now with the mobo on the motherboard tray, it has been up and running since just after the start of the year, as I mentioned I have already done some preliminary overclocking, tested up to 5GHz using OCCT to stress with a little Prime 95 in there as well. I didn't run them for a very long time, but with ambient temps around 21C, after an hour in Primi95 Small FFTs I saw temps slightly above 70C after delidding and using the Rockit IHS. As I mentioned previously, with [email protected] running, they were going only up to around 60C with an ambient a few degrees higher. Should perform well when it is watercooled.

My first naked die!

testing the delid - I have one of the Halos frames on the 140, you can see how well it lights up the fan blades. I really like the look.

And finally, the most important tool I picked up today to help me build -


Oh, bonus messy desk pic showing the current setup -
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Tonight went kind of as expected for something I embark upon.

Get a little accomplished and then have a few small setbacks followed by a big one.

So I got the mobo block on, that was pretty painless, except for the time I mounted it and realized I had not put on TIM.



Minor detail.



Then I go to mount the fans and the Halos on the rad...hmm. These screws are too long. These are too short. These are the wrong screw size entirely.



So a couple trips to Lowe's later (Home Despot was even worse also snowing, uphill both ways in my bare feet) and I have two more sets of screws that are also all wrong. What is this country's problem with carrying metric screws? Anyway, so I at least mounted up the front fans and rad so I could finalize the pump and res position. Oh? What's this? The res is too high? Some moron (this moron) measured wrong. Oh well.

So at least the motherboard tray, mobo and rad is on the case. I am going to find some sexy screws and order a smaller res now.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Work threw me a bit of a curve. I have 32 hours of vacation time that rolled over from last year and I was planning on using it during April/May when the weather should be better for painting to do Phase 2. Found out today that I have to use all 32 hours before March 31st. Only 7 total days were available to choose from this month, and most of them spread over the last two weeks. So much for my plan of doing everything all in one week. Going to have to figure out what I can get done this month, and the March weather can be unpredictable. This might delay Phase 2 a bit longer, but right now I just need my screws to get here to get Phase 1 finished.

Best laid plans, and all. Of course, my plans are generally pretty ad-hoc and usually never survive contact with the enemy, er life.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The 35mm screws from FrozenCPU came as well as my new res. I was going to avoid FrozenCPU, but they were the only ones carrying a res in the size I needed that I liked. So I went with a Byksi Ice Dragon res, 200mm.

So I start mounting up Halos on the front fans, it goes well and I move onto the ones on the back. Of course, as of writing this I am suddenly worried I mounted some of the fans backwards...and of course I did. But before I get to that, as I was mounting the two internal fans...what's this? Why I am 3 screws short? Did I order 17, not 20? Nope. FrozenCPU counted wrong. I emailed them a little while ago and we will see how they respond. It isn't a HUGE deal. I have 20 of the same screw coming in black instead of the silver ones FCPU sent. So when I swap those out, I will reverse the fans up front. Need to trim the mounting screws for the res bracket anyway.

So after the mounting the fans inside...yeah, those need to get painted. I am thinking orange for the Halos frames. They come apart pretty easy with 5 screws IIRC and the light diffuser ring comes right off and then the LED strips practically fly off.

Obligatory horrible smartphone shot.



I have my bits and pieces of vacation coming up next week. If the weather keeps getting better at the rate it has improved since last weekend, it should be perfect. The res caps are screaming for paint too.

Last weekend, we managed a couple inches of snow. This weekend? 50's and 60's and it is getting warmer. WHOOOOOOO
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Once more into the breech!

So the mystery of the three missing screws is solved. FPC only had 17. I had wondered why I recieved a refund of $2 and some odd cents. An explaination would have been nice. Oh well, all is good.

Especially since I had ordered 20 more screws from Amazon. So those work, still need to swap out the screws on the front fans now. Spent some time looking for all my parts I have been collecting for months, could have sworn I had ordered some stop fittings, as I need at least 4. But they were no where to be found, so I have some on the way now, will be here by mid week. With my unexpected vacation this week and next, I should be able to get a lot done. In preperation for that, I finally pulled the 1070 out of my current rig and got the new Byski water block mounted up...only to find one problem. They missed a cutout. I had to take the Dremel to it, it is currently not "pretty" but I can fix it later in the year when I strip everything down for painting.

Not being able to check the placement of everything with the video card and water block led to a slight problem. Where I intended to mount the res was right up against the end of the video card, but there is another option.



Mount the GPU vertically, and since my motherboard tray is reversed...that also means upside down.



It should work just fine. One slight drawback is that in the normal orientation, the fittings on the motherboard water block lined up PERFECTLY with the ones on the GPU block. Since the vertical mount is a set back a bit from the normal mount position, my bends are going to be a little more difficult.

Had a moment of regret for choosing 5/8 OD hard tubing. The space between the pump mount and the lower section cover is a tad to slim to run a piece of tubing straight down for the drain valve/port. But not much trimming will be required and the pump mount shouldn't be difficult to trim a little.

But I have a decent planning aid, so all is well.



Edit to add -
Oh and the weather has failed to keep improving, had snow overnight again a couple of days ago. Thursday and Friday it is supposed to rain and not even hit 50F. So phase 2 is off of the table at the moment. I will probably have to see how much vacation I have later this summer. Which is going to be a horrible time to paint if we have a fire season like last year with basically 3 straight months of ash and smoke.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, first vacation day is almost done, and while not much was accomplished, (other than disassembly of things partially assembled) I was able to locally source 3/4 of the acrylic for the light panels I am planning, and yes, I said panelS, as in more than one. The mirrored acrylic I had to order will be here Friday.

If you are gonna go over the edge, might as well go ALL the way over. Lighting has come up multiple times for me in the last week or so, replaced my headlight assemblies on my car a week ago, replaced the head light bulbs with LEDs, replaced several of my overhead lights in the RV tonight, also with LEDS and the RGBW strips for the light panels will be by Thursday.

As far as the LED panels for Hex go, there will be at least two, maybe 4 different panels.

Maybe the tint on the DB 700's tempered glass IS a good thing.
 

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After yesterday, I know I have a lot of room for improvement with bending acrylic tubing. I will have to order some more tube so I can practice a bit more.

I will take pics later while I air test the loop. I went to air test it last night and my air test rig was...leaking air. Massively. I've had it for over a year and never really had a chance to test it. When I took it apart, there was absolutely no sealant in the threads. So I sealed it up and am letting it cure, then I will finally be able to start leak testing.
 

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Subbing for your build here. Hope you'll be able to paint soon.

Just a suggestion for the opening post... if you put some space between the paragraphs/bullet points it would be much easier to read. People tend to scroll past if it's a giant wall of text.

Looking forward to more updates :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Subbing for your build here. Hope you'll be able to paint soon.

Just a suggestion for the opening post... if you put some space between the paragraphs/bullet points it would be much easier to read. People tend to scroll past if it's a giant wall of text.

Looking forward to more updates :thumb:
There were spaces. No idea how they disappeared and I've been meaning to go back and fix it. thanks for the reminder. Edit - Now I know where the spaces went...the list tag removes them. I need to to see if the break tag will work or if there is one...

Also, thanks for the sub, I've enjoyed your Red Devastator log as well.

So, there was a slight problem with air testing. Every thing was fine except for the res. To get the ports in just the right place, I needed to have it not exactly tight. Fortunately, there is a sweet spot were it doesn't leak and I can still have the ports oriented correctly. I had to put water in it to find that spot though...so onward with leak testing!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I had to put each bullet point for my list as a separate list to get spaces, but the first post is more readable now. Sorry for wall of text, thanks to @Barefooter for the reminder.

System prep and leak test completed overnight, letting things dry out a bit before putting in the Cryochillz Orange Coolant, patience is hard.

Still not 100% happy with the res, but I am working on an alternative for Phase 2.

I thought briefly about going back to the Bitspower 250, but to get it to fit, I would need to banish the pump to the basement, and for that to work, I would need to remove the HDD mount. Then I would need to come up with a new mounting solution for said HDDs. So I will stick with the Barrow res for the time being.
 

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Oh my god, what have I started?



Cable sleeving is part of phase 2...thankfully.

Back up and running.



Now if I could just get my Modi 2 to start working...but I think I will go have breakfast before I tackle that again. After all, it is 10AM and I haven't eaten since... I don't recall. Some tomato soup maybe 8 hours ago.
 

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What a weekend. It is 10PM here and I have been awake for 36 hours.

Now that I have that out of the way, as I last mentioned, my new build, the GLORIOUS COLLECTION OF PARTS THAT MAKES ME SO HAPPY (no, really) for some reason would not detect my USB DAC. It is a Schiit Modi 2, never really had a problem with it until today. So after a sublime breakfast chimichanga (great little BBQ place oddly enough) I traipsed on down to Amazon's Showroom, I mean Best Buy, to grab a powered USB hub for my final try at making the USB work. Well, it detected it well enough to tell me it couldn't make it work. For some odd reason. But I had a backup plan!

Optical input. Which means I guess I am using on board sound again. Kinda. Works fine now.

So then I puttered around most of the day and played with fan curves and the like. Couldn't figure out why Gigabyte's SIV software gave me a range from about 4700 RPM to 4800 RPM on my allegedly PWM capable D5. Eventually I figured out the Fan software in the BIOS was limiting what the SIV software was offering. So after that epiphany, I quickly set up curves for the pump, the front 5 rad fans, and the two 140's and in the BIOS, no need to mess with the SIV software at that point. The 140's are set nice and low, they don't need to move tons of air, but I think I need two tweak the pump to be a LITTLE faster, after all, .30 GPM is probably lower than I want. And a couple hundred more RPM on the rad fans wouldn't hurt either.

Oh, and Gigabyte's RGB software is...finicky to say the least. I've had a couple random color changes for no apparent reason.

I have more acrylic tooooobs coming next week as well as a different insert. So hopefully with a better fit there and a little more patience on my part, I can get the bends looking like something that doesn't have leprosy.
 

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So I woke up from a very restful 11 hours of sleep (well, mostly rested) and when I first looked at my pretty new build (except for the poor bending job and slightly off vertical res) I notice that my fluid has gone completely clear. Where is the suspended mica? It doesn't seem to be stuck in the blocks or the bottom of the res as far as I can see, but it might be all at the bottom of my drain port.

So one day for the UFO Technologies Cryo-Chill to work it's way into a non-flow portion of my loop.

I have to laugh a little. I doubt I am going to flip my build upside down every 24 hours to try to keep in in suspension.

But I love the clear orange color of the fluid. :D
 

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The OP looks much better now.

That coolant looks so awesome in the video! I would love that effect on my build, but I'm just too paranoid about the particles plugging everything up.

Keep us posted how that coolant works out longer term.

The good news is that it doesn't look like it has gummed my blocks up at all. Most likely it is all either in my rad or has all gone down the trapdoor into the drain port.
 

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Ahh, the joys of working from home.

In between calls, I was playing with fans and pump curves, went ahead and maxed out the pump speed to see if I could get any action with the missing particles...it chased up a few for but then cleared again. Then I noticed a vast discrepancy in Gigabyte's SIV software that I probably would have noticed yesterday had I not been awake for 36 hours. It seems that the CPU temp sensor that SIV uses is ridiculously off actual temps. That isn't cool (haha) guys. It is lower by 10-15C compared to HWInfo, even checked with CoreTemp as it shows the same difference as well. This is very bad for trying to come up with appropriate fan curves. I might have to find something similar to SpeedFan to get correct reporting and curves. If SIV (which means System Information Viewer, BTW) is that far off, and you can't change to the correct sensor, it is more than useless. It is dangerous if you are overclocking. Shame, Gigabyte, shame.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
If it isn't one thing it is another.

Another day off, and after taking care of a needed chore (the joy of living in a RV) time to to some gaming.

But why do I have artifacts? My GPU OC is lower tha the highest I had it on my old system, what has changed? Oh, PCI-E Riser cable. Apparently either not as well shielded as the manufacturer claims. So I have another one on the way. Hopefully this will let me get the graphics card clocks up to snuff. I have it at about +100 on GPU clock and Mem Clock, no artifacts there at all. Also tweaking the CPU overclock, currently at 5.3 and adding small voltage tweaks as needed when I need to.

Adjusted my temp monitoring on this nifty Rainmeter gadget. First temp under "H20" is ambient, second is water temp.

I should get around to relabeling that soon. The only other thing I should add to it is flow rate. I currently have that on my taskbar.

The skin is called Minimalist Loop Information

Here we go, updated the skin -
 

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So I live in a 34' Fleetwood Bounder RV (link to the Walter White Home office in my sig) and temperatures can get toasty during the daytime. Even though it was in the mid 60's today (around 18C) inside, it was a toasty 80F/27C in here today, so while I had some time between calls I did some testing with the front panel on. This is with a [email protected] load, which is what I normally run when I am not gaming. Prior to putting the front on the case, CPU temps were running around 147F/64C my fans were mildly audible at around 1300RPM. So I put the front panel and in no time CPU temps went up to around 72-74C. So I bumped the fans up to around 1500RPM or so, which was loud enough to hear over my next call.

So the short of the story is that the front panel is going to get cut like a snitch. No stiches. I have been pondering this for a while, and the quick test I did today makes it an easy call.

Oh, and I turned the case upside down for a little bit to see how much of the suspended particles I could get back into the loop.

Before -


and after -


I have more acrylic now, and as soon as I decide to redo the horrible bends I did, I will be turning the 4 way fitting at the outlet of the pump 90 degrees, as long as I can fit the ball valve between the fitting and the side of the case.
 

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I was up to about 5.2Ghz for a while until I had a blue screen the other night that appeared to clear out all my saved OC profiles in the Gigabyte's BIOS. So I went back to 5Ghz for now, using around 1.3V which has been usage stable (I haven't done any serious stability testing in a while)

But today it is mighty warm in here and the Voltage drop has done it's job, current temps inside this tin can are at 37C which is nearly 100F. With the "lost" overclock at a 30C ambient, still under 1.4V, the CPU would be around 70-72C while folding.


My handy rainmeter plugin -
 

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