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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi OCN,

I am trying to push my OC higher, but for some reason I just can't get a stable OC. I thought I'd post this thread and ask the pro's on how they achieved hire OC speeds with the same processor and possible the same RAM and M/B configuration. I've been reading up on the different OC setup threads, but I think I need first-hand OC experience for the Q9550.

Hardware as per my system specs in personal profile:

Intel Q9550 E0 stepping.
Gigabyte GAX48T-DQ6.
Corsair 4Gb 1600C7DHXIN XMS DDR3.
Cooling: Ultra 120 Extreme with Scythe 1200mm S-Flex 1900rpm fan and OCZ Freeze Extreme Thermal Paste.

Settings:
FSB: 400Mhz.
CPU multiplier: 8.5.
vCore: 1.376v.
vdimm: 1.93v.
RAM multipler 4 with 333Mhz NB strapping.
All other voltages are set to normal.
Loadline calibration enabled.
Current OC is 3.4Ghz, RAM is standard rated speed of 1600Mhz with tighter timings at 7-6-6-16 1T.
Prime95 is stable with the above settings.

I have tried to go to 3.6 and then 3.5Ghz - the system wouldn't even POST. This was with relaxed RAM timings of 7-7-7-20 1T.

I then increased the vDimm to almost 2.1v, set the NB voltage +0.25v and FSB voltage at 1.41v (which I heard is required when running 400FSB or higher).

It booted into windows vista ultimate 64-bit, but failed within 30-seconds in prime95. This occured at both 3.6Ghz and 3.5Ghz OC settings.

I also know the RAM is capable of doing 1800Mhz at 7-7-7-20 1T, but there might be differences in the motherboard's capacity to do so compared to other OC's done on different M/B and RAM configs but with the same Q9550 processor.

How can I OC higher? Am I missing something important?

Any advice would be appreciated. I want to aim for the 4.0Ghz mark without blowing anything up.

Thanks people!
 

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At your current o/c .. what kind of temps are you hitting under load via prime? ( Highest temp)

Also I would start bumpin back down w/ your VCORE . Personally I shy away from that dreaded 1.4 mark.

Your just taking life away from your CPU at that point and adding unnecessary heat.

I've actually at times found a more stable faster overclock w/ less CPU voltage.

Try dropping some from your CPU and adding a few clicks to your Northbridge. ICH/MCH. ( you may need to invest into some chipset cooling )

When you jack up your fsb that high your Northbridge can need a bit more juice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi RyanRacer48,

Thanks for the feedback. Its strange how you mentioned about the voltages, as I went back to the bios just after I posted this thread to see if I could finetune them a bit more. The result... 1.232 vCore and 1.88 vDimm. Max temp, today was a good 26-deg c all day long (ambient) and Prime95 highest temp was 50-deg c.

I just can't beat the 400FSB wall. I even tried to relax the timings all the way to 9-9-9-22 1T from standard 7-7-7-20 1T, and it just won't boot. I will to bump up the NB with the lower voltages presently like you suggested mate and keep this thread updated.

BTW, nice OC on the HD4870. How did you manage that? Custom cooling mods on the graphic card by any chance?

Cheers!
 

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For the 4870 .. its just a mcr swifttech water block, the copper ramsinks and a PCI slot fan cooler I have under the card to cool the memory.

You very well could be having trouble going higher on your fsb just because of the NB volts being too low. . I run mine at around 1.375 . I would try like 1.300 to 1.325 on the chip then just under or at 1.4 for the chipset. Seems to work stable in a good number of boards.

Make sure when your overclocking that you turn off any types of BIOS options for speed stepping or "watch guard" type settings. They can really play w/ the stability of an o/c.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks RyanRacer48,

I have disbled Intel EIST CPU management and Intel SpeedStep so hopefully my clocks and voltages won't automatically detune.

BTW, I have another thread about software that can monitor NB and FSB voltages and temps. My bios doesn't show these items and CPU-Z, speedfan, hw monitor, everest ultimate don't show the NB and FSB voltages/temps for some reason. All other voltages come up but not the two mentioned above.

I suppose I am a bit reluctant to step the voltages up when I don't know what they are standard.

I found this article to help determine NB and FSB voltages for my particular m/b: http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3190&p=13

The standard FSB voltage is 1.10v and NB standard voltage is 1.45v. the article states that there is an actual drop in voltage of 0.20v for the NB as well which you have to account for.

What would your recommendations be mate?

Thank you in advance.
 

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Well I never recommend software overclocking. Some swear by it, it CAN be safer for your machine being if you go too high you crash and just reboot. However, I've seen a lot of operating systems become corrupt doing this.

Since your multiplier is 8.5 we may need a lot of FSB, what you should start by doing is manually setting your RAM timings. I would just google the model of your memory and set those numbers that look like 9-9-9-24 and the voltage in the BIOS. However, unlike your specs you want to set your memory speed in BIOS at 1333. Every time you bump up the FSB, its going to overclock your memory.

I would put the cpu around 1.35 volts and your northbridge seems already high. Start bumping up your FSB by a little bit ( 10-20 maybe ) then check your stablity / temps. You should be able to get your cpu close to 4 ghz w/ some time and effort assuming your temps are reasonable. ( For your cpu stay under 70 C LOAD )

Use Prime95 to test your stability and to see what your load temps are. Keep in mind doing this in BIOS if you go too crazy and cannot get video. There is a BIOS reset jumper on the bottom of your motherboard that you can use to get yourself back up and running.

To be honest w/ the clocks it sounds like your looking for vdroop shoudn't be too much of an issue. If your repeatedly unstable, try turning on Load Line calibration, however I dont typically use these myself.

Essentially the basis of overclocking while keeping CPU longevity is finding the MAX CPU speed you can keep while keeping voltages and temps as LOW as possible. This is a vague statement but just imagine every click of added voltage taking a bit more time off the CPU's life. It gets exponentially worse as you get higher. The ABSOLUTE max I would ever hit on these chips would be 1.4 and that would be a sad day for me. My 9650 is at 4.1 right now and I only have it on 1.3 / 1.4 mch . Not to mention apparently my motherboard is insanely hard to over clock.

For your software monitoring issues, a little heads up .. your probably SOL in that regard due to your choice in operating systems x64 vista has limited support. I have to boot into my XP hard drive to be able to use some of my hardware interfacing software.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi RyanRacer48,

Man, thanks for the advice! Escpecially with the hardware monitoring software. Nobody has pointed out to me that the OS I am running may not have full compatibility with sensor software like HW monitor and Everest Ultimate. It explains why I can't see the NB and FSB voltages. Maybe there is a software around that has compatibility for my m/b and Vista 64-bit. But smart idea about having an XP 32-bit boot HDD.

BTW, with your bonetrail m/b: What are your standard FSB and NB voltages?

For my NB voltage - would 1.75v be sufficient from 1.45?

Also, I will try tonight a lower RAM:FSB multiplier instead of the 4 I am using now. But I will keep the same 333Mhz NB strap. What do you think?

I know that Penryn Quad cores are very hard to OC because of FSB restrictions as compared to their dual core counterparts.

P.S> +1 on your rep buddy for helping out a mate.
 
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