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i7 2600k can use just 1 processor/2 cores

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July 23, 2013 10:10:45 PM

Hello everybody,

Last month I suddenly couldn't access to Windows: when starting my Pc it did POST and passed BIOS, but freezed on first Windows logo. After 30 sec. appeared a split-second BSOD (your pc ran into a problem...), and from there it went a infinite reboot loop.

After much troubleshooting I ultimately solved by entering in the BIOS, and under ADVANCED -> CPU -> ACTIVE CORE PROCESSORS changed from 'ALL' to just '1'.

Here are my specs: I assembled it in late 2011, and it was just fine until a few weeks ago.

- Asus P8Z68 Deluxe
- Intel i7 2600k stable @ 4,5 Ghz
- 16 Gb Corsair Dominator GT
- Zotac Nvidia GTX590
- 2 Corsair Force 3 SSD 240Gb (OS + content creation)
- 2 WD Caviar 2Tb (RAID 0 with Drive Xpert Superspeed)
- Enermax Revolution 85+ 1020W
- Corsair Hydro 100 CPU Cooler
- 27" ASUS VG278H with NVIDIA 3D VISION 2 Glasses
- Windows 8.1 Pro x64

Now I can use it, but only with one active processor set in the BIOS: if I try to set all of them active, I get the previous state of freezing on first Windows splash screen, and after 30 sec. a fast BSOD and reboot loop.

For me is a big issue to work with just one active processor, because the performance is notably diminished when I use heavy applications for virtual reality and game development.

I'd like to know if there' some way to determine if the problem is on the Motherboard or on the CPU, and if there's something I can try (i.e. tweaking voltage/speeds/ratios in the BIOS) in order to revive the other processors/cores.

Your help would be very much appreciated.

Thanks
Domenico

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July 23, 2013 10:44:11 PM

I dont wanna rush into this, but i think that your CPU is dieing...
I have the 2600k, and i find that 4,5GHz for 24/7 use is not good at all for this chip
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July 23, 2013 10:55:33 PM

crisan_tiberiu said:
I dont wanna rush into this, but i think that your CPU is dieing...
I have the 2600k, and i find that 4,5GHz for 24/7 use is not good at all for this chip


Thanks Crisan, I already came to the same conclusion: from this forum, I just wanted to know if there was something else to try on the software side, before giving up. ; )
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July 24, 2013 1:54:52 PM

Wow.. haven't heard of 2600k @ 4.5ghz using H100 is taking a toll on the cpu. You said it was stable @ 4.5ghz, but obviously it is not stable. I have been overclocking various cpus of different generation, at moderate to high range using reasonable voltage settings, and never had cpu go bad because of overclocking. I think you simply have a bad component somewhere, and most likely can get RMA for whatever part is causing it. You should NEVER have to disable cores or features to make a system work. This chip is capable of running min 4.2 ghz with all settings on using HYPER212+ @ reasonable temperature.

I recommend that you troubleshoot this system using minimal setup (remove graphics card, remove some ram sticks, 1 ssd, etc) and re-test out the system. I would first run prime95 @ stock setting, and overclock moderately to 4.2 ghz, then 4.4, 4.5... while monitoring the voltage used and temperature during idle & burn.

FYI, I am running 2600K @ 4.4ghz, 1.28v, 16gb ram (4 sticks), ssd raid0, 3 storage HDD, HD7870 OC'd, 600W psu, GA-z68xp mobo, with ALL SETTINGS ON in the BIOS (power save, HT...) used various coolers (hyper212, xigmatek dark knight, zalman water......) and it was stable each and every time. Take the time to troubleshoot, and I think you should find the reason for this. Overclocking is probably not it, as long as the voltage is reasonably set, and cooling is in place.
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July 24, 2013 4:07:02 PM

goonbar79 said:
Wow.. haven't heard of 2600k @ 4.5ghz using H100 is taking a toll on the cpu. You said it was stable @ 4.5ghz, but obviously it is not stable.

Well, it has been stable for two years, with daily heavy loads: but of course I agree with you, in that I wanted to take a risk. As for the solution, before disabling the processors in the BIOS I really didn't know what to think, so I deeply tested each and every component, and did all the basics of troubleshooting: resetting the CMOS, testing the individual banks of RAM with Memtest, etc. They all came clean, so I pointed my finger towards the only two non-tested suspects: motherboard and CPU.

Interestingly enough, today I tried to boot with latest Fedora Live-DVD. It was the first time I tested a non-windows OS in such conditions, and with all 4 processors active I got the same practical results: it freezed at the first OS screen, although in this case it freezed on a Linux text page (white text on black background) full of error messages with two recurring words: hardware and cpu. I could repeat the procedure in order to recall the specific error messages, but the general sense was that of highlighting a cpu hardware error.

In Windows I tried many different CPU tests - from Prime95 to Intel Stability Test - but they all have the same limitation: they must run on a working OS, and I can get that condition only if I first disable 3 processors on the BIOS.

In the end it's like a dog biting its tail, since all those tests identify my CPU as i7 2600k, but they also consider 'normal' that it has only one processor with two cores.

Like I said, I already tested all the rest of the hardware - with bare minimum configuration - except for CPU and Motherboard: any idea on how could I determine which is the faulty one, without having at hands a second desktop-pc where I could test these two components?

Thanks.
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July 24, 2013 6:29:32 PM

Domenico71 said:
Like I said, I already tested all the rest of the hardware - with bare minimum configuration - except for CPU and Motherboard: any idea on how could I determine which is the faulty one, without having at hands a second desktop-pc where I could test these two components?

Thanks.
Well, I think you already did what you could. If linux live dvd doesn't complete booting to desktop, I can't think of anything you can do to test cpu and then test the mobo without other components to test it with.

I think now is the time to move along. Whether its the cpu or mobo, I would think you can get RMA for them. In such cases, my past experiences would tell me it is mobo 98% of times, I think in your case, cpu has pretty good chance of being defective. I think you should send both in for RMA just to be sure. I am not sure about Intel cpu, but most brand mobos can be sent for RMA without charge (except for shipping) even if it is found to be normal. Those professional testing tools/machines can't be replicated at home, you know.

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July 24, 2013 6:42:54 PM

goonbar79 said:
Well, I think you already did what you could. If linux live dvd doesn't complete booting to desktop, I can't think of anything you can do to test cpu and then test the mobo without other components to test it with.

I think now is the time to move along. Whether its the cpu or mobo, I would think you can get RMA for them. In such cases, my past experiences would tell me it is mobo 98% of times, I think in your case, cpu has pretty good chance of being defective. I think you should send both in for RMA just to be sure. I am not sure about Intel cpu, but most brand mobos can be sent for RMA without charge (except for shipping) even if it is found to be normal. Those professional testing tools/machines can't be replicated at home, you know.


Thanks Goonbar, I myself already came to the same conclusion, but first just wanted to check if someone else had some more suggestions. ; )
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July 25, 2013 6:09:57 AM

Domenico71 said:
Thanks Goonbar, I myself already came to the same conclusion, but first just wanted to check if someone else had some more suggestions. ; )


Good luck with getting these replaced or serviced. Remember that sometimes the warranty service is conducted by a 3rd party, and has no authority to override any policy, so if having trouble, contact the OEM HQ and plead your case. I think you have done everything you can to pinpoint the problem down to cpu or mobo, so they should help you without questioning you.

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July 25, 2013 7:49:47 AM

goonbar79 said:
Domenico71 said:
Thanks Goonbar, I myself already came to the same conclusion, but first just wanted to check if someone else had some more suggestions. ; )


Good luck with getting these replaced or serviced. Remember that sometimes the warranty service is conducted by a 3rd party, and has no authority to override any policy, so if having trouble, contact the OEM HQ and plead your case. I think you have done everything you can to pinpoint the problem down to cpu or mobo, so they should help you without questioning you.



If I took the time to pinpoint the issue, it's because here in Italy there's a lot of bureaucracy involved: and sometimes, even a simple RMA can be a real nightmare! ; )

Furthermore, two years ago I bought this pc from a shop I trusted since 2005, but I noticed that their service lost that bleeding edge: that's why I tried to fix it by myself.

Thanks for the further advices : )
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