New Build Q6600 Stability Problems… Help!

G’day all,

Long time lurker, First Time poster
I’ve been buying my systems pre-built through Dell for years and I finally gathered the “testicular fortitude” to build my own rig for Gaming, CAD & Product Rendering. I did a fair share of homework to assemble what I hope is a dependable selection of parts. Everything went together without a hitch and the system is mostly stable……. Mostly…

Here are the specs:
--CPU: Q6600 Intel Quad Core [G0 Stepping]
--Cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
--MB: Abit IP35-Pro
--Mem: G.Skill (2 x 1GB = 2 Gig total) DDR2 800 ( PC2 6400)
--PSU: OCZ GameXStream 700W
--Video: EVGA GeForce 8800 GTS - 640 MB
--Case: Antec P180
--Drive: Western Digital SATA 500GB
--DVD: Samsung SATA DVD-RW
--Sound: SoundBlaster X-Fi XTremeGamer 7.1

Here is what works,
--Under “Prime95” (4 instances of small FFT Torture) System is currently running (1 hour and stable) at:
----“Normal” [Abit Guru Mode]
------Ext Clock: 2.82Ghz
------CPU Core: 1.29V
------DDR2: 1.90V
------CPU Temp: 54.0C (Holding Stable)
------System Temp: 36.0C
------PWM Temp: 65.0C
------Voltages: all slightly above target levels
--Under “3DMark06”, I get a score of about 9254 while in Abits “Turbo” more (see specifics below)
--Under “BurnInTest” I am able to run 15 minutes using 100% CPU, RAM and VIDEO (15 is the max for the free version)
--During “Battlefield 2142”, everything seems pretty smooth, with the exception of the infamous X-FI Crackle during artillery rounds (though I haven’t played steadily for more then an hour or two)

Here is what fails (heartbreaking like breaking my first big-wheel)
--In “Maxwell Render” I am able to run about 4-5 hours [at breakneck rendering speeds] but when I do anything with a mouse or keyboard (after rendering for a while), I get a system freeze, (no mouse keyboard or screen activity). The last thing on the screen is this:
----“Turbo” [Abit Guru Mode]
------Ext Clock: 2.93 Ghz
------CPU Core: 1.36V
------DDR2: 1.96V
------CPU Temp: 49.0 C (Holding Stable)
------System Temp: 36V
------PWM Temp: 60.0
------Voltages: all slightly above target levels
-In “Prime95” using the “Blend” mode (single instance) I get a Blue Screen Error with the following”
----“Crash occurs within about 1 – 2 minutes of starting the test

I’m no pro with clock and voltage settings. Is it possible the Abit Guru is setting something up incorrectly? Does this seem like a hardware problem? I’m really not sure where to begin and I would sincerely appreciate your insight on how you think I could best troubleshoot this system. I am not looking for extreme overclocking – only stability for the apps I use for work in play. Thanks to all in advance, Il respond to any further questions as quickly as possible…
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  1. I wanted to send everyone an update just in case someone else ran into a similar situation. I set the clock to 333 x 9 = 3GHz, and then re-adjusted the memory back down to 1:1.20 which gave me a 799 on my DDR2-800 memory. I upped the DDR Voltage to 2.0V (default is 1.8) and I left the voltage to the CPU as-is at "1.27" and ran several tests. Core temperatures hover around 57 (core 1 & 3) to 51 (cores 2 & 4) while running 4 instances of Prime 95 (thats 3 instances of "small", and one instance of "blend" (just to keep my system from paging)). Memtest (from the boot disk) also ran without a problem whatsoever.

    From everything I can see - its rock solid! In the end, I think the low "default" memory voltage was the culprit.
    The renderings(in the portfolio area) on my old P4 system took around 22 hours to render, On this new rig they take around 5. Im a pretty happy camper with that sort of upgrade :) Now of the boys at Crytek would just get their Beta testing wrapped up....
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