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Help OC on Asus P5N-E SLI 650i w/Q6600

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February 12, 2008 12:09:30 AM

I've just purchased this system. Had it for 2 wks. Trying to OC to 3.0 ghz for past couple days and failed.

System:
Asus P5N-E SLI 650i
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 w/stock heatsink (waiting on arctic freezer 7)
G-Skill 4 gig (2 sticks X 2 gig, the blue sticks w/heatsinks) ddr2 800 running dual
2 - eVGA GeForce 8800GTS 320mb (running SLI, but too HOT! so I removed one; almost can't touch them)
2 - 320gb HDDs Sata Seagate
PSU - 500watt
OS - Windows XP sp2 32 bit

I've tried and tried and tried...can't get OS to boot. I've only gotten windows to boot 1 time...but it power down after 30 min of playing COD4. It'll post....just can't get OS to boot.

I've used these settings:

Everything I don't really need at the moment on disable like every says on here.
Set memory to 5-5-5-15-2T
Unlink...setting fsb to 1334, left ram at 800 (also tried 667)
LTD at 5X; Also tried 3X
vcore - tried 1.3v - 1.5v
dimm - tried 1.92v and 2.01v
NB - 1.4v

I'm fairly new at this kind of stuff. This is my third build, but 1st gaming build. Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.
a b K Overclocking
February 12, 2008 11:22:14 AM

firstly 500w is no where near enough for your setup, wait for better heatsink or you might fry your cpu, why you got 4gb of ram with a 32bit os?.

anyway to the overclocking, i had the same setup as you have and had no luck overclocking, but lets see if you can have some better luck.

you were right to relax the mem timeings, but incorrect to unlink them from the fsb, you need to link them in sync mode this means at 3.6ghz your mem will run at 800mhz and at 2.4ghz your mem will run at 533. linking the memory makes it more stable.

find the correct voltage for your memory on the web and then set it to .1 above just for now.

set the vcore to what ever you deem safe (below1.5 as read in cpu-z for 24/7 use.

slowly increase the fsb by say 10mhz that will give you 2.5 then 2.6 etc. run 2 programs of prime 95 or everest to test for stabilty, then continue upping the fsb until its unstable and then back down a bit.

why did you buy 2 8800gts 320? i got a 8800gt512 which is alot better for £125 and then wc and oc'd it :D 
February 12, 2008 3:03:33 PM

Have you tried higher FSBs...maybe try 1466, like in my sig...

Try uping the voltage to your DIMMs ~2.1v should be safe
Related resources
February 12, 2008 11:00:22 PM

richardscott said:
firstly 500w is no where near enough for your setup, wait for better heatsink or you might fry your cpu, why you got 4gb of ram with a 32bit os?.

That depends what kind of PSU it is. If it's a quality PSU, 500W is enough.
February 13, 2008 12:00:38 AM

okay...I will try link mode tonight when I get home.

PSU is an Apevia from newegg.com - APEVIA X-Navigator ATXA8NW-AL/500 Silver/Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case. I know I should get a better name brand one...but tight on budget now.

I'm not running SLI anymore...going to get another computer w/Intel E6750 C2D; GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L Mobo; Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 1066 and thermaltake 700W PSU to go with that extra video card.

The rated voltage for my dimms are 1.9xV...but I've also set it to 2.1xV too and nothing.

I read another post on here talking about putting the ram into the yellow slots instead to stay away from the hot NB and when I tried that last night. My computer powers off or freezes constantly. It wouldn't even stable for 30 min. Do you guys think its just a bad board. I've even updated the bois to 0803 (latest version).

I reset everything back to default and ran prime95 last night for 6hrs and no errors at all. I ran memtest for the 2 sticks for 8hrs and no errors too.

I appreciate you guys trying to help. But let me try linking it tonight and I'll let you guys know how it went. If it doesn't work...I'm really leaning towards rma.
a b K Overclocking
February 13, 2008 3:20:13 PM

if you are getting a new processor then get a e8400 wolfdale they oc great
February 15, 2008 6:14:29 AM

Dont worry, you are not the only one with quad problems on a 650 or 680! There seems to be some creepy problem with overclocking over 1280 FSB with a q6600. Like me for instance! ::chuckles.:: Unfortunatly I have been un able to locate a solution, but I am trying! I have been known to be relentless when its needed. (dunno, but try something like 1485 FSB, 1.4 to NB, Memory to stock, Vcore near 1.4ish CPU VTT to 1.5ish, 1.2 ht to 1.3... Thats the only settings I can get into windows at! Its like 3.3 or something, but tests fail, or BSODs get my as$. Good luck!)
February 15, 2008 5:01:04 PM

i'm still unable to get anything to work. to lupiron....LOL...yes...there seems to be alot of peeps in here asking oc questions about same cpu. I'm going to rma my board because one of the dimm slots is bad....I guess I will try again once I get the new board and the new freezer 7 pro installed. If I still can't OC after that...I'm just going to give up and keep regular settings. If i am able to get it to work...I will update here...to share with everyone else.

thanks.
February 15, 2008 7:40:28 PM

Sounds like a plan! I have to RMA my formula maximus today as well, stupid winflash! Erases the bios just fine, but cant re write one! Owwww. Boot, nothing, powerdown, boot, nothing, power down! Over and over again!

I'd like to know what your highest stable speed is, if you have tested for that much. I can get to 2.85 or a lil bit higher, and thats all.
Good luck!
February 15, 2008 7:44:31 PM

Sadly, there are still problems with the Windows-based BIOS flash utilities. Best bet is to always use the floppy-based DOS BIOS flashing programs.
February 27, 2008 11:38:48 PM

Lupiron quote - "I'd like to know what your highest stable speed is, if you have tested for that much. I can get to 2.85 or a lil bit higher, and thats all. Good luck!"

The most I was able to get was 2.6...but that was still unstable.

UPDATE!: I ditched the Asus mobo. I picked up a Gigabyte EP35C DS3R from Fry's for $160. Installed it....ran prime95 for 30 min and it passed 2 times...no problems. Time to OC. Went into bios...didn't change anything except making sure memory timmings were 5 5 5 15 2T. OC CPU to 2.8...OS booted up. Ran prime95 for 1 hour, no problems. Went back into bios....OC CPU to 3.0....did not change any voltage...left everything the way it was. OS booted up...ran prime95 over night....no errors. I'm happy. Temps were all under 50c with freezer 7 pro while running prime95. I also modified the NB heat sink....swapped it out for a thermaltake heat sink fan from newegg.

Will OC higher this weekend and post another update.
February 28, 2008 12:56:57 AM

Figures, Nvidia chipsets aren't very compatible with Quad.
February 28, 2008 5:31:25 PM

Its the boards. I went from an 680i to 780i and can get my quad stable at not 2.8, but 3.6. (Its way hot, damn b3s.) But that was after a few mins of tinkering around, I put in days of tinkering on the old 680i to no avail!! I have to admit that the vdroop is quite pronounced on this board for now.For instance, from an idle of 1.45 down to >1.39 for the small FTTs on prime 95 x 4 cores. That keeps bombing me out. Got it stable through prime, hehe, but had to up the vcore a lil more than that to get Crysis stable. (Crysis appears to use a single core at 100 %, and very little of the others on my system. That 100 was bombing it out until I upped the v core two more slots beyond what prime 95 needed. Crazy, but that solved it too.)

--Lupi!
March 4, 2008 1:46:37 PM

The following is a copy of my post over at Overclock.net.

I hope it helps out some folks with this setup.
_______________________________________________

Disclaimer: The following information is passed on with best intentions but I cannot guarantee that there is no risk involved with changing your bios revision or overclocking your system. You do so at your own risk. All of this comes from successfully overclocking my Q6600 G0 stepping to 3.0Ghz on my Asus P5N-E.

1 - How to flash your Asus P5N-E

Despite what you may read on other forums, it is possible to install any bios version on the P5N-E when you require. I have had 0703 -> 0803 -> 0608 -> 0901 -> 0608 throughout my time with the P5N-E. First off forget about using the Asus Update tool in Windows as it will probably not let you go down to a previous bios than the one you currently use if required. I prefer to create a bootable CD image as it allows me to store multiple bios' on the disk and verify that the copy has worked correctly after burning the disk because the last thing you want is to have a bios partially copied to a USB stick etc and then to flash your system.

First off go to the Asus P5N-E main webpage and download all of the bios revisions you want to a folder on your machine. Extract the .bin (bios files) from the zips into the folder. Download as many or as little as you want but I would recommend getting 0608, 0703, 0803 and 0901. Next download the Asus Awdflash Flash utility and extract the awdflash.exe into the same folder as the ####.bin files. And finally, download a copy of Flash CD and unzip the FlashCD.iso into the same folder.

Now you need to open the ISO image and add the bios files and AWDFLASH.exe into the existing list of files. I use UltraISO as its real easy and the free trial should allow you to do this task quickly. Once you have added the files to the ISO you can save it for use later and burn with your favourite CD burning software or burn with the included option within UltraISO. You should now have a bootable CD with all of the required files to flash your P5N-E

Boot the computer up with the CD set as the primary boot option in the bios. Give it a minute or so and you will be at an old dos prompt and if you read the passage above the prompt it will say what drive letter has been assigned to your CD-Rom device. In my case it says R:\ so I type in R: and press return to get to the R:\ prompt. Now I'm going to flash my P5N-E's bios by typing in the following:

awdflash ####.bin /f

#### is the bios revision number we downloaded earlier and are planning to use and the /f tells the flash utility to force the upgrade/downgrade. Pressing return/enter will bring you to a screen like this one



prompting you to save the existing bios. Enter N to say no to this as you do not need to save it and will be unable to save to the CD anyway. Next you will be prompted to start the flash but entering Y. Doing so will start the flash process and show you a screen not unlike this one:



The flash should take about a minute or two to complete and will prompt you to press F1 to reboot. This will restart the computer with a black screen for a short time before displaying a message says something like its updating CPU Checksum and then shows the Asus splash screen.

Flash complete.

(P1MP1NJ from overclock.net packaged up the flashcd with all of the P5N-E bios' and you can get it here).

2 - First Overclock

Over clocking your system is not straightforward and what might be good for me might not work for you. To give you a little bit of history about my overclock, I initially went straight from default settings to manual and set the system to unlinked with QDR 1333 and DDR 667. Immediately the system failed to boot and no matter what I tried it would either hang at windows loading, hang at the bios screen or just not display anything on the screen at all. I upgraded the bios to v0803 and tried again but got the same results. However, upon reading a few forums I found that people were having more joy with the 0608 bios more so than any other so I put everything back to default and downgraded from 0803 to 0608. Again I set up manual settings with Unlinked QDR 1333 and DDR 667 and everything else was left as default. Sure enough the PC booted straight into Windows at 3.0GHz right away. My motherboard bundle came with the CPU installed with a Thermaltake TR2-M13 SE LGA775 fan and temps were around the low to mid forties idle and high fifties under load. Checking CPU-Z I could see that the motherboard had set the memory timings on my bundled 4Gb Elixir ram to 5,5,5,18,2T. I was able to play my games etc without any problems but I wanted more.




3- Current Overclock

Given that I had it running well @ 3.0GHz before, I decided to see if I could push it and tried all kinds of other settings all the way up to 3.15GHz with various levels of success. Ultimately it wasn't as stable as I wanted and there seemed to be a hole after 1350 QDR that made things a little unreliable so I've gone back to basics.

It was always my plan to replace the rubbish ram that came with my motherboard bundle so I replaced the original 4GB Elixir DDR2 for Corsair Dominator TWIN2X2048-8500C5D performance ram. I also got rid of the awful northbridge heatsink and replaced it with a Thermaltake Extreme Spirit II Chip Cooler CL-C0034 and added a Akasa Chipset Cooler AK-210 to the southbridge that just about covers it all and allows for the second GPU.



My plan at the moment is to burn it in for a few weeks stable at 3.0GHz and then eek out what I can slowly from there as I was probably taking to big a jump each time afterwards. Incidentally, I tried the 0901 bios and had the same problem as the 0703 and 0803 where it wouldn't even get past the bios boot so went straight back to 0608.


My current setup is as follows.







Some people have PM'd me to say they are a little lost when booting the CD up and finding their CD drive letter.



As you can see from the image above, I have created the CD using FlashCD and booted up the PC to the dos prompt. Where it says "Drive R: = Driver Banana Unit 0" this signifies that drive R has been created for my CD Rom device. Entering R:\ takes me to the CD device and allows me to run the flash code. Your machine may not say drive R is your CD Rom device so take a look at this path on your machine to find out which one it has mapped and use that drive letter instead.

I have had the overclock working at speeds up to 3.06Ghz and 3.11Ghz but its no where near as stable as 3.0Ghz. For example I was able to run 3DMark06 and Prime95 at 3.11Ghz perfectly but then went to 3.13Ghz and it failed. Thing is, when I went back to 3.11Ghz and then 3.06Ghz it failed again during 3DMark. I can't work out why its so inconsistent at the moment but I'll keep plugging away.



I hope this helps some people out and good luck with your overclock.
March 5, 2008 11:12:26 PM

Hmmmm.....thats interesting.

I will definitely try that as soon as I get another cpu(e6750) for the asus mobo. THANKS! diddler1979.

As for my gigabyte setup right now...I haven't really push for higher numbers. I decided to just stay at 3.0 ghz for the reason that I don't need anymore cpu speed. If I push to 3.2 ghz...the temps get a little to hot - close to 70C w/prime95. So I dropped it back to 3.0 ghz, fine tune it and enjoy.

that apevia PSU is dead. Cheap %^*&! OCZ 600W PSU on the way...hopefully it doesn't die on me too.
!