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Q6600 OC Concerns/Issues

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a b à CPUs
May 2, 2008 11:29:59 PM

I recently updated my system with an Intel Quad Core Q6600 after reading a lot of reviews online about how great it was, and how many folks with G0 stepping were seeing pretty good Overclocking results. I'll prefice this whole post by saying that I'm not an "Overclocker" typically. If I ever do OC it's usually only slightly.

However, after reading details on a lot of forums I decided to try to OC my cpu. Most everyone I've seen with the Q6600 has little trouble getting it to run completely stable and at good temps at 3.2Ghz (stock is 2.4Ghz). Several guides even seemed confident in saying you could start at 3.2Ghz and work your way up.

Issue 1:

Regardless, I haven't gotten my system stable at any OC on this CPU so far. I've seen Windows fail to load, I've had suddenly reboots, I've had the system simply freeze/hang. So the causes may be variable. Now, part of this problem may be my power supply, as it only feeds a 4-pin power connector for my CPU. My XFX 680i LT SLI Motherboard wants an 8-pin power connector for the CPU itself, but says a 4-pin works.

New SLI-Ready power supplies with 8-pin connectors I've seen online are a bit more money than I'm willing to spend right now. Anyone have any input as to how much this one issue could affect my ability to OC?

Issue 2:

On a separate note, I'm concerned as to the temperatures I'm seeing with this CPU. At idle (CPU-Z showing 1.6Ghz at idle) I consistantly show 37-38c. However when playing games, processing/compiling videos I can reach 47c (CPU-Z showing2.4Ghz). I got the computer to boot up and run at 3.2Ghz at one point, and even ran 4 instances of Prime 95 (one on each 'core') for a couple minutes. The maximum temp I saw (mind you this was only 2-3 minutes as it got hot) was up to 68c I think. Running 3dMark alone would put me about 58-60c.

I have a relatively inexpensive CPU cooler: Masscool 8WA741 http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?Sku=S457-1116

I couldn't readily find my silver compound to mount the cooler, so I used the stock thermal paste (I know horrible isn't it?). I'm just wondering if anyone has any input as to whether these temps make sense, or if they are definitely to high.

Any input on either, or both issues would be appreciated. :)  I'd like to get as much of my money's worth as I can out of this system. When I had OC'd to 3.2Ghz for an hour or so, I did notice the system ran a little more smoothly than at 2.4Ghz, however it would randomly hang (no ALT-F4 or CTRL-ALT-Delete action, had to reset).

Thanks for your time. :) 

More about : q6600 concerns issues

May 2, 2008 11:51:22 PM

You should disable speedstep. It can cause unstability on ocing. Asided from that, it's your motherboard. 680i is one of the worst chipset on market in term of overclocking. On that board, the poor results should be expected.
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a b K Overclocking
May 3, 2008 12:12:02 AM

^Agreed on the 680i chip set. It is indeed one of the overclocker unfriendly chipset.
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May 3, 2008 12:30:10 AM

I would like to expand that the 680i is terrible with a Quad core. You'll be lucky enough to hit 3.2GHz, but expect no more than 2.8GHz, so start there.
May 3, 2008 1:38:42 AM

Agreed, generally the 680i is bad for overclocking. However the xfx 680 lt and a1 are apparently decent overclockers.

I've read some reviews on it where people have said they had good OC results, plus me and a friend have had good overclocks on it.

Good means good though, not some great OC like 500fsb or anything. But close to and maybe even including 400fsb is quite obtainable on this board. BUT you do need a good HSF, otherwise things will get hot. The bad thing about these boards for OCing is they tend to have big vdroop. So generally you have to set the voltage quite high, so that the it's stable at load.

I have to have my q6600 3.45ghz set to 1.4v in the BIOS, so that it's at 1.312v full load.

If your HSF is not much better then the stock cooler then your max OC due to temps will probably be no more then 3.0ghz. If your lucky perhaps a little more.

A good way to do this is set your vcore to auto and SLOWLY up the processor speed, checking temps all the while. Use Prime95 Small FFT test to check load temps. If at anytime your load temps pass 75C then it's too much, you'll have to lower the clock.

Now some will say 75C is too hot, but that's only at 100% load. Unless you use programs that stress your processor as much as Prime then your fine. If you want to be 100% safe though, don't let your 100% load temp pass 71C.

I was able to get my q6600 to 3.0ghz stable at 1.288v. Just to give you an idea.

If you have absolutely no luck with this, then we can assume your PSU isn't supply your CPU with the proper power. Due to the 4pin connector instead of the 8pin.

I wish you luck.
a b à CPUs
May 3, 2008 2:43:57 AM

According to CPU-Z my XFX 680i LT SLI motherboard is Revision "A2". I have indeed heard the things each of your replies state. I've heard some folks say that the 680i is bad for OC'ing. I've also heard statements that the A1 or A2 revisions are pretty decent. Now, I'm not an aggressive OC'er. I'm not looking to post photos of CPU-Z and 3dMark online for glory. LOL

If I can get a reasonable OC (3.2Ghz would make me happy) I'd settle for it. In my previous searches I found folks saying the vcore has to be like 1.4v to 1.45v/1.46v to do a 3.2Ghz. So that's what I've tried before. My biggest concern is simply heat, because this Q6600, even being a G0, gets pretty hot.

I've also heard that this particular motherboard seems to have a lot of FSB holes in it too. If anyone else has a Q6600 OC'd on the XFX 680i motherboard I'd be interested in hearing your settings and attained OC's. :) 
May 3, 2008 2:54:36 AM

jerreece said:
According to CPU-Z my XFX 680i LT SLI motherboard is Revision "A2". I have indeed heard the things each of your replies state. I've heard some folks say that the 680i is bad for OC'ing. I've also heard statements that the A1 or A2 revisions are pretty decent. Now, I'm not an aggressive OC'er. I'm not looking to post photos of CPU-Z and 3dMark online for glory. LOL

If I can get a reasonable OC (3.2Ghz would make me happy) I'd settle for it. In my previous searches I found folks saying the vcore has to be like 1.4v to 1.45v/1.46v to do a 3.2Ghz. So that's what I've tried before. My biggest concern is simply heat, because this Q6600, even being a G0, gets pretty hot.

I've also heard that this particular motherboard seems to have a lot of FSB holes in it too. If anyone else has a Q6600 OC'd on the XFX 680i motherboard I'd be interested in hearing your settings and attained OC's. :) 



No matter how the motherboard manufacturer tries to patch it up, a 680i is still a 680i. It's unlikely there'll be significant improvements. 1.46vcore is high for 3.2ghz oc. I run 1.45vcore for 3.6ghz, and that's on a chip with high 1.3125VID. The highest possible VID for Q6600 is 1.325v.
a b à CPUs
May 3, 2008 9:40:12 PM

I tried to OC my CPU again lastnight. Disabled Speedstep etc. I left all the voltages on [Auto] initially. I could POST and boot into windows XP 64 @ 3.0Ghz and 3.2Ghz without any issue. Everything seemed smooth.

However, in both cases after starting Prime 95 (4 instances, one on each core to put CPU at 100% useage) the entire PC froze/hanged at both 3Ghz and 3.2Ghz. (the freeze was after about 5 mins?) Both cases I was forced to hit the "Reset" button to reboot.

Even upping the vcore 2-3 notches resulted in the same issue. I should note my memory runs at 4-4-4-12 T2 normally. I tried setting it at 5-5-5-15 T2 and that didn't work either.

Set my FSB up while leaving CPU at 9x multiplier. Left DDR memory Unlinked @ 800Mhz.

At 3.0Ghz at 100% for about 5 minutes I was showing temps in Core Temp @ up to 60c.

At 3.2Ghz at 100% for about 5 minutes I was showing temps in Core Temp @ up to 68c.

With my current cooling capacity I could safely run at 3.0Ghz without an issue. 3.2Ghz would be my preference, but I'm not super comfortable running so hot.

I ran 4 instances of Prime 95 @ stock 2.4Ghz for a few minutes without a problem. So I'm either not finding the right vcore, or my PSU just can't handle OC'ing this processor since I don't have an 8-pin CPU power connector (I have a 4-pin).

I've kind of reserved myself to the idea that I may need a PSU upgrade in order to OC this processor at all.
May 3, 2008 10:32:52 PM

jerreece said:
I tried to OC my CPU again lastnight. Disabled Speedstep etc. I left all the voltages on [Auto] initially. I could POST and boot into windows XP 64 @ 3.0Ghz and 3.2Ghz without any issue. Everything seemed smooth.

However, in both cases after starting Prime 95 (4 instances, one on each core to put CPU at 100% useage) the entire PC froze/hanged at both 3Ghz and 3.2Ghz. (the freeze was after about 5 mins?) Both cases I was forced to hit the "Reset" button to reboot.

Even upping the vcore 2-3 notches resulted in the same issue. I should note my memory runs at 4-4-4-12 T2 normally. I tried setting it at 5-5-5-15 T2 and that didn't work either.

Set my FSB up while leaving CPU at 9x multiplier. Left DDR memory Unlinked @ 800Mhz.

At 3.0Ghz at 100% for about 5 minutes I was showing temps in Core Temp @ up to 60c.

At 3.2Ghz at 100% for about 5 minutes I was showing temps in Core Temp @ up to 68c.

With my current cooling capacity I could safely run at 3.0Ghz without an issue. 3.2Ghz would be my preference, but I'm not super comfortable running so hot.

I ran 4 instances of Prime 95 @ stock 2.4Ghz for a few minutes without a problem. So I'm either not finding the right vcore, or my PSU just can't handle OC'ing this processor since I don't have an 8-pin CPU power connector (I have a 4-pin).

I've kind of reserved myself to the idea that I may need a PSU upgrade in order to OC this processor at all.

It's not the psu's fault, changing it won't help. It's the motherboard, and that's what has to go. I ran at 57/57/55/55 full load core temps at 3.6ghz. 60c at 3.0ghz is very high. Consider buying an aftermarket cooler if you decide to upgrade motherboard.
May 4, 2008 12:07:10 AM

jerreece said:
According to CPU-Z my XFX 680i LT SLI motherboard is Revision "A2". I have indeed heard the things each of your replies state. I've heard some folks say that the 680i is bad for OC'ing. I've also heard statements that the A1 or A2 revisions are pretty decent. Now, I'm not an aggressive OC'er. I'm not looking to post photos of CPU-Z and 3dMark online for glory. LOL

If I can get a reasonable OC (3.2Ghz would make me happy) I'd settle for it. In my previous searches I found folks saying the vcore has to be like 1.4v to 1.45v/1.46v to do a 3.2Ghz. So that's what I've tried before. My biggest concern is simply heat, because this Q6600, even being a G0, gets pretty hot.

I've also heard that this particular motherboard seems to have a lot of FSB holes in it too. If anyone else has a Q6600 OC'd on the XFX 680i motherboard I'd be interested in hearing your settings and attained OC's. :) 


Mine is also a A2 revision, not the lite version though. But the lite is essentially the same mobo minus some extra features.

also my BIOS version is 6.00 PG from Pheonix Technologies, LTD.

I'm running a stable OC of 3.45ghz at 1.4v BIOS.

I wasn't able to get it to post, no matter how much voltage i gave it, at 3.4ghz.

My suggestion is to try fiddle round in between 3.0 and 3.2. You might find a FSB that your motherboard likes. At those clock speeds 1.3v at 3.0ghz should be more then enough, and 1.35-1.4 should be almost overkill at 3.2ghz. Again during prime95 don't let your temps pass 71C.

Once you find a stable OC you can try lower the voltage till it's unstable again. Then put it back up a notch or two, and retest stability.

Also if you don't already have the latest version of Prime95 i'd get it. It'll automatically run 4 instances of Prime95 without have to open up 4 separate windows manually.

Anyways, just keep fiddling round and hopefully you'll get a stable OC somewhere. GL :) 
a b à CPUs
May 4, 2008 7:05:55 PM

Ok, so the fact that my PSU is only a 4-pin CPU connector, instead of the "Recommended" 8-pin power connector, isn't going to cause this problem?

Also, any recommendations on whether to Sync or Unsync/Unlink FSB and DDR? I've heard both ways on other forums.

I honestly can't upgrade my motherboard. I just bought this one less than 2 months ago as a combo package. Not to mention I don't have the cash to go buying another one right now. LOL

Just downloaded the 64bit version of Prime 95 (v2414). I'll play with things again later tonight.
a b à CPUs
May 5, 2008 2:36:49 AM

I downloaded the latest Prime 95 I can find, which is v25.6

I've had it running and it's now on test 5. So far my Max temperature is 56c. This is running my Q6600 @ stock 2.4Ghz. I'm guessing I won't get much OC out of this puppy without some better cooling.
a b à CPUs
May 7, 2008 2:50:19 AM

Holy cow. So I pulled my heatsink/cpufan off today. Wiped off all the "thermal paste" which had been supplied by the cooler manufacturer. I finally found my Antec Reference Silver Thermal Compound (it's a few years old, I'm sure there's better out now).

Also realized my cooling fan (which is hidden inside the giant heatsink/fin tower and hardly visible) had been oriented to blow the air from the CPU into the exhaust fan of my PSU. So I re-oriented it so blow the air out the large exhaust fan on the back of my case.

Those two things alone, took me from a Prime 95 max temp of 56c to 51c. Only 5 degrees Celsius, but that is 9 degrees Fahrenheit. Worth the time in doing. My idle temps went from 38c/39c to 34c.
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