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Q6600 (G0) on EVGA 680i SLI Overclock Help Request

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August 8, 2008 3:09:11 PM

Note: I apologize for the double post, but I posted this over on the Ram section after reading the tread, and realized it probably fits better over here.

I have been building systems and overclocking http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overclocking for several years and just got a Q6600 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Core_2 (G0) to go along with my EVGA 680i SLI board, Swiftech 220 Compact water cooler and 2x1GB OCZ 6400 (OCZ28001024ELGE) and 2x1GB Corsair 6400 (CM2X1024-6400C4) ram.

The best I have been able to do to this point is 2700 Mhz (I am wary of saying "stock" voltage, because it seems stock is a fluid concept here; some say it is 1.3v, some 1.16v, etc.... I think stock on this proc is actually 1.2625, but when I let my voltage auto, CPU-z shows around 1.18v under load, and 1.21v idle). Perhaps I just have a dog of a chip, and there is not much I can do about it, but I wanted to see what you guys think.

I was able to run prime on all 4 cores for 8 hours with no issues at 2700 mhz (temps hit 49 degrees C under full load after 8 hours), and with ram at 400 (800 doubled). When I try to run at 3.2 ghz or 3.6 ghz (fsb http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FSB at 400x4 and ram at 400x2), the system fails upon entering windows, even after boosting voltage up to 1.5v (i stepped up the voltage to try different levels, up to 1.5v). I am at a bit of a loss here because this cooler is amazing, and keeps temps very low. I am currently at 3 ghz (not yet prime tested) and am idling at 32 degrees C for the hottest core, down to 26 degrees C at the coolest core.

I am looking for any suggestions you might have. The only thing I can think of is:

Getting 2x2gb sticks of ram (either 800 or 1066; not sure if 1066 makes a lot of sense if I am trying to maintain system stability, thus hoping for a 1:1 ratio) as my understanding is that more sticks = greater likelihood of instability (but is this only the case as to overclocking ram, or the system in general??); perhaps mixing the ram is an issue....

It seems that heat is not my problem as I have about 20 more degrees C to go before I am worried about long term stability (over my 2.7 ghz OC), but I am at a bit of a loss. I am willing to purchase some new ram as it would only be 100 - 150$ if that will do it, but I want to know if anyone sees anything crazy going on w/ my setup, or if anyone has any other suggestions.

Thanks!
August 8, 2008 3:48:08 PM

Get a different motherboard if you want a good overclock with your Q6600.
Its not going to happen with that MB.
Look at P35, x38, x48, p45
Sorry for the bad news.
August 8, 2008 10:35:21 PM

kk is right -sorry!
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August 8, 2008 11:04:49 PM

Don't listen to these @$$holes. Sounds like you just have a poor chip. My friend has an air cooled Q6600 on a 680i and hits 3.6. 3.4-3.6 is the going rate for those processors on any board. My E8300 (2.8) is at 4Ghz on air. The 680i is a decent OCing board. Unstable at any speed over 3 with water and good temps sounds like a chip problem. I don't think RAM could cause it unless they're insanely OC'ed. Try the P32 BIOS update from EVGA.
August 8, 2008 11:09:58 PM

Its common knowledge that 680i boards are poor overclockers. If you been building/overclocking very much you would know this.
August 8, 2008 11:54:16 PM

+1 for roadrunner, 680i boards are poor overclockers.
August 9, 2008 2:21:17 AM

Perhaps they are poor overclockers for the q6600, but I had a really nice overclock on my E4300 chip (1.8 ghz up to 3.0). So I don't agree with the blanket statement. I don't like the intel boards as they don't support SLI..... Do any of those boards listed support SLI?

I am using the P32 bios right now.

Also, could it have anything to do with my power supply? I am only using a 650W power supply and am running the following:

Q6600
EVGA 680i
2 hard drives
1 optical drive
1 Sound card
1 8800 GTS 640MB
4x1GB RAM

Perhaps my OC is pushing the limits on that power supply. If it is, do I need 1 KW, or can I go w/ a high efficiency 750 watt (i.e. PC Power and Cooling's 750W unit)?

Thanks!
August 9, 2008 2:25:10 AM

Assuming your +12V amps are in line with what a 600w PS should supply, it's not the capacity of the PS. However, if it's an el cheapo quality PS, that could cause problems. Regarding OCing and the 680i, it's quad-cores that have the main problems with the 680i. Of course, the q6600 is what everyone wants to OC!
August 9, 2008 2:35:54 AM

It isn't a cheapo PS, if 650w is enough, then I guess that isn't it...... Thanks.
August 9, 2008 2:45:29 AM

Any thoughts on using a 780i SLI board? Will those allow for better overclocking on the Q6600? As I said, I'm not too interested in getting an intel chipset board as they don't support SLI.
August 9, 2008 2:56:38 AM

I still prefer the intel chipset if I were overclocking a quad, heck of a lot easier, but the 780i would be an improvement from 680i.
August 9, 2008 3:17:18 AM

I dont know why your so hell bent on SLI. Your running one card and its a old one at that. Running 2 in SLI is still slower then one of todays good cards.

Also I just noticed 4x1G sticks.
#1 never mix ram and try to make it run hard.
#2 You probably need to twaek the voltage/ timings with 4 sticks.

#3 Try 2 matching sticks and see if you get a higher OC, if not its the motherboard. Nvidia wouldn't be in such hot water if the products were as good as the fanboys claim.
August 9, 2008 3:28:53 AM

sorry to say, 680i+Q6600=phail.

a P45 or X48 would get the highest overclocked probably...the FSB record is held by a P45 mobo, although personally a 750i gets a really nice OC of 3.6 with a couple of voltage changes....usually 3.0GHz without one. if you're going purely with clocks i would suggest a P45...if you like SLI like me, evga 750i sli FTW mobo really is FTW.
August 9, 2008 2:15:19 PM

True, I dont have SLI at the moment, but I plan to add a second card soon. Further, the 9000 series aren't that much faster than the 8800 series, and adding a second 8800 is a cheap way to get a nice boost in FPS.

I was wondering about the 4x1GB sticks. I just wasnt sure how it would affect things if I was not OC'ing the ram. Some say it has no effect, but I was thinking the information must pass through the ram, and having 2 separate pairs probably can't help matters. Perhaps I'll pull 2 sticks and see how it goes. If the OC is better, then I'll have my answer. If not, maybe I'll look at the new MB option.

Venom, you mention the 750i FTW, w/c I understand is the solid state capacitor version w/c is supposed to be better for OC'ing. There is also a new 780i FTW board that I was looking at. Are you suggesting the 750i FTW because it is better for OC'ing than the 780i, or were you unaware of the 780i FTW?

Thanks! This is great information.
August 10, 2008 4:56:07 AM

im suggesting the 750i because who needs tri sli (which is only available on high end cards = $1000+ spent just on graphics...) or dual gigabit ethernet or that retarded ESA thing? the 750i has the same NB heatsink as the others, and oc's just as well. no reason to get the 780i IMO.
August 10, 2008 8:50:07 PM

Ok, thanks! I think I might get that 750i. My 680i has been acting a little strange lately, so it is probably time to upgrade. I have had the 680i for quite a while (3 CPU upgrades). I agree about the dual Ethernet and the tri sli. It sounds like people have been doing well w/ it on the new bios, especially wrt the q6600. I have also sent my q6600 back in for a new one as one of the cores failed on me during prime testing at a pretty small overclock and with plenty of vcore. I think I got a bad cpu.

Thanks again.

August 11, 2008 2:27:37 AM

just make sure you're not using all 4 SATA ports, or get a pci e RAID controller like me :p  also get the evga not the ASUS or other brands cos the evga isnt a reference design - built from the ground up by evga with solid cap capacitors :) 
August 11, 2008 4:31:52 AM

I had never overclocked until 2 days ago.My Motherboard is an Evga 680i Model #122-CK-NF68-A1.My processor is a Core 2 Quad Q6600 with Go Stepping.I overclocked it from 2.4ghz to 3.15ghz without changing the voltages.Having no previous experience i used the Nvidia nforce 780i/680i SLI Overclocking Guide.So far so good I'm a believer in the 680i.Peace.
August 11, 2008 4:51:06 AM

Almost forgot what else i'm running.
Psu:Thermaltake Toughpower 850watt Cable Management Model#wo131
Cpu Fan:Zalman CNPS9700NT
Case:Thermaltake Tsunami Va3000bna
Memory:p atriot Memory Viper Series PC2-8500 1066mhz 4GB (2x2GB) Kit (5-5-5-15)
Monitor:Gateway FPD2185W Using dvi cable
Video Card:Evga e-Geforce 9800GTX
OS:Windows XP Home W/Service Pack 3
August 11, 2008 1:18:25 PM

Lochsloy, I'm glad to hear your OC is going well. Have you run Prime for at least 12 hours on that one? I was able to OC to above 3 ghz, but random restarts occurred during Prime stress testing. If you are new to OC'ing, you should definitely incorporate stress testing as many rigs will boot and look fine during normal use, but in the long term they won't be stable. Download Prime95 (http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft.htm). As I said, the 680i served me well for several years, but I think it is starting to die on me. My OC of my 4300 isint as good as it used to be on the same board, and I should definitely be getting a higher OC on the 6600 w/ my watercooling setup. Thanks for sharing your setup.
August 11, 2008 9:33:47 PM

Fourstar 77 thanks for the info,I'll give her a shot and get back to you.Might take a couple of days but i will get back to you.Peace.
August 12, 2008 10:22:22 AM

Started prime 95 3 hours before i went to bed.My computer after 3 hours was okay.My computer monitor is set to after 15 minutes of no use it shuts itself off. Wiggling the mouse usually brings it back to life.When i woke up this morning it would not come back to life.Had to do a restart.Everything so far is normal.Will try again when i have more time.Will take my screensaver off next time Duh.Peace.
August 12, 2008 3:52:09 PM

My guess is that the screensaver was not the issue. Basically you have encountered overclocking instability. Sometimes your system will just shut down, sometimes it will restart, sometimes the system will run, but you won't be able to get anything to work. If you can run for at least 12 hours without any of these symptoms, you are probably in good shape. Most will say run it for 24 hours straight, but that is not always necessary as you would almost never run a system full tilt for 24 hours..... If you still have issues, you should boost your vcore in the bios. Do it gradually and do some research for your specific proc on how high you can go. Many have the Q6600 at the 1.425 range or so for big overclocks, but don't just jump up that high as your default is probably around 1.25 or so, with it dropping under full load. Use CPU-Z to monitor your voltage. Also, watch your FSB to ram speed ratio. Keep it at 1:1 for the most stable system. You can get this information from CPU-Z as well under one of the tabs (Memory maybe). 1:2, 2:1, 3:4, 4:3 are also ok, but some of the odder ratios may create extra instability on overclocking. Hope it is going well. I am still waiting for my replacement Q6600 and my 750i (EVGA FTW).
August 13, 2008 11:57:42 PM

I'm a little confused with Prime 95.Did self- test/torture test again, 1st time locked up while i was on line the second time it ran for 13 hours without a glitch.Where do you get your results?How did you have it set up?
After i stopped the test,went to work,came home & prime 95 was running some other test.It's like there using my computer for their use.If you have any answers it would be much appreciated.Let me know how the 750i runs.Thinking in the next 6 months upgrading to the 780i or750i(FTW)evga.
August 14, 2008 2:51:05 PM

I think there is a way to look at some sort of score, but I usually dont use it for that. I just use it to test if the system can handle running at full load for an extended period of time. When I use it, there are several options you can choose from for the type of test you want to run. I usually choose the one that says it works the CPU and generates the most heat as that will test the CPU.
August 14, 2008 2:51:40 PM

Unfortunately I dont know what you are talk about with respect to it working on some other test. I have never had that experience in the 5 years I have been using the software.
March 5, 2009 3:16:39 AM

Hi All!

I also have a EVGA 680i w/ Q6600 CPU. At first I could not overclock the cpu at all, and due to work, could not spend the time to figure it out. Well, I finally thought, "Hey, maybe there is a bios update!". Wouldn't you know, I went form stock 2.40 to 3.30 an auto voltage. I just put a liquid cooling system in prior to the overclock.

I ran Prime95 for approx. 6 hours. You think I should run it for 12? My cpu temp gets around 60 after 8 hours or so. I believe highest safe temp for this cpu is 67.

Now my question. There is alot of opinions on voltage increases on overclocking. I have played around a little bit, but end up just going back to auto. My Crucial Ballistix PC 800, has been manually set to 4-4-4-12 timing, however, I did not change the volts to 2.2.

Is there any tweaks you would suggest to get a higher overclock? I was shooting for 3.4:) 

Thanks for your time.
March 15, 2009 12:59:56 AM

I have a 680I evga mobo wuth 2 9800gt's in sli had a E6750 intell and it worked flawlessly, I should have left well enough alone but i cant ever seem to do that, so I upgraded to a q6600 and here is where the problem starts I have the P32 bios update and new chipset drivers and video drivers , scored a ROCKIN 16,890 in 3dmark06 and ran prime95 for 6 hours all 4 core firing 100% and temps never went over 48 degrees celcious, I can play BF2 perfectly, the problem is when i try to play crysis or Cod5waw, uncontrolable Lag, even in the log on screen where you chosse the server the pointer even lags in both games switched out my memory and still the same thing, i uninstalled the games and retryed same thing, all 4 cores are working I dont get it, dont know what else to do Help will be greatly appreciated, thanks you can send me a e-mail at phatboyhd88@hotmail.com so plz help thanks.

April 21, 2009 3:35:07 AM

Phatboyhd,

Have you tried taking one of the graphics cards out and running crysis or Cod5waw on lower settings to see if one of your cards have gone bad? Do you know what temps your gpu's are running at? And finally, are you overclocking the the Q6600?
!