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I7 920 help - I'm sorry!

Last response: in Overclocking
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December 29, 2008 3:17:23 AM

Like I said, I really, really hate to do this, but I feel as if I don't really have a choice. I have searched and searched and read and read but I can't find a true answer to what I am looking for.

Look, before anyone tells me to do my homework, I'm trying, but most of the help I am able to find is too much for me. (I don't need to go to 4 Ghz yet.)

This isn't my real question, but can anyone point me in the right direction to learn about overclocking in general and then specifically overclocking the core i7?

Here is my setup: Asus p6t deluze, core i7 920 (True 120 heatsink w fan), G skill 3x2GB @ 1333, antec 900, sapphire 4870 1 GB, corsair 750W.

The TRUE 120 should get here in a couple of days and when it gets here is when I want to begin doing this. I basically want to push the 920 anywhere from 3.2-3.6. I've read this is a pretty moderate OC. I'm not ready to go any higher or so I have been told.

Anyway, I understand OC with the i7 basically involves me increasing the base clock (among other things). I have ran into the problem of changing these values:

CPU Voltage

DRAM Bus Voltage (I've read about the 1.65 max)

QPI/DRAM Core Voltage

IOH Voltage


I don't really know what any of this is or does and where it needs to be in order to do what I want it to do. Also, how is memory involved in this? I just want to push it to about 3.2 or so and most of the guides I have read for the 920 are going pretty much to 4, so I was lost in the details. Any help is much appreciated.

More about : 920

December 29, 2008 4:03:54 AM

I have an ASUS P6T with an i7 920. To OC it, especially with 1333 ram, you should change the BLCK to 166. Leave the multiplier at 20, this will give you a clock speed of 3.33ghz. Im not sure which specific GSKILL ram you have, so Im not sure about the timings, but that can be fine tuned later, let the dram at auto for now, and you can play with it later. Try the CPU voltage at 1.25, that should be plenty with only an OC to 3.33. Now when you say you're having a problem changing the values, do you mean actually moving them? All you have to do it is key down to the specific value and type in the amount you want (ex CPU Vtt. 1.25) You can try an leave the QPI/DRAM as the same as the CPU VTT = 1.25 for now, play with it later, first you want to try to get a stable OC of the processor.

Multiplier = 20
BCLK = 166
DRAM Frequency = 1333
CPU Voltage = 1.25
QPI/DRAM Core Volt = 1.25
DRAM Bus Voltage = AUTO (or if you want you can put in 1.65, which will actually show as 1.66, which is fine, but you shouldnt need that much at stock speeds for the ram, so just do AUTO for now)

IOH Voltage=AUTO

Give it a try and run Prime 95 for a couple hours when you get your TRUE, you can even probably do that overclock on stock fan for a while if you wanted to, or just change the BCLK to 160 and DRAM Frequency to 1280. I have been reading people on THG getting a stable OC at 3.2 with the Stock HSF with out any probs.
December 29, 2008 12:53:44 PM

No, I'm not having a problem literally changing the values. My problem is I don't know the safe values. I'm really, really new to this so I don't know what the difference is between 1.25, 1.3, or any other voltage value. Then, I was reading sometimes a lower value was better for a higher overclock. I'm lost which is why I wanted a general resource and then a specific resource for my CPU.

Also, what is the difference between your first suggestion and then your second where you lowered the DRAM frequency. Right now, I have the DRAM frequency set to 1333 and the timings set to AUTO, but they set themselves up correctly at 9-9-9-24 or at least I'm pretty sure they did according to the programs.

Thanks so far though!
Related resources
December 29, 2008 1:02:03 PM

Also, if I receive errors in Prime 95 will it crash windows or will I have to boot and then change things in the BIOS to try and stabilize it? Is it essentially a trial and error process?
December 29, 2008 1:27:39 PM

daviddav said:
Also, if I receive errors in Prime 95 will it crash windows or will I have to boot and then change things in the BIOS to try and stabilize it? Is it essentially a trial and error process?



I have not worked with an i7 or the QPI interface, but overclocking is essentially trial and error. Bit by bit you inch up the core clock and test it and if it fails; up the voltages and test again. Eventually you will reach your goal, the limit of the processor/motherboard/ram, or a temp limit. Check your temps but your goal is achievable.

As for Prime95, your computer may crash during it if it is extremely unstable, but the point of P95 is that it does very taxing calculations and checks them with known answers. So if it rounds and gets a value above of below the expected it gives you an error. Although minor as a rounding error may be the program is designed to detect errors and tells you when it fails so that you know it is not stable.
December 29, 2008 1:33:07 PM

Yes, it is a trial and error process. If you are experiencing crashes and errors, lower your overclock a little till it is completely stable. Then you can go back and try increasing the OC again but raise the voltage of the cpu ALITTLE bit, etc, etc. Back off when you can't do anymore. Also remember, your overclock will not be too high because you only have the 1333 memory so after awhile you will be at the limit of your memory. :bounce: 
December 29, 2008 2:04:14 PM

Is it even worth overclocking at this time? I have read that 4.0GHz on the 920 yeilded a 4 FPS increase on Crysis. I have the P6t board with 6 gigs of 1600 MHz ram. I have a hd 4870x2 as well. Running at default settings I have hit 60 + FPS on crysis @1920x1200 on high (25.5 " samsung) I average in the mid 40's with a low in the low 30's.

Here are the last 3 tests I ran using fraps.
31 61 44.533
37 61 51.583
32 76 42.917

I spent 3 hours trying to overclock my system without noticable increases in performance.
Am I missing something here? Can someone post some numbers, before and after? I apologize for my ingnorance but my previous overclocking expierence is limited to increasing the FSB.

My system is currently on stock settings.

I7 920, P6t Asus board, 6 gigs patriot 1600MHz, P190 case, HD4870x2, Samsung 25.5" T260.
December 29, 2008 3:16:28 PM

So basically, I start at a low voltage, then increase the base clock. Test. If unstable, raise the voltage until it stabilizes?

What is the difference in CPU voltage and QPI/DRAM Core Volt?

How do I know I have reached the limits of my memory?

Again, sorry for all of the questions. Thanks for the help. I think I am beginning to see how this all works.
December 29, 2008 3:26:30 PM

Exactly. You should try with a lower voltage first, because it will give you lower temps. So, if you want 3.33ghz or 3.2, try 1.2 volts or so. Then if you can boot into windows, run prime 95 for a few hours and see what the temps are, and also if you get any errors. If you do get errors or the OC fails, go to 1.225 volts and so on. You just have to find what is best on your hardware.

With the memory limits, you will know because it will not boot. But I would first try to get a stable overclock before you start messing with the memory. You probably can get the memory upto 1600mhz tho with a 1.66 voltage. But again, I would wait until you have a stable OC of the processor before overclocking the memory. Here is the guide I used for OCing my i7, it should help http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2335837,00.a...
December 30, 2008 9:32:22 AM

daviddav said:
So basically, I start at a low voltage, then increase the base clock. Test. If unstable, raise the voltage until it stabilizes?

What is the difference in CPU voltage and QPI/DRAM Core Volt?

How do I know I have reached the limits of my memory?

Again, sorry for all of the questions. Thanks for the help. I think I am beginning to see how this all works.


Exactly always starting from lowest voltage. The overclocking guide was communicated with you by other experts.

My system is Core i7 Q965 Extreme Engineering Sample with Gigabyte Extreme mobo, so my overclocking experience maybe not helpful for you. However some basic points would be helpful for you.

For i7 system it is also necessary to take care the safe uncore voltage, safe uncore voltage is come from the voltage difference between QPI/VTT voltage and DRAM Voltage should be within 0.5VDC, for voltage difference beyond 0.5V is subject to your lucky.

Take care uncore safety, take care uncore stability. Keep in mind the safe vcore voltage for this 45nm CPU is VID 1.375V, and this vcore voltage is good enough for you to overclock the BUS Speed beyond 166Mhz on ASUS P6T Deluxe with 920. It is certain that even I tried the Vcore beyond 1.4V for overclocking of BUS speed 200Mhz and Memory Frequency 2000Mhz but lucky is no guarantee.

Once you complete the overclocking logon to Windows or any OS you have, You need to question about how stable your system would be.

First of all test the memory bandwidth and the SuperPI to see if your system with basic system stability or not.

Therefore use IntelBurn Test over 5 tests for fast quick reference, if your system can pass the IntelBurn test, normally your system can Pass the Primer 95 test for over 10 hours. Also try several loops of 3DMark test to see how stable your system can work in graphic condition. Is is congraulation if your system pass these tests. You are success on overclocking.

December 30, 2008 6:39:50 PM

keither5150 said:
Is it even worth overclocking at this time? I have read that 4.0GHz on the 920 yeilded a 4 FPS increase on Crysis. I have the P6t board with 6 gigs of 1600 MHz ram. I have a hd 4870x2 as well. Running at default settings I have hit 60 + FPS on crysis @1920x1200 on high (25.5 " samsung) I average in the mid 40's with a low in the low 30's.

Here are the last 3 tests I ran using fraps.
31 61 44.533
37 61 51.583
32 76 42.917

I spent 3 hours trying to overclock my system without noticable increases in performance.
Am I missing something here? Can someone post some numbers, before and after? I apologize for my ingnorance but my previous overclocking expierence is limited to increasing the FSB.

My system is currently on stock settings.

I7 920, P6t Asus board, 6 gigs patriot 1600MHz, P190 case, HD4870x2, Samsung 25.5" T260.



Beautiful system! Crysis will mostly benchmark your GPU. If you want a good comparison of your OC vs standard settings do some benchmarks that are more cpu dependant. ie: synthetics, audio/video editing, and there are a few games that rely more on the processor. see this months system builder marathon for a reference.
December 30, 2008 7:58:58 PM

I think that I will keep it stock for now. I mostly use my computer for games (Crysis and GTA4) and media center. GTA4 is processor heavy game. I saw my benchmark go from 40.4 FPS to 51 FPS. GTA 4 looks awesome compared to the Xbox version.

I had a E8400 @ 3.6GHz with 4gigs of 1333MHz DDR3. You might ask why I upgraded. I bought a P182 case for the old system. I had a hd3870 and a few hard drives laying around from previous builds. I sold the E8400 system for $45 less than I paid for my upgrade. Hopefully this build will last more than a year. I am impressed with the 920.

Is there a benchmarking tool that will indicate the P6T's Auto overclock GHz? I am thinking that the P6T is kicking up the cpu a fair bit on the auto OC settings.

The system builder article was very informative.

Thanks
December 30, 2008 10:12:13 PM

theres different ways to go about overclocking... the main idea is to reduce the number of variables so you know what's causing the oc to fail/bottleneck. eg changing more than one thing at a time in the BIOS... my way of thinking is either set the max vcore you're going to do, and overclock till it fails (then drop it back down until it passes);

or

overclock and when it fails bump up the voltage again and again and again. anyone see a problem with that?

i know this is kinda unnecessary for this thread now.. bit late but yeah
December 31, 2008 3:03:35 AM

Some key things to know-

1.65v is Max for ram voltage
1.5 is a suggested max for cpu vcore
stay within .5 of vtt and ram voltage example: 1.65 dram vtt must be atleast 1.15 to be safe.
December 31, 2008 8:11:11 AM

why is it 1.5 for 45nm i7's but 1.3625 for 45nm core 2's? i thought voltage was based mostly on the process size..
February 1, 2009 1:09:40 PM

www.custompc.co.uk Just dig around for articles their review of the scan computer and the p6mobo will walk you through the overclock
!