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E8400 Overclocking Question

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July 11, 2008 11:38:28 PM

Just curious...I've read on here of people easily getting their E8400 to overclock to 4GHz using a good Zalman cooler. Mine runs fine at 3.4GHz but when I go to just above 3.5 GHz I get a blue screen of death midway through Windows startup. When I bump it back down to 3.4 everything is back to normal. My Zalman is a few years old...but looks to be a predecessor of the 9700 (same relative design). At 3.4GHz my temp is 38 C at idle/light load. Is this the problem or can someone advise?
July 11, 2008 11:40:19 PM

hint: increase Vcore.
July 12, 2008 1:01:45 AM

For 3.5GHz...what should I set the core voltage to?
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July 12, 2008 1:57:16 AM

mikeynavy1976 said:
For 3.5GHz...what should I set the core voltage to?

Hello, I doubt it's your cooler. Could be voltage and or ram speed/timing. Can you give us some numbers. What motherboard are you using?

How long have you stressed it at the current 3.4? Does it blue screen everytime? I'm guessing you're close to 9x380? Set the ram timings to auto and make sure your ram speed is close to its rated speed for now. So if it is 1:1 then your ram speed will be 760mhz. Take a look at the ram multiplier.

For example my E8400 is at 4.18, 1.4125 volts, 9x465, 1:1 ram at 5:6:6:21 and my DQ6 voltages are all normal settings except ram which is 2.0v and CPU. I know my ram is good for 1000mhz and the motherboard FSB is good for at least 500mhz. So, if I want to go any further, I'll have to make adjustments to the CPU voltage and the chipset.

Stress each part separately...ram, FSB, CPU. That way you can check off the good areas. Use CPU-Z to get your ram timings/speed. But give some numbers.
July 12, 2008 2:08:20 AM

Thanks for the quick responses. You are correct that my settings for the E8400 are 9 x 380. My motherboard is a Gigabyte EP35-DS3L and my memory is 4GB Corsair XMS2 PC6400 C4. The timing is 4-4-4-12 (set manually). The voltage for all is just "auto" which might be the problem but I didn't want to go in and start changing those without knowing good, safe settings. As far as the blue screen...it has never done it with the current settings. On three consecutive reboots at 3.5GHz though, it would make it partially through windows startup and then the blue screen would come up. All I want to do is get to around 3.5 or 3.6GHz...4 would be nice but not at the risk of stability. I just had a power supply failure wipe out my system (P4 670, Asus P5AD2-E Premium, 150GB Raptor, etc., all gone) last week and am tired of computer building right now...haha. I would like my comp a bit faster though;)
July 12, 2008 2:14:20 AM

mikeynavy1976 said:
Thanks for the quick responses. You are correct that my settings for the E8400 are 9 x 380. My motherboard is a Gigabyte EP35-DS3L and my memory is 4GB Corsair XMS2 PC6400 C4. The timing is 4-4-4-12 (set manually). The voltage for all is just "auto" which might be the problem but I didn't want to go in and start changing those without knowing good, safe settings. As far as the blue screen...it has never done it with the current settings. On three consecutive reboots at 3.5GHz though, it would make it partially through windows startup and then the blue screen would come up. All I want to do is get to around 3.5 or 3.6GHz...4 would be nice but not at the risk of stability. I just had a power supply failure wipe out my system (P4 670, Asus P5AD2-E Premium, 150GB Raptor, etc., all gone) last week and am tired of computer building right now...haha. I would like my comp a bit faster though;)


Do me a favor and run "CPU-Z." You'll have to download it. Once run, go to the "Memory" tab and tell me what the "frequency" and "FSB:D RAM" are set at. Since your voltages are on auto, the CPU is getting more than enough juice.
July 12, 2008 2:28:08 AM

Ok...here are some of the key parameters reported in CPU-Z
Core Voltage - 1.104/1.120 V (fluctuates btween the two)
Memory Timings:
DRAM Frequency - 456MHz
FSB:D RAM - 5.6
CL - 5 clocks
tRCD - 6 clocks
tRP - 6 clocks
tRAS - 21 clocks
CR - 2T
Under the SPD Tab:
JEDEC#1:
Freq = 270MHz
CAS Latency = 4
RAS# to CAS#= 4
RAS# Precharge = 4
tRAS = 13
tRC = 15
Voltage = 1.8V

JEDEC #2:
Freq = 400MHz
CAS Latency = 5
RAS# to CAS#= 5
RAS# Precharge = 5
tRAS = 18
tRC = 22
Voltage = 1.8V

EPP#1:
Freq = 400MHz
CAS Latency = 4
RAS# to CAS#= 4
RAS# Precharge = 4
tRAS = 12
tRC = 102
Voltage = 2.1V

Hope this helps...and thanks for taking the time to help out. I'm not an expert but not illiterate either. Always learning;)
July 12, 2008 2:43:44 AM

OK, reboot, go into the BIOS, set your ram timings to "AUTO" (if not set) and set the "System Memory Multiplier" to 2. This will set the speed to 760 (for now). Reboot run CPU-Z and take note of the same items as before.

Looks like your ram is being overclocked with the multiplier and you don't have enough juice.

Also see the item near the end of your post? EPP#1...400mhz, 4-4-4-12, voltage 2.1v? That means it takes 2.1 volts on the ram to run at those numbers. Auto on ram is 1.8volts. adjustable with +.05,.10, etc.
July 12, 2008 2:46:46 AM

There's a VID on your processor box. Can you tell me what that number is? If you don't have it around, run CoreTemp and note the VID. Thanks.
July 12, 2008 2:53:15 AM

mikeynavy1976 said:
Ok...here are some of the key parameters reported in CPU-Z
Core Voltage - 1.104/1.120 V (fluctuates btween the two)
Memory Timings:
DRAM Frequency - 456MHz
FSB:D RAM - 5.6
CL - 5 clocks
tRCD - 6 clocks
tRP - 6 clocks
tRAS - 21 clocks
CR - 2T


At this setting your ram is on auto which is "2.40" or 912mhz in the BIOS. Since voltage was on auto (1.8v) it will fail. You can run this but will need to adjust the ram to probably +0.20.
July 12, 2008 3:08:36 AM

To find your max cpu you should back your fsb/ram ration to 1/1 then you can determine if it's your ram/voltage causing your bsd's.

I've got my E8400 to 4.2 on an acrtic 7 air, but i had to back my timings way back before it ever booted into windows. then i slowly found my best possible timings for my ram at 2.1v
July 12, 2008 3:15:19 AM

Try this for 3.6ghz:

9x400
PCI Express Freq: 100
Mem Mult: 2.00
Dram Timings: Auto
DDR2 Overvoltage: +0.20 (I'm at this with 930mhz)
Loadline Calibration: Enable
CPU Voltage: 1.3125 (maybe more than enough, but your safe)
July 12, 2008 3:20:13 AM

bigbruver said:
To find your max cpu you should back your fsb/ram ration to 1/1 then you can determine if it's your ram/voltage causing your bsd's.

I've got my E8400 to 4.2 on an acrtic 7 air, but i had to back my timings way back before it ever booted into windows. then i slowly found my best possible timings for my ram at 2.1v


Your correct...his ratio was 5:6 and his voltage was 1.8. He didn't have enough juice for the ram because it was 912mhz. It's either back it down or give it more juice.
July 12, 2008 3:48:26 AM

i gotta get some better memory, my supertalent 6400 isn't cuttin' it. reading his post gave me the bug to try for 4.3. not only can't i get it stable, i can't get it to boot into windows. 4.2 seems my limit, but my temps are good and my vcore is only 1.365? (1.36x something) at 4.2ghz. might be my crappy p35 chipset on my p5k-se board though. 467 fsb might be it's limit.
July 12, 2008 6:50:54 AM

cd14...I tried those settings and still a no-go. Still got blue-screens of death. The VID for my processor is: 1.1625V...from your earlier question.
July 12, 2008 7:58:38 AM

mikeynavy1976 said:
cd14...I tried those settings and still a no-go. Still got blue-screens of death. The VID for my processor is: 1.1625V...from your earlier question.


OK, so you tried 3.6 and it failed? Make sure you have multiplier of 2, timing of auto, and voltage to +.20. Also turn the "Performance Enhance" field to standard or any "booster/enhanced" fields.

Please try below and check CPU-Z for those numbers again. 8x420 will give you 3.360 (under your last bootable overclock), 840 mem. This will test out the FSB.

BIOS Settings:

Robust Graphics Booster: Auto

8x420
PCI Express Freq: 100

C.I.A.2: Disabled
Performance Enhance: Standard

Mem Mult: 2.00
Dram Timings: Auto

DDR2 Overvoltage: +0.20 (Just leave this for now)
Loadline Calibration: Enable
CPU Voltage: 1.3125
July 12, 2008 8:28:23 AM

bigbruver said:
i gotta get some better memory, my supertalent 6400 isn't cuttin' it. reading his post gave me the bug to try for 4.3. not only can't i get it stable, i can't get it to boot into windows. 4.2 seems my limit, but my temps are good and my vcore is only 1.365? (1.36x something) at 4.2ghz. might be my crappy p35 chipset on my p5k-se board though. 467 fsb might be it's limit.


You know, I had some 8500 ram to try out and it didn't help me. I'm sure my E8400 has reach it's limits with my cooling setup. My machine will actually boot into Windows at 4.59 and run 3dMark at 4.50 but that's it, no Prime95 or Orthos at all. It actually runs inconsistant above 4.27 so that's why I'm at 4.18.
July 12, 2008 4:47:31 PM

CD14...I changed the numbers and still fail. I put the timings (but left the voltages) back to boot on here and looked in CPUID and my voltages are not showing what I put in the BIOS. I have the +0.2 for DDR2 and 1.3125 for CPU but CPUID is still showing 1.8 and 1.104V, respectively. HW Monitor shows 1.1V for CPU and 2.02V for DDR. What gives? Frustrating. Is there something else turned on that is preventing the CPU from receiving more voltage? Also, I don't have a "Loadline Calibration" setting.
July 12, 2008 5:55:19 PM

mikeynavy1976 said:
CD14...I changed the numbers and still fail. I put the timings (but left the voltages) back to boot on here and looked in CPUID and my voltages are not showing what I put in the BIOS. I have the +0.2 for DDR2 and 1.3125 for CPU but CPUID is still showing 1.8 and 1.104V, respectively. HW Monitor shows 1.1V for CPU and 2.02V for DDR. What gives? Frustrating. Is there something else turned on that is preventing the CPU from receiving more voltage? Also, I don't have a "Loadline Calibration" setting.


Ok, do you have the "F4" bios? Try setting your CPU back to 3.0ghz...9x333. Shut it down and unplug the power cord, plug it back after 20 seconds then reboot and go into the bios. Set it as above speed with the vcore at 1.3125. Run CPUID Hardware monitor and check the cpu core voltage. See if it reflects your change.
July 12, 2008 6:09:18 PM

Use your bios to check the voltage settings. Go into the PC Health Status and see if they're close to what you adjusted them to.
July 12, 2008 7:42:19 PM

Well...that looks like it may have done the trick. I went into the BIOS and did a "reset" to defaults. Then, as you said, I shut the comp down...unplugged the power cord, and let it set for a minute. I went back into the BIOS and changed the settings for 3.6GHz (without using the "fine CPU clock" option) and increased the voltage per your recommendation. My computer booted properly into Windows and CPU-Z and my BIOS are now showing 1.264V instead of 1.1V (although I'm still not sure why it isn't showing 1.3125). I guess this whole situation may be the result of a bug in the BIOS or something, which requires complete power removal to reset?
July 12, 2008 7:45:22 PM

Do you recommend increasing FSB voltage at all? My memory is also successfully running at 960MHz.
July 12, 2008 8:28:16 PM

mikeynavy1976 said:
Do you recommend increasing FSB voltage at all? My memory is also successfully running at 960MHz.


I've had issues with the BIOS being "stuck" too. A complete power down resetted everything. Sometimes overclocking will do strange things. Be careful, I've had corrupted BIOS' and hard drives.

So you're at 3.6, so 9x400? I would set your ram to a multiplier of 2, so you get 800mhz. This way, you know your ram is good and you can test out the CPU. I'm guessing your ram will be good close to 1000mhz with 2.0v.

As you creep up on the FSB the ram speed will go up (slowly though) not like adjusting the multiplier. Once you hit 450 FSB you may need to add voltage to the FSB and MCH. On my DQ6, my voltages are auto even when I was at 480-500 FSB. Of course your motherboard may be different.

Sometimes when you adjust voltage, the components don't get the amount you requested...just add a little more. Use CPU-Z or BIOS to check. That "Loadline Calibration" feature enables the voltage supply to the CPU to be constant, even under load. Perhaps a BIOS update will add that.

If you want to try 4.0ghz...

BIOS Settings:

Robust Graphics Booster: Auto

9x450
PCI Express Freq: 100

C.I.A.2: Disabled
Performance Enhance: Standard



Mem Mult: 2.00
Dram Timings: Auto

DDR2 Overvoltage: +0.20 (Just leave this for now)

FSB OverVoltage Control: +0.20
(G)MCH OverVoltage Control: +0.20


CPU Voltage: 1.350---> set this a little more in the BIOS. Once you go over 4.0ghz it takes a lot more voltage to get it stable.
July 12, 2008 8:30:50 PM

Set "Fine CPU Option" to +0.0, that's for other processors that use ".5" multiplier.
July 13, 2008 3:47:32 AM

Well I thought it was fixed. I just started my computer and got the BSD. I re-did the procedure and got it to boot properly again. I wonder if I have a bad BIOS like you said. Should I try re-flashing F4 again?
July 13, 2008 4:54:47 AM

mikeynavy1976 said:
Well I thought it was fixed. I just started my computer and got the BSD. I re-did the procedure and got it to boot properly again. I wonder if I have a bad BIOS like you said. Should I try re-flashing F4 again?


I'm not sure it's a BIOS problem, but when or if you flash, make sure you are not overclocked, it can corrupt the BIOS. I use the @BIOS Windows program from Gigabyte--it's pretty easy. You can do the floppy thing too. Be careful though.

If you can, post those CPU-Z/BIOS settings and numbers again. The one with 3.6 ghz.
July 13, 2008 6:58:02 AM

I got it to boot again...and then turned the computer off and back on and it held this time. I'll see what happens tomorrow. Hopefully it will stick. I'll call Gigabyte on Monday just to report it though. It seems I can't do anything in the BIOS without it reverting back to a 1.1V value. I'll see what they say. Also, thanks for your help thus far.
July 13, 2008 3:42:19 PM

This is getting frustrating now. I went to turn it on a few minutes ago and got the BSD again. I went through the "reset" steps again and it again gave a BSD. I even tried turning off the C1E setting and the EIST setting and looked for anything else that could be causing the voltage to be stuck at 1.104V, even when I've entered 1.3125V. Do I have a bad motherboard and need to exchange? I have a 750W Corsair TX750 power supply so I don't think that's the issue. This is going to bug me all day:( 
July 14, 2008 7:16:21 AM

mikeynavy1976 said:
This is getting frustrating now. I went to turn it on a few minutes ago and got the BSD again. I went through the "reset" steps again and it again gave a BSD. I even tried turning off the C1E setting and the EIST setting and looked for anything else that could be causing the voltage to be stuck at 1.104V, even when I've entered 1.3125V. Do I have a bad motherboard and need to exchange? I have a 750W Corsair TX750 power supply so I don't think that's the issue. This is going to bug me all day:( 


I've had a similar issue on my DQ6 with the FSB. It would not change either (it would show in the BIOS but not in Windows). The only way to get it working again, was to do a complete power down which include unplugging it.

I'm on my second P35-DQ6 because of it completely dying--lucky I was within my 30 day return period. So, I'm stumped now. I don't know what could cause that. Have you tried to flash the BIOS? I would see what Gigabyte will do.
July 14, 2008 6:19:52 PM

I just called Gigabyte and they are supposed to call me back and see if there is another BIOS to try. I may try reflashing F4 and see what happens. I bought the motherboard from Fry's on July 3 and have a 30-day return policy. The E8400 return expires on Friday. There's no way it could be a faulty processor is there? The tech guy from Gigabyte quoted the acceptable voltage range for the E8400 as 0.85V to 1.36V and said the BIOS is plug-and-play. He was trying to hint that the 1.1V was within range and that while they like to provide the overclocking feature it isn't guaranteed. He didn't seem to care about my problem but was going to forward it on.
July 14, 2008 7:42:32 PM

Get a new motherboard and try it before Friday. When I got my new DQ6 it didn't experience the those weird problems.
July 14, 2008 9:22:43 PM

Well I found this quote on Newegg's web site:
"Cons: The overclocking ability of this motherboard is severely hampered because you cannot change the voltage settings. On two different motherboards I had the same problem. Flashing the BIOS made no difference (I tried every available BIOS). The only way to change the voltage settings was to clear the CMOS, then on your next boot (ONLY on the next boot) it would accept new voltage settings. However these settings tend to reset back to factory defaults within a few days, making any overclock extremely unstable. "
He used your method to ge to work just like I did...though short-lived, and exactly the issue I'm seeing. I just called Fry's and they have some of the EP35C-DS3Rs but Newegg has EP45-DS3Rs for $10 less (about the same price with shipping). I may try that and download the latest BIOS ahead of time.
July 15, 2008 5:59:01 AM

Well, I hope you get a motherboard that overclocks well. 3.6 on the E8400 is certainly possible, even 4.0. Let me know how your situation turns out. I am glad to help.
July 15, 2008 4:39:45 PM

I'll definitely keep that in mind. EP45 on the way from Newegg...should be here tomorrow. Also got some 1066 MHz Corsair RAM. If all goes well I'll return my existing RAM and motherboard on Friday. If the new board still has the same problem I'll see about exchanging the processor on Friday before it's return policy runs out too and see what happens. Gigabyte called me back and said their test system (EP35-DS3L) held the 1.3125 voltage and that the problem could either by my motherboard...as the above quote from a previous poster alluded to...or my processor, although i don't know what my processor has to do with BIOS voltage settings. I thought it would accept what was thrown at it unless there was some sort of protection (thermal and overvoltage) that would cause it to shut down. Maybe that's it...I'll find out soon enough. I have a little bit of time.
!