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I7 Overclock High temps! Need help with tuning settings...

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August 5, 2009 9:34:32 PM

Hello all,

Trying to ramp up the speed on my system. I'm pretty new to overclocking, but I did take the time to read a few threads and Overshocked's tut page (which was very informative)

First off, here's the rig:

i7 920 D0 stepping 166*20 (3.33Ghz)
Cooler Master Storm Scout Case
MSI X58 Pro LGA 1366 Mobo
Cooler Master Hyper N520 CPU Cooler
OCZ Platinum 6GB DDR3 1600Mhz (3*2GB)
Corsair 650TX 650W PSU
XFX Radeon HD 4850 1GB GDDR3 GPU

All voltage settings are on Auto, except the DRAM which is set to 1.65V. Temps at 3.33Ghz are 39~41C Idle and 67~71C Full Load under Prime95. That seems a bit high compared to all the other threads I have read. My goal for this chip is 3.6Ghz~4.0Ghz.

I have tried the settings at 175*21 (3.67Ghz) with no voltage adjustments to the CPU/QPI/or NB. The temps were 46~48C at Idle and Mid 70's C once under load. Also, 190*21 (3.90Ghz) using Vcore 1.28V, but the Load temps were 77~81C and Prime95 BSOD within the first minute. A little scary.... I also tried 200*20 for 4.0Ghz; Vcore at 1.35V. The system did boot to Windows, but once again BSOD as soon as Prime95 started working.

I have reseated the Cooler once, but there is a chance I used too much thermal paste when reseating. I used Antec AS5, the line application method. I was told this is almost as good as Arctic Silver 5.... I have turned the system to it's side, also I have removed both side covers....All with no noticeable change to idle temps.

I am aware that the IOH needs attention in that it idles at oh.....80C.... I do plan to remove the sink and reapply thermal paste to bring this down. Could this be holding back the overclock?

I did spend much time reviewing my HSF, but now I wonder if it's not up to par for the overclocking....

Also, the max speed I can set the RAM to is 1333Mhz, anything over that, the system will NOT post. I don't know much about timings, so If I need to tinker with those to get it to POST...Well, I'm open to suggestions.

Current Settings
Bclk - 166*20
Vcore - Auto
CPU PLL - Auto
Dram - 1.65V
QPI Voltage - Auto
NB Voltage: Auto
EIST: OFF
Turbo: OFF
C1E: OFF
Spread Spectrum: OFF

The case seems to have good airflow, I even purchased 2 Cooler Master 120mm Case fans for the side window to blow air onto the mainboard. The CPU HSF is of Push-pull type, but I'd really like to see Idle's in the low-mid 30's and Load temps no more than 65C. Is this possible at 4.0Ghz? What would ideal temps be at 3.33Ghz?? 3.67Ghz?

Once again, Can anyone give me a few tips in order to get this up to 4.0Ghz, or somewhere close to that??
I hope I don't have to look into another cooler.... as I spent a few hours dealing with a crappy install diagram which originally led me to install the cooler backwards. Someone did recommend the Scythe Mugen 2 whilst I was building the system. Also the Core Contact Freezer has me intrigued, since Overshocked has an i7 running at 4.53Ghz with it.... But, once again, not having to buy another cooler would be a plus.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

EDIT: All temps recorded using Core Temp 64bit
August 5, 2009 9:43:44 PM

Isn't 1.4V slightly out of of spec? I thought 1.36V is max safe voltage?
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
August 6, 2009 6:03:01 PM

^ LOL, yeah
Related resources
August 6, 2009 6:19:36 PM

Update: Reached 4Ghz 200*20 at 1.28V Vcore with a +.020V Increase to QPI Voltage. DRAM 1.65V All other voltage settings are Auto. Didn't BSOD Prime95, but within 4 minutes the Load temps were 83~85C across the cores.... That's too hot imo....

EDIT: Runs stable at 3.67Ghz 183*20 with only +0.040V to Vcore and no increase to QPI Voltage. DRAM still 1.65V Load temps are 78C at max with Prime95 after 12minutes. Still need to do an extended stress test.

August 6, 2009 7:14:29 PM

I'm running into the same issues as you are with my MSI eclipse sli board and i7 920. I just finished today reseatting my IOH heatsink... 4 degrees lower after 3 hours of work... I also reseated my xigmatek dark knight in the process because my temps were about the same as yours idle and load. I tried using less AS5, but my temps haven't changed at all. I was told that it could take a few weeks for AS5 to fully 'set' and give normal temps.

As for your RAM issue, what version of BIOS are you using? I was having the same issue trying to get my 1600mhz ram to run spec. I couldn't boot with anything about 1333mhz. I updated my bios to version 1.7, and my ram is running at 1600mhz at 1.5v.
August 6, 2009 7:57:41 PM

jrhilsch said:
I'm running into the same issues as you are with my MSI eclipse sli board and i7 920. I just finished today reseatting my IOH heatsink... 4 degrees lower after 3 hours of work... I also reseated my xigmatek dark knight in the process because my temps were about the same as yours idle and load. I tried using less AS5, but my temps haven't changed at all. I was told that it could take a few weeks for AS5 to fully 'set' and give normal temps.

As for your RAM issue, what version of BIOS are you using? I was having the same issue trying to get my 1600mhz ram to run spec. I couldn't boot with anything about 1333mhz. I updated my bios to version 1.7, and my ram is running at 1600mhz at 1.5v.


Good point jrhilsch, I haven't upgraded the BIOS, its at whatever it was out of the box. I did get the RAM to run above 1333Mhz last night (somewhere around 1430 or so) but it still won't run at 1600Mhz. I will upgrade the BIOS tonite and see if that fixes the RAM issue. I'll try 1.5V as well as 1.65V. Thanks.
August 7, 2009 9:42:49 PM

Quote:
Oh my god. Don't worry about whats in spec. Just do itttttttttt haha

I run my I7 @ 4.2Ghz daily with 1.425v's


Spec is never any fun.

If you really want your money's worth pump the base clock of to 220 w/ a 20x (or 21) multiplier at 1.54v a get a screenshot.
August 7, 2009 10:13:00 PM

Heat seems to be the issue here....Anything over 3.67Ghz pushes the load temps past 81C with a minimal increase to Vcore. I had the system at 4.0Ghz with 191*21 w/ 1.28Vcore + 0.020 QPI Voltage, but the temps ran into the High 80's under full load.

So...I'm guessing after I reseat my cooler, if the temps don't change, the wall will be 3.67Ghz. Looking into the Core Contact Freezer as a replacement in that case...
August 8, 2009 4:33:19 PM

dump the Core Contact Freezer (CCF) in favor of the Prolimatech's Megahalems. It has been garnering praise all over the internet. The CCF, not any bad in its own regard, uses heat pipe direct touch technology, which it seems that generally performs worse as one cranks up the heat compared to the other solid base coolers.
About the reviews, frostytech is very reliable a source. However they haven't as yet constructed a platform for socket 1366 (as yet it does 775, 939/AM2). Probably the most reliable would be hardocp.com, as they use a thermocouple to get the temperature readings rather than relying on a software (they claim that Intel does the same for their own internal testing). Also they test out on a real CPU rather than on a synthetic platform, although both methods have their own drawbacks and advantages. You might also wanna consider the review done by xbitlabs.com for the socket 1366 coolers, which puts the Thermalright IFX-14 on top.
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
August 8, 2009 9:26:17 PM

If money isnt a problem then go for the megahalem.

But if you are looking for great deal go for the CCF.
August 14, 2009 7:24:17 PM

Ok, finally settled in at 4.0Ghz! :bounce: 

Bclk 200x20
Vcore 1.264V
No increase to QPI voltage
DRAM 1.65V
Ram @ 1200Mhz with Auto timings (still trying to get this to 1600Mhz, having trouble updating BIOS version.... :fou:  )
HT: Off
C1E: On
EIST: Off
Turbo: Off

Reseated the Cooler Master Hyper N520, changed orientation by 90 degrees. It now exhausts to the top case fan instead of the rear. Also reapplied thermal paste. rice grain on the CPU, and thin line on the HSF. This provided a 7~9C drop. One core however is always 2~3C lower than the others. Interesting....I wonder if that core has the "perfect" amount of thermal paste, and if it's worth my trouble to attempt another reseat for another 2~3C....

Pulled apart the IOH heatsink and replaced with Thermalright HR-05 IFX. Idle temps used to be about 70~75C, now 43C!!! :o  Never over 55C under Prime95 load. This chipset was reaching peak temps of 112C before...
Modified the Southbridge HS as well, no thanks to MSI for really a terrible job on the HS solution for this chipset.

Temps are 42~45C Idle and 71~74C full load. Stable under Small FFT'S Prime95 for 6 hours.

Thanks to all who replied! I appreciate the HSF suggestions, but for now I think I'll stay with what I have. Special thanks to TexasRattleSnake for pointing me to xbitlabs.com. I found the tip for rotating the HyperN520 in the review there!
!