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Overclocking to 3.4ghz on stock cooling on i7 920 D0 ok?

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October 4, 2009 5:58:37 PM

Okay, so as the title says, oc'ing a i7 920 D0 to 3.4ghz stable so far (well, in the short games test- no crashes: NFS Shift for like 45mins, mini ninja for over an hour, pcsx2 for a long time also). CPU idles @ around 53-55c and when played for those amounts of times never gets over 68c. My house is like 76f dont know the conversion to c on that...
Systems is as follows;

i7 920 @ 3.4ghz on stock cooling
6gb ddr3 1600mhz ampx memory
Asrock extreme x58 motherboard
1Tb 7200rpm HDD
4870 @ 790/1100
X-Fi Prelude audio card
650watt power supply
Sony 42" Bravia is the monitor
JVC receiver

Bios settings are as follows:
BCLK: 170
CPU Ratio: 20x
RAM Speed : DDR3 @ 679.9 MHz (2:8) @ 9-9-9-24
CPU Voltage: 1.175
CPU PLL: 1.86
IOH CSI Voltage: 1.16
IOH Voltage: 1.11
DRAM: 1.654
VTT: 1.2

I'm ordered a prolimatech megahalems with a noctua p12 that i will use to cool it down. Hopefully i can get past 4ghz on air!

Best solution

a b K Overclocking
October 4, 2009 8:41:10 PM

datdud916,

76f = 24.4c. You're doing fine so far, but I wouldn't push it any higher at this time. As you're aware, the stock cooler is woefully inadequate, so before you get your new cooler, here's what you need to know.

Temperatures and overclocking are all about specifications, so it's very important to be specific. If we're not, then the topic makes about as much sense as comparing apples-to-oranges thermal fruit salad in a blender! :pt1cable:  My objective is to assure that enthusiasts understand Intel's specifications, standards and test methods, so they can better decide how to apply and manage their overclocking options.

From Intel's Processor Spec Finder - http://processorfinder.intel.com/List.aspx?ParentRadio=...

All Core i7 9xx variants:

Vcore Max 1.375v
Tcase Max (CPU temperature) 68c
Tjunction (Core temperature) 73c

From the Core i7 and Core 2 Temperature Guide - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/221745-29-sticky-core...


"Section 1: Introduction

Core i and Core 2 processors have 2 different types of temperature sensors; a CPU case (not computer case) Thermal Diode centered under the Cores, and Digital Thermal Sensors located on each Core. The case Thermal Diode measures Tcase (Temperature case), which is CPU temperature, and the Digital Thermal Sensors measure Tjunction (Temperature junction), which is Core temperature. Since these sensors measure 2 distinct thermal levels, there is a 5c temperature difference between them, which is Tcase to Tjunction Gradient. Core i7’s / i5’s and Core 2 Quad’s have 1 Tcase and 4 Tjunction sensors, while Core 2 Duo's have 1 Tcase and 2 Tjunction sensors ...

... The monitoring utilities provided by motherboard manufacturers monitor CPU temperature, while some popular freeware utilities monitor Core temperatures ... Real Temp ... is recommended for users interested in monitoring Core temperatures only ... SpeedFan monitors Tcase (CPU temperature) and Tjunction (Core temperature) ... "


The Thermal Specification shown in Intel's Processor Spec Finder is Tcase Max (CPU) not Tjunction (Core), which is a very common misconception among most enthusiasts. Since there's a 5c gradient between the CPU sensor and the Core sensors, (shown in the following Intel document) - http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0709/0709.1861.pdf - just add 5c to the value shown in the Spec Finder to determine the corresponding Core temperature, which is 73c for all Core i7 9xx variants.

Intel's second and frequently misunderstood Thermal Specification, Tjunction Max, (100c for all Core i7 9xx variants) applies to overtemp protection such as Throttle and Shutdown, so you don't toast your transistors. As such, any i7 9xx Core temperatures which exceed 73c should be considered "overtemp". Further, when specifications are exceeded, then processor degradation becomes a concern, which is explained in the following AnandTech article - http://anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc.aspx?i=3...

Prime95 Small FFT's is the Standard for processor thermal testing, because it's a steady-state 100% workload which yields steady-state temperatures, whereas Blend is a memory cyclic workload which yields fluctuating processor temperatures. Small FFT's will reach 97% thermal saturation within 7 to 8 minutes, so a 10 minute test is adequate. Thermal testing should be conducted as close as possible to 22c (72f) Standard ambient, with case covers removed, the computer clear of any desk enclosures, and all fans at 100% RPM to eliminate cooling variables, and to produce consistent and repeatable results for comparisons. If the Gradient between CPU temperature and "mean" (average) Core temperature is not ~ 5c, then BIOS is incorrectly coded. CPU temperature and Core temperatures can be individually calibrated in SpeedFan by following the Calibrations Section in the Temperature Guide.

OCCT and Burn Test (reminiscent of TAT) use LinPack, which shows thermal signatures that resemble the ups and downs of a bad day on the stock market, and cycle between light workloads, through test segments which spray all processor registers with all one's, (100% thermal load = 115% workload), and can push an overclocked i7 9xx with HT enabled at Vcore Max 1.375, right on past Tcase Max to ring the Tjunction Max bell like a fire alarm! :o 

Since there are very few applications or games that will spike, let alone sustain processor workloads beyond 70% to 85%, utilities which load all registers with all one's are not representative of real-world computing. While these utilities are certainly very useful for stability testing, they are inappropriate for thermal testing. The 3DMark benches are excellent for stability testing, as are applications for ripping and encoding.

To make sense of CPU temperature and Core temperature, compare them to a 4 cylinder car with 5 temperature guages; 4 of the guages are cyclinder head temperatures (closest to the heat source), and the 5th guage is the overall engine temperature, which is 5c lower than the other guages, and is the temperature guage with which we're all familiar. We know the red zone (hot) for the i7 9xx starts at 68c (Tcase Max) on the engine temp guage and 73c (Tjunction) on the cylinder head temp guages, but if we push the engine too hard and peg all the guages, (95c Tcase overtemp / 100c Tjunction Max) then the engine will shut down.

If you'd like to learn more about processor temperatures, then just click on the link in my signature.

Hope this helps,

Comp :sol: 
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October 4, 2009 11:53:54 PM

Wow, very informative post! I did scaled my cpu back since right now I'm only doing it for gaming and my pc os no faster @ 3.1(few c's cooler) then it is@ 3.4. I did notice that the pc running that fast made it hotter in my case making my video card extremely hot (got all the way to 89c!). So until I add another video card there really inst any gains to be had now. But the new cooling setup should help that out a lot and hopefully make the rest of my components cooler as well.

Edit: Also, yor are correct about 68c on the specifications from intel. 67.9c is the max, i will definately not overclock past the currect clocl of 3.1 until the cooling solution comes on thursday.
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a b K Overclocking
October 5, 2009 6:49:22 AM

datdud916 said:
Edit: Also, yor are correct about 68c on the specifications from intel. 67.9c is the max, i will definately not overclock past the currect clocl of 3.1 until the cooling solution comes on thursday.

You're the first Forum member to ever point that out. :whistle:  FYI, we have Forum members here that actually can't do 4th grade math, :pfff:  and can't count higher than 10 unless they remove their socks, :pt1cable:  so obviously, I've rounded off Intel's Tcase Max values just to keep it as simple as possible for those who feel mathematically challenged, or are easily befuddled by a decimal point. :D 

With the exception of ambient measurements and conversions, it simplifies thermal discussions, since round Tcase Max values are consistent with Tjunction Max values, which are round numbers only. Also, temperature monitoring utilities use round numbers, as does the Analog Thermal Diode for BIOS and CPU temperature (Tcase), and the Digital Thermal Sensors (DTS) for Core temperatures (Tjunction).

Comp :sol: 
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October 7, 2009 2:32:29 AM

So a quick update, the proli. And noctua fan came today. I have the cooler on a push pull setup with a case fan I had in the case. At stock the system run extmerely cool @ 27c/55c load. But when overclocking watch out! The system runs @ 3.1 45c/65c load. If the case cover is on add another 5c. Testing is being performed with OCCT. System is not stable with over 3.4ghz on full load (never passes 6+mins of testing without freezing). Right now I'm keeping her @ 3.1. I've been testing for a few hours now and even though I can boot into windows and play the re5 benchmark, occt will not get past 6+mins on anything but 3.1 (admittedly I didn't try 3.2-3.4 I just skipped to 3.1->3.6

Settings to get about 35mins on OCCT
Vcore 1.2
Ioh/ich auto. Any change would make the system unstable.
Vtt 1.4
Pll 1.86 / 1.9
3.1ghz and system hasn't made it to 1hr on OCCT yet. I'm testing it as I type this from my phone.

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a b K Overclocking
October 7, 2009 10:24:04 AM

You probably need more Vcore. Check out the Intel Core i7-920 Overclocking Guide - http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core-i7-92...

If you're testing for intial stability, then carry on, but as I explained in my first post, OCCT is fine for stability testing, but is inappropriate for thermal testing. Please use only Prime95 Small FFT's for thermal testing, which is the Standard, so we can compare apples-to-apples.

As I also explained, temperatures and overclocking are all about specifications, so it's very important to be specific. If we're not, then the topic makes about as much sense as comparing apples-to-oranges thermal fruit salad in a blender! :pt1cable: 

What's your Vcore during Prime95 Small FFT's in CPU-Z?

Comp :sol: 
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a b å Intel
a c 121 K Overclocking
October 7, 2009 2:44:56 PM

A couple of thoughts:

1) The OC capabilities of a chip will vary from one sample to the next. A high OC is not guaranteed, but your D0 sample should be better than a C0.

2) If an open case makes a 5c difference, then perhaps you should see if you can improve the case cooling. What case and fans do you have? What 4870 do you have? If the 4870 has a full double slot cooler, then it will send the hot vga air out the back of the case instead of dumping it back into the case where case cooling has to get rid of it. Is your wiring obstructing air flow? Idle at 45c with your new cooler and an ambient of 24c seems high.

3) How much difference will 3.1 vs. 3.6 or even 4.1 make in your gaming? Run a test with each speed on your favorite game, and check the FPS. You may find that the FPS does not change significantly. Or, you may find that it is so high at 3.1 that a higher FPS is pointless.
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October 7, 2009 4:08:48 PM

Ill try to test some games, im writing this in the morning and its pretty cold in here (about 69f) so the cpu is running really cool 36c so far. I bet if i tested the system now, i could hit 3.4ghz.

As far as the reason i personally think that its not passing is because of heat. I made it to 1hr on OCCT, but the only way i made it was to put a huge fan that i already have in my room at the side of the open case. If you look at my chart, you can actually see when i put the fan on it, and when its turned off close to the end.



I noticed the system would freeze over 68c, it would take probably 1-2 mins that high and freeze. I would have to power it off either by holding power for 5sec, or from motherboard. @ 3.1ghz it would take about 24:10-24:35 mins to get to about 68c and freeze.


(i couldnt get any of the crashed test's data because...the system crashed! I think i cancelled this one myself when the temps got that high)

Im going to head down to frys today and see if they have any good 120mm fans... i hate putting more fans in my pc because its in a small room and gets louder and louder. Hopefully they have noctuas because the one i have is silent. The other fan on the pullside of the proli. is an Antec 120mm red led fan (i suspect this is not adequately removing heat, and a better fan could help sustain lower temps). I no longer have a case fan because i used it on the cpu cooler. But the case is open until i can fix that.




4870 is dumping air back into the case, im using a zalman vf1000 cooler. The card hasnt been over like 40c because i havent been using it during cpu testing. The video card has been known to get super hot with mild overclocking, i usually underclock the ram since it generates so much heat. it can idle @ 65c easily with the memory @ 1000. Usually i underclock it all the way to 450 and the card will idle in the 40's.


ill try prime95 and see what happens, its probably not fair to do it while its still really cold in here since this is not typical weather most of the time im using the system...ill update when im done.

Bios settings @ 3.1 (only time i passed OCCT)
Multi: 20
bus: 155
qpi: lowest setting
vcore: 1.168
vtt: 1.4
pll: 1.9
ioh: 1.110 if changed system is unstable
ich/csi: 1.16 if changed system is unstable
ram: 9 9 9 9 24


Edit: im currently using to monitor temps: BIOS, Asrock OC Tuner, OCCT 1hr test on CPU, Prime95x2@max temp, CPUID hardware monitor/CPUZ

Edit 2: I'm using 2 instances of prime95 on max temp and the system isnt getting as hot as OCCT was at all, not even close. The hottest its gotten so far is 58c (i know my temps are lower then they were while testings yesterday (today:69f/yesterday 78f) but its not that big of a difference. I guess OCCT really hammers your cpu!

Should i not use OCCT to test the stablility of my cpu? Because im pretty sure i could reach 3.4 or above if im testing stablility against Prime95 and not OCCT. OCCT gets my cpu too hot!

Edit 3: Been using Prime95 and even when my pc is in the 65c it still freeze's (no BSOD or errors) This was @ 3.4-3.8ghz. Its weird, i can play games/boot into windows @ 4ghz, but these damn stablility tests are killing my cpu! it just doesnt want to be stable @ anything above 3.1ghz! Dropped the vcore down to 1.175 and have been messing around with the uncore. So far 3.5ghz 64c load with prime95 for 25mins (longest over 3.4ghz so far)

Edit 4: I changed the cooling, instead of push pull, im going push on cpu, and push on case fan near cpu. Im trying to figure out how im going to add an additional fan to the case, and also, i might get another fan for the pull on the proli. Im crossing my fingers that this 3.5 holds out!

Edit 5: Got OCCT running for 59mins then i got 1 error @ 3.5ghz, load temp is about 63c. Im starting to suspect my ram may be the culprit in the random freezes. I got one freeze @ 3.6 when the load temp was a mere 65c! So i think im going to stick with 3.5 as of now, since its pretty close to stable.
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a b K Overclocking
October 8, 2009 3:46:47 AM

Shown below from left to right is Idle, then 10 minutes of Prime 95 Small FFT's, then back to Idle. Small FFT's provides a steady-state thermal signature due to a steady-state 100% workload.



This is why Small FFT's is the Standard for thermal benchmarking. 97% saturation is typically reached within 7 to 8 minutes, so a 10 minute test is adequate. Note the 5c Gradient between the CPU and the Cores on a calibrated system.
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a b å Intel
a c 121 K Overclocking
October 9, 2009 12:31:24 AM

A picture was worth a thousand words. I think your least cost solution is to get a better ventilated case; it need not be expensive. I would suggest an Antec 200 or 300 for about $50-60. The 300 illusion package includes some extra fans.

I see at best a restricted intake, and only one rear output fan. The second fan on the cpu cooler does not do much because the hot air can't get out of the case easily. Your vga cooler is doing a good hob of getting heat off of the vga chip, but is ineffective because it is recirculating the air, heating up both the vga card and the cpu.
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October 9, 2009 4:45:47 AM

So i went to fry's today and bought some new ram (kingston) and another fan (which does absolutely nothing for cooling, and im taking back). As i suspected, the off-brand ram i got (wintec ampx 1600 P.O.S.) was causing random freezing and rebooting. After i put the new ram in i was able to goto 3.75ghz with prime95 for over 10mins but the system got extremely hot over 78c with the vcore @ 1.2. Ive been messing around with the vcore and have it @ 1.175 and it seems to be okay, i might lower it until its unstable then bump itup one notch to get to the lowest volt and have the system as cool as possible. I did not want to buy a new case if i didnt have to, im going to try to see if i can get some circulation threw out the case and see if i can get the temps to stablize under 73c at full load (since that is the maximum i7's should be run at per intel's specifications). I think that i will be able to hit 4ghz with this new ram in, i would need a better video solution to have my system running that fast since then, and now, the video card is the bottleneck in the system.

One more quick update: Im stable @ 3.73 with 1.16 vcore. The system gets pretty hot during prime95 with the case closed. Looking at about 73c case closed, and about 67c with the side open-anything over 68c on my cpu for over approx. 2mins period will cause a crash). I was wrong about the fan, its actually working to get the hot air out pretty good even though its directed right at my bed and smells like hot silicone and dust. Well, the fan works on at least the hot cpu air, the video card is a whole other beast. I do need one more fan on the video card to get the hot air off of it because im hitting 86c with that is the point where it starts to become unstable. Man, if watercooling wasnt such a pain in the ass and didnt have to be maintained, it probably wouldve been cheaper to go that route instead of all these fans/prolimatech.

Anyways, anyone know where to pick up 5.25" drive bay covers that are honey combed or mesh with a dust filter?
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a b K Overclocking
October 10, 2009 6:21:13 PM

datdud916,

You might try a local build-to-order mom-and-pop shop for a vented 5.25" drive bay blank. Also, you can increase the fan speed on your 4870 so it runs cooler. Use a software utility, or flash the BIOS. For more info, check out the following Sticky in the Graphics Forum: NVIDIA and ATI BIOS Modding and Flashing Guides - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/252251-29-nvidia-bios...

Comp :sol: 
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October 11, 2009 6:45:10 PM

Another update. So i broke down and bough a new case. Got the thermaltake element t case. I took the antec case fan out of my old system and stuck it in the front of the new case and my HDD's aren't smoltering hot anymore. The case has really good flow with the three fans and it has dropped my temps down across the board. My cpu now idles in the high 30's and full load @ 67 on prime95 @ 3.885ghz. I increased the vcore to 1.2 until i tune it for lower vcore.

As far as bios hacking my videocard, ive had mixed results with bios hacking. I tried flashing my card with different voltages. Ati has 3 states, basicly low-med-high, and depending on what you are doing the videocard with jump to each state. Well, i hacked my bios to have lower voltages to decrease heat, but every time i changed any voltage settings my card would no longer be recognized my windows (i had video, just couldnt install drivers, ect) so i stopped the bios hacking. I havent tried hacking for the fan but since my fan is plugged into my motherboard, and threw the motherboards bios i can set it at different levels i dont think its necessary to hack the bios.

Edit: Compu: Do you know what a BSOD 124 is? i know 101 is vcore. Ive got a couple @ 3.8 so im staying @ 3.7 right now and havent had a crash yet.
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