Need advice on what to do next

Im looking at upgrading my cpu. The reason why is because I have a small problem with my Q6600, I think...

My specs:
Intel Q6600 G0 Stepping on MSI P7N Platinum 750i (cant change the miltiplier for some reason)
2x9600GT in SLi
4gbs Mushkin 1066fsb clocked at 1056mhz
2x500gb HDD raid-0
Thermaltake Kandalf LCS liquid cooling
1200w Coolmax PSU

It no longer overclocks past 2.4ghz. The highest Ive had it was at 3.2ghz for a few days at best. It started to get degraded really fast as I kept blue screening for a while. Ran Prime95 and found that 2 cores failed past 2.6ghz overclocking a few months ago. It ran stable since then until today, since Ive been having some hardware issues. I pulled my case apart to clean some of the ghost turds out of it. My coolant reservoir was half empty (6 months since I built this thing), filled it up and rebooted. I had a bad checksum after I cleaned it out.

I found out that I could boot up at 2.65ghz without clocking my memory to its intended operating range. I couldnt if I clocked my memory up from its FSB 800 (my motherboard default) to my memories default FSB 1066. However, since 2.6ghz isnt really an overclock, I just knocked it back down to 2.4ghz and clocked my ram to its supposed manufactured default FSB @ 2.1v. I did tweak the voltage for the CPU up .05v.

Now given that my motherboard is an MSI P7N Platinum with a native FSB of 1066, and the aforementioned CPU problem, is it feasible to upgrade my CPU to a Q9450 (1333 FSB native) without changing the motherboard? Ive already went thru 3 motherboards this year and I really REALLY dont want to swap it out again...and this one happens to be one of the better ones Ive ever owned.
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  1. How did you go through 3 motherboards in a year? Perhaps your overclocks and/or volt mods have been toasting other components, like the Northbridge?
    After hearing what one of my coworkers had to say about failure rates on MSI boards, I wouldn't buy one. He owned a computer business; still moonlights a little I think.
  2. Your cooling system should be sealed. It does not consume the coolant. You have a leak somewhere.

    You will have to change your MB to use a 1333 FSB processor.
    Sorry, I'm wrong. Your MB is FSB: 1333/1066MHz
  3. Stop overclocking? :D Three mobos would surely have cost more than a CPU you were trying to be as fast as?
  4. Hmmm, that's right, liquid cooling will sooner or later have to take a leak. That could easily explain 3 dead mobos.
  5. ouch
  6. painful indeed X_X
  7. It doesnt leak...Im positive its evaporating, since I check it at least once a month. I havent had 3 dead mobos...Im on my 3rd now. The previous 2 were DOA in some way or other (dimm slot not accepting 8gb ram, one not overclocking at all...).

    My motherboard specs state its compatible with 1333 fsb processors...but Ive never been able to get my current processor to run at 1333 at all.

    Someone told me sometime ago that my PSU may be the culprit, but somehow I doubt that, even because if it was degraded somewhat, it should still have more than enough power to overclock. My motherboard seems good to me...I havent had any problems with overclocking anything else with it.
  8. Unless that Coolmax is a CTG model, it might be dicey.
  9. How does one tell if its a good PSU or not? The psu testers Ive seen only test to see if it functions...
    This is my PSU:

    Along those lines, how can I test my motherboard and CPU to troubleshoot which component may be bad? I obviously have both working at the moment, and Prime95 only tells me my cpu is dead on 2 cores above a specific clock.
  10. Rest cmos.

    And read this. Maybe it will get you up to speed.,1720.html
  11. I have to reset the CMOS every time I try to overclock the CPU. I have absolutely no problems overclocking anything else, which just leads me to believe that I have a bad CPU. All I want to do is be a little bit more certain on whats wrong with my computer than anything else. Its already been determined I can put a Q9450 on this motherboard safely. My problem is that I may or may not need to shell out over 1200 dollars on parts that may or may not be FUBAR (and save me from having to tear everything down to barebones again).

    The ONE thing I will not do unless I absolutely, positively, HAVE to do is change the PSU. I definately need ideas to find out whats wrong before I can fix it.
  12. By your own admission you have not been able to get a stable overclock on this Q6600/750i combination from day one. You have been through three motherboards. CPU fails at 2.6Ghz.
    How do you know your CPU has GO stepping?
    Have you removed the CMOS battery from the MB? (PC turned off and unpluged please)
    You are debating trying another Quad core processor in a MB that is notorious for not playing nice with a quad core.
    I am leaning toward operator error.

    1) Turn off PC and unplug it from the wall. Wait 5 minutes.

    2) Put PC on table that is on a slab floor,wood,tile....not carpet. Open the side panel and touch the case with one forearm (grounding to the case). Remove the little round battery. Put a dot or something on the up-side to be sure it goes back the right way. Wait 5 minutes. Put battery back in.
    Remove all but one stick of ram. Make sure it is fully seated and ALL other connections are secure.

    3) Reconnect and Boot PC and enter bios. Make sure HDD is recognized and is first boot device. F10, Save and exit.

    4) Run prime95

    By what method are you overclocking this MB?
  13. 1. I used CPUZ to determine it is G0 stepping.
    2. Ive tried disconnecting all power from the motherboard. Trust me, Ive been doing this for a while, although I am new to overclocking. I know how to reset the BIOS.

    I am overclocking the CPU in the BIOS by stepping up voltage and the FSB incrementally. I keep the memory fsb and the cpu fsb unlinked so I can run the ram overclocked on the motherboard, but stock for the memory modules. I timed the memory modules to stock timing as well, as known in the Mushkin forums.

    The problems I had with my previous motherboards were purely manufacturer errors. Neither one would recognize more than 6gbs of memory. BIOS versions were unstable with this CPU, and after the last BIOS update I tried, it wouldnt overclock at all.

    Yes I am debating on getting another quad core...I am very leery on buying a new one, since at the moment my current upgrade exceeds 1100 bucks with the motherboard I have picked out if I do change it out. If I do, Im currently leaning towards the eVGA 780i SLi motherboard. Even though Ive had 3 motherboards on this computer in the last 6 months, this one has worked fairly well for me, but I dont rule out another one entirely. I just need to be absolutely certain before I start throwing cash towards things I dont need.

    Since I cannot locate the current overclocking instructions, I will use this post here as an example of what I have done. (not my post)

    I will say this...I did have an extreme overheat a long time ago as I noticed my pump wasnt pushing coolant. I noticed it immediately, but that was 2 minutes uncooled. Since I never had a reference to what this chip could do, and it always booted up, I never took any note of it.

    So like I said...I think it is my CPU, but I need to make damn sure.
  14. I would check out the sticky in the overclocking forms called "Overclocking Core2 Duals and Quads" I believe your problem may stem from trying to async the memory. You will want your memory to run at the same speed as your FSB to get the best overclock.
  15. I had it running stable for 2 months with the CPU and the ram unlinked with the CPU @ 2.6ghz. I changed out a couple of fans a few nights ago since they collected a mad amount of dust and started burning up the motor. I cleaned it out thoroughly, but after that, the CMOS checksum came up bad after I took out the bad fans and refilled the tank. I had to reclock the memory and set the timings, but it was either/or the memory or the cpu.

    Come to think of it, the reason why I took it apart and dust it out was because I now have a faulty USB port thats part of my case....
  16. 1200W PSU????? What in gods name made you decide on 1200W for two 9600GT's LOL!
  17. The 9600's require 28 amps to run stable in SLi. My PSU maintains a steady 30a if the label is correct. If anything I think my system is slightly underpowered since I have a bunch of fans and what-not. That, and it was a good deal at the time I found it.
  18. .
    you can run two 9800GX2's on a 750W for christs sake!
  19. Ha! Probably maintains a steady 30a on the first rail.... and the second.... and the third.
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