MSI P965 Platinum Mobo
Zalman Cu heat sink + fan.
4GB Corsair 6400 C4 (4-4-4-12 800 MHz)
MSI 8800 GTX graphics
Auzentech Meridian sound
2 x 36GB Raptors RAID 0 (System)
2 x 250 GB Western Digital Caviar WD2500KS RAID 0 (Data)
Corsair HX620W PSU
All drives attached to the ICH8R Intel RAID controller.
BIOS: 1.8 (latest)
Vista Ultimate 32 bit SP1 + latest patches
Intel Matrix Storage Manager v8.6
I have run with the above hardware specification since Jan 2007 without experiencing any hardware problems at all. Recently, I upgraded the CPU from an E6700 dual-core to a Q9550 quad. I was a little concerned about doing this, because the MSI mobo I have supports a max FSB of 1066 and the Q9550 is rated at 1333. I don't know enough about these thiongs to know whether that is likely to be problematic? in any case, I Googled around and found that some flavours of the Q9550 had been tested on my mobo (http://www.cpu-upgrade.com/mb-MSI/P965_Platinum_(MS-238).html) so I took the leap.
Early indications were good - Vista detected the new chip and I rebooted when prompted. However, in the space of a week I experienced 2 BSODs - both STOP 101 codes and both while the new CPU was under full load (converting media files). Hmm!
A friend at work suggested that I needed to up the CPU FSB and maybe the VCore also as this would make the CPU more stable. This didn't sound right to me, but thought I'd give it a whirl. I tried upping the CPU FSB (I am a total noob when it comes to OCing). He suggested increasing the CPU FSB in multiples of 20 to start with, so I tried going from 333 (with 8.5 multiplier) to 353. this took the CPU from 2.83 GHz to 3.0 GHz or thereabouts. I rebooted and the PC just displayed a blank screen - no POST. I had to pull the plug, wait a min and power back on and got a message 'your last attempt to OC failed, resetting...'. I then went back to the 'optimised defaults' and left it that way.
Another week, another couple of BSODs with the Q9550 chip, again both whilst under heavy load. Any ideas on what I should do? Have I bought the wrong CPU for this mobo?
OK another week, another week of blue-screens with that new Q9550 chip. I have switched back to my trusty E6700 chip and the system is then as solid as a rock. I see 3 possibilities here:
1.The Mobo website (MSI P965) lists the Q9550 stepping type C1 as being compatible. There is no mention of E0 or C0 which seem to be the other two variants. I have no idea which stepping type mine is as the product numbers for the Q9550 chips are all the same (EU80569PJ073N or BX80569Q9550) regardless of whether it is a C0, C1 or E0 stepping. Is there any way to tell which on I have - I tried with CPU-Z but didn't spot the stepping type? In any case, could this be the problem or am I off-base?
2. it's possible I have a faulty chip. How likely is this do you think? I could ask for a swap with Novatech but could be back in the same boat.
3. I need to mod the clocking on my rig to support the Q9550. If so, can anyone advise on what I should do?
I doubt the problem is caused by an OS factor as I ran some tested in an XP pre-boot environmet and still got the lock-ups.
What should I do? i don't really want to ebay the chip at say a £50 loss if i can help it.
Some of P965 motherboards do not support the E0 and C0 steppings of Yorksfield quads, like those 680is/780is which can't either. However, they all can run the engineering samples, or C1 stepping yorksfield quads. Totally usesless on Intels part. Sorry for the slow response, guess no one really cares anymore...
Edit: My suggestion is to buy a better motherboard, say a P43 for $80.