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Core i7 920 on ASrock Extreme Help

Last response: in Overclocking
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November 22, 2009 5:52:07 PM

I just put together a new computer a few weeks ago and I am looking to overclock it now. I have done some research, but I am having a hard time finding a How To OC for my motherboard. I looked at overshocked's guide but it's bios looks nothing like mine and it seems more geared towards finding a max OC and I am looking for just a slight OC without changing voltages if that's possible. Also are my temps good enough to start overclocking?

Any help would be much appreciated and I am sorry if this post comes off too noobish :( 

CPU: Core i7 920 (D0) @ Stock
CPU Cooler: XIGMATEK Dark Knight
Motherboard: ASrock Extreme
Memory: 3x 2GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600 CL8-8-8-24
Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 5870
Harddisk drive: 2x 300GB VelociRaptors Raid 0
Power supply: CORSAIR 850TX
Case: Antec 300
OS: Win7 Pro 64

MB:


RAM:


IDLE:


LOAD 30 minutes into Prime95 Blend:
November 22, 2009 7:58:35 PM

You beat me to it, kua...

I, too, have an ASRock X58 Extreme with a Xigmatek Dark Knight and have had the same trouble you've had matching up the labels in the BIOS (v. 1.4) with any overclocking instructions anywhere on the net, including trying to match it up with overshocked's otherwise excellent guide for the i7.

So far I've had success using the EZ settings (the training wheels) to get to a stable 3.8 with decent temps, but the pros here have me convinced that the EZ settings are not optimal and I need to invest some time finding my system's sweet spot. I'd rather do it right at 3.5 than wrong at 3.8 (though a very experienced friend of mine disagrees 180 with that--he says if it's stable, it's good, EZ or not, as long as the voltages are not too high).

The most frustrating part is not being able to adjust the BCLK... is it locked or something? Tried changing the "Overclock Mode" from Auto to Manual, Optimized, and I.O.T. (no idea what these mean, and NONE of their literature explains them) and STILL can't change the BCLK.

In Step 1, overshocked's guide says to change the "memory speed" to a lower ratio, but the only thing close that I can find is "DRAM Frequency", but there isn't any "ratio" to be found... just guessing it was the same, I lowered mine as low as I could...

In Step 2, overshocked's guide says to find the "QPI Link Speed" or "QPI Multiplier", which I'm guessing is the same as "QPI Frequency", so I lowered that as well...

In Step 3, overshocked's guide says to find the "uncore multiplier", which I'm guessing is the same as "uncore frequency", so I lowered that as well...

In Step 4, overshocked's guide says to find the "reference clock" or BCLK and start to increase it... this is where I get stuck... I can find the BCLK Frequency, but I'm unable to change it...

The manual ASRock provides is useless and the website is even moreso...

Is anyone familiar with this BIOS that can help translate some of these terms and/or unlock the BCLK on a board that was obviously designed with at least moderate overclocking in mind?
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November 22, 2009 10:05:41 PM

Yeah, I don't trust the EZ settings seems like a EZ way to fry your CPU with too much voltage. Also what kind of temps are you getting under load with it at 3.8? And if you remember still what was your temps under load at stock too.
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November 22, 2009 11:56:51 PM

I'm not experienced and I cant (and won't ) give you advice. But i can say that
"DRAM Frequency" and ratio is NOT the same thing;
"QPI Multiplier" is NOT "QPI Frequency";
"uncore multiplier" is NOT "uncore frequency".

"I can find the BCLK Frequency".... your in trouble.... that's the main "lever" to overclock.

If I understood what I have been reading lately (And It would be good that a more knowledgeable person confirms what i am going to say) You have the Base Clock (BCLK) an the QPI, Uncore,and CPU, run at a speed equal to BCLK x Multiplier. To be safe, when you overclock, you reduce your multiplier so that when you increase your BCLK then end frequency doesn't go to high.
In overshocked's guide, he doesn't say to increase back you multipliers... It must mean that when overclocking you run a a very high base clock speed and a low multiplier..... I dont know why... I have been trying to figure that out. It also means that there is more than one configuration for a given CPU speed... wich is the best? I have no idea.

I hope this prevents you from blindly playing in the bios.

I don't know your motherboard... are you sure it offers good overclocking features ? ... I have a cheap AM2 board that can't overclock RAM....
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November 23, 2009 12:24:11 AM

I just checked ASRocks website and I found that I. O. T. means Intelligent Overclocking Technology

The X58 extreme has Hybrid booster technology which is defined here:
http://www.asrock.com/feature/HybridBooster/HybridBooster.html

it seems your mobo does not allow to chage the Uncore and QPI multiplier and perhaps the RAM ratio too....
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November 23, 2009 2:03:04 AM

Training wheels that can't be removed, eh?

Thanks for finding this... it's obviously written in "Engrish" (bad translation of Japanese/Chinese into English), and is hard to understand, but appears that unless Hybrid Booster can be disabled there's no way to mess with the CPU fequency (which I'm assuming is the same as BCLK).

If I'd known this ahead of time, I probably wouldn't have purchased this board... the many reviewers of this board throughout the web have said NOTHING about such limitations, so I'm still holding out hope...!

Can anyone else shed some light here to help a couple of noobs get going with real overclocking???
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November 23, 2009 2:38:29 AM

After looking a tad more into "Hybrid Booster," I don't think it's going to limit our ability to overclock... even ASRock's X58 SuperComputer board has Hybrid Booster. It appears to be there to assist in safe overclocking, but it doesn't seem to include any hindrances to adjusting primary settings like BCLK.

Still searching...
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November 23, 2009 4:22:33 AM

The Hybrid Booster should be a helper in OCing. ANd I doubt that ASRock's "EXTRME" Mobo can't overclock properly.... it would be so very bad for them.

Multipliers and ratios are only a variable in the final speed. You seem to be able to change the end speed so you should be able to overclock. But I get that you don't like doing it differently than the way you read.

Here's a review of your mobo, maybe it'll helpon hw to OC it
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/2864/asrock_x58_extreme_core_i7_motherboard/index.html

here an other one :
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/mainboards/display/asrock-x58-extreme.html
I saw something called "CPU ratio" I'm pretty sure it's the RAM ratio
The RAM's clock is a fraction of the CPU clock. for example, 12 CPU clock hit for 4 RAM clock hit.

And you might want to update the BIOS, I quickly read that once updated,you get more OC options.


Oh and : "CPU fequency (which I'm assuming is the same as BCLK)" nope, CPU frequency=BCLK x CPU Multiplier.
In your case, 2.66GHz=133MHz(BCLK) x 20(Multiplier) Those are the stock settings of the I7 920.
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November 23, 2009 12:43:19 PM

Thanks, balanovich, I've found those reviews and they do mention overclocking working just fine with this board--confirming that Hybrid Booster doesn't hinder overclocking--but they don't explain HOW they do it or WHICH steps they exactly take to make it happen...
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November 23, 2009 3:43:43 PM

No, but they did mention (somewhere) that updating the BIOS gives you more options.... so do so and you'll have the to options that overshocked's guide mentions.

Then you can do what he says!
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December 3, 2009 10:38:16 AM

I have an x58 extreme, it has a ton of options to OC, for me, you just go in to the OC Tweaker tab, around the box for the CPU
BCLK, just hit manual. You have to switch almost everything to manual before you can get a good OC. Granted, I fried my MoBo, but that was because I was being an idiot. I wish some options could be more fine turned, but overall, a great board to work with. The RAM ratios, don't show 2:8, it just shows the speeds, so bumping down to the lowest of the speeds, is lowering your ratio.
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December 3, 2009 1:03:22 PM

Flying Sq said:
I have an x58 extreme, it has a ton of options to OC, for me, you just go in to the OC Tweaker tab, around the box for the CPU
BCLK, just hit manual. You have to switch almost everything to manual before you can get a good OC. Granted, I fried my MoBo, but that was because I was being an idiot. I wish some options could be more fine turned, but overall, a great board to work with. The RAM ratios, don't show 2:8, it just shows the speeds, so bumping down to the lowest of the speeds, is lowering your ratio.


Fried your board too, eh? I have now had two of these boards fail on me and am now an EVGA user.

What were you doing when it died? Any luck getting in touch with ASRock for RMA/replacement? I can't get them to respond...
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December 3, 2009 8:50:46 PM

ruffhouseutah said:
Fried your board too, eh? I have now had two of these boards fail on me and am now an EVGA user.

What were you doing when it died? Any luck getting in touch with ASRock for RMA/replacement? I can't get them to respond...


Just bought a new one from Newegg. I've never had any luck with RMAs. What is the warranty on them any, maybe i'll just send it back.
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December 4, 2009 3:25:37 PM

ruffhouseutah said:
Fried your board too, eh? I have now had two of these boards fail on me and am now an EVGA user.

What were you doing when it died? Any luck getting in touch with ASRock for RMA/replacement? I can't get them to respond...



So, I thought I'd share my experiences with Asrock Extreme. I also have 2 of them fail on me. I started a thread right here with some details:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/263528-30-asrock-extr...

The boards never worked right even at stock settings and everything in BIOS at default. First one came with BIOS v1.3 and I updated it to v1.4 - did not improve stability, but did open up some new OC options. Second one came with v1.4 already installed. It was better but still could not pass Prime95 without errors, yes even at stock. OCCT routine would fault out right after 1 minute of idle time.

I would also like to confirm the BIOS is missing a bunch of options that most of i7 OC guides out there mention. Makes it confusing while trying to OC manually.

First board, I got in touch with Asrock tech support and they were helpful - had me do some quick tests to rule out other components after the board failed.

Second board, I emailed them stating that I already tried out everything from the last time and it looks like the board is bad again. Well, they told me they would get customer service to contact me regarding the RMA and now it's been 5 business days and still no response...

Luckily, Newegg allowed me, on exception basis, to return it back to them for refund. They even paid for the shipping.

Now I'm just waiting on reviews to come out on new $300+ Gigabyte and ASUS boards. If they are good, I'm picking me up one of those. Done with this cheap Asrock stuff for good.
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December 5, 2009 3:20:02 AM

New Egg just came through for me again as well, agreeing to refund my 2nd bad ASRock board even though it's outside of their normal timeframe. What can you say? Incredible service there at New Egg.

As for ASRock, they're in my rear-view mirror now... they never did respond to 5 different attempts to communicate with them. Lousy company.
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