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Hit Wall at BCLK 177

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a b å Intel
a c 148 K Overclocking
November 28, 2009 10:53:28 PM

Not being an avid gamer and primarily focused on building production boxes, never spent much time seeing what I can get outta any individual box.....if it took more than 15-20 minuted configuring BIOS, I wasn't interested. MY usual approach was to use built in BIOS OC settings to get that 20% OC and then try and tone down things a bit to make it run a little cooler w/o sacrificing that 20%.

With my son building his 1st box paid for w/ his own money, this gave us a project to work on together which, as any Dad will tell ya, 18 year old kids asking to spend time w/ Dad is a rarity to be treasured :)  . So after a month of chasing down Event Viewer errors w/ Win7-64, the 4 day weekend was our time to try and see what we could do on this.

Have downloaded all the OC guides and the R2E MoBo gives us plenty of tools. He blinged it up w/ an OC Station which I only went along with cause it was a great fan controller and seeing as he spent his own money, he was entitled to a little bling.

System includes R2E MoBo, i7-920 (DO), Mushkin CAS 6 (998692).

Here's the approach we took .....

Used built in OC profile to get to 3.2 GHz using "CPU Level Up" feature. That left us w/ the following:

CPU Multiplier - Auto
BCLK - 160
CPU Voltage - 1.3125 (reads 1.304 in CPU-z)
QPI/DRAM Core Voltage - 1.3875
DRAM Bus Voltage - 1.56406
memtest successful for 18 hours

Only other BIOS changes (that come to mind atm) were to turn off HT and set CAS timings to 6-7-6-18. Thought the CPU Voltage and QPI voltage was a little high, and RAM voltage a little low, but figured I'd chill those out later. was looking to get to 3.66 for everyday use but also curious as to how far it could go.

Jumped to BCLK of 165, no issues ... continued w/ no changes to BIOS other than jumping BCLK by 3 and testing w/ prime 95 for an hour till I got to 174 which, w/ 21 multiplier, gives me the 3.66 we were going for.

Got to 177 w/ no apparent issues (see later note) then tried 180 w/ no luck. Upped voltages incrementally couple of time, then just went all out and did:

CPU Voltage - 1.375
QPI/DRAM Core Voltage - 1.3875
DRAM Bus Voltage - 1.64xxx

Still didn't run at 180 till I set multiplier to 20 which is slower than 177 x 21. Rebooted to 177 BCLK and after some forum researching was typing here on a temperature thread and BSOD'd. As I type this am at BCLK 174 w/ following voltages / temps as per Asus Probe

CPU 1.35 (CPU-z says 130.5, Speedfan says 1.30)
CPU PLL 1.81
QPI/DRAM 1.34
DRAM Bus 1.56

CPU 60C (60 per HW Monitor & SpeedFan)
MB 25C
NB 45C
SB 40C

SpeedFan indicates core temps of 58-61 which sounds off but so does CoreTemp and RealTemp's 74/72/71/71 ...as i recall shouldn't be more than 5C between CPU Temp and core Temps.

Failures were determined by error messages in prime95 and / or any unusual messages upon landing in Windows such as some service not starting.

Oh and another odd note....if we boot into Windows and use the OC Station or Asus TurboV software to boost voltages and BCLK we can easily get to 4.0 GHz. Prime 95 runs stable

Tho satisfied to hit our target did hope to learn some more about more aggressive OC'ing. Mostly was surprised to get that high with those low voltages but even more surprised to that jumping them up those large increments at the end did nothing to improve things. Any ideas where we might be choking ourselves off ?

More about : hit wall bclk 177

a b å Intel
a c 148 K Overclocking
November 28, 2009 11:09:49 PM

If it helps, here' where we failed....

Ai Overclock Tuner [Manual]
CPU Level Up [Auto]
Memory Level Up [Auto]
CPU Ratio Setting [Auto]
CPU Turbo Power Limit [Enabled]

CPU Configuration
CPU Ratio Setting [Auto]
C1E Support [Enabled]
Hardware Prefetcher [Enabled]
Adjacent Cache Line Prefetch [Enabled]
Intel (R) Virtualization Tech [Enabled]
CPU TM Function [Enabled]
Execute Disable Bit [Enabled]
Intel (R) HT Technology) [Disabled]
*Active Processor Cores [All]
A20M [Disabled]
*Intel Speed Step (TM) Tech [Enabled]
*Intel (R) Turbo Mode Tech [Disabled]
Intel (R) C_STATE Tech [Disabled]

BCLK Frequency [180]
PCIE Frequency [100]
DRAM Frequency [Auto]
UCLK Frequency [Auto]
QPI Link Data Rate [Auto]

DRAM Timing Control
DRAM CAS# Latency [6]
DRAM RAS# to CAS# Delay [7]
DRAM RAS# PRE Time [6]
DRAM RAS# ACT Time [18]
Auto on everything else

EPU II Phase Control [Full Phase]
Load-Line Calibration [Auto]
CPU Differential Amplitude [Auto,]
Extreme OV [Disabled]
CPU Voltage Control [Absolute VID]
CPU Voltage [1.3125+] .... went up to 1.375
CPU PLL Voltage [Auto]
QPI/DRAM Core Voltage [1.3875]
IOH Voltage (NB) [Auto]
IOH PCIE Voltage (NB) [Auto]
IOH Voltage (SB) [Auto]
IOH PCIE Voltage (NB) [Auto]
DRAM Bus Voltages [1.56406] .... went up to 1.64xxx

DRAM REF Voltages
All Auto

Debug Mode [String]
Keyboard TweakIt Control [Disabled]

CPU Spread Spectrum [Auto]
PCIE Spread Spectrum [Auto]
CPU Clock Skew [Auto]
IOH Clock Skew [Auto]
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a b K Overclocking
November 29, 2009 5:58:15 AM

Alrighty, do the following.

1. Raise the ram voltage to 1.65v

2.Drop ram frequeny to lowest possible ratio.

That should solve the problem.

since you never changed the ram ratio you were running the ram pretty damn fast with less voltage than its specd for.
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Related resources
November 29, 2009 9:26:40 AM

Yeah do what overshocked says :p 
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a b å Intel
a c 148 K Overclocking
November 29, 2009 2:46:11 PM

overshocked said:
Alrighty, do the following.

1. Raise the ram voltage to 1.65v

2.Drop ram frequeny to lowest possible ratio.

That should solve the problem.
.


I did both of those things.....

1. Note the line.....

"DRAM Bus Voltages [1.56406] .... went up to 1.64xxx"

You can't go 1.65 exactly....it goes up in increments of like 0.01xxx .... so I started at the 174 safe voltage and went all the way up to like 1.64925 or something but highest i could go w/o exceeding the "never pass" 1.65 Didn't work there and next notch was > 1.65

2. RAM Speed never exceeded 1600....is only at 1440 at 180 BCLK

Quote:
since you never changed the ram ratio you were running the ram pretty damn fast with less voltage than its specd for


Again, as long as I'm under 1600 why drop the multiplier ?

Memory Multiplier never exceeded 8 on the AUTO Setting (checked in BIOS Hardware Monitor on each boot and in CPU-z on each landing in Windows. Apparently BIOS doesn't recognize that I have 1600 and assumes 1066, as it assumes very slow timings also and those had to be manually set.

At 174 BCLK, CPU-z says:

DRAM Frequency = 697.6
FSB : DRAM = 2:8
Timings = 6-7-6-18-74-1T

At 180 BCLK (won't complete prime95), CPU-z says:

DRAM Frequency = 720.0
FSB : DRAM = 2:8
Timings = 6-7-6-18-74-1T
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a b K Overclocking
November 29, 2009 6:56:49 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
I did both of those things.....

1. Note the line.....

"DRAM Bus Voltages [1.56406] .... went up to 1.64xxx"

You can't go 1.65 exactly....it goes up in increments of like 0.01xxx .... so I started at the 174 safe voltage and went all the way up to like 1.64925 or something but highest i could go w/o exceeding the "never pass" 1.65 Didn't work there and next notch was > 1.65

2. RAM Speed never exceeded 1600....is only at 1440 at 180 BCLK

Quote:
since you never changed the ram ratio you were running the ram pretty damn fast with less voltage than its specd for


Again, as long as I'm under 1600 why drop the multiplier ?

Memory Multiplier never exceeded 8 on the AUTO Setting (checked in BIOS Hardware Monitor on each boot and in CPU-z on each landing in Windows. Apparently BIOS doesn't recognize that I have 1600 and assumes 1066, as it assumes very slow timings also and those had to be manually set.

At 174 BCLK, CPU-z says:

DRAM Frequency = 697.6
FSB : DRAM = 2:8
Timings = 6-7-6-18-74-1T

At 180 BCLK (won't complete prime95), CPU-z says:

DRAM Frequency = 720.0
FSB : DRAM = 2:8
Timings = 6-7-6-18-74-1T


WEll i still think the ram is the problem.

You were running at 720 mhz on the ram, and its ddr. So that is 1440 mhz. And you were running at a much lower voltage then it is specd for.

Have you tried running like this on 1.64xxv on the dimms?
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a b å Intel
a c 148 K Overclocking
November 29, 2009 7:32:17 PM

Quote:
Have you tried running like this on 1.64xxv on the dimms?


At 180 BCLK (won't complete prime95), CPU-z says:

DRAM Frequency = 720.0
FSB : DRAM = 2:8
Timings = 6-7-6-18-74-1T
DRAM Volatge = 1.1.64xx
CPU Voltage = 1.375
QPI /DRAM Core Voltage = 1.3875

Just tried at Mushkins advice....

DRAM Timing Mode = 1N
CPU Ratio = 21
CPU Spread Spectrum = Disabled
PCIE Spread Spectrum = Disabled

no go either :( 

My thought process was use the CPU level Up feature to set everything at 160 BCLK and then just do voltages from there.....was surprised that:

.... it jumped all the way to .... CPU Voltage = 1.375 and QPI/DRAM Core Voltage = 1.3875 as I thot that speed could be done at stock voltages.

.... that i went from 160 BCLK to 174 without needing any boost in voltages

..... that when it finally failed, no increase in voltage did anything.

Gonna run memtest overnight at BCLK 180 / CPU Multiplier = 12 and see what happens.
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a b K Overclocking
November 30, 2009 6:10:28 AM

howd memtest go?
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a b å Intel
a c 148 K Overclocking
November 30, 2009 11:21:47 PM

Well....my son "needed" his computer....homework you ask ? ... nope .... WoW raid :) 

Hopefully tonite after I check the forums
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a b K Overclocking
December 1, 2009 1:13:11 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
Well....my son "needed" his computer....homework you ask ? ... nope .... WoW raid :) 

Hopefully tonite after I check the forums



Sounds really critical, good thing you could wait. [:jaydeejohn:4]
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a b å Intel
a c 148 K Overclocking
December 2, 2009 12:10:25 AM

Ok....ran Memtest again

CPU Multiplier - Auto
BCLK - 160
CPU Voltage - 1.3125 (reads 1.304 in CPU-z)
QPI/DRAM Core Voltage - 1.3875
DRAM Bus Voltage - 1.56406
DRAM Freq 1604 (mem Mult = 10)

memtest successful for 8+ passes 13+ hours

Running again now.....

CPU Multiplier - 20
BCLK - 200
CPU Voltage - 1.3125 (reads 1.304 in CPU-z)
QPI/DRAM Core Voltage - 1.3875
DRAM Bus Voltage - 1.56406
DRAM Freq 1603 (mem Mult = 8)

memtest successful for 1 hour so far.....realized volatges are low....seeing if I can get an error here at low voltage so as to determine oif upping it heps.

Sidenote....after exiting BIOS setting that up, I forgot to put DvD back in and system made it to Windows Login screen before I realized and restarted......never have problems there anyway, usually don't get issues until all the startup services start loading.

BTW, see anything here ?.....these are the other voltages from Auto Settings (from BIOS):

CPU PLL = 1.81592
IOH (NB) = 1.16641
IOH PCIE (NB) = 1.51106
IOH (SB) = 1.11341
IOH PCIE (SB) = 1.51106

BTW, appreciate you sticking w/ us on this :) 
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a b å Intel
a c 148 K Overclocking
December 2, 2009 5:20:28 PM

Memtest passed 12 hours / 8 passes at 200 BCLK / 1603 mem Freq.

There goes my No. 1 suspect.....wondering if Asus utilities or other startup items causing issue as I get to log in screen no problem and problems do not surface till well into task bar (right side) filling up w/ icons. Gonna try safe mode.

Thinking maybe it's those Asus power save things like EPU-6 and stuff causing the problem ... any thoughts ?
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a b K Overclocking
December 3, 2009 12:17:26 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
Memtest passed 12 hours / 8 passes at 200 BCLK / 1603 mem Freq.

There goes my No. 1 suspect.....wondering if Asus utilities or other startup items causing issue as I get to log in screen no problem and problems do not surface till well into task bar (right side) filling up w/ icons. Gonna try safe mode.

Thinking maybe it's those Asus power save things like EPU-6 and stuff causing the problem ... any thoughts ?


sorry i havnt responded in a couple days. Ive been busy [:thegreatgrapeape:3] Not quite sure what this could be... have you updated the bios? Many mobo manufacturers have made improvements to the bios that raises the base clock boot but that usually reffers to the speed that it will actualy BOOT at all.

Shouldnt be power savings stuff, but would definetly try it.

Have you tried putting a different HDD in? Or a fresh install? [:jaydeejohn:3]
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Best solution

December 3, 2009 3:53:59 AM

I ran into this phenomenon quite frequently throughout all the steps I took to overclocking and there are some pitfalls I simply had to overcome myself when I hit stability issues.

A. 60C is hot at idle, even for an i7 60 is really higher than I would be comfortable with at idle (it may be safe but there is usually at least 20C between loaded and idle)

B. RAM runs much better when it is restricted to the clocks it is designed for, some stuff is good and won't present a problem until you start going insane but forceing your overall RAM to rated or below never hurt anything, consider the fact that the i7 push 25GB/s under normal circumstance, at that point everything BUT the RAM is the bottleneck so turn it down.

C. Consider a smaller multiplier and disable C1E and speedstep, for some reason I had much better results popping out the old calculator and using a 19 multiplier and respectively just increasing the base clock than I did simply increasing the BCLK.

D. Disable Turbo and HT, ht only comes in handy in the very limited set of programs that take advantage of it, it creates 10 extra C and consumes a good amount of power when it's on for the measly gains you get. Also make sure that Spread Spectrum is disabled.
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a b å Intel
a c 148 K Overclocking
December 3, 2009 11:06:21 PM

A. I'm not getting 60C at idle....I am getting 60C with prim95 and small FFT's

B. The 1600 RAM is at 1440 when failing .... you're suggesting 1080 ?

C. I'd have to hit 198 BCLK at CPU Multi of 19 to match 180 x 21 but worth a try. I'll try disabling SpeedStep and C1E but kinda liked the fact that i didn't have to go full tilt unless needed.

D. Both are already disabled.
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a b å Intel
a c 148 K Overclocking
December 4, 2009 12:07:12 AM

OK, disabling Speed Step and C1E took me to 4 GHz (200 x 20) in one fell swoop....Prime95 running now about 45 minutes so far.

CPU temp @ 57C
Cores @ 70/67/66/65

Didn't touch either of the Spread Spectrums

CPU Voltage is 1.344 / DRAM is 1.64

Will try and knock those down next.....

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a b å Intel
a c 148 K Overclocking
December 4, 2009 12:17:43 AM

Just hit 4.2 Ghz @ BLCK200 x 21

Prime95 running stable (overnight) at

CPU temp @ 56C
Cores @ 71/69/68/67 (24 Ambient)
CPU Voltage is 1.30 / DRAM is 1.56
QPI/DRAM is 1.3875
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January 2, 2010 5:30:27 PM

also always disable load line calibration, this is Vdroop and is only there to appease the voltage overlords
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a b å Intel
a c 148 K Overclocking
January 10, 2010 6:34:53 PM

Enabling LLC did allow me to hit 4.4 GHZ. But that's just for experimentation and educational purposes.
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