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SAFE Overclocking! 7/24 i7930 + GA-X58A-UD3R & Testing Utilities

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a b å Intel
a b K Overclocking
June 8, 2010 10:23:53 PM

I am new to all this and so far this is a great forum community. So Thanks for Help!

************
* Questions: *
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1. [CPU] What are safe & longterm stable OC speeds for an i7 930 with a "Basic" water cooling?
2. [TEST] What, if any, Benchmarking or Testing tools should I use?
3. [RAM] What are the safe & longterm stable OC speeds for Corsair Dominator DDR3/1600 MHz?

I want to OC my new i7 930 [*AND*] NOT WORRY about burning-out the components, and I get that everyone wants the "magic 4+ GHz" but if your system is useless after 6 months to a year to "me" that's crazy.

I have the following components and it's not a stellar system, but it's all I can afford.

CPU: i7 930 (2.8 MHz)
MOBO: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R
RAM: 6GB (2GBx3) DDR3/1600MHz (Corsair Dominator)
FAN: Asetek 510LC Liquid Cooling System 120MM Radiator & Single Fan (same as Corsair H50)
FAN2: (x2) 120MM Case Cooling Fans (side)
HDD1: 128 GB Kingston 2.5 inch SATA Gaming MLC SSD
HDD2-3: (1TBx2) RAID 1 SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD
VIDEO: (x2 Crossfire) ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB - [just added the second]
PSU: Corsair 750 Watts CMPSU-750TX
CASE: CoolerMaster 690 II Advanced
DVD: LG 22X DVD±/±RW + CD-R/RW Dual Layer
OS: Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)

From another post I did read a good guide, with the "How To" but I am interested in "Longterm" affects.
Guide - http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?id=2008122019104023...

I looked at the Chart [Overclockings for Core i7 930 / Core i7 960] and noticed everything beyond the 3.52 GHz yielded a "RED" values??!!

So far the following OC settings seems to interest me, and just because I parrot them doesn't mean I understand them completely.
Base Clock (BCLK) MHz =160
Memory Multiplier DRAM Freq. MHz = 10 <=> DDR3-1600
Uncore Multiplier UCLK Freq. MHz = 20 <=> 3200
QPI Multiplier QPI Freq. MT/s = 18 (36) <=> 5760
CPU i7 930 Multiplier Freq. GHz = 22 <=> 3.52

Math:

CPU Frequency = BCLK x CPU Multiplier
CPU Frequency = 160 MHz X 22 = 3520 or 3.52 GHz
Stock:
CPU Frequency = 133.33 MHz X 21 = 2800 or 2.8 GHz

Testing & Benchmark Tools: Prime95, CPU-Z, CoreTemp 0.99.6, Memtest86+, & 3DMarkVantage

1. Prime 95 as a "Stress Test" [overnight.]
link - http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft/

2. CPU-Z for Settings Summary
link - http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html

3. CoreTemp 0.99.6
http://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp/

4. Memtest86+ to check memory corruption
link - http://www.memtest.org/

5. 3DMark (I'm a little fuzzy which version, I assume 3DMarkVantage since it's current)
link - http://www.futuremark.com/benchmarks/3dmarkvantage/intr...
June 8, 2010 10:52:21 PM

prime95 for 12-24 hours and try to get highest clock on under 1.25 volts to keep you going for a very long time @ reasonable temperatures
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a b å Intel
a c 163 K Overclocking
June 8, 2010 11:04:33 PM

The performance of your cooler will hold you back somewhat. The better air coolers substantially outperform the H50. See the graph here where the Megahalems (24.9) beats the H50 (29.3) by almost 5 degrees C.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Revision B of the Megahalems improves that by another half degree (24.3C).

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

With the Mega, I can confirm 71-74 core temps under Prime 95 at 4.2 Ghz and 51-54 core temps at 3.77 Ghz

Whereas Prime95 is the "final stability test", tweaking things up notch by notch followed by overnight tests is very time consuming. After trying a new setting, suggest you ....

1. Run Linpack (5 minutes), if it passes...
2. Run OCCT (60 minutes), if it passes....
3. Go back to step 1, rinse and repeat steps 1 and 2after slightly boosting settings till OCCT fails.
4. Back off one notch and then Run Prime 95
5. Rinse and repeat step 4 until stable.

As for OC'ing the RAM this happens automatically as you boost BCLK

Stock
133 BCLK x 21 CPU Multiplier = 2.8 Ghz
133 BCLK x 8 Memory Multiplier = 1066 Mhz

20% OC
160 BCLK x 21 CPU Multiplier = 3.4 Ghz
160 BCLK x 10 Memory Multiplier = 1600 Mhz

25% OC
167 BCLK x 21 CPU Multiplier = 3.5 Ghz
167 BCLK x 8 Memory Multiplier = 1333 Mhz

35% OC
180 BCLK x 21 CPU Multiplier = 3.8 Ghz
180 BCLK x 8 Memory Multiplier = 1440 Mhz


50% OC
200 BCLK x 21 CPU Multiplier = 4.2 Ghz
200 BCLK x 8 Memory Multiplier = 1600 Mhz

With an enthusiast level MoBo you can save various OC settings. I'd recommend something within the range bolded above (167 - 180 BCLK) for everyday 24/365 usage. If your mobo has the ability to store additional profiles, then I'd have one specifically for demanding gaming at 4.2 Ghz or as high as you can get w/o breaking 72 average core temps. With that cooler, my guess is it's gonna be about 180 BCLK .... turning off some BIOS settings i.e. HT won't affect gaming and will cut down temps significantly


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a b å Intel
a b K Overclocking
June 8, 2010 11:05:37 PM

What are your thoughts regarding (theoretical) 3.52GHz - the linked Guide (fixed link) had the 3.52GHz all in the "green" which intrigued me and essentially the simple two changes of BCLK of 160 (as above)??
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a b å Intel
a b K Overclocking
June 8, 2010 11:29:28 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
The performance of your cooler will hold you back somewhat. The better air coolers substantially outperform the H50. See the graph here where the Megahalems (24.9) beats the H50 (29.3) by almost 5 degrees C.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Revision B of the Megahalems improves that by another half degree (24.3C).

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...


20% OC
160 BCLK x 21 CPU Multiplier = 3.4 Ghz
160 BCLK x 10 Memory Multiplier = 1600 Mhz

25% OC
167 BCLK x 21 CPU Multiplier = 3.5 Ghz
167 BCLK x 8 Memory Multiplier = 1333 Mhz

35% OC
180 BCLK x 21 CPU Multiplier = 3.8 Ghz
180 BCLK x 8 Memory Multiplier = 1440 Mhz




1. Regarding the H50 water; I've seen various results, and if you: [a] don't pull the air into the case, and make the mistake of connecting the pump the the CPU board fan - then you'll have all sorts of issues. *I have been thinking about adding a second matching fan [push/pull] for an additional -5C to -10C gain. There is the option of the 240mm but the cost of $65 for the purpose of this PC seemed excessive.

2. Regarding (25% example) the base BCLK (160), CPU Multiplier (21 vs 22), and Memory Multiplier (10); if I have 1600MHz DDR then wouldn't I be better off with the [22] so the Memory comes out to 1600MHz - in my case?

Most importantly, regardless of CPU OC "ulimate" number - How much of an adverse affect does Overclocking have on the components??

This computer is actually a Home Office Workstation and not a Gaming rig...

I know this must seem redundant, I've read your numbers in another thread. (If Google search HP + JAQUITH; I get it years later I still am top 10 in their points).

Thanks!
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June 9, 2010 4:37:30 AM

I have my 930 on a megahalems rev.b with 2 Cooljag Everflow PWMs (110CFM at max) at 3.33GHz with turbo (3.52GHz) 24/7. All of this at 1.19V!

[1].I say 3.25GHz is safe, but I like to level up to other chips (in my case, the 975), so I left it the way it is.

[2]I use lynx/linpack for all of my OC tests. For me, 3 runs is bench stable and 20 runs is 24/7 stable.

Overclocking can shorten the lifespan of components if the heat is not dealt with. This shouldn't be a problem in your case.

If you want to use this as a soho workstation, then I say go for 3.33GHz with turbo. Much more efficient, and the power's there when you need it.

BTW, I also am on a GA-X58A-UD3R. Good board. :) 

Cheers. :) 
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a b K Overclocking
June 9, 2010 2:15:03 PM

Good information!

[35% OC
180 BCLK x 21 CPU Multiplier = 3.8 Ghz
180 BCLK x 8 Memory Multiplier = 1440 Mhz]

This is precisely what I have on my i-7 920 - RAM at 1432MHz instead of 1600MHz

Thank you JackNaylorPE for your informative post.
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a b å Intel
a b K Overclocking
June 9, 2010 3:05:30 PM

Zinosys said:


[1].I say 3.25GHz is safe, but I like to level up to other chips (in my case, the 975), so I left it the way it is.

[2]I use lynx/linpack for all of my OC tests. For me, 3 runs is bench stable and 20 runs is 24/7 stable.

Overclocking can shorten the lifespan of components if the heat is not dealt with. This shouldn't be a problem in your case.

If you want to use this as a soho workstation, then I say go for 3.33GHz with turbo.

BTW, I also am on a GA-X58A-UD3R. Good board. :) 

Cheers. :) 


Besides the OC of the i7 930, I am a little "fuzzy" about keeping the DDR3 to run at it's spec 1600 MHz speed. While I assume any bottleneck created by the DDR3 running below is near "0" I am equally concerned about errors if the memory runs ± 1600MHz?? (our servers all run within spec to retain data integrity).

This is the only reason that I published the "3.52 GHz" spec, but a 26%±1% seems like a push longterm. Also, I don't want the fans running loud & fast (noise).
Base Clock (BCLK) MHz =160
Memory Multiplier DRAM Freq. MHz = 10 <=> DDR3-1600
Uncore Multiplier UCLK Freq. MHz = 20 <=> 3200
QPI Multiplier QPI Freq. MT/s = 18 (36) <=> 5760
CPU i7 930 Multiplier Freq. GHz = 22 <=> 3.52

{ This is a "test" configuration to replace several older XP workstations (HOPING Windows 7 works/Vista failed); the office versions won't have crossfire. Internally, I run Filemaker Pro to pre-pre-process a enormous database (several databases <=> every parcel of County data in Florida/server). I am experimenting with SSD and I am aware of the re-writable lifespan. Hence the RAID 1; the servers run SAS / RAID 1 with pre-process server RAID 10. }

PS - It's good to hear the MOBO runs Linux good, I was debating about a dual boot. In my case I need Red Hat in keeping with the RHEL servers.
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a b å Intel
a b K Overclocking
June 9, 2010 3:22:46 PM

Ubrales said:
Good information!

[35% OC
180 BCLK x 21 CPU Multiplier = 3.8 Ghz
180 BCLK x 8 Memory Multiplier = 1440 Mhz]

This is precisely what I have on my i-7 920 - RAM at 1432MHz instead of 1600MHz

Thank you JackNaylorPE for your informative post.


Question, have you run Memtest86?? My big "fuzzy" fear is the data corruption caused by changing memory speeds... My assumption is most of the "problems" that you hear of like "artifact-ing", etc are caused when people who OC ignore RAM speeds, and not properly testing. This is why I posted "SAFE OC".

I am trying to do the homework and hope everyone can learn something in the process. Before any of this I always kept to spec, but I also know that most to the Intel i7 9XX (45 nm) are essentially the SAME CHIP with various physical locked multipliers. BAD INTEL :fou: 
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a b K Overclocking
June 9, 2010 7:45:26 PM

The risk applies mainly to RAM that is overclocked - my RAM is running at 1432MHz instead of the rated 1600MHz (my RAM is underclocked)
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a b å Intel
a b K Overclocking
June 9, 2010 9:04:41 PM

Ubrales said:
The risk applies mainly to RAM that is overclocked - my RAM is running at 1432MHz instead of the rated 1600MHz (my RAM is underclocked)


I defiantly buy into underclocking NOT causing problems, and increasing the Memory Multiplier +1 to 9 (1620 MHz) is overclocking the memory above its spec of 1600 Mhz. NOW I "get" your numbers!!! :pt1cable:  - having fun w icons...

Base Clock (BCLK) MHz =180
Memory Multiplier DRAM Freq. MHz = 8 <=> DDR3-1440 [8x180] or underclock
Uncore Multiplier UCLK Freq. MHz = 16 <=> 2880 [2x8x180]
QPI Multiplier QPI Freq. MT/s = 18 (36) <=> 6480 [36x180]
CPU i7 930 Multiplier Freq. GHz = 21 <=> 3780 [21x180] or 3.8 GHz

ALL seems "Good" - > BIG QUESTION, I wonder "why" the post by [Hiker - see grid "Overclockings for Core i7 930 / Core i7 960"] missed or overlooked your configuration which seems GREAT??!! (answering my own question - I noticed Hiker's stability note of "Note that there is no “guarantee” that the processor is able to run above 3.6 GHz.") which blows the SAFE notion and leads to trial by error.

ref - http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?id=2008122019104023...

I Assume my calculations are correct.
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a b K Overclocking
June 9, 2010 10:58:32 PM

Thanks! Did I mention that my temps are low? Idle at 28 to 34 degs C depending on ambient. No complaints from me!

Great reference link!
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a b K Overclocking
June 10, 2010 8:14:37 PM

Idle temp is not really what you need to check. Crank up a program that will load the processor and then check temps. Of course depending on what you do with your computer, you might not be loading it as much as someone else might be. Prime95 is the usual program used for load testing an overclock, but in our case running CAD, it is way conservative.

I think modern Intel quad cores, with good aftermarket coolers, can easily run at 3.5GHz or slightly higher without any risk of damaging the cpu. We run ours at 3.5 24/7.
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a b K Overclocking
June 10, 2010 8:24:11 PM

Yes, I do run Autocad - runs fine at 3.82GHz OC
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a b K Overclocking
June 10, 2010 9:50:23 PM

jaquith said:
Besides the OC of the i7 930, I am a little "fuzzy" about keeping the DDR3 to run at it's spec 1600 MHz speed. While I assume any bottleneck created by the DDR3 running below is near "0" I am equally concerned about errors if the memory runs ± 1600MHz?? (our servers all run within spec to retain data integrity).

I don't know whether to take this thread seriously or not.

Any server to be used for critical data would be using Xeon processors and ECC Registered Ram. See my confusion.
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a b å Intel
a b K Overclocking
June 11, 2010 11:25:27 AM

RJR said:
I don't know whether to take this thread seriously or not.

Any server to be used for critical data would be using Xeon processors and ECC Registered Ram. See my confusion.


Note the "(our servers...)" meaning as a comparison reference, I'm comparing my known concerns of memory errors; you read one blurb out of context. My servers are NOT overclocked NOR do they run out of spec because I don't want to risk data corruption. The Premise in this post is to run a "trouble-free" OC i7 9xx Intel.

I mentioned I am looking to replace my office XP desktops w/i7 930s as I specified less the CF. Example of my web servers, which are currently load balanced running in parallel. Also I have a primary "processing/backup server" (not spec'ed). Dell Server | (2x) Intel Xeon 5405 2.0 GHz Quad Core Processors | Red Hat Enterprise Linux - 5.x - 64 bit | 4 GB RAM | RAID 1: (2x) 146 GB 15K RPM SCSI/SAS HDD | IPMI | cPanel/WHM
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June 11, 2010 1:38:14 PM

I posted about buying a overclocked bundle which has the same mother board and chip as you:

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=BU...

I am unsure myself if this is clocked "too" much but with a good heatsink i assume it is possible. But anyway just something that might interest you.
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a b å Intel
a b K Overclocking
June 11, 2010 2:18:45 PM

channy said:
I posted about buying a overclocked bundle which has the same mother board and chip as you:

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=BU...

I am unsure myself if this is clocked "too" much but with a good heatsink i assume it is possible. But anyway just something that might interest you.


Your selection of MOBO is superior, "UD7", but I personally wouldn't run 4.2 GHz ALL of the time. The good thing about our MOBO's is the ability to have multiple BIOS configurations, and so in a simple restart you could pick "Stock" or "3.5 GHz" or "4.2 GHz", etc. (For my office, so far I will probably stick to the 3.52 GHz).

"IF" I was going to run 4.2 GHz all of the time then neither the H50 nor Prolimatech Megahalems would be sufficient. I would opt for something more radical and elaborate; "full water cooled" <or> "thermal electric" - I don't want to get into a debate by picking one. In my case I choose the H50 ONLY because "I feel" it will be low maintenance, sealed, super easy to clean, and leaves the case less obstructed. Even with the sealed ~Asetek 570LX Liquid Cooling system w/ 240MM Radiator alternative is pushing a full-time 50% OC.
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November 19, 2010 8:37:25 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
The performance of your cooler will hold you back somewhat. The better air coolers substantially outperform the H50. See the graph here where the Megahalems (24.9) beats the H50 (29.3) by almost 5 degrees C.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Revision B of the Megahalems improves that by another half degree (24.3C).

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

With the Mega, I can confirm 71-74 core temps under Prime 95 at 4.2 Ghz and 51-54 core temps at 3.77 Ghz

Whereas Prime95 is the "final stability test", tweaking things up notch by notch followed by overnight tests is very time consuming. After trying a new setting, suggest you ....

1. Run Linpack (5 minutes), if it passes...
2. Run OCCT (60 minutes), if it passes....
3. Go back to step 1, rinse and repeat steps 1 and 2after slightly boosting settings till OCCT fails.
4. Back off one notch and then Run Prime 95
5. Rinse and repeat step 4 until stable.

As for OC'ing the RAM this happens automatically as you boost BCLK

Stock
133 BCLK x 21 CPU Multiplier = 2.8 Ghz
133 BCLK x 8 Memory Multiplier = 1066 Mhz

20% OC
160 BCLK x 21 CPU Multiplier = 3.4 Ghz
160 BCLK x 10 Memory Multiplier = 1600 Mhz

25% OC
167 BCLK x 21 CPU Multiplier = 3.5 Ghz
167 BCLK x 8 Memory Multiplier = 1333 Mhz

35% OC
180 BCLK x 21 CPU Multiplier = 3.8 Ghz
180 BCLK x 8 Memory Multiplier = 1440 Mhz


50% OC
200 BCLK x 21 CPU Multiplier = 4.2 Ghz
200 BCLK x 8 Memory Multiplier = 1600 Mhz

With an enthusiast level MoBo you can save various OC settings. I'd recommend something within the range bolded above (167 - 180 BCLK) for everyday 24/365 usage. If your mobo has the ability to store additional profiles, then I'd have one specifically for demanding gaming at 4.2 Ghz or as high as you can get w/o breaking 72 average core temps. With that cooler, my guess is it's gonna be about 180 BCLK .... turning off some BIOS settings i.e. HT won't affect gaming and will cut down temps significantly


I am so grateful to you for posting these templates. I've been asking on different forums, and googling like mad to try to find an explanation of the relationship between BCLK, DRAM freq and UCLK. I knew there was one, but couldn't work out what it was. I was also pretty sure that understanding this was crucial to resolving the bsod's I was getting. After much fiddling and faffing, I might now have a stable oc, and once I'm sure of it, I'll post the settings here.

Thanks again, Jack ^^
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a b å Intel
a b K Overclocking
November 19, 2010 10:12:24 PM

This was a long time ago. OC'ing 'really' wasn't the question/discussion, the real question was to OC ERROR FREE.

RAM/CPU/HDDs throws errors all of the time which Memtest 'really' doesn't check for, versus ECC RAM. The rigs were to be used in an office environment where I really want to be as error free as possible.

As it turned-out the GA-X58A-UD3R has a H/W problem with SSD + RAID ; though not reported I was able to detect them and unfortunately the problem became PROGRESSIVELY worst. GA confirms the problem.

I posted this 'second' guessing what 'I' deemed an OC error on my part that instead unveiled a MOBO H/W design error instead.

Google { BSOD +X58A-UD3R +RAID}
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September 19, 2011 8:40:12 AM

I have the Core i7-930 2.8Ghz OC to about 4 GHZ 200*20 with V 1.23.

Specs:
Motherboard : Asus P6X58D-E
RAM : G.Skill DDR3 2GHZ CL9 (Running At 1600MHz CL7)
Cooler : Corsair H100

Temps : Idle - Avg. 35°C
Load - Ave. 58°C
Ambient : 22°C

So to say ive been running this system at 4Ghz for about 9 months nw Every day of the Week.
Stable with no BSOD. So im happy. Ive only recently recieved the Corsair H100. Had the
Cooler Master Geminii 2. And it was able to handle it with out having the Cores go above 81°C.

So with People saying that the CPU will Fail after 6 months alittle bit of a myth.

Happy OC'ing
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September 19, 2011 8:41:20 AM

I have the Core i7-930 2.8Ghz OC to about 4 GHZ 200*20 with V 1.23.

Specs:
Motherboard : Asus P6X58D-E
RAM : G.Skill DDR3 2GHZ CL9 (Running At 1600MHz CL7)
Cooler : Corsair H100

Temps : Idle - Avg. 35°C
Load - Ave. 58°C
Ambient : 22°C

So to say ive been running this system at 4Ghz for about 9 months nw Every day of the Week.
Stable with no BSOD. So im happy. Ive only recently recieved the Corsair H100. Had the
Cooler Master Geminii 2. And it was able to handle it with out having the Cores go above 81°C.

So with People saying that the CPU will Fail after 6 months alittle bit of a myth.

Happy OC'ing
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