I want to start overclocking but I would like to find the lowest stable voltages first. When set to auto in the bios the vcore voltage is set to 1.325. That is much higher than I have seen from all of the overclocking i7 threads I have read. I've been lowering it trying to find the lowest stable voltage. I found the lowest it would load windows at and I have been slowly raising it after running P95. I believe it is now at 1.1375 "with" vdroop. P95 had been running for 10 hours when I left so I think it is stable there.
I orginally started to test "without" vdroop. After doing some research it appears using vdroop is the safest way. I had read the opposite in most overclocking threads but from what I've read about vdroop it is suppose to protect the cpu from voltage spikes when going from a load to idle. I noticed that with vdroop enabled voltages drop slightly while under load. Without vdroop they increase when under load. I don't know exactly what the best option is but as of right now I am using "with" vdroop.
My question is what other voltages can I try lowering to see if I can get them lower than the "auto" setting at stock levels? I plan on overclocking soon but I want to find the most stable stock settings first. "Auto" doesn't appear to be the best option. I've searched for what the stock voltages for an i7 950 should be but I can't find an exact answer.
No responses yet but I figured I would give an update. I am now stable at 1.15 vcore WITH vdroop. I ran P95 for 24 hours with no errors. 1.15 is much lower than the 1.325 auto set it to! My cpu temps are now @10c lower while running p95.
Are there any other voltages I could try to lower besides the vcore? I would like to find the lowest stable voltages before I start overclocking.
Also, I am still not 100% sure if using vdroop or not using it is the best. From what I've read WITH vdroop is the safest since it protects from voltage spikes.
I will try and offer some information. I have EVGA X58, i7-920, and Corsair Dominator RAM (more details in my profile) and my OC is currently 3.82 GHz on a CM V8 air cooler and temps as I type this is 27 degrees C - VDROOP is activated.
Here are my settings - your settings will be different. Use this as a guide.
VCORE - 1.275 V (max for i-7-920, i7-950, is 1.375 V)
QPI - 182
RAM - 1452 MHz (underclocked from 1600 MHz)
DRAM - 1.55 V (max for Dominator is 1.65 V)
I used EVGA's E-LEET as a reference for overclocking, and then switched to the BIOS for the actual OC settings. Used Manual settings to do OC.
When you start OC use the BIOS, and set the RAM multiplier (RAM ratio) to the LOWEST setting - probably 8x. Now increase the QPI in gradual steps and constantly monitor the Vcore voltage as well as CPU temp. I use RealTemp as well as E-LEET
If you notice am unusual rise in temp while OC it indicates that the heatsink is not properly assembled on the CPU. This is due to poor heat transfer and must be addressed and solved before proceeding.