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Now that I'm done, anything I should keep an eye on?

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April 6, 2009 6:22:01 PM

Last weekend I got my new system up and running. I installed windows and WoW, and everything is working great!

Only thing to note is that I haven't done anything in the way of adjusting BIOS settings from the default. I just popped the *** together, installed Vista and turned it on. My concern is that I may neglect something (e.g. not adjust RAM voltage, etc) and somehow damage something.

Can someone recommend a diagnostic utility or two for checking that everything is okay and running correctly?

Here's my rig:

CPU: Intel Core i7 920
mobo: ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX
VGA: EVGA GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit
Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932
CPU cooler: XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 1x 120mm
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA
HDD2: Seagate 400gb internal drive (SATA) (from my old machine)
Disc: LITE-ON 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model iHAS122-04 - OEM
OS- Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit

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April 6, 2009 6:24:58 PM

Very nice build!

If it runs then everything should be fine. You could adjust voltages and memory timings in the bios, but at the risk the system will not be stable.

In short.... no looks good.
April 6, 2009 6:35:06 PM

I noticed there is a section in the BIOS for overclocking as well as some software that came with the videocard for overclocking. Is this anything I should fuss with? Or does the risk outweigh the reward?
Related resources
April 6, 2009 6:39:56 PM

The rewards are high for overclocking i7 chips. There are some good threads in other areas of the forum about how to do it. I'm afraid I'm not your expert on this.
April 6, 2009 6:43:56 PM

You didn't post what RAM you're using. If it's rated to run above the standard 1.5v, chances are that it's running under its rated speed for compatibility reasons. It's always a good idea to manually set the RAM speed/timings/voltage to the manufacturers specs in the BIOS if you want it to run at its advertised specs.

Downloading CPU-Z and posting pictures of the different tabs will allow us to help more.
April 6, 2009 6:46:27 PM

oops..

RAM: G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory

Cool I'll get CPU-Z. thanks.
April 6, 2009 6:59:20 PM

OK, that narrows it down to four RAM kits. Which of these is your kit?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...(3+x+2GB)+240-Pin+DDR3+SDRAM+DDR3+1600&x=0&y=0

Either way, they all are designed to run at more than 1.5v. My guess is that when you get CPU-Z you will notice that your RAM is either running slower than DDR3 1600 or has loose timings.
April 6, 2009 7:14:55 PM

Sounds good. You'll want to manually set the RAM to DDR3 1600 with 8-8-8-21 timings at 1.65v to get it running to spec if it's not already at those specs using Auto settings.
April 7, 2009 4:23:04 AM

Here's the CPU-Z. Any necessary changes needed for RAM? Not sure how to tell if the voltages are where they should be...





April 7, 2009 5:30:27 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
Either way, they all are designed to run at more than 1.5v. My guess is that when you get CPU-Z you will notice that your RAM is either running slower than DDR3 1600 or has loose timings.


shortstuff_mt said:
Sounds good. You'll want to manually set the RAM to DDR3 1600 with 8-8-8-21 timings at 1.65v to get it running to spec if it's not already at those specs using Auto settings.


So it looks like it's running at 1.5v. I'm new to this so I assume I can adjust it to 1.65v in the BIOS? It also looks to be at 8-8-8-20, correct? Again, fixable from the BIOS?

Any instruction would be appreciated... haven't adjusted RAM settings like this before.
April 7, 2009 5:41:30 PM

I'm at work and they block the images so I can't see your screenshots. Hopefully someone who can see them can steer you in the right direction.

Yes, you can set the RAM voltage to 1.65v in the BIOS. You can also set the RAM timings in the BIOS. According to the specs on newegg the timings should be 8-8-8-21. You will also need to manually set the RAM speed to 1600MHz if it isn't already running at that speed (again, can't see your screenshots so I'm flying blind).
April 7, 2009 5:58:57 PM

on the P6T bios you can scroll over to the memory tab and look at the timings. They are the first four numbers you see on the list. You should be fine running 8-8-8-20 but I would change it to the rated 8-8-8-21 for now. Scroll back to the first tab, change it to manual and check the settings.

The stock baseclock on the 920 is 133 (133 x20 stock cpu multiplier gives you your stock speed of 2.66ghz). Make sure your ram multiplier is set to 12x (12 x 133 baseclock gives you your ~1600 rated speed) Now go down to the DRAM Bus voltage and set it manually to 1.6 to make sure you're not getting over/under volted.

Boot to windows and you're running at your rated speeds. If you would like to mess with overclocking I can give you further guidance. I hope this helps.
April 7, 2009 6:06:21 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
I'm at work and they block the images so I can't see your screenshots. Hopefully someone who can see them can steer you in the right direction.

Yes, you can set the RAM voltage to 1.65v in the BIOS. You can also set the RAM timings in the BIOS. According to the specs on newegg the timings should be 8-8-8-21. You will also need to manually set the RAM speed to 1600MHz if it isn't already running at that speed (again, can't see your screenshots so I'm flying blind).


Is there anything I can do to give you access to the screenshots? They're on photobucket...

I'm not sure if I'm reading the RAM speed correctly, but on the Memory tab of CPU-Z it says:

NB Frequency - 2132.2 MHz
DRAM Freqency - 535.5 MHz
FSB:D RAM 2:8
CL - 8.0 clocks
tRCD - 8 clocks
tRP - 8 clocks
Cycle Time (tRAS) - 20 clocks
Command Rate - 1T

On the SPD tab:

(Slot#1) <basic RAM info>
Max Bandwidth: PC3-10700H (667 MHz)

Timings Table (JEDEC #3 / JEDEC #4 / JEDEC #5 / XMP-1600)
Frequency: 593 MHz / 667 MHz / 741 MHz / 800 MHz
<...lots of stuff...>
Voltage: 1.5 V / 1.5 V / 1.5 V / 1.600 V

April 7, 2009 6:14:29 PM

foolycooly said:
on the P6T bios you can scroll over to the memory tab and look at the timings. They are the first four numbers you see on the list. You should be fine running 8-8-8-20 but I would change it to the rated 8-8-8-21 for now. Scroll back to the first tab, change it to manual and check the settings.

The stock baseclock on the 920 is 133 (133 x20 stock cpu multiplier gives you your stock speed of 2.66ghz). Make sure your ram multiplier is set to 12x (12 x 133 baseclock gives you your ~1600 rated speed) Now go down to the DRAM Bus voltage and set it manually to 1.6 to make sure you're not getting over/under volted.

Boot to windows and you're running at your rated speeds. If you would like to mess with overclocking I can give you further guidance. I hope this helps.


This for this very informative info. I'll adjust it tonight. I've assembled several machines in the past but never messed much with OCing nor even messed much with the BIOS except for when installing hardware, when it used to be necessary to select your HDD in the BIOS, etc. :) 

And yes, I've been Googling basic info on OCing lately, trying to learn. Overclocking 101 is what I need. At this point I'm really ignorant of things... Once I think I have a grasp I'd like to put my toe in the water give it a try. I'd at least like to OC the CPU a conservative 20% or so... not sure yet about other possibilities. I don't want to fry anything or push any extreme boundaries, but I would like to get as much performance out of my PC as possible without jeopardizing stability, longevity, etc.
April 8, 2009 3:33:20 AM

very nice temps...definitely good overclocking potential!
April 8, 2009 4:04:56 PM

Glad to hear those temps are good. Hopefully Real Temp is reading it correctly!

I'm sure this shows my inexperience, but in looking thru my BIOS and the mobo documentation, I'm having trouble finding where to adjust RAM voltages. I see three places... DRAM Frequency, DRAM Timing Control, or QPI/DRAM Core Voltage. I'm guessing it's the first two. Both are on [AUTO] currently.
April 9, 2009 5:20:38 PM

bumping :) 
April 9, 2009 5:28:27 PM

Yes, the DRAM Frequency is where you set the RAM speed (1600MHz). DRAM Timing Control is where you set the RAM timings (8-8-8-21). DRAM Core Voltage is where you set the RAM voltage (1.65v). The motherboard owners manual should step you through it.
April 9, 2009 5:38:15 PM

So I set it to 1600MHz but it's currently only at 535.5MHz, right? Wow what a difference...

I looked through the mobo manual but was a little mystifying.

I'll give this a shot tonight and let you know how it goes!! Thanks again!
April 9, 2009 6:38:38 PM

The value listed in CPU-Z is half of the actual RAM speed. The speed of 535 in CPU-Z means your RAM is currently running at around 1066. The value in the BIOS should show up as 1066.
April 9, 2009 7:17:39 PM

actually short I think you have a slight error in your math its x3 right. This is tripple channel. So its 535x3 = 1600
April 9, 2009 8:54:19 PM

Nope, triple channel doesn't mean you multiply the speed by 3.
April 10, 2009 5:16:36 PM

Quote:
Yes, the DRAM Frequency is where you set the RAM speed (1600MHz). DRAM Timing Control is where you set the RAM timings (8-8-8-21). DRAM Core Voltage is where you set the RAM voltage (1.65v). The motherboard owners manual should step you through it.


Ok Last night I began making the changes in the bios, but then as I did so, new questions arose and rather than tackling them then and there I decided to go get margaritas. :sol:  So I haven't done anything yet. My motherboard manual is kinda cryptic. But I have a few more uncertainties you might be able to address (you guys --shortstuff, foolycooly-- have been a huge help --thanks).

First, I found where to change the RAM speed and RAM voltage. Seems clear.

1) In the Timing control, my bios has many more options than I expected to see. I think I only need to change one thing, the tRAS from Auto (where it comes up in CPU-Z as 8-8-8-20, to 21. I think my mobo manual lists the tRAS as "DRAM RAS# ACT Time"... same thing right?

Main questions:
2) Do I leave all other timings as-is? There are 6 more timings (all on Auto) after the basic first four. (8-8-8-21-#-#-#-#-#-#). These 10 digits are referred to in my mobo guide as "1st Information". There are also timing sections in the bios labeled "2nd Information" and "3rd Information". Leave those all on Auto?

3) Do I leave the first 3 memory timings on "Auto" since they're coming up okay in CPU-Z? Or do I need to take them off Auto, and explicitly change them to 8?

Thanks again. I can list the additional timings and labels for each if it would be helpful. I'm sorry if this seems like extreme hand holding.
April 10, 2009 6:58:51 PM

I would explicitly change all of the timings. And yes, you just want to mess w/ the first four timings. Manually set them to 8-8-8-21 and you're good to go.
April 12, 2009 5:19:34 PM

Hmm... I tried setting the timings and had a "bad overclock". I switched the RAM speed to 1600MHz and the voltage to 1.65v. (Something in my bios mentions that the RAM speed on "locked" CPUs may have limited options??)

Anyway, I couldn't get into windows after making the changes, so I changed things back. In addition to the voltage and speed, I changed the below timings from [Auto] to:

DRAM CAS# Latency -- 8
DRAM RAS# to CAS# Delay -- 8
DRAM RAS# PRE Time -- 8
DRAM RAS# ACT Time -- 21

That's 8-8-8-21 correct?

The following timings I left alone, on Auto:

DRAM RAS# to RAS# Delay
DRAM REF Cycle Time
DRAM WRITE REcovery Time
DRAM READ to PRE Time
DRAM FOUR ACT WIN Time
DRAM Back-To-Back CAS# Delay

What went wrong? Is it a "locked CPU" preventing those settings?

Thanks!
April 13, 2009 12:38:07 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
Nope, triple channel doesn't mean you multiply the speed by 3.


Opps, Well I clearly need to go do some homework. Sorry OP for bad data.
April 13, 2009 6:11:57 PM

Any idea what I did wrong? Is the i7 "Locked"?
April 13, 2009 6:16:13 PM

The multiplier on the i7 is locked at x20 (x21 for turbo mode on one core). The extreme i7 is the only one that doesn't have a locked multiplier.

For your case I think you just need to reset your cmos.
April 13, 2009 6:21:55 PM

kubes said:
The multiplier on the i7 is locked at x20 (x21 for turbo mode on one core). The extreme i7 is the only one that doesn't have a locked multiplier.

For your case I think you just need to reset your cmos.


I got things working again quickly but going back into the bios and changing things back. But does this mean I can't set my RAM to spec?
April 13, 2009 7:10:37 PM

don't change the voltage, leave it at auto.
April 13, 2009 7:27:06 PM

So leave the voltage alone, and set RAM speed to 1600MHz, and
DRAM CAS# Latency -- 8
DRAM RAS# to CAS# Delay -- 8
DRAM RAS# PRE Time -- 8
DRAM RAS# ACT Time -- 21

correct?
April 13, 2009 7:59:59 PM

that's correct there is also one more thing to change based on the 1600MHZ it's on bottom of it. you should set it to 3200mhz it's for the cpu I belive.

Once you done that it should run at advertised speeds of 1600mhz at those timings.

Also your temperatures should increase ,since the ram controllers are built into the cpu. Nothing to worry about since you have a good cooler.
April 26, 2009 4:55:53 PM

Well, I think I'm all done tweaking. I finally got the memory timings right by simply using the XMP option in the bios.

This forum was where I got 99% my info about what to purchase, so I wanted to post some final pics:


Interior




bios settings:





CPU: i7 920
mobo: ASUS P6T
RAM: G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600
VGA: EVGA GeForce GTX 285
Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932
Cooling: XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 1x 120mm
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA
OS- Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit
April 26, 2009 9:47:25 PM

It's beautiful. congratz
!