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Memory settings for i7 920 1st time builder

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October 19, 2009 8:02:03 PM

With the help of many on these forums I have completed my build:

Intel core i7 920 @2.66Ghz DO batch A steeping
AsRock x58 Extreme motherboard
3x2Gb OCZ Gold DDR3 SDRAM 1600Mhz Cas 8 Timings: 8-8-8-24 @1.65v
Sapphire Radeon HD 5870
Corsair HX850 PSU
Xigmatech Dark Knight CPU Cooler
2x WD Caviar Black 640Gb HDD
Samsung CD/DVD burner
Antec 902 case
Samsung 2333 1920x1080 23” 5ns LCD

Initially the memory was recognized as 1033Ghz (which I expected) and I could not pass memtest86 v3.3 or the memory test in OCCT or the blended test in Prime95. Per some threads I read in these forums, the OZC forums, and the techpowerup forums, I changed the following settings:

DRAM voltage to 1.65v
VTT voltage to 1.34v
SpeedStep and Turbo Mode to disabled
Overclock mode to manual
Spread Spectrum to disabled
DRAM frequency to 800Mhz
Timings to 8,8,8,24 with tRFC at 80 and command rate at 2

Now the RAM shows up as 1600Mhz as it should and I passe memtest86, ran Prime 95 for 3 hours or so, and passed the memory test in OCCT. I just want to make sure I'm not missing a setting somewhere that is going to cause me problems down the road. I am new to this so I appreciate the help.

Also, under full load my cpu temp gets to between 70 and 72C. Is this too high? No overclocking at all on cpu yet.

Then I guess one step further, what do I have to adjust to overclock the cpu if the memory setting are correct?

Thanks for the help.
October 19, 2009 11:19:13 PM

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/880/11/
That temp is about where the stock cooler should be under load. The Dark Knight should be around where the Noctuas are at the bottom of that chart. I would say something is installed wrong as that is one of the best airflow cases and best CPU coolers. Make sure your cpu fan isnt fighting the case fans. I guess if your room was really hot to begin with (like tropical summertime and no A/C) it might be possible.
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October 19, 2009 11:29:29 PM

Thanks for the reply. I followed the guides on how to apply the arctic silver 5 and have the dark knight blowing upward toward the 200mm exhaust fan on top of the case. I'm pretty certain everything is installed correctly and I had the help of an experienced electrical engineer who has built a couple of machines, but nothing this high end. I've only run the system for about 12-14 hours so far, is it possible it needs more time to settle in?

Also, any input on the memory settings?
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October 19, 2009 11:36:45 PM

You obviously did some research the OCZ forums. You know more about that specific memory situation than I do at this point.


What graphics card do you have? Is it shielded and blows air out the back? (*edit* forget it - all 5870s are shielded).

If you turn the top fan to high and the back to low, does it cool the CPU better?

You might try mounting the Dark Knight so its blowing air out the back 120mm fan, move one of the drive bays up so its blowing cool air from the front over the RAM straight into the CPU cooler. Set the top fan on low and the back fan on medium.
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October 19, 2009 11:47:52 PM

Interesting thought. I have had all of the fans on high for my testing so far. Maybe I'm working against the air flow by having them all on high. I really want to avoid taking the whole thing apart and remounting the dark knight if possible. I do have the option to add the side fan as it will just barely fit. That would blow into the case just below the dark knight and may help to get some fresh air into it.

Any recommendations on a blue LED 120mm fan for the side. I'll have to order one.

Also, if I'm not going to overclock right now and assuming the cpu is never really running at 100% using Windows or even gaming (I have only 5 year old games at this point), does it matter in the short term. Am I hurting the cpu the way it is now? I may wait a while to overclock anyway and I could just take it apart then if the side fan doesn't help.

Thanks for the help.
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October 20, 2009 12:01:22 AM

Running at over 70 is something you probably dont want to do continuously. It looks like the reviewers stop at 85 to prevent CPU damage.

The antec 3way blue fans are about $15 (clear is $10 IIRC). Since thats what you have everywhere else there isnt much point in going for a more expensive super quiet one or a $5 cheaper one that wont match and may be noisier.
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October 20, 2009 12:01:53 AM

My processor is not lapped which I know may make a difference but doesn't seem like it should make that much of a difference. I was a little leary of lapping it since it's my first build and it voids the warranty.
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October 20, 2009 1:45:50 AM

The Dark Knight should not be lapped anyway. Something about it messing up the contact with the CPU. Almost none of the cooling reviews include lapping beforehand. It really sounds like something else is wrong. Have you checked the Dark Knights fan speed? Maybe its stuck at low or something. Try manually forcing it to 80%.
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October 20, 2009 2:33:44 AM

I just checked this and it was set to manual full on for the cpu fan. The only setting would be the one in the BIOS right? I changed it to automatic mode with min/max temps set to 45/65 C...I noticed it seems louder after rebooting with these settings but it could just be me. The manual full on setting it was on should have had the fan at max rpm all the time right? Not sure what's going on yet...I'll run Prime95 and see what temps I get.
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October 20, 2009 3:33:07 AM

I've been running Prime95 for about 20 min. now and am monitoring temps via Real Temp 3.00, OCCT, and Exerst Ultimate trial. Max so far is 69 but average seems to be 66 or 67 degrees. So there is some improvement. I also tried Speed Fan but that seems to give inaccurate readings. Where can I look to see the speed of the cpu fan?
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October 25, 2009 11:58:43 PM

http://www.cpuid.com/hwmonitor.php

if you live in a very hot country, like i do, then those temps are fine. just make sure your not ever above 70 degrees and check that you have good air intake as you do exhaust or else your video card will also begin overheating without you knowing.

you can also try lowering the default voltage for the cpu and that will bring down your temp abit
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