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Basic Overclocking for core i7 920 on MSI x58m mobo

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  • Motherboards
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  • Intel i7
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Last response: in Overclocking
March 22, 2011 12:29:07 AM

Ok, bare with me everyone but I'm very new to all of this. I just built a PC with a intel core i7 920 on a msi x58m motherboard. Can anyone show me how to do a basic overclock to maybe 3.3ghz? I've been looking everyone and it seems that this motherboard is not as popular as some of the other ones. I would just like to learn how to do a basic overclock for knowledge wise and just to push the processor a bit and see what happens. I appreciate all who can help. Thanks.

More about : basic overclocking core 920 msi x58m mobo

a c 159 V Motherboard
a c 82 K Overclocking
March 24, 2011 12:57:30 PM

I was in your position a little over a year ago. I read, studied, and followed this guide: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/263043-29-1156-core-c...

Now my i7-920 is OCed to 3.82 GHz on air, and very stable; excellent temps with an average CM V8 heatsink. Just for kicks, I took the OC to 3.9 GHz and then to 4.0 GHz with no problems. However, for CPU longevity reasons, I backed down to 3.82 GHz and that's where I am now. Runs flawlessly.

In your case, start the OC in the BIOS. Start by setting the RAM multiplier to its LOWEST setting, and OC in gradual steps; over a few days if need be. Do not rush this process. Pay very close attention to temps. Use OCCT, RealTemp 3.60 to monitor temps. If necessary, slightly increase the CPU voltage in small steps, but do not exceed the manufacturer's voltage limits; 1.375 Volts max. for the i7-920

After you achieve the desired OC, then look at the RAM frequency and raise it if necessary by changing the RAM multiplier to the next higher setting. Please keep in mind that it is perfectly ok to leave the RAM frequency lower (underclock) than the specs. (My 1600 MHz Dominator RAM is running at 1452 MHz - fine; no appreciable effect on speeds)

Good luck, and have fun!
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March 24, 2011 1:15:26 PM

Okay thanks for the tip. I have the stock heatsink that was with the core i7 920. I had though changed the bclk to 200 and it ran very very hot. Should I get a better heaksink before doing anything of this sort? Or are there other minor adjustments that I can make to make the cpu run a little cooler? Thanks again.
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a c 159 V Motherboard
a c 82 K Overclocking
March 24, 2011 2:35:58 PM

clr4g0n said:
Okay thanks for the tip. I have the stock heatsink that was with the core i7 920. I had though changed the bclk to 200 and it ran very very hot. Should I get a better heaksink before doing anything of this sort? Or are there other minor adjustments that I can make to make the cpu run a little cooler? Thanks again.

The stock heatsink is for normal use only; not for overclocking!

Yes, do look into after-market heatsinks. Take a look at Hyper 212+, good value! http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Elsewhere on this site, there is a detailed guide for installation. From what I understand, the installation along with the correct brackets, screws, etc. is a little tricky.

MicroCenter has this heatsink at a better price.

If you are adventurous, handy, and keen on obtaining lower temps. then here is a guide to Polishing that I wrote:


Guide to Polishing Heatsink bases.

Polishing Heatsink bases is usually done by enthusiasts in order to improve heat transfer between the CPU and the heatsink. This, when done correctly results in lower CPU temps, thereby prolonging CPU life and also improving Overclocking capabilities.

Polishing is loosely referred to as "Lapping", but let it be known that whereas Polishing can be done at home on a flat work surface, Lapping can only be done utilizing highly accurate, expensive, and precise Lapping Machines costing tens of thousands of dollars.

Flatness and an improvement in micro finish is the objective, not necessarily a mirror finish. Frequently, after polishing, the improved flatness and the fine micro finish will make the surface look more or less like a mirror finish.

Tools requited are 1200 grit Silicon Carbide (wet or dry) paper, 2000 grit Silicon Carbide (wet or dry) paper (optional), elbow grease, and a few drops of water.

Here are the series of steps for polishing the base of a heatsink:

1. Find a flat surface to use as a base. A piece of 12" x 12" x 1/4" glass will work (glass top cocktail table, end table, breakfast table).

2. Lay a full sheet of 1200 grit Silicon Carbide paper flat on the glass surface and ensure that this sheet does not slip or slide during the polishing process. Put about 4 drops of water in the center of this sheet.

3. Place the heatsink base squarely over the center of the Silicon Carbide paper and gently start moving the heatsink base back and forth in about 2" strokes. The direction of the stroking must be towards you and away from you. Care must be taken not to tip the heatsink while you are doing this. Use a light downward force. Light force. Light force. Holding the heatsink closer to the base will help. Again, light downward force. (Practice doing this on a sheet of plain paper first if necessary - this will give you confidence).

4. Continue the stroking towards you and away from you, staying on the same central area of the Silicon Carbide sheet. Move your body (not the work piece) about 30 degrees and continue the stroking. Like dancing around a May pole. This will change the polishing direction on the heatsink base. Repeat for about 10 minutes.

5. By now, you will notice that the polishing residue on the Silicon Carbide paper is reddish - this is the color of the copper base under the Nickel plating film that is now polished away. Using the edge of a razor blade is an approximation of a straight edge. It is not a straight edge, but will give you ball park information that is close enough.

6. Continue for 10 more minutes on the same sheet of Silicon Carbide paper, and you are done. VIOLA!

7. Continuing Polishing with the 2000 grit paper is purely optional. Like icing (frosting) on the cake.


A note about the CPU: Leave the CPU alone. The heat spreader of the CPU is a sheet metal component made by the draw (see "deep drawing”) process. The thermal expansion characteristics of thin sheet metal drawn parts are hard to determine. I am reasonably sure (oxymoron?) that there will be some improvement in heat transfer if the high spots at the corners of the CPU are polished away, but the marginal gains may not be worth the efforts. Therefore, I am not recommending any polishing of the CPU. Another point to note would be that any alteration will void the warranty.
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