I7 860 - Is this a safe overclock?


I've recently updated my pc to a new motherboard (specs on the bottom), to overclock my i7 860 which stock speed is 2.8 GHz.
My MSI P55-GD85 is a very good motherboard for overclocking. It's a got a feature that it automaticly adjust the core voltage for you when overclocking.
This is the overclock I did;

CPU base clock: 181x21 = 3801 MHz
Intel Turbo Boost = enabled (so I run 3.98 GHz in Windows).
All power savers = off
Core voltage = 1.408 V (automaticly being set)

I've had one BSOD (blue screen of death) with an even higher setting (189x21), this was the max base clock it could handle.

I have a Scythe Mugen 2 Rev B CPU Cooler.
My case is a Antec Nine Hundred Two with 4 case fans.

At idle, my CPU is running at 3.98 GHz at only 35-40 degrees! When gaming it's going up to about 45-50 degrees. (Celcius).
So in manner of temps, the overclock is safe.
But my question is: although I'm running low temps, is it still safe? I mean, could it damage my hardware? Are some overclock settings maybe a little too high? Like the core voltage fore example? All together: is this a safe overclock?

I'm running this for 2 weeks already, with no freezes or blue screens (except for that ultra high overclock once).

My pc specs:

MSI P55-GD85
Intel Core i7 860 @ 4 GHz
6GB DDR3 Dual Channel 1333 MHz
nVidia GTX320 1024MB
Scythe Mugen 2 Rev B
Antec Nine Hundred Two

Thanks a lot in advance for your help,

7 answers Last reply
More about safe overclock
  1. I would try to manually tune the voltage down until it becomes unstable, and then go with the lowest stable setting. Stable meaning that it will run fine with no errors on Prime 95 for 10 hours or so with no errors, which I assume you already tested
  2. Ok thanks for that reply! I've currently set my CPU VCore to 1.350 V. But when I execute it and go to H/W Monitor in BIOS, it's saying that it's running 1.308V. Is that normal? It's also been set to High VDroop.

    How do I know if the overclock is stable?

    If I lower the voltage, will this decrease the power of my CPU? Although it's still running at 3.98 GHz, will it decrease performance in games because of the lower CPU VCore?

    Thanks in advance,

  3. The board you are using is a very good board and you should be able to reacvh higher clocks than that with the correct touch, back off the voltages so much you dont even need to mess with anything at first. let the board do the work that what its for , and then when you start hittng a wall is when you up your voltages an increment at a time. I have a 2500k and its a stock 3.3ghz and it is currently running @ 4.8 with absolutly no volatge changes at all. now if i were to try to get higher clocks then it would be smart to up voltages , but until you start getting so high that it becomes so unstable then upping is important, let me know and I can help. keep in touch and let me know.
  4. Ok thanks for your reply! The max clock I can currently get with the default voltage (1.4V) is 189x21 MHz.
    So if I want higher base clock, I need to increase the Vcore a little? For example to 1.45V?
    I just tried to lower the voltage to 1.35V, but it's running at 1.30V instead. Is that normal?
    But how do I know if the overclock is stable? When it keeps running at the same speed or something?
  5. I would get burn in test and run that to test for stability , thats your best best.
  6. 10 hours is overkill... If it runs for more than 2 hours without error (this is still 5-10 times more intense than most games will be), you're in the clear.
  7. Burn in test is a 15 min test that you can run @ full tilt , if ur pc passes that test , its stable. you can choose what load you want and what specific piece of hardware you want it to run on . try it , its well worth it.
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