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I7-950 with Asus Rampage iii Formula OC

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April 26, 2012 6:12:39 PM

Don't really know what i'm doing, but from what i've been reading. I updated to 0903 which is the latest driver for my bios.

ASUS Rampage iii formula LGA 1366

i7-950 3.06 GHz

RAIDMAX X3 heatsink.

How fast can I get this? I'm looking anywhere from 3.7-4.2 GHz.

I have the extreme tweaker option in my bios, and am starting to tweak around. I tried 200 x 21 and 200 x 20 but I was on the older BIOS, i think 0403, and I would get overclock failed and it wouldn't boot up, so I would go back in as default settings and updated the newer bios.. Now that I just updated bios successfully, what kind of BCLK and multiplier should I be using? My CPU temps are 37.5 - 40 C in BIOS.

I don't wanna mess with voltage too much, but if it is necessary i'm game. Just need some advice.

At idle in win7 64bit, i'm at .936V core, 1602MHz core speed x12 133.5MHz bus QPI Link is at 3204MHz. I'm using a special Republic Of Gamers CPU-Z to monitor in windows.
April 26, 2012 6:16:59 PM

EDIT* I just used the CPU Level up after my bios update, and clicked on a I7 CRAZY 3.7GHz. It booted up! I'm looking for more now!
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May 4, 2012 5:48:09 PM

Over clocking cam kill your CPU. The most important factor is heat. As you increase your OC your CPU will require more voltage which will generate more heat and it is that heat that kills most CPU's.

Intel has safe voltage maximums for your CPU Which I believe are 1.375v for both your CPU Voltage and your QPI/DRAM core volts. Being new to OCing I suggest staying within those limits.

The very first thing you need is a good CPU temp. monitor. "Real Temp" is one of the best and can be downloaded for free here: http://www.techpowerup.com/realtemp/

Another thing you need is a good stress test. "IntelBurnTest" is also free and can be downloaded here: http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/IntelBurnTest-Dow...

The most important thing you need is knowledge. Here is a good guide: http://www.techreaction.net/2010/09/07/3-step-overclock...

There are allot of terms like VTT that you will not find in your bios. Mother board Manufactures often use different terms for the same thing. For instance, on an Asus MB VTT is your QPI/DRAM core volts and there are many other examples. If you come across one that you are unfamiliar with do a quick Google search. Some of that is explained Here: http://www.masterslair.com/vcore-vtt-dram-pll-pch-volta...

IMPORTANT: before doing any stress test, make sure "Real Temp" is up and running and during the test you monitor your temps carefully. In my opinion an occasional quick (And I really do mean QUICK) spike into the low 80's (81c,82c,83c) is OK but if the "maximum" temp in "Real Temp" starts reaching 85c you are too high and you need to lower the voltage or get a better CPU cooler.

Other helpful info: You can most likely Disable "CPU Spread Spectrum" and
"PCI Spread Spectrum" which is discussed here: http://www.overclock.net/t/542538/cpu-spread-spectrum

These are my "Advanced CPU Settings" I have all power-saving stuff off. You can re-enable the power-saving stuff after you find your stable OC. Disabling "Intel HT Techology" can also help with an overclock however since I want to use it after I reach my stable 24/7 OC I leave it enabled.

C1E Suppport: Disabled
Hardware Prefetcher: Enabled
Adjacent Cache Line Prefetch: Enabled
Intel® Virtualization Tech: Disabled
CPU TM Function: Disabled
Execute Disable Bit: Disabled
Intel HT Techology: Enabled
Active Processor Cores: All
A20M: Disabled
Intel SpeedStep Tech: Disabled
Intel C-STATE Tech: Disabled

That should help you get started in the right direction. Have fun!

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May 13, 2012 3:43:26 AM

Idonno said:

That should help you get started in the right direction. Have fun!



Thanks, already have done most of the things, i'm running on the same voltage as stock but at 3.7GHz, compared to the stock 3.06GHz, I used my boards settings for the CPU level up, and I tweaked a few things which you listed. Temps didn't change much at all from stock settings. You think i'm ok at this level?
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May 13, 2012 5:07:56 AM

taxableabe said:
Thanks, already have done most of the things, i'm running on the same voltage as stock but at 3.7GHz, compared to the stock 3.06GHz, I used my boards settings for the CPU level up, and I tweaked a few things which you listed. Temps didn't change much at all from stock settings. You think i'm ok at this level?


Good glad I could be of some help. I think in time you'll be able to get a little more out of it But that's a good start.
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May 14, 2012 5:31:38 AM

taxableabe said:
Don't really know what i'm doing, but from what i've been reading. I updated to 0903 which is the latest driver for my bios.

ASUS Rampage iii formula LGA 1366

i7-950 3.06 GHz

RAIDMAX X3 heatsink.

How fast can I get this? I'm looking anywhere from 3.7-4.2 GHz.

I have the extreme tweaker option in my bios, and am starting to tweak around. I tried 200 x 21 and 200 x 20 but I was on the older BIOS, i think 0403, and I would get overclock failed and it wouldn't boot up, so I would go back in as default settings and updated the newer bios.. Now that I just updated bios successfully, what kind of BCLK and multiplier should I be using? My CPU temps are 37.5 - 40 C in BIOS.

I don't wanna mess with voltage too much, but if it is necessary i'm game. Just need some advice.

At idle in win7 64bit, i'm at .936V core, 1602MHz core speed x12 133.5MHz bus QPI Link is at 3204MHz. I'm using a special Republic Of Gamers CPU-Z to monitor in windows.


If you post a template I can post my settings with an XEON W3565 (i7 960) @ 4.2GHz
Watercooled by the way
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May 14, 2012 6:30:21 AM

QuickShow said:
If you post a template I can post my settings with an XEON W3565 (i7 960) @ 4.2GHz
Watercooled by the way
QuickShow, you could just copy and paste my list from that other thread we were on and enter your settings instead. That's what I did.
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May 19, 2012 8:42:00 PM

I run the identical processor at 3.7 on this board using level up from the BIOS setup. The AI suite level up feature did not work for me at 3.7. I also set my RAM frequency in bios to 1614 MHz, which automatically upped the voltage... The only warning I have seen is to avoid greater than 1.65V on the DRAM to protect the processor. This setup works well and stays within limits.

I have had a failure on the C1 and C2 memory sockets. I was encountering many BSOD's associated with wakeup from sleep as well as random screen blanking. I have removed RAM from those sockets and now all is well using 4 sticks at 8GB in B and A sockets. Of course I've lost 4 GB and the triple channel feature until ASUS ships a replacement board if they have one.

I run very high performance flight simulators and can see very little difference in frame rates and other performance parameters, so I suspect this has been failing gradually over time. I have had no heat related issues at all with this hardware.
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May 21, 2012 9:15:35 PM

redxfred said:
I run the identical processor at 3.7 on this board using level up from the BIOS setup. The AI suite level up feature did not work for me at 3.7. I also set my RAM frequency in bios to 1614 MHz, which automatically upped the voltage... The only warning I have seen is to avoid greater than 1.65V on the DRAM to protect the processor. This setup works well and stays within limits.

I have had a failure on the C1 and C2 memory sockets. I was encountering many BSOD's associated with wakeup from sleep as well as random screen blanking. I have removed RAM from those sockets and now all is well using 4 sticks at 8GB in B and A sockets. Of course I've lost 4 GB and the triple channel feature until ASUS ships a replacement board if they have one.

I run very high performance flight simulators and can see very little difference in frame rates and other performance parameters, so I suspect this has been failing gradually over time. I have had no heat related issues at all with this hardware.


I was having the same problem with my RAM due to my heatsink being so huge, I couldn't put the RAM sticks in the correct position, so I dual channeled it. I can't notice the difference, 8GB is plenty, but I know it's not running 1600MHz.

I'm thinking of buying a corsair H100, and fit that into my NZXT phantom full sized case. I have plenty of room, and the side case door is off anyway.

That way, the h100 heatsink isn't actually on the mobo, but in my case, and I'll get cooler temperatures while saving tons of room and using all tri channel memory!

Is this a good plan? Would only cost me $109.99 for the H100 at my local Fry's!

I really was thinking of buying a new mobo/cpu because of this!

Also, i'm running the crazy 3.7GHz setting as well, seems fine, but my multiplier is at x23, I can't remember what the BCLK setting was.
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May 21, 2012 9:51:59 PM

Yes the corsair H100 is a good cooler and it will alleviate your space problems.
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May 23, 2012 1:12:35 AM

Best answer selected by taxableabe.
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May 23, 2012 1:13:24 AM

Thanks, I got an Antec 920 H20 water cooler for my CPU. Push pull fan config with thick radiator.

Running now 30*C at idle and 38*C while in Arma 2 combined ops. Not bad! And i'm running my full tri channel ram now!
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May 23, 2012 3:23:24 AM

taxableabe said:
Thanks, I got an Antec 920 H20 water cooler for my CPU. Push pull fan config with thick radiator.

Running now 30*C at idle and 38*C while in Arma 2 combined ops. Not bad! And i'm running my full tri channel ram now!


Great, glad to hear it! I use the Corsair H70 which also has a thick radiator and a push pull fan config. It's very similar to the Antec 920 with the leading edge going to your choice (the Antec 920).

One thing you'll find, if you use all 6 dimms is you will need to run a fairly high QPI just to use your ram at manufacturers stock settings. I believe the max safe (according to Intel) QPI/DRAM Core Voltage for your CPU is 1.375v but many people (myself included) think anything under 1.40v is still very safe. You may be able to OC past the rams stock (MHz) setting a little but not to much.

My rams stock settings are 9-9-9-24 @ 1600MHz @ 1.65v. I'm running it at 8-8-8-20 @ 1575MHz @ 1.5635v with a BCLK of 157 and a QPI/DRAM of 1.3625 at the moment. Keeping the rams speed a little lower than the stock 1600MHz has enabled me to improve on the other ram settings and OC way past 4GHz.

Now that you have a good CPU cooler you should be able to get your CPU OC at or above 4GHz stable. Even if you have to lower your ram speed a little the overall benefit is still positive.

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May 23, 2012 4:11:01 AM

Idonno said:
Great, glad to hear it! I use the Corsair H70 which also has a thick radiator and a push pull fan config. It's very similar to the Antec 920 with the leading edge going to your choice (the Antec 920).

One thing you'll find, if you use all 6 dimms is you will need to run a fairly high QPI just to use your ram at manufacturers stock settings. I believe the max safe (according to Intel) QPI/DRAM Core Voltage for your CPU is 1.375v but many people (myself included) think anything under 1.40v is still very safe. You may be able to OC past the rams stock (MHz) setting a little but not to much.

My rams stock settings are 9-9-9-24 @ 1600MHz @ 1.65v. I'm running it at 8-8-8-20 @ 1575MHz @ 1.5635v with a BCLK of 157 and a QPI/DRAM of 1.3625 at the moment. Keeping the rams speed a little lower than the stock 1600MHz has enabled me to improve on the other ram settings and OC way past 4GHz.

Now that you have a good CPU cooler you should be able to get your CPU OC at or above 4GHz stable. Even if you have to lower your ram speed a little the overall benefit is still positive.


Thanks so much!

Yes I'm currently running at 200 x20 (4GHz) and 1600MHz with this ram:
Corsair Vengeance CMZ12GX3m3A1600c9. 3 x4GB sticks. I was going to set it at 9 9 9 9 24 or whatever the stock settings was. But after my cpu overclock and then going to my memory, I just clicked on 1600MHz through my Rampage iii formula bios, and it solved everything automatically! Of course I double checked everything and for some reason it was set at 8 8 8 8 and I forget the last number. Which is even better for me! Lower cas!

Also My QPI was lower than the numbers you listed which I was very happy about.
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May 23, 2012 6:07:01 AM

taxableabe said:
Thanks so much!

Yes I'm currently running at 200 x20 (4GHz)


NICE! :bounce: 
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