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I7 860 == Unpredictable Blue Screen of Death == Windows 7 64-bit

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December 17, 2009 10:04:37 AM

Hi all,

I've just built this new machine:

Intel LGA 1156 Core i7 860
Gigabyte P55A-UD4P (X.M.P. Memory set to Profile 1)
XFX ATI RADEON HD 4890
4GB DDR3 G.Skill Ripjaws 2000MHz
Seagate Barracuda 500GB SATA II (partitioned to 391GB and 58GB)
Antec Nine Hundred Two
CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Plus
ASUS Lightscribe DVD Burner
Acer 19" Monitor (resolution 1440 x 900)
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Crysis 1.2.1
Sandbox Editor for Crysis
Crysis Wars 1.5
Razer Lachesis (not Windows 7 driver)
Razer Lycosa (not Windows 7 driver)
Razer Barracuda Headphones


The intended PSU is a Corsair HX-750, but it is currently running a CoolerMaster 500W (not sure of the exact model). I know that the Corsair will be installed this weekend.


Note that everything is set to the Stock Standard configuration unless otherwise specified.




Now, at unprecedented times, I've gotten a mysterious Blue Screen of Death (so far at 3, all today, which is only Day 2 of me owning this computer at ~7pm). I believe that I had/have two obvious candidates:


- X.M.P. Memory set to Default allocation (this was the case for the first two times, but enabled after the second BSoD)
- The PSU (which probably isn't that great)





The first time I got the BSoD, I was trying to run Crysis 64-bit (Very High, DirectX 10, AA 8x) over two screens, and the BSoD. I immediately disconnected the second monitor (also an Acer 19"), thinking that this was the culprit.


Then about four or five hours later, while I was browsing the net and on MSN/Skype, I got the exact same BSoD. I immediately spoke to a friend who works at a computer hardware store and he told me to change X.M.P. Memory to Profile 1.


Finally, this third one happened five hours after again, while I was playing Crysis Wars 64-bit (Very High, DirectX 10, AA 8x) online at the BROS PowerStruggle Server. Again, the exact same BSoD.


This leaves me to believe that my temporary PSU just isn't up for the job. Now, I know CoolerMaster PSUs haven't had such a great rap of-late, so I'm inclined to think that it is the PSU even more.




Now, I haven't got a screenshot of the BSoD as-of-yet, but once I do, I'll also post it here (it has been the same every time).


Before the shot however, does anyone have any thoughts on what is causing this BSoD? Do you think it might be the PSU overloading?




If you need any more relevant information, I shall provide it.




Cheers and many thanks in advance,

rider_eragon

More about : 860 unpredictable blue screen death windows bit

December 17, 2009 7:52:14 PM

I'm willing to bet that you're having a memory issue or HDD issue. Those are the most common causes of BSOD in Win7 that I've seen so far.
December 17, 2009 7:53:33 PM

have you checked your temperatures?
Related resources
December 17, 2009 8:06:16 PM

Post the error code, that will give you the best indication of what is causing the problem. Asking without that information is like saying where is the needle in this haystack?
December 17, 2009 9:14:43 PM

Quote:
Post the error code, that will give you the best indication of what is causing the problem. Asking without that information is like saying where is the needle in this haystack?


Here is the Windows 7 "after-report" of the second one:

Quote:
Problem signature:
Problem Event Name: BlueScreen
OS Version: 6.1.7600.2.0.0.768.3
Locale ID: 3081

Additional information about the problem:
BCCode: 7f
BCP1: 0000000000000008
BCP2: 0000000080050031
BCP3: 00000000000006F8
BCP4: FFFFF80002CD8591
OS Version: 6_1_7600
Service Pack: 0_0
Product: 768_1

Files that help describe the problem:
C:\Windows\Minidump\121709-14086-01.dmp
C:\Users\MyNameHere\AppData\Local\Temp\WER-31153-0.sysdata.xml

Read our privacy statement online:
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=104288&clcid=0x0...

If the online privacy statement is not available, please read our privacy statement offline:
C:\Windows\system32\en-US\erofflps.txt


Quote:
have you checked your temperatures?


How do you check your temperatures (and what am I checking for)?


Cheers,

rider_eragon
December 17, 2009 9:38:33 PM

Alright, I'm not entirely sure if the way I'm reading this is correct, so I'll post it as I read it:

Temperature (C)

35 33 36 31

Distance to TJ Max

64 66 63 68

Minimum (C)

35 32 36 30

Maximum (C)

48 37 45 36

Thermal Status
OK OK OK OK


Now, I'm assuming that that is the CPU Cores 1 - 4.

I couldn't find a readme, and don't know how to get info on the GPU.
December 18, 2009 1:13:47 AM

Those temps look fine, but what were you doing when they were collected? Most of your crashes happened when gaming, so load realtemp, load the game and see what the temps get up to.

You can check more info on the GPU with GPU-Z:
http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/

If you have not run memtest86+ v4.0 yet you should do so:
http://www.memtest.org/

Also, you should try turning off XMP, i.e. running the RAM at the default 1333MHz and see if you get any BSODs.

Finally, and you may want to do these steps first, make sure you have the latest video card drivers and BIOS update.
http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/index.aspx
http://www.gigabyte.us/Support/Motherboard/BIOS_Model.a...
December 18, 2009 1:33:55 AM

It could also be a driver issue. Make sure you have all the latest drivers for ALL your hardware and they are all for Windows 7 x64!
a b B Homebuilt system
December 18, 2009 1:37:07 AM

I'm inclined to think it's a RAM error. From the nature of the error and the crash code. You should turn off any RAM profiles and set the voltages, timings and speed manually. don't let the RAM run at more than 1.65 if your uncore voltage is 1.15. Try some loose timings and see if that solves the issue. It's probably not your PSU.
December 18, 2009 2:12:59 AM

These drivers could be problematic:
rider_eragon said:
Razer Lachesis (not Windows 7 driver)
Razer Lycosa (not Windows 7 driver)

December 18, 2009 9:14:02 AM

ekoostik said:
These drivers could be problematic:


Does anyone know if the updated versions of these are OK to use? They weren't WHQL certified, so I never installed them (also, ZoneAlarm ForceField advised me not to use them).

Lachesis Driver: http://www.razersupport.com/index.php?_m=downloads&_a=v...
Lycosa Driver: http://www.razersupport.com/index.php?_m=downloads&_a=v...

ekoostik said:
Also, you should try turning off XMP, i.e. running the RAM at the default 1333MHz and see if you get any BSODs.


X.M.P. was enabled after BSoD #2. BSoDs #3 and #4 were with X.M.P. enabled.

ekoostik said:
If you have not run memtest86+ v4.0 yet you should do so:
http://www.memtest.org/


I did this - here are the results:




mortonww said:
I'm inclined to think it's a RAM error. From the nature of the error and the crash code. You should turn off any RAM profiles and set the voltages, timings and speed manually. don't let the RAM run at more than 1.65 if your uncore voltage is 1.15. Try some loose timings and see if that solves the issue. It's probably not your PSU.


How do you regulate this manually?




I'll post the Crysis and Crysis64 temeratures in a moment.


Cheers,

rider_eragon
December 18, 2009 9:29:14 AM

Here is the CPU temperature after playing Crysis 32-bit for fifteen minutes.



Game settings:

Version: 1.2.1
All graphics: Very High
Anti-Aliasing: 8x
Resolution: 1440 x 900
Fullscreen: No




EDIT: 64-bit had practically the same results.
December 18, 2009 8:08:59 PM

in your BIOS you should be able to find options for voltages. your DRAM voltage should be set to no more than 1.65. Also check that your timings are set to the rated specs of your RAM.
December 19, 2009 2:23:52 AM

Iam running the identical set up i7 860, UD4, GSkill 2000mhz, ASUS 4890, Corsair 750w,

You need to up your ram vtg to 1.65 because it is set lower by default, disable X.M.P, and disable hyper threading if your playing games, disable CIA2, make sure `Turbo Boost` is on auto.
Check which bios you are running, if its F2 then upgrade it to F3 or the latest available.

See how you go.
December 21, 2009 1:43:44 AM

OK, I reset the BIOS to Factory Defaults last night, THEN disabled Hyper-Threading (this is enabled by default), but I didn't alter the RAM voltage. I don't know how to check my BIOS version.

I also upgraded my Lachesis and Lycosa drivers to Windows 7 64-bit.

So far, after 3 hours of intense gaming (both online AND offline), I've had no BSoDs.

This leaves me to believe that it is Hyper-Threading. But why? Some of my friends have i7 920s, and they don't experience any BSoDs when playing Crysis. Could my CPU be faulty, or is it the LGA 1156 architecture? Because I'll find it annoying if I need to reset my machine, go into the BIOS, enable HTT, do my HTT-required work then have to repeat the process to turn it off to play games, etc.

Cheers and thank you very much for the temporary solution - greatly appreciated,

rider_eragon
a b B Homebuilt system
December 21, 2009 2:56:23 AM

On boot look @ the screen it should show your bios ver F3 F4 F5 Etc F3 is the first bios and has had a lot of problems.

With this new system

You need to say on top of all the new bios drivers chip-sets etc

I don't care how much they tested windows 7 ( there will be problems to a SP or 2 comes along )

the s1156 is a new socket

All this hardware is new and will need updates and all to iron it all out


December 21, 2009 3:30:12 AM

My BIOS is F3 :( .

My ATI Catalyst is the latest version (XFX didn't supply Windows 7-ready drivers, so I downloaded the latest version of ATI Catalyst). Mouse and keyboard drivers are also Windows 7 now.

As for the rest, they're whatever were supplied with the hardware itself. They probably need updating too.

I also take it that I need to update my BIOS?
a b B Homebuilt system
December 21, 2009 4:19:47 AM

F5 is the new bios for that board ( I would updated it ) then set it to Opt defaults and then set your ram volt only, then give it a test before playing with any other bios settings .

And yes keep your drivers up to date also

I have had a lot of problems with the F3 bios F5 seems good no BSOD

I am not going to say my system is perfect because i do have some apphangs @ times most with the kids spore game :fou:  and IE would not respond @ times :fou:  < firefox fixed that one lol

link on how to flash bios http://forums.tweaktown.com/f69/bios-flashing-how-qflas...

keep us posted

December 21, 2009 11:39:52 PM

Alright, I've been doing some research on BIOS flashing, and I'm pleased to know that I have a DualBIOS (puts my mind at ease if I stuff up a simple process). However, my motherboard has two different ways to be flashed:

As quoted from the Gigabyte P55A-UD4P manual:

Quote:
Q-Flash: With Q-Flash you can update the system BIOS without having to enter operating systems like MS-DOS or Window first. Embedded in the BIOS, the Q-Flash tool frees you from the hassles of going through complicated BIOS flashing process.

@BIOS: @BIOS allows you to update the system while in the Windows environment. @BIOS will download the latest BIOS file from the nearest @BIOS server site and update the BIOS.


Naturally, I want the cleanest, quickest and most convenient way to flash my BIOS. Seeing as there are two ways, it leaves me at a crossroads.

I can understand that the Q-Flash would be quicker and cleaner than the @BIOS, because you don't need to deal with Windows, applications, malware, firewalls, UAC (which I have completely disabled if anyone is concerned), etc. But what gets me is the fact that @BIOS exists. I believe that for @BIOS to exist, there must be some advantage to @BIOS that Q-Flash doesn't have.

Am I correct, or is it just Gigabyte's way of trying to "fit in"?
December 22, 2009 12:18:29 AM

Use the Q-Flash. As a technician i have seen several dead mobos after failed @BIOS attempts unfortunately.
December 22, 2009 12:28:52 AM

Thanks :) 

OK, I've just downloaded F5, but I noticed that it is in the .exe format. Will the BIOS recognise this through Q-Flash?
December 22, 2009 12:39:01 AM

The BIOS file downloaded as .exe is a self-extracting zip file. Double-click the file, or right click it and choose run, to unpack the contents.

As darkguset stated, you do not want to flash through OS even if you could. Gigabyte provides a piece of software called @BIOS that allows flashing from the OS. But this has been known to brick more than a few boards and you would be well advised to never try it.

You want to use QFlash. Here's the steps:
1. Download latest BIOS
2. Unpack the downloaded file (double-click it, execute it, whatever your metaphor) placing the extracted files onto your USB stick
3. Insert the USB stick into your new PC, restart it
4. Enter BIOS
5. Enter QFlash - I believe using F8 but it will say at the bottom of your screen (it is possible to enter Qflash without entering BIOS, either way is fine)
6. Find your USB drive (may be labeled HDD)
7. Install the new BIOS
8. Once that is done, back within the BIOS, choose "Load Optimized Defaults"
9. Save and exit, let the machine reboot
10. Re-enter BIOS to make additional changes as you see fit
December 22, 2009 12:47:17 AM

It won't stuff my BIOS up at all? Sorry, I'm VERY touchy about flashing and all.

EDIT: Sorry, just saw your edit, lol.
December 22, 2009 2:11:48 AM

rider_eragon said:
OK, I reset the BIOS to Factory Defaults last night, THEN disabled Hyper-Threading (this is enabled by default), but I didn't alter the RAM voltage. I don't know how to check my BIOS version.

I also upgraded my Lachesis and Lycosa drivers to Windows 7 64-bit.

So far, after 3 hours of intense gaming (both online AND offline), I've had no BSoDs.

This leaves me to believe that it is Hyper-Threading.

Meant to comment on this earlier - since more than 1 thing changed, I wouldn't be so sure it's the Hyper-Threading. Could still have been the non-Windows 7 64-bit drivers.

rider_eragon said:
It won't stuff my BIOS up at all? Sorry, I'm VERY touchy about flashing and all.

EDIT: Sorry, just saw your edit, lol.

Let us know how it goes.
December 22, 2009 5:51:35 AM

Ok, I've flashed my BIOS (about an hour ago) to F5. The most intense ten minutes of my computing life. The reason it was so intense was because Q-Flash didn't work properly. It erased the BIOS F3 and I assume installed BIOS F5, but it didn't show the
Quote:
"!! Copy BIOS completed - Pass !! Please press any key to continue"
screen. The BIOS also locked up. I was totally freaking out, and was praying that the backup BIOS was going to work when I rebooted (this was after about ten minutes). Fortunately, F5 was installed.

Why didn't I get the "successful" screen afterward? That was very scary, and I'd like to know for future reference.

I've played Crysis on Very High, 8x AA in fullscreen and was using Hyper-Threading too - absolutely no BSoDs for now (usual BSoD time was ~15 minutes - I had a solid 45 minute gameplay experience, and will be gaming all night to test the new BIOS out).

Anywho, besides that BIOS issue, I think my problems are pretty much cleared up! Thank you so much to all who have helped, especially to those who helped with the identifying and helping me resolve the BIOS issue (ekoostik, darkguest, niklas_13, Stiffex) and to Stiffex for giving me a temporary solution by telling me to disable Hyper-Threading. But I thank you all for helping - you all taught me a fair bit about hardware (as you can probably tell, I'm no hardware guru), and I can now use this knowledge in the future!

I'll post another result in about two or three days just to let you know how things are going.

Thanks once again, I will be forever grateful!
a b B Homebuilt system
December 22, 2009 11:10:07 AM

Sounds good enjoy it now :) 
December 22, 2009 11:32:10 AM

Can't say I've seen that behavior from QFlash before. Glad its up and running for you though. Enjoy your rig!
December 22, 2009 11:20:20 PM

Thanks, but I've two new problems:

1. My RAM is now at 1333MHz, not the 2004MHz I paid for. I re-turned on XMP to get my 2004MHz, but got a BSoD (obviously it was also XMP). How do I get my RAM to work at its full 2004MHz without getting a BSOD? Is this to do with the voltage?

2. When I play Crysis (or use the Sandbox Editor), my CPU fan (which is a Noctua fan attached to my Hyper 212 Plus, sucking air out, not blowing air in) starts to spin at a really high speed (thus becoming much louder than normal). Is this normal and me being hypervigilant or is it an actual problem?
December 23, 2009 12:54:03 AM

Well if you have the fan set to auto then the fan is going to have a speed increase because you are putting more load on the cores so the fan has to turn up to compensate for the added temp load
December 23, 2009 12:58:36 AM

rider_eragon said:
Thanks, but I've two new problems:

1. My RAM is now at 1333MHz, not the 2004MHz I paid for. I re-turned on XMP to get my 2004MHz, but got a BSoD (obviously it was also XMP). How do I get my RAM to work at its full 2004MHz without getting a BSOD? Is this to do with the voltage?

The issue with reaching 2000MHz is that to hit that you will also have to make changes that affect your CPU. By default the P55s run at a BCLK = 133, the system memory multiplier is 10x (10x133=1333MHz) and the CPU clock ratio (cpu multiplier) is 21x (21x133=~2.8GHz).

With an i7 860 you are allowed to up the memory multipler to 12x. An i5 750 cannot go higher than 10x. But these means at stock bclk the fastest you can set the RAM to is 12x133 = 1600MHz.

To get to 2000MHz the bclk must be changed. For example, one possibility is that bclk is changed to 166, your memory multiplier changed to 12x and your CPU multiplier changed to 17x. When you turn on XMP, find your bclk, system, and memory multipliers. What values do they get set to?

It may be enough to manually set the V for your RAM. Is this your RAM?: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

According to the specs listed there the V should be 1.6V. Make sure that gets set when you turn on XMP or manually set the V to 1.6. Also, double check that the timings are getting set according to spec.

If the memory V and timings are right, then you're likely looking at a stability issue due to the changes to the bclk or CPU multiplier. Let us know what you find when you investigate those settings with XMP turned on, and whether manually setting the memory V (and timings if need be) eliminates the BSOD.
December 23, 2009 5:46:41 AM


ekoostik said:
The issue with reaching 2000MHz is that to hit that you will also have to make changes that affect your CPU. By default the P55s run at a BCLK = 133, the system memory multiplier is 10x (10x133=1333MHz) and the CPU clock ratio (cpu multiplier) is 21x (21x133=~2.8GHz).

With an i7 860 you are allowed to up the memory multipler to 12x. An i5 750 cannot go higher than 10x. But these means at stock bclk the fastest you can set the RAM to is 12x133 = 1600MHz.

To get to 2000MHz the bclk must be changed. For example, one possibility is that bclk is changed to 166, your memory multiplier changed to 12x and your CPU multiplier changed to 17x. When you turn on XMP, find your bclk, system, and memory multipliers. What values do they get set to?

It may be enough to manually set the V for your RAM. Is this your RAM?: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

According to the specs listed there the V should be 1.6V. Make sure that gets set when you turn on XMP or manually set the V to 1.6. Also, double check that the timings are getting set according to spec.

If the memory V and timings are right, then you're likely looking at a stability issue due to the changes to the bclk or CPU multiplier. Let us know what you find when you investigate those settings with XMP turned on, and whether manually setting the memory V (and timings if need be) eliminates the BSOD.


OK, I'm going to do it in a few minutes. I'm pretty sure that that RAM is mine, but I know that this RAM is mine.

I will say now that this BSoD was like my first two - completely unpredictable (the third and consecutive ones were pretty much predictable ~15 minutes into a game of Crysis). This didn't happen during Crysis - in fact my computer wasn't doing anything (I had gone to get myself a drink and came back to find a BSoD).

I'll post the results in a minute.
December 23, 2009 7:20:51 AM

OK here are the results:

......................................................................Factory Default | X.M.P. Profile 1

Memory Frequency...........................................1333MHz.........| 2004MHz

DRAM Timing Selectable...................................Auto..............| Auto
Profile DDR Voltage..........................................1.5v...............| 1.6v
Profile QPI Voltage...........................................1.1v...............| 1.1v
BCLK..................................................................133.27MHz.....| 133.28MHz
VCore.................................................................1.232v...........|1.232v
DRAM Voltage....................................................1.584v............| 1.584v
CPU Clock Ratio.................................................21x.................| 17x
System Memory Multiplier (SPD).....................Auto................| Auto



Do I need to change anything, and if so, what and what to?
December 23, 2009 3:18:06 PM

Well to get your cpu back up to the rated frequency wouldnt you need to increase the block because of the lower ratio
December 23, 2009 8:42:39 PM

I find it odd that the CPU Clock Ratio was dropped from 21x to 17x but that bclk hasn't changed. That would mean your CPU is now only running at ~2.25GHz, down from 2.8GHz for (apparently) no reason. If bclk truly is still ~133 and the memory is running at 2004MHz, then the multiplier must be running at 2004/133 = ~ 15x. As far as I'm aware it shouldn't be possible to run over a 12x multiplier.

So I should admit right now one thing that may be going on is that I don't know what I'm talking about. This is certainly possible. I have not studied the P55A bios, I made some assumptions based on what I know about Gigabyte's P55 bios and I could be wrong. If I said something wrong someone please correct me.

Another possibility is what you're reading in BIOS isn't what it actually runs at. Can you get in long enough to run CPU-Z and take some screenshots? You can download it here: http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php

If you can, please post screenshots of the CPU and the Memory tab.
December 25, 2009 10:22:55 PM

ekoostik said:
I find it odd that the CPU Clock Ratio was dropped from 21x to 17x but that bclk hasn't changed. That would mean your CPU is now only running at ~2.25GHz, down from 2.8GHz for (apparently) no reason. If bclk truly is still ~133 and the memory is running at 2004MHz, then the multiplier must be running at 2004/133 = ~ 15x. As far as I'm aware it shouldn't be possible to run over a 12x multiplier.

So I should admit right now one thing that may be going on is that I don't know what I'm talking about. This is certainly possible. I have not studied the P55A bios, I made some assumptions based on what I know about Gigabyte's P55 bios and I could be wrong. If I said something wrong someone please correct me.

Another possibility is what you're reading in BIOS isn't what it actually runs at. Can you get in long enough to run CPU-Z and take some screenshots? You can download it here: http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php

If you can, please post screenshots of the CPU and the Memory tab.


Alright, here they are. I noticed that there were a few voltage and clockspeed changes, but nothing more. Is this normal?

Also, the BIOS confirmed what you were saying about X.M.P. reducing my CPU clockspeed - when X.M.P. was disabled, my BIOS said the clockspeed was 2.93GHz (isn't this the 870 clockspeed?). When X.M.P. was set to Profile1, my CPU clockspeed was supposedly 2.84GHz (I assume the true 860 clockspeed). What's going on there?

I also noticed HPET Support was enabled and set to 32-bit mode. I know that HPET is for Vista, but I changed it to 64-bit mode anyway. Should I disable it or leave it be?

X.M.P. Disabled

http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/6468/cpu.gif
http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/5646/caches.gif
http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/4927/mainboard.gif
http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/7407/memory.gif
http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/5069/spdslot1.gif
http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/549/graphicsk.gif
http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/9577/abouti.gif

X.M.P. Profile1

http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/3291/cpug.png
http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/5646/caches.gif
http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/8830/mainboardt.png
http://img709.imageshack.us/img709/4866/memoryt.png
http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/9379/spdslot1.png
http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/1653/graphics.gif
http://img709.imageshack.us/img709/9092/about.gif
December 29, 2009 12:46:53 PM

Alright Rider sorry im a bit late with this reply, shudda done this last week.

Looking at your memory slots it looks as though your RAM is in the wrong
place, yours seems to be in slot 0 & 1



Whereas it should be like mine in 1 & 3



It could be that this is at the root of your problems but its not an easy one to spot
because most boards would have the RAM in slots 0 & 1 or 0 & 2 but Gigabyte have
to be different so effectively youve been running with half your RAM disabled.
December 29, 2009 1:10:01 PM

Sorry for the double post

Just to be absolutely clear about this Rider, your RAM should in the slots shown
in this picture :-



Which is a good job really because if it had been in the first slot i wud not
have got my Ripjaws in without modifying the fan on my Noctua U12P. I
believe you have the same cooler so you will be able to refit your front
push fan (without reading back i believe you said you were only using your
pull fan) and have the full cooling benefit.

Good lock

And let us know if it has cured your probz
January 8, 2010 10:44:35 AM

Sorry about such a super-late post, but I've been on holidays, so I haven't had access to my rig or even the net for over two weeks.

CPU-Z says that my RAM is in slots 0 & 2 (SPD Slot 1 and SPD Slot 2), however, I'm under the impression that the DIMMs were in slots 1 & 3 (the two white slots). I looked in my case, and sure enough, the slot closest to the CPU isn't occupied, and there's another blue slot between the two DIMMs.

EDIT: I just noticed that MemTest disagrees with the physical layout of my machine (which you obviously pointed out and I missed it). What does THAT mean?

Could it be some kind of voltage issue? I mean, when clockspeeds go up doesn't the voltage intake need to follow suit (like when you solve simultaneous equations, what's done to the LHS must also be applied to the RHS)?
January 8, 2010 1:15:16 PM

From your earlier post (thanks for the CPU-Z screenshots by the way):
rider_eragon said:
Also, the BIOS confirmed what you were saying about X.M.P. reducing my CPU clockspeed - when X.M.P. was disabled, my BIOS said the clockspeed was 2.93GHz (isn't this the 870 clockspeed?). When X.M.P. was set to Profile1, my CPU clockspeed was supposedly 2.84GHz (I assume the true 860 clockspeed). What's going on there?

The 2.93GHz you saw when you XMP was disabled (when things were at default) is the "free" turbo multiplier you get from the i7 860. It's stock speed is 133x21 = 2.80GHz. However, when 3 or even all 4 cores are active, if the temperatures allow it the i7 860 can Turbo up to x22. And 133x21=2.93GHz. Intel doesn't guarantee the chip will always run at 2.93GHz, but unless the chip is too hot that's what it will typically run at with all cores busy.

With XMP set to Profile1, the 2.84GHz you see is a result of the CPU multiplier and Bclk changing. It is not the true clockspeed as you suggested. Instead, it is a result of the newly set 167 blck and the new x17 CPU multiplier. 167x17 = 2.84GHz.

One of your screenshots confirmed that with XMP on, the bclk is changed to 167. Look at Bus Speed in the lower left corner: http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/3291/cpug.png

I also noticed HPET Support was enabled and set to 32-bit mode. I know that HPET is for Vista, but I changed it to 64-bit mode anyway. Should I disable it or leave it be? said:
I also noticed HPET Support was enabled and set to 32-bit mode. I know that HPET is for Vista, but I changed it to 64-bit mode anyway. Should I disable it or leave it be?

Leave it enabled and since you are running a 64 bit OS you are correct to change it to 64-bit mode.

rider_eragon said:
CPU-Z says that my RAM is in slots 0 & 2 (SPD Slot 1 and SPD Slot 2), however, I'm under the impression that the DIMMs were in slots 1 & 3 (the two white slots). I looked in my case, and sure enough, the slot closest to the CPU isn't occupied, and there's another blue slot between the two DIMMs.

EDIT: I just noticed that MemTest disagrees with the physical layout of my machine (which you obviously pointed out and I missed it). What does THAT mean?

It sounds like your RAM is in the correct slots. I have the GA-P55M-UD2 and in that board it is also supposed to be in the 2nd and 4th slots from the CPU. If I have time later I will try to run memtest and see what slots it reports my memory as being in. But to be honest I'll probably not have time for a while or forget. See if you can find another posted screenshot and see what they report. It may be it always reports slots 1 and 2.

Could it be some kind of voltage issue? I mean, when clockspeeds go up doesn't the voltage intake need to follow suit (like when you solve simultaneous equations, what's done to the LHS must also be applied to the RHS)? said:
Could it be some kind of voltage issue? I mean, when clockspeeds go up doesn't the voltage intake need to follow suit (like when you solve simultaneous equations, what's done to the LHS must also be applied to the RHS)?

It could be a voltage issue. Your voltage has definitely gone up. Look at this screenshot where XMP is on, the core voltage is 1.312V:
http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/3291/cpug.png

Compare that to the screenshot with XMP off, the core voltage is 0.880 V:
http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/6468/cpu.gif

I should point out that part of the reason for that large difference is that in the XMP OFF screenshot the CPU is idling. With XMP on and a changed bclk you are basically OCing your CPU. This means you may lose the ability to enable lower power states, and possibly even turbo. Not to say you cannot have both. But it may take more work. You basically need to start approaching this as if you OCed your machine and start messing with all the settings necessary to try to make it more stable. And you'll have to decide what you want to keep (for example, turbo, hyperthreading, low power idle states) and turn those on and monitor them to make sure they're still working as well.

Before you get to deep down that path though, one thing you could try is giving your RAM a little more V. It looks like it is set at 1.6V now. If BIOS has that at Auto, manually set it to 1.6V and see if that stabilizes things. If not, up it to 1.62V. If that doesn't stabilize it, up it to 1.64V and see how that does.

Finally, one other consideration: with an i7 860 you can easily set the RAM to run at 1600. It's not your full 2000 MHz, but it's close. Also, set at 1600 you may also be able to tighten the timings from 9-9-9-27 and get a slight boost that way. Although you likely won't notice the difference either way.
January 8, 2010 7:55:48 PM

ekoostik said:
From your earlier post (thanks for the CPU-Z screenshots by the way):

The 2.93GHz you saw when you XMP was disabled (when things were at default) is the "free" turbo multiplier you get from the i7 860. It's stock speed is 133x21 = 2.80GHz. However, when 3 or even all 4 cores are active, if the temperatures allow it the i7 860 can Turbo up to x22. And 133x21=2.93GHz. Intel doesn't guarantee the chip will always run at 2.93GHz, but unless the chip is too hot that's what it will typically run at with all cores busy.

With XMP set to Profile1, the 2.84GHz you see is a result of the CPU multiplier and Bclk changing. It is not the true clockspeed as you suggested. Instead, it is a result of the newly set 167 blck and the new x17 CPU multiplier. 167x17 = 2.84GHz.

One of your screenshots confirmed that with XMP on, the bclk is changed to 167. Look at Bus Speed in the lower left corner: http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/3291/cpug.png


This might turn into a bit of trivia and a research crusade for me after I finish with these issues. I was always under the impression that Turbo-mode disabled cores that weren't in use to help keep the CPU cool. Is it safe to return the BLCK and CPU multipliers to their original settings with X.M.P. enabled?


Quote:
It could be a voltage issue.

I should point out that part of the reason for that large difference is that in the XMP OFF screenshot the CPU is idling. With XMP on and a changed bclk you are basically OCing your CPU. This means you may lose the ability to enable lower power states, and possibly even turbo. Not to say you cannot have both. But it may take more work. You basically need to start approaching this as if you OCed your machine and start messing with all the settings necessary to try to make it more stable. And you'll have to decide what you want to keep (for example, turbo, hyperthreading, low power idle states) and turn those on and monitor them to make sure they're still working as well.


This is not what I wanted to hear. I bought such a powerful CPU so I wouldn't need to OC the CPU, and the pre-OCed RAM to help compliment the non-OCed CPU. I can experiment with OCing my CPU, but I have never OCed any of my AMD machines, let alone an Intel, so I walk a very, very dangerous path. Are there any reliable tutorials, or Intel-made documents?

Quote:
Before you get to deep down that path though, one thing you could try is giving your RAM a little more V. It looks like it is set at 1.6V now. If BIOS has that at Auto, manually set it to 1.6V and see if that stabilizes things. If not, up it to 1.62V. If that doesn't stabilize it, up it to 1.64V and see how that does.

Finally, one other consideration: with an i7 860 you can easily set the RAM to run at 1600. It's not your full 2000 MHz, but it's close. Also, set at 1600 you may also be able to tighten the timings from 9-9-9-27 and get a slight boost that way. Although you likely won't notice the difference either way.


A friend suggested this to me, but again, I have no clue whatsoever. I deal more with software issues, not hardware ones, so while this is an excellent (but frustrating) learning curve for me, I'm probably making you guys very annoyed at my ignorance. This step seems a lot simpler than the OCing my CPU, so would someone be able to give me a helping hand here too?
January 8, 2010 11:53:05 PM

rider_eragon said:
I was always under the impression that Turbo-mode disabled cores that weren't in use to help keep the CPU cool.

Yes. Sort of. If cores aren't in use they are disabled. And the speed of the cores that are in use are bumped up, if they need more speed and the temperatures aren't too high. However, they also can all be given a boost even if all four cores are in use. For a more in-depth explanation, check out this page: http://anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3634&p=...

rider_eragon said:
Is it safe to return the BCLK and CPU multipliers to their original settings with X.M.P. enabled?

It's not a matter of safe; you can't do it. One or the other setting will be ignored - or it will prevent you right out from doing that. It's a question of math. BCLK is shared by the CPU and RAM. With XMP on, changes are made to run your RAM at 2000 MHz. As I speculated a number of posts back, it does this using the highest memory multiplier available: x12. 2000/12 = 167, thus it changes your bclk to 167. Changing BCLK then affects your CPU. In this case you can't both boost the RAM and not affect the CPU. Your best bet is probably going to be to not use XMP and instead to set speed and timings manually. I believe this is true whether you run your memory at 2000MHz, or at something lower.

rider_eragon said:
I bought such a powerful CPU so I wouldn't need to OC the CPU, and the pre-OCed RAM to help compliment the non-OCed CPU. I can experiment with OCing my CPU, but I have never OCed any of my AMD machines, let alone an Intel, so I walk a very, very dangerous path. Are there any reliable tutorials, or Intel-made documents?

Although Intel is happy to cater to enthusiasts by providing hardware that can be pushed to its limits, they don't provide documentation because OCing voids any warranties. As to guides, they are all over the place. Including some in this forum. I haven't used any firsthand so I can't recommend any. Although I do hope to play with my own PC this weekend and setup a very mild OC. But I may get busy and not bother (been sorta planning on it for the last couple months, waiting to install an after-market HSF, but at same time the CPU is faster than I need at the moment anyway. So it's not yet a high priority.)

rider_eragon said:
Quote:
Before you get too deep down that path though, one thing you could try is giving your RAM a little more V. It looks like it is set at 1.6V now. If BIOS has that at Auto, manually set it to 1.6V and see if that stabilizes things. If not, up it to 1.62V. If that doesn't stabilize it, up it to 1.64V and see how that does.

Finally, one other consideration: with an i7 860 you can easily set the RAM to run at 1600. It's not your full 2000 MHz, but it's close. Also, set at 1600 you may also be able to tighten the timings from 9-9-9-27 and get a slight boost that way. Although you likely won't notice the difference either way.


A friend suggested this to me, but again, I have no clue whatsoever. I deal more with software issues, not hardware ones, so while this is an excellent (but frustrating) learning curve for me, I'm probably making you guys very annoyed at my ignorance. This step seems a lot simpler than the OCing my CPU, so would someone be able to give me a helping hand here too?

Not annoyed at all. I find this stuff very interesting and am happy to help, especially when the person at the other end of the terminal is making an attempt to learn. I went through very similar pains just a couple months ago, and am still learning.

So my last question is just to clarify - you said "This steps seems a lot simpler ... would someone be able to give me a helping hand here too?" I had just made two suggestions. I think you're requesting help manually setting the RAM to 1600 and tweaking from there, but I wanted to be sure before I go down the wrong path. Let me know if that's what you meant.
January 9, 2010 12:09:59 AM

ekoostik said:
Yes. Sort of. If cores aren't in use they are disabled. And the speed of the cores that are in use are bumped up, if they need more speed and the temperatures aren't too high. However, they also can all be given a boost even if all four cores are in use. For a more in-depth explanation, check out this page: http://anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3634&p=...


That makes sense - the logic there seems sound.

Quote:
It's not a matter of safe; you can't do it. One or the other setting will be ignored - or it will prevent you right out from doing that. It's a question of math. BCLK is shared by the CPU and RAM. With XMP on, changes are made to run your RAM at 2000 MHz. As I speculated a number of posts back, it does this using the highest memory multiplier available: x12. 2000/12 = 167, thus it changes your bclk to 167. Changing BCLK then affects your CPU. In this case you can't both boost the RAM and not affect the CPU. Your best bet is probably going to be to not use XMP and instead to set speed and timings manually. I believe this is true whether you run your memory at 2000MHz, or at something lower.


I'm currently under the impression that manual workings are more dangerous to begin with, but in the long run is much better. Am I right/wrong here?


Quote:
Although Intel is happy to cater to enthusiasts by providing hardware that can be pushed to its limits, they don't provide documentation because OCing voids any warranties. As to guides, they are all over the place. Including some in this forum. I haven't used any firsthand so I can't recommend any. Although I do hope to play with my own PC this weekend and setup a very mild OC. But I may get busy and not bother (been sorta planning on it for the last couple months, waiting to install an after-market HSF, but at same time the CPU is faster than I need at the moment anyway. So it's not yet a high priority.)


Talk about hypocritical. I can understand why it voids the warranty, but you'd think that they'd give some form of support with a very big disclaimer at the top. I'll look around for this at TH first, then through Google (I'd been looking, but a lot of people seem to push their CPUs from 2.8GHz up to 3.8GHz, which is way to much for my liking - I'd prefer 3.2GHz as a max. Eventually one that I like will pop up). How does this one look as a beginner's guide (second post): http://forums.pcper.com/showthread.php?t=467346.
Quote:


Not annoyed at all. I find this stuff very interesting and am happy to help, especially when the person at the other end of the terminal is making an attempt to learn. I went through very similar pains just a couple months ago, and am still learning.


Thanks :) . Hopefully I'll be able to help people out in the future as you are to me :) .

Quote:
So my last question is just to clarify - you said "This steps seems a lot simpler ... would someone be able to give me a helping hand here too?" I had just made two suggestions. I think you're requesting help manually setting the RAM to 1600 and tweaking from there, but I wanted to be sure before I go down the wrong path. Let me know if that's what you meant.


Yes that's what I had meant. I'd much rather get my RAM going at a better speed than risk stringing up my CPU. If it is possible for us to get the RAM to 1600MHz, is it an indicator that 2GHz is just over the horison?


As for the voltage that you mentioned, I'm pretty sure that the voltage for my RAM goes up in odd increments, not evens (I did check this out). I need to restart my computer so I can use my printer, so I'll stop off at the BIOS and look again. Just look at the bottom of this post for an edit in bold in about ten minutes.

EDIT: I just looked, and I offer my apologies, as I got the DRAM Voltage mixed up with the QPI Vtt Voltage. The DRAM can indeed be set to 1.62 and/or 1.64.
January 9, 2010 12:56:28 AM

rider_eragon said:
I'm currently under the impression that manual workings are more dangerous to begin with, but in the long run is much better. Am I right/wrong here?

More dangerous, sure. Because you have the ability to do very bad things to the board. Where as the HW manufactures, when they introduce OC or similar tools they try to limit them so you don't, for example, push an OC button on their board that then fries the board. You do it manually, shame on you. You do it because of a feature they provide, whoops!

But the changes I'm going to suggest will be to enter by hand one part of what is being set by the XMP function anyway. So nothing risky yet. But more on that below.

Quote:
I'll look around for this at TH first, then through Google (I'd been looking, but a lot of people seem to push their CPUs from 2.8GHz up to 3.8GHz, which is way to much for my liking - I'd prefer 3.2GHz as a max. Eventually one that I like will pop up). How does this one look as a beginner's guide (second post): http://forums.pcper.com/showthread.php?t=467346.

The other part of the reason I haven't played with an OC yet is exactly what you just stated. I'm not shooting for any records. Heck, to start my goal is very simple. OC to a level where I can keep Turbo and hyperthreading and the power saving EIST. I want to see what I can get to without increasing any V. Baby steps. That post does look helpful, though I admit where I have to take it slow is when they start talking QPI and Uncore.

Quote:
I'd much rather get my RAM going at a better speed than risk stringing up my CPU. If it is possible for us to get the RAM to 1600MHz, is it an indicator that 2GHz is just over the horison?

Well once we set your RAM to 1600MHz, which I think is your first goal, then something between 1600 and 2000 is on the horizon. Not sure if 2GHz is attainable but I haven't done the math and really it will depend on how the OC experience goes.

I'm going to add a new post below with my first recommendation. But I have to step away for a few minutes first.
January 9, 2010 3:01:05 AM

Ok, had to confirm a couple things with my board. Just got done doing some testing. Given everything we've talked about so far, my suggestion for your first step is to bump up your RAM to 1600 MHz, while leaving everything else alone. And what I mean by that is: CPU at stock, Turbo on, HyperThreading on, enhanced power saving and sleep states on. If you're up for that it's really fairly simple to do. Here's how:

1. Go into BIOS.
2. The best thing to do at this point would be to start over by loading optimized defaults. If you've made changes you don't want to lose, you can skip this step. The primary thing we're going to revert is the XMP setting, and you can do that without re-loading the optimized defaults. Sometimes I just like to know I'm starting with a clean slate.
3. From the main menu, go into MB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.)
4. From M.I.T., go into Advanced Frequency Settings
5. Inside Advanced Frequency Settings:
  • Check the Extreme Memory Profile (X.M.P.) setting, if it is not Disabled change it to Disabled
  • Change the System Memory Multiplier (SPD) from Auto to 12.
    6. While inside Advanced Frequency Settings, go to Advanced CPU Core Features and press Enter to move to that Menu
    7. Now inside the Advanced CPU Core Features menu, set the options as follows:
  • Intel Turbo Boost Tech. - changed from Auto to Enabled
  • CPU Cores Enabled - left as All
  • CPU Multi-Threading - left as Enabled
  • CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E) - changed from Auto to Enabled
  • C3/C6/C7 State Support - changed from Auto to Enabled
  • CPU Thermal Monitor - changed from Auto to Enabled
  • CPU EIST Function - changed from Auto to Enabled
  • Bi-Directional PROCHOT - changed from Auto to Enabled
    8. Press Escape to return to Advanced Frequency Settings
    9. Press Escape to return to M.I.T.
    10. Press Escape to return to the Main Menu

    You're ready to save and exit. Before you do so, make sure you change any other settings that you may have previously set. For example, on the Power Management Setup you'll want to change the HPET Mode to 64-bit. Once you've made all your changes, save your settings so you can easily load them again in the future should you need to. You can do this by hitting F11 in the main menu "Save CMOS to BIOS".

    That's it. This is your baseline BIOS settings. If this works well for you and you don't get any crashes, you know you have a stable system on which you can try a mild OC. Two other BIOS settings you could do now are to manually set the DRAM Voltage and the DRAM Timings. In fact if you experience any instability that would be the next thing to try. You can do it now if you want to, I just figured my instructions were already long enough as it is.
    January 9, 2010 10:11:04 AM

    Well my system boots, but I'll need about 24-48 hours of proper usage to say whether or not it works.

    Quote:
    You're ready to save and exit. Before you do so, make sure you change any other settings that you may have previously set. For example, on the Power Management Setup you'll want to change the HPET Mode to 64-bit. Once you've made all your changes, save your settings so you can easily load them again in the future should you need to. You can do this by hitting F11 in the main menu "Save CMOS to BIOS".


    Well, I changed HPET to 64-bit mode and removed the "sticker screen" before the post screen. I did leave Quick-Boot disabled though. I can't see any improvement with quick-boot on, so off I left it off.

    Quote:
    That's it. This is your baseline BIOS settings. If this works well for you and you don't get any crashes, you know you have a stable system on which you can try a mild OC. Two other BIOS settings you could do now are to manually set the DRAM Voltage and the DRAM Timings. In fact if you experience any instability that would be the next thing to try. You can do it now if you want to, I just figured my instructions were already long enough as it is.


    O.K. I can do the DRAM Voltage without a fuss, but the timings have left me scratching my head. I'm assuming that the timings for 2000MHz are 9-9-9-27 and for 1600MHz they're 7-7-7-24, but everything in the timings has been blocked from altering. Also, it looks very complex, and I don't know what to change.
    January 9, 2010 7:33:49 PM

    rider_eragon said:
    I can do the DRAM Voltage without a fuss, but the timings have left me scratching my head. I'm assuming that the timings for 2000MHz are 9-9-9-27 and for 1600MHz they're 7-7-7-24, but everything in the timings has been blocked from altering. Also, it looks very complex, and I don't know what to change.

    What makes you think the timings for 1600MHz are 7-7-7-24? I looked at some of the screenshots you sent but realized it's not listed. Looking at this screenshot, the timings are not shown for 1600 but are shown for 1333 and 2000: http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/5069/spdslot1.gif

    Launch CPU and take a look at the memory tab. Based on this screenshot ( http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/7407/memory.gif ) when the RAM was running at 1333, I expect with the RAM at 1600 it might show speeds of 9-9-9-25? Or something close to it?

    Those are the timings you can set in BIOS if you want. On the Advanced Memory Settings tab, change DRAM Timing Selectable from Auto to Quick. (My understanding is that Quick allows you to make changes to the settings which take effect across all channels; while Expert allows you to tune each pair individually, something unnecessary in this case.) Then go to the Channel A Timing Settings option and press Enter to move to that menu. Set the first four options, which are under the heading Channel A Standard Timing Control, to match the values from CPU-Z's memory tab. Leave the rest on Auto.
    January 9, 2010 10:00:15 PM

    ekoostik said:
    What makes you think the timings for 1600MHz are 7-7-7-24? I looked at some of the screenshots you sent but realized it's not listed. Looking at this screenshot, the timings are not shown for 1600 but are shown for 1333 and 2000: http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/5069/spdslot1.gif

    Launch CPU and take a look at the memory tab. Based on this screenshot ( http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/7407/memory.gif ) when the RAM was running at 1333, I expect with the RAM at 1600 it might show speeds of 9-9-9-25? Or something close to it?

    Those are the timings you can set in BIOS if you want. On the Advanced Memory Settings tab, change DRAM Timing Selectable from Auto to Quick. (My understanding is that Quick allows you to make changes to the settings which take effect across all channels; while Expert allows you to tune each pair individually, something unnecessary in this case.) Then go to the Channel A Timing Settings option and press Enter to move to that menu. Set the first four options, which are under the heading Channel A Standard Timing Control, to match the values from CPU-Z's memory tab. Leave the rest on Auto.


    I went directly to the G.Skill website to get the timings for the RAM:

    1600MHz: http://www.gskill.com/products.php?index=226
    2000MHz: http://www.gskill.com/products.php?index=227

    But here is the current screenshot:

    Memory: http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/3934/mem1600.gif

    You were pretty close if my understanding is correct. I'm assuming that it was 9-9-9-24? One question though. If CPU-Z can tell that that the timings are different, why can't the BIOS do the same, especially if the timings are set to "Auto" by default?
    January 9, 2010 10:36:48 PM

    OK I just jumped back into the BIOS and set the DRAM Voltage to 1.600v instead of 1.500v.

    Then I went to alter the timings, but the BIOS had already changed it to 9-9-9-24.
    January 10, 2010 12:33:19 AM

    As you discovered, BIOS does read the SPD info just as CPU-Z. A lot of people recommend setting the timings manually anyway. I'm not entirely sure of the rationale, other than just to know for sure that it's running at what you think it should be. Also, occasionally someone will wind up with a set that hasn't been programmed correctly and so doesn't run right.
    !