Need help with more OC of CPU i7 960 & RAM

I have a Rampage III Gene with Intel i7-960. I also have Corsair Dominator GT RAM.

I went out and spent some money and built myself a nice single loop cooling system with a 200mm and 240mm rad to cool both my ram and my cpu. I currently have my CPU at 4.1ghz and my RAM at 1700mhz. I WANT MORE. Problem is everything I try is unstable so I'm looking for suggestions. Any help or recommendations would be much appreciated.

Rampage III Gene

Sync Mode: Enabled
Ai Overclock Tuner: Manual
OC From CPU Level Up: Auto
CPU RAtio Settings: 23.0
CPU Turbo Power Limit: Disabled

CPU Configuration
CPU Ration Settings: 23.0
C1E Support: Disabled
MPS and ACPI MADT ordering: Modern Ordering
Intel (R) Virtualization: Enabled
CPU TM Function: Enabled
Execute Disable Bit: Enabled
Intel (R) HT Technology: Enabled
*Active Processor Cores: All
*Intel (R) SpeedStep (TM) Tech: Disabled

Memory Configuration Protect: DIsabled

DRAM Timing Control
CAS# Latency: Auto
RAS# to CAS# Delay: Auto
DRAM RAS# PRE Time: Auto
DRAM RAS# ACT Time: Auto
RAS# to RAS# Delay: Auto
REF Cycle Time: Auto
WRITE Recovery Time: Auto
READ to PRE Time: Auto
BACK-To-Back CAS# Delay: Auto

CPU Load Line Calibration: Auto

Extreme OV: Disabled
CPU Voltage Control: Absolute (VID)
CPU Voltage: Auto: Auto
CPU PLL Voltage: Auto
QPI/DRAM Core Voltage: Auto

IOH Voltage: Auto
IOH PCIE Voltage: Auto
ICH Voltage: Auto
ICH PCIE Voltage: Auto
DRAM Bus Voltage: Auto
7 answers Last reply
More about need
  1. I just ran prime95 and after 15 minutes my temps are around 90 degrees. Any ideas what I should do about that?
  2. 90C? If you're at 90C I'd definitely back off a bit as that's pretty hot for any processor. Sometimes processors will only go so far. Each chip is different, I suggest you do some reading and learn all about your processor. Sometimes you can only push a chip so far and even if it's running at 50C fully loaded, more voltage cooler temperatures won't keep them stable. So, first watch temperatures, the 9xx series I believe ranges nearly the same as a Sandy Bridge chip where 80C is about the hottest you should ever see it run. Personally my chip isn't allowed to pass 65C in my system.
  3. I've read a lot and I know each chip is different. Under heavy gaming BF3 for several hours it never goes higher than 74C. I know something can be done to get this higher and cooler. I'm just looking for guidance. Many people have got my chip stable at 4.5ghz. The first generation i7's & x58 do run hot.
  5. Biggest things to remember is my little equation.

    Voltage + Frequency = Heat


    Voltage/Frequency = Stable

    Chips can react differently in any situation.. Variables affect everything...

    Ambient temperatures
    Processor Frequency
    Processor Voltage
    Internal Case Temperature
    Thermal ability of heatsink/block
    Thermal interface material

    I'm not doubting you've read a LOT, but I guarantee there's more out there.

    If I was in your position, I'd first see what's allowing it to hit the 90C mark in the first place. BF3 doesn't even get my chip to 45C with fans at 25-50% so I'd be looking into that. So let's look at the possibilities.

    I'd first back down to completely stock and get some temperatures with Prime, IBT, and the normal gaming stress. Mark down what you have and refer to some other posts online to get a good comparison. If yours is high at stock then there's a thermal issue somewhere. Remember, stock everything, frequency, voltage, ram timings, and even gpu speeds. Then if there's issues check these for problems. From what I see that chip shouldn't break 75C with a stock cooler on top with adequate ventilation.

    Case ventilation
    Radiator/Fan/pump issue
    Bad TIM application

    If the temperatures are good there, slowly boost up the CPU and see where it gets you. Don't just bust out a 800mhz overclock and expect to see no problems. I'm not sure on the first generations of i7's but the Sandy and Ivy bridge CPU's have a default variable voltage that can range from about 0.9v to 1.4v on average. If it DOES have variable voltages those can be picky and I suggest working with a fixed voltage until you know exactly what voltage is stable at the speeds you're trying to achieve.

    This is how I went with my Sandy bridge. Started at 1.150v and stressed the system with IBT until it reached all 10 cycles on the stock settings and watched the temperatures.

    The difference between 3.4Ghz and 4.2Ghz at that voltage was a mere 3C at full load. However, 4.2Ghz would eventually end in a blue-screen. So at 1.200v I could manage the IBT every time but the additional 0.050v actually added about 5C heat at full load with IBT. Mind you this jump was from ~50C to ~55C, but still a rather big jump but it gave the stability for IBT to pass which doesn't give me full satisfaction that it's stable but I get it to where I can do a 24 hour prime 95 blend (which doesn't heat the CPU as much but works the heck out of it and a 24 hour prime session that passes; makes for a pretty stable system)

    I then went upwards into the higher numbers where 4.5Ghz wanted about 1.300v to be stable but the temperatures again increased even more. I was able to achieve 4.7Ghz at a whopping 1.4v which landed me temperatures in the high 70's and occasionally a core or two hitting 80C+ with IBT but did pass the test. My voltage wall was 4.5Ghz where I had to start pushing voltage like a madman just to get stability. 4.7Ghz at 1.375v would boot windows without issue but would crash on IBT within minutes.

    So I settled with my scores and found where each speed was stable and figured, I only need 4Ghz now but later on know how to get 4.5Ghz without passing 70C to badly.

    Now with stock voltage settings (variable) and multiplier reading at 40x, I have seen this CPU pull 1.35 volts which makes it a pretty warm CPU with IBT. However, 4Ghz was stable at 1.150v in IBT. 4Ghz didn't pass at that voltage with prime over 24 hours so I decided to boost my voltage a little to 1.2v and I managed a pass over 24 hours.

    Now, currently I have the CPU where at absolute maximum load it's only ever pulled 1.3v once and that was with IBT running on eXtreme stress mode and maximum for the stress setting. However the processor runs pretty cool and stays below 70C even with IBT for the most part. Without IBT I've never seen temperatures pass 60C even on prime and it has been completely stable since.

    So make sure your cooling system is working correctly, regulate that voltage, take the time to find where voltages take you temperature/stability wise. Learn the chip and how it reacts and remember there's going to be a wall. Everyone calls it something different but I call it the voltage wall. The voltage wall is where it takes a lot of voltage to push the chip any further. Overclocking is and always will be a trail and error process. Two IDENTICAL systems may not achieve the same speeds even with the same exact setup. Each chip is going to react different and there's just no telling exactly how far a chip will go. It's like my old Athlon XP 1700+ that had a "bad" stepping or whatever people wanted to call it. Most people with the chip I had couldn't get past 1.66Ghz with it. However, I was able to push my chip to 1.8Ghz with ease on air on a very light voltage increase.

    Now as always, I must tell you... higher voltages = risk. The more voltage you pump into a CPU the more chance you have of it failing. I actually read a post here on TH where someone accidentally pushed way to much voltage to their new Ivy bridge and fried it on the spot. So be meticulous and remember, overclocking is always a risk!
  6. That was a great, thank you. I'm running Prime95 with default settings Ram at 1000mhz and cpu at 3.2ghz. I let the computer fully cool down and started Prime95. It has been running for about 10 min and I'm getting cpu temps in the low 70's from Core Temp 1.0 RC4 but Asus AI Suite says CPU=62C. What program should I use to actually figure this out?
  7. Best idea.. get a temperature reading from the BIOS over 5-10 minutes. Those should be around your idle temperatures in Windows plus or minus a couple degrees. Never trust any single application to read temperatures. I've used a ton but always try to find one that nearly matches the idles in BIOS to give me the best reading. CPUID Hardware Monitor gives me the best readings on my 2600k but absolutely sucked for my E8400. So find one that works with your setup the best. :)
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