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Is 1.1 volts okay for i7-870?

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August 30, 2010 9:40:13 PM

I've got a new build going, and after many frustrating days trying to get Win7 64 successfully installed, I've made some progress. In order to get Win7 to install completely, I had to set the CPU voltage manually to 1.1. Everything else is set to auto.

This is a work PC, and I need it to be rock solid. My concern is that having to set the voltage manually might be an indicator of less than ideal system stability/compatibility. It seems to me that this fairly high-end mobo shouldn't have an issue with auto voltage.

My questions are: is 1.1v a typical, acceptable, value for the i7 870, and why wouldn't the mobo's auto setting work correctly? Is this going to be detrimental to the life/reliability of the CPU?

With regards to the memory, it's not on the qualified vendors list, which seems to be ancient. I couldn't find anything on the list available for purchase, and there are only two options on the entire list for the full, 16GB rated memory level. The OCZ memory is rated for 1.65v, thought the auto setting seems to be running it just over 1.5v. In reading about the i7 870, I've read that 1.5v is the max preferred voltage. With the current settings, I have run memtest+ for 50hrs straight with no errors. Will I have better luck with the auto CPU voltage if I switch to Gskil 1.5v memory?


Asus Maximus III Gene -- latest bios
i7 870
16GB 1333 OCZ memory (4 x 4GB)
Nvidia GTX 460
OCZ Agility 2 120GB SSD

Thanks for any help/insights you might offer!

More about : volts 870

a c 203 à CPUs
September 1, 2010 6:38:21 PM

Senorpablo said:
I've got a new build going, and after many frustrating days trying to get Win7 64 successfully installed, I've made some progress. In order to get Win7 to install completely, I had to set the CPU voltage manually to 1.1. Everything else is set to auto.
What was the voltage @ auto settings?
You picked an Enthusiast motherboard over a mainstream model. I guess I'm not too surprised it might tend to aggressive performance settings. The Intel spec for the CPU voltage is 0.6500V-1.4000V

Memtest+ for 50hrs straight with no errors seems stable to me. Changing RAM voltages should have no impact on CPU auto voltage settings. They don't use the same voltage regulation circuitry.

Are you having any other problems besides getting Win7 to install?

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a b à CPUs
September 1, 2010 7:16:12 PM

You haven't uncovered a error with the mem test boot disk, but you mentioned first, not being able to finish a windows install. This is a definite sign of memory errors.
Or low cpu voltage.
I would set your ram voltage to 1.65 and your qpi/vtt to 1.35. Or a notch or two in that direction, depending what it is now. It could be 1.1x ?
Officially Intel rated the memory controller for slower speeds, and with that lower voltages. 800/1066. There are MANY running, with higher voltages for faster memory speeds.
Also, just to keep running for a while with your new build, I would probably up your cpu vcore to 1.22-24. You can always go back , and lower these settings later ,making one change at a time, after you have been up and stable for a while. Get all your drivers installed. Chipset,usb,sata, video, sound , network etc.
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September 1, 2010 7:27:19 PM

Good question. So I went to the BIOS and switched the CPU voltage back to auto, and it was showing 1.15xx in BIOS. Not sure if this was the correct reading; it was the first of the three on a single line in the voltage area.

It started up fine set to auto. I ran CPU-Z and it reported .864v with nothing running. It's unstable however, as I get random restarts.
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a c 203 à CPUs
September 1, 2010 7:31:29 PM

The voltage being variable might be EIST going into power saving mode.
Look in your BIOS options and disable Enhanced Intel Speedstep Technology during testing.
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September 1, 2010 9:19:06 PM

WR2 said:
The voltage being variable might be EIST going into power saving mode.
Look in your BIOS options and disable Enhanced Intel Speedstep Technology during testing.


Isn't this a desirable option?
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September 1, 2010 9:25:33 PM

notty22 said:
You haven't uncovered a error with the mem test boot disk, but you mentioned first, not being able to finish a windows install. This is a definite sign of memory errors.
Or low cpu voltage.
I would set your ram voltage to 1.65 and your qpi/vtt to 1.35. Or a notch or two in that direction, depending what it is now. It could be 1.1x ?
Officially Intel rated the memory controller for slower speeds, and with that lower voltages. 800/1066. There are MANY running, with higher voltages for faster memory speeds.
Also, just to keep running for a while with your new build, I would probably up your cpu vcore to 1.22-24. You can always go back , and lower these settings later ,making one change at a time, after you have been up and stable for a while. Get all your drivers installed. Chipset,usb,sata, video, sound , network etc.


The system appears to run stably when I set the CPU voltage manually to 1.1v. My original concern is: is the optimal/typical? And, why doesn't the auto setting on this quality motherboard function correctly--is this indicative of another issue?

In my testing, I noticed that the CPU voltage has a very dramatic effect on temperature. I'm already in the low 70's when fully stressed, I'd hate to have to bump the voltage up any more than necessary.
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September 2, 2010 1:54:00 AM

I've had some luck with the auto voltage when I disable the "load-line calibration" feature in the BIOS.

Disabled follows the Intel Spec and seems to work fine, while auto is controlled by the BIOS and seems to cause me problems.
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a c 203 à CPUs
September 2, 2010 2:01:19 AM

Thats good news.
Does your full load testing mirror your actual workload? Probably not if you're using Prime95 or something like that.
If that is the case you don't need to be concerned about the 70C result. Your actual temps while working on the computer will likely be a lot lower.
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September 2, 2010 2:15:13 AM

WR2 said:
Thats good news.
Does your full load testing mirror your actual workload? Probably not if you're using Prime95 or something like that.
If that is the case you don't need to be concerned about the 70C result. Your actual temps while working on the computer will likely be a lot lower.


It does represent my actual workload at times. It won't be very often, but there will be times when the CPU will see these loads for perhaps a few hours at a time.

I'm running the test again with the new configuration, and it seems to have maxed out at 75C or so with an ambient air temp of about 74F. Are these temps detrimental to the CPU? I have a faster fan I'm going to install and see how that performs. The current CPU fan is 1200RPM, and I have a 2000RPM to replace it.
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