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Need Compatibility Info/Advice on my First $1500 Performance Rig

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July 5, 2010 12:27:14 AM

Been reading this website/forum for years, but this is my first post... You guys are geniuses so I want to pick your brains :) 

As the title says, I'm looking to build a $1500 (USD) performance rig. I already have all peripherals (monitors, kb, mouse, speakers, et al) as well as the OS, so I can invest the entire $1500 into just the tower and its contents, but if I can get the same system for cheaper, then I'm all for it.

I've done a lot of reading here, on wikibooks, as well as a few other places on how to build a rig so I think I've done my research... Now I want to put my build to the test and see what you experts think as far as my selected components go :) 


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next month or so, but can be any time

BUDGET: Around $1500, but I'm a little flexible with this if I need to be

SYSTEM USAGE: Adobe CS4/5 Suite, Full Roxio and Nero studios for video editing, possible gaming, plenty of storage for pics and videos, other basics (word processing, webcam, internet, email)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitors (dual display 1920x1080), keyboard, mouse, speakers, soundcard as I will use the integrated sound, and OS (Win 7 Professional - 64 bit)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S): Been using TigerDirect and all my links below point to it, but I'm open to whatever you guys suggest

PARTS PREFERENCES: I would like highly reviewed components only. If I'm gonna spend $1500 on a rig, I would hate to have a bottleneck from a crappy/cheap component

OVERCLOCKING: Yes on the CPU (will take an i7-920 to 3.66 gigs), maybe on the RAM and GPU - I'm still learning about OC'ing the latter two

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Unless you guys say I need it for CS4/5, then I probably WON'T do it as I don't need it. You tell me ;) 

MONITOR RESOLUTION: (DO NOT NEED TO PURCHASE) but they are two 24" 1980x1020 that will be a dual display setup

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
In all honesty, I'm completely open to whatever you guys suggest and am NOT set on the exact components listed below. If you have advice on a better component, or if you find that something I link below is crappy or not compatible with the rest of my setup, please advise a better component within the same general price range. I've never built a rig before so you guys are my only hope in preventing compatibility issues ;) 

Mainly the computer will be used for photoshop and video editing, but I also want it to be able to handle anything else I throw at it (a game or two, other intensive programs). I would also like it to be ready for USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s

Here are my potential components:

Case:
Cooler Master HAF 932 (I like how many fans are already in there to keep everything cool and how expandable it is, but advise a better ATX case if you guys know of one. Will this one fit all my components properly?)

Power Supply:
XION Power Real 1000W (I have no idea how much power I need... Is 1000W overkill??)

CPU:
Intel Core i7-920 (Will OC to 3.66)

Heatsink/CPU Fan:
ThermalTake SpinQ (What do you guys think of this guy? Will it be sufficient to keep my OC'd CPU cool enough? Do I need to buy something else in addition to this?)

Thermal Compound:
OCZ OCZTFRZTC Freeze Thermal Extreme Conductivity Compound (I honestly know nothing about thermal compounds. Is this sufficient for what I need?)

Motherboard:
ASUS P6X58D PREMIUM (This I really want your advice on. I want to be able to OC easily, and I want USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s, so tell me what to do here - Should I stick with this guy or get something else?)

RAM:
Corsair XMS3 Tri Channel 6GB (2X2048) PC10666 DDR3 Memory @ 1333MHz (I might OC this. Is this easy to OC? Is it overkill? Do I need more than 6GB for what I want to do?)

HD:
Western Digital WD15EARS @ 1.5 TB (x2) (Probably won't RAID)

DVD:
Sony AD-7240S-0B Optiarc (x2)

WiFi:
Linksys WMP600n (Want N functionality, but am open to a different card if you guys suggest one. I currently use a Linksys router if it makes any difference compatibility-wise)

Video Card:
XFX HD577AZNFC Radeon HD 5770 Video Card - 1GB GDDR5 (I don't know much about video cards so please offer suggestions, as long as it's dual display ready)

Media Card Reader:
Sabrent CRW-UINB

Bluetooth:
Sabrent BT-USBT
July 5, 2010 12:48:39 AM

Wow that build is a mess >.<

Ok lets start with each.

Case
HAF 922 is cheaper, and will satisfy all your needs. It's actually got more convenience features too.

PSU
No, please don't get that PSU unless you want a $1,500 doorstop in 2 months.
For your needs a Corsair 650TX is enough.

CPU
i7-930 is about the same price and has a higher multiplier, so a bit better buy.

HSF
Spinq looks pretty, but funtions like crap. A CM Hyper 212 Plus is a great ~$30 HSF. For top notch performance a Megahalem, Noctua NH-D14, or Tuniq Tower 120 extreme are all great. Bear in mind though, it's like a 6 degree difference between the $30 HSF and the $60-90 top end ones.

Compound
No need unless you're doing a high OC.

MOBO
Actually the P7P55D-E is the one we recommend. $240.
The GA X58 UD3R is also great for $210.

Corsair is usually overpriced. If you want to OC above 3.6 ghz, you'll want DDR3
1600.

G Skill Pi or trident are the best kits for the money. Pi get the 1600 cas 7 kit, trident 2000 cas 9.

HD
>1TB drives have a pretty high failure rate. Better off just getting a 1TB SPinpoint F3 and adding more if needed.

Wifi
Whats wrong with a good ole cat 5/6e?

GPU
CUDA? If so nvidia required.

What do u need bluetooth for?




July 5, 2010 1:42:02 AM

@banthracis

WOW! Great feedback, thanks!

I'm glad I asked you guys cuz it looks like I might have blown $1500 on some junk components (this is why I came to you guys first). As I said before, this is my first build so thanks for being nice and not flaming me :) 


To answer your questions:

As for the wifi, the desktop is temporarily moved to a location that does not have a cat 5 outlet nearby, so we're forced to use the wifi for the time being

As for the bluetooth, it's complicated, but the short version is that my windows mobile smartphone uses it frequently. It's only 9 bucks so what the hell, right


A few follow-up questions on your suggestions:

RAM:
Could you clarify on this a little more? I could only find one of the two you recommended (I found the g skill one) and it wasn't even sold in a tri level setup...

PSU:
I found a couple calculators online to help figure out how much power you need, but could never find a good answer. Are you sure 650W is enough?

CPU:
What is the i7-930 multiplier set at? I thought the 920 is set to 20, while the extreme i7s go up to 24...

HSF:
Looking into the Tower 120 extreme now, but some complain that it's a little tricky to install. Do you think it would be hard to mount on a 1366 board in the HAF 922? Also, it doesn't have as high of reviews as some others - why not?

Compound:
To clarify, I don't need any at all?? Would it hurt if I put some on anyway?.. or do you think it's a waste of time and just makes a mess

Mobo:
I actually looked at the GA-X58A-UD3R earlier, but thought the ASUS board I recommended was better... But if you say I should go with the gigbyte model instead, then I trust your judgment :) 

Video Card:
Which nvidia card would you recommend?
Related resources
July 5, 2010 2:13:21 AM

banthracis said:
Wow that build is a mess >.<

Ok lets start with each.

...


My bad, I meant to hit the "reply" button when I replied to your post above.

See my post immediately above this one for a response to your questions/suggestions

Again, great feedback. Thanks!
July 5, 2010 5:59:51 PM

Mark Heath said:
If I could be so bold as to answer a few things:
...

Thanks, bro.

What's the difference between the Pi and the Trident??
July 5, 2010 6:05:44 PM

well.. for starters, the Tridents are rated to run at higher speeds, but at higher latency. The Pis are rated to run at lower (better) latency at lower speeds, but the Tridents could also be run at lower speeds than their rated speeds to get the same latency as the Pis (tell me if you're completely lost ;)  )

(There's only 1 "s" on the end of that Pi)
July 5, 2010 6:14:44 PM

May I reccomend the ga-x58a-ud5. Just like the ud3r just with a few more features so OCing should be easier and maybe safer.
July 5, 2010 6:15:00 PM

Now I'm the stalker eh? :p 
July 5, 2010 6:21:37 PM

Mark Heath said:
well.. for starters, the Tridents are rated to run at higher speeds, but at higher latency. The Pis are rated to run at lower (better) latency at lower speeds, but the Tridents could also be run at lower speeds than their rated speeds to get the same latency as the Pis (tell me if you're completely lost ;)  )

(There's only 1 "s" on the end of that Pi)

Yea, you lost me. If you could help me understand what that meant I'd appreciate it
July 5, 2010 6:30:19 PM

From what I understand it goes like this :

Cas latency: the number cycles, operations or whatever you want to call it to do something: so lower is better

Freqeuency AKA speed: How many of these operations, cycles it can do in a period of time: higher is better.
July 6, 2010 1:55:26 AM

Alright guys, thanks for the advice on the RAM

I did my research and came up with this guy:

G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Since I want to OC the CPU and, therefore, probably the RAM and since this guy has a Cas latency of 7, it should be a good choice, right?

Also, others have commented that you HAVE to OC the CPU if it is an i7-930 or lower (I'll be using a 930), otherwise the CPU can't handle the speed of the RAM.

Can you guys confirm this?
July 6, 2010 2:17:37 AM

I think what they are trying to say is that if you want to overclock your processor, your RAM won't handle the speed and bottleneck. Correct me if I'm wrong though. >.<
July 6, 2010 3:43:15 AM

SushiG said:
I think what they are trying to say is that if you want to overclock your processor, your RAM won't handle the speed and bottleneck. Correct me if I'm wrong though. >.<

Well, I think they were saying that the RAM I posted 2 posts up is too FAST for the stock i7-930 and that you HAVE to OC the 930 if you want to even use that RAM at all?

Does that sound right? Can that RAM not be used with the stock 930?
July 6, 2010 5:58:40 AM

To use that RAM at the rated speeds on a stock 930, you'd have to decrease its frequency. If you're oc'ing then it's not a problem.

Latency: more or less how long before your RAM does what you tell it to do.
Frequency: more or less the speed it does it once it starts.

Quote:
Now I'm the stalker eh? :p 

oh screw :lol: 
July 6, 2010 9:10:42 AM

biff6789 said:
Alright guys, thanks for the advice on the RAM

I did my research and came up with this guy:

G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Since I want to OC the CPU and, therefore, probably the RAM and since this guy has a Cas latency of 7, it should be a good choice, right?

Also, others have commented that you HAVE to OC the CPU if it is an i7-930 or lower (I'll be using a 930), otherwise the CPU can't handle the speed of the RAM.

Can you guys confirm this?


Well the answer has kind of been given but let my try be more clear:

RAM frequency: bclk*ram multiplier(standard is 133*8 I think)

CPU frequency: bclk*cpu multiplier(for a 930 the standard is 133*21 I think)

So as you can see from the above if you raise the (bclk)base clock both your cpu and ram will speed up. What the people probably meant is that you if you want to raise your ram speed by raising the bclk your cpu will also go faster.

But there are many ways to solve this: either just raise the ram multiplier(this might not always be possible) if that isn't possible you can raise the bclk and lower the cpu multiplier. That way you can increase the ram speed and keep the cpu speed more or less the same. Your still messing about with cpu settings so some people might call it Overclocking but technically your just clocking. :p 
July 7, 2010 4:13:27 PM

biff6789 said:
@banthracis

A few follow-up questions on your suggestions:

RAM:
Could you clarify on this a little more? I could only find one of the two you recommended (I found the g skill one) and it wasn't even sold in a tri level setup...

PSU:
I found a couple calculators online to help figure out how much power you need, but could never find a good answer. Are you sure 650W is enough?

CPU:
What is the i7-930 multiplier set at? I thought the 920 is set to 20, while the extreme i7s go up to 24...

HSF:
Looking into the Tower 120 extreme now, but some complain that it's a little tricky to install. Do you think it would be hard to mount on a 1366 board in the HAF 922? Also, it doesn't have as high of reviews as some others - why not?

Compound:
To clarify, I don't need any at all?? Would it hurt if I put some on anyway?.. or do you think it's a waste of time and just makes a mess

Mobo:
I actually looked at the GA-X58A-UD3R earlier, but thought the ASUS board I recommended was better... But if you say I should go with the gigbyte model instead, then I trust your judgment :) 

Video Card:
Which nvidia card would you recommend?


RAM already answered
CPU Already answered
HSF All the big HSF's are a bit tricky to mount. Just read directions, watch some videos if you want to on youtube. There's lots of random complaint on newegg, shrug. Bench's put those 3 pretty close to each other.
Compound- won't hurt. But like I said, it's not a big deal unless you're doing an extreme OC. THe tuniq comes with a tube so no need to buy another.
gpu- Nvidia, only the 470gtx is really worth it's price.


About the whole RAM thing.

AMD architecture favors tighter timings over faster speed for performance increase. Intel, favors neither. That said, neither makes a significant impact on performance to warrant a major price difference.

CAs latency refers to how long it takes the RAM to do somethign after it's given a command. Makes no difference to FPS in gaming, but like an SSD, it improves system responsiveness.

Stock i7-930 is 133 block, 21 multiplier and 10x memory multiplier. Though the latter is determined by MOBO not CPU. This fully saturated 1333mhz RAM. 133block speed x 10 memory multiplier= 1330.

To OC above this you'll need to either lower multiplier or get faster RAM.
In general, we recommend DDR3 1600 RAM if you plan on a OC.

Now, the reason why we recommend G Skill RAM is that memory can perform better than rated speeds. Most companeis sell you RAM that'll perform at specs, G SKill tends to give you better than you pay for. So their RAM can run at higher speeds, lower voltages and/or lower timings than specs. OCZ is the opposite, hence we don't recommend them.

High speeds requires tighter looser timings to work. I'll avoid the tech details as to why, but suffice to say this is a mechanically imposed limitation. Now, because faster RAM must be of higher quality to maintain the same latency as slower RAM, they're generally better quality. As a result, the Trident DDR3 2000 kit that's rated at cas 9 at 2000, can hit CAS 6 at 1600 speeds. CAS 5 at 1333 speeds. This is why people will buy extremely fast RAM. They're getting higher quality RAM so they can run it at tighter timings for the speeds they want.

Now as to why 1600 7-8-7-24 kit is better than a 1333 7-7-7-21 kit, is because, the 1600 kit can run 7-7-7-21 when under clocked to 1333 speeds.

TLDR You get faster RAM because it'll get better timings when you underclock it to speeds you're using.
July 7, 2010 5:51:08 PM

banthracis said:
/snipped message above

WOW! Great response, banthracis

Well, with the i930 I plan to OC it to around 3.5GHz (160 bclk x 22 multiplier = 3520)

Since the bclk will be set at 160, which RAM should I get?? The G.Skill PI (7-8-7-24) or the G.Skill Trident (9-9-9-24)... or does it not even make a difference? What would I put the settings at for the RAM?
July 7, 2010 6:23:28 PM

Can't use 22 multiplier.

Ok, yes you can w/ turbo boost, but effective 21 is the most you can actually set. Either way, odd multiplier are much more stable than even. I'm not sure why, I can make a guess, but you'll have to ask Intel to be sure.

3.5 ghz would be 167mhz x 21.

RAM choice doesn't really matter. Either will work. The tridents will give you better latencies. When there was only $10 price difference, it was worth considering, at $20, not really.
July 7, 2010 6:39:01 PM

banthracis said:
/snipped post

Ok, thanks once again. You personally have saved me from several stupid decisions while making this build so I sincerely thank you :)  I'm still learning (that's why I'm here asking you!) and you've been a great help...

As for the CPU, I wasn't really set on the speed 3.5GHz or anything, I just came to that number since I wanted to use a bclk speed of 160 since it's a nice clean number for the RAM

But the more I learn, it looks like maybe I don't necessarily need a clean bclk number for the RAM. Although on the other hand, I could leave the bclk at 160 and set the CPU to 21x (3.3GHz) which is still a good CPU speed and may not even require any voltage increases which could keep the CPU alive longer... Then I could just set the RAM to 10x so that it runs at a clean, exact 1600 - tell me if I'm wrong here

But since you say it doesn't matter which RAM to use, if there is a price discrepancy then I'll just roll with the cheaper PI modules
July 7, 2010 7:03:45 PM

Well a nice OC would actually be block 200, 21 CPU multiplier, and 8x memory multiplier.

Get's you 4.2 ghz and DDR3 at 1600.

Voltage needed might get scary though depending on the chip.
July 7, 2010 7:20:50 PM

banthracis said:
Well a nice OC would actually be block 200, 21 CPU multiplier, and 8x memory multiplier.

Get's you 4.2 ghz and DDR3 at 1600.

Voltage needed might get scary though depending on the chip.

Yea, I'd be too scared to go that high. Plus I'm only running on air so I'd probably fry the chip pretty quickly at those voltages anyway

I'm not a crazy overclocker, but since the i7 chips can handle it so well, I figure "why not?" A speed somewhere in the mid-3GHz zone would be great. But I just need to figure out which specific G.Skill RAM to get and what settings/multipliers to use in the BIOS to make the 930 and the RAM play nicely together while overclocked...
July 7, 2010 7:24:33 PM

RAM can run at pretty much any speed up to and a bit over their rated perfectly fine. You don't have to match the RAM to speed to exactly 1600 or 1333 or w/e.

For example, my i5-750 runs at 3.6ghz. 171 block, 21 multiplier and 8 Memory multiplier.

RAM is running at 1368.


Another common i7-930 OC is 3.8 ghz with 200mhz block, 19x multiplier, 8x memory.

4.2ghz is doable in many chips at 1.4v which is fine for air.
July 7, 2010 7:32:00 PM

If you stay under the reccommended cpu voltage there shouldn't be to big a risk of shortening life span. 1.25 volts is often reccomended as the max. I don't know what kind of OC you can get from that but my 930 hits 3.5 no problem at 1.2v maybe I can go higher I haven't tried.
July 7, 2010 7:37:30 PM

banthracis said:
RAM can run at pretty much any speed up to and a bit over their rated perfectly fine. You don't have to match the RAM to speed to exactly 1600 or 1333 or w/e.

For example, my i5-750 runs at 3.6ghz. 171 block, 21 multiplier and 8 Memory multiplier.

RAM is running at 1368.


Another common i7-930 OC is 3.8 ghz with 200mhz block, 19x multiplier, 8x memory.

Oh wow, didn't know that. I thought that the RAM had to be an exact value (like 1600 even, for example)

If that's the case, I could set the blck to something like 177 so the CPU would be around 3.7 (x21 multiplier) and then set the RAM to x9 so that it runs just shy of 1600 (1593). That would be a great sweet spot for my needs

Speaking of voltage, which of the two requires more voltage for the CPU and RAM? Is it the blck or the multiplier? Or is the answer "both" and the voltage only depends on the outcome (i.e. 200 blck x 16 multiplier uses the same voltage as 160 blck x 20 multiplier)?
July 7, 2010 7:43:17 PM

Multiplier for memory is usually 8 or 10. Most mobo's also offer 12 and 14, but that's rarely used. A couple also offer 6.

Not sure what second ques is asking.

Their is a separate voltage for RAM and for CPU. Voltage for RAM is basically w/e the manf tells you to set it as. You can try undervolting a bit and see if it works, and you can increase v a bit if you wanna OC the RAM. Generally, don't change it though.

CPU voltage is a bit different. Every single chips is unique is what v you'll need for each clock speed. In general, you increase blck until you won't boot, then increase v a chunk until it does again. Then once you're happy with OC, slowly decrease CPU v to lowest stable v.

Stable defined as a 12hr PRime 95 run w/o errors.
July 7, 2010 7:53:04 PM

banthracis said:
Not sure what second ques is asking....

Sorry, I'll clarify

I want to keep the voltage to the chip as low as possible (naturally) so I'm wondering what requires you to increase the voltage? Is it raising the blck that raises the required voltage?.. or is it raising the multiplier that requires more voltage?

Or is it both (i.e. the required voltage to the chip depends only on the end result clock speed)?

Like my example above asked: Generally speaking, does a chip running at 160x20 use the same voltage as the same chip running at 200x16? (notice the values are flipped)
July 7, 2010 7:59:53 PM

Increasing clock speed requires increasing voltage. Whether you do it by blck increase or multiplier increase doesn't matter. With the i7 chips, you really don't change multiplier. Just put it at 21 and leave it.

However, there's a degree of flexibility at a given v. For example, it's entirely possible to get to 3.2ghz at stock v.
July 7, 2010 8:07:58 PM

banthracis said:
Increasing clock speed requires increasing voltage. Whether you do it by blck increase or multiplier increase doesn't matter. With the i7 chips, you really don't change multiplier. Just put it at 21 and leave it.

However, there's a degree of flexibility at a given v. For example, it's entirely possible to get to 3.2ghz at stock v.

Ok... I was only curious because I'm trying to pin down a good bclk for the RAM and figured I could adjust the CPU multiplier if I needed more flexibility with the bclk

Looks like I still have some more reading to do when it comes to learning how to OC the CPU and RAM together :) 
July 7, 2010 8:16:42 PM

It's not complicated. Honestly, just set multiplier at 21x for CPU, 8 for memory. Increase blck speed and v until you get your desired voltage.


Really no need to worry about RAM speed or CPU multiplier.
July 7, 2010 8:25:01 PM

banthracis said:
It's not complicated. Honestly, just set multiplier at 21x for CPU, 8 for memory. Increase blck speed and v until you get your desired voltage.


Really no need to worry about RAM speed or CPU multiplier.

Ok. Guess I'm making it more complicated than it needs to be... :p 

What's considered to be the recommended SAFE voltage limit (not the maximum)? How high of speeds are people getting on the 930 at that voltage?
July 7, 2010 8:27:44 PM

biff6789 said:
Ok. Guess I'm making it more complicated than it needs to be... :p 

What's considered to be the recommended SAFE voltage limit (not the maximum)? How high of speeds are people getting on the 930 at that voltage?


Well I as mentioned it's 1.25v. I may not have been clear but I meant that that was the safe limit. sone people go to 1.5+ without issues(short term anyways). But if you stay below 1.25 there really should be no problem. As for how high you can go with that, from my own experience I'm guessing maybe 3.8.
July 7, 2010 8:29:01 PM

4.2 ghz at 1.4v.

Doable in many chips, perfectly fine, and pretty much the upper limit.

It's very hard to get it higher than that. In general, it's not advised to go above 1.4v.

A limit is temps though. Try to keep it under 80c load, 70c would be even better.
July 7, 2010 8:33:02 PM

Somebody_007 said:
Well I as mentioned it's 1.25v. I may not have been creal but I meant that that was the safe limit. sone people go to 1.5+ without issues(short term anyways). But if you stay below 1.25 there really should be now problem. As for how high you can go with that, from my own experience I'm guessing maybe 3.8.

Yea, I thought you were saying that 1.25 is the maximum... but if you say that it's safe to be at or below 1.25 without any real long-term damage to the CPU, then that's what I was looking for. Nice to hear you can get around 3.8GHz at that voltage (yes, I know all chips are different and my chip might not go that high, but at least that gives me a general guideline)

Well you guys have been great. I truly appreciate all the help you've provided. I didn't intentionally mean to turn this into an overclocking thread since this isn't the proper forum, but I appreciate the answers anyway. This thread has been truly helpful to me
July 7, 2010 8:36:21 PM

banthracis said:
4.2 ghz at 1.4v.

Doable in many chips, perfectly fine, and pretty much the upper limit.

It's very hard to get it higher than that. In general, it's not advised to go above 1.4v.

A limit is temps though. Try to keep it under 80c load, 70c would be even better.

See my post directly above...

I'd feel safer keeping it in the 1.25v region on an air cooler (Hyper 212), but good to know the upper limits too. And nice to know what max temps should be

Again, as I said in my last post, you guys are absolutely awesome. Thanks so much for all the info. I've read a lot of the guides on OCing, but to a n00b like me it's nice to have you guys around to help clarify some of the things that were a little unclear in the guides
July 7, 2010 8:44:40 PM

Somebody_007 said:
Well I as mentioned it's 1.25v. I may not have been clear but I meant that that was the safe limit. sone people go to 1.5+ without issues(short term anyways). But if you stay below 1.25 there really should be no problem. As for how high you can go with that, from my own experience I'm guessing maybe 3.8.


1.25v is stock voltage in many chips.... how the hell do you call it a high overclock if you aren't going above stock v?

1.35v-1.4v is where you'll want to stop.

Also, I've never seen a 3.8 OC at 1.25v.

Tom's has a pretty nice summary of an i7-920 OC, complete with full settings here.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-core-i7,2...

HardOCP's OC details
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2008/11/13/intel_core_i7...




July 7, 2010 8:53:13 PM

banthracis said:
1.25v is stock voltage in many chips.... how the hell do you call it a high overclock if you aren't going above stock v?

1.35v-1.4v is where you'll want to stop.

Also, I've never seen a 3.8 OC at 1.25v.

Tom's has a pretty nice summary of an i7-920 OC, complete with full settings here.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-core-i7,2...

HardOCP's OC details
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2008/11/13/intel_core_i7...

Perfect, thanks for the guides...

Good to know about the voltage... Although if I understand what you were saying earlier, voltage isn't so important as cpu temperature under 100% load, right? The key is just to use whichever voltage keeps you around ~70C and then just boost the speed of the cpu until it's no longer stable (or gets hotter than 70C), right?
July 7, 2010 9:02:09 PM

Correct, the limiting factor to OC is keeping temps low.

Boosting F, has a very minor, almost insignificant heat increase.

It's v increase that dramatically increases heat.

I'll just quote myself again
Quote:
Power Dissipation = PD in Watt
Voltage = Volt
Freq = Hz
C= Capacitance in Farads

Total PD in Watt = C x F x V^2
As C doesn't change (ok it technically does, but for the sake of keeping the math simply we can assume it doesn't)


If you actually plug in numbers and graph the function, the heat increase due to a freq increase is minute compared to the heat increase from a v increase, as one increases exponentially, the other linearly.

Indeed, the more you increase the V, the less the F part of the equation is relevant to the total temp.


Looking at real world data, look at the power usage increase in Tom's i5 efficiency article.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-750-efficie...

Each bump was a constant 10mhz clock speed increase, but due to the exponential nature of the voltage increase contribution to PD, the graph is not linear, and power usage does not increase until you start seeing large v increases.

Power usage directly translates into heat.

As for actual temps, it's more complicated than purely based on power dissipation
Cpu temperature = (Total PD in Watt) x (HSF's Thermal Resistance in C/W) + (Ambient Temp in Celcius)

For comparison purposes the resistance and ambient can be considered constant (technically not true once again, as resistance changes slightly with temp, and ambient increases with more heat output).

July 7, 2010 9:12:26 PM

banthracis said:
1.25v is stock voltage in many chips.... how the hell do you call it a high overclock if you aren't going above stock v?

1.35v-1.4v is where you'll want to stop.

Also, I've never seen a 3.8 OC at 1.25v.

Tom's has a pretty nice summary of an i7-920 OC, complete with full settings here.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-core-i7,2...

HardOCP's OC details
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2008/11/13/intel_core_i7...



I know 1.25 is pretty much stock on most chips. But you'll get a decent overclock with it. As I said 3.8 works on mine(I didn't run the full 12 hours of prime but the 2 I ran at least points in the positive direction) I may have been lucky with my chip but you'll get somehwere arounf that with yours.

And yeah it isn't a high overclock but I don't want to reccomend going to 1.35-1.4 as it isn't completely risk free. You can be pretty sure nothing will go wrong but there is a risk.

Also I've been confused often about how harmful voltage is. Can you please enlighten me? I previously thought it was as you said siimply heat that was a concern and voltage is what mainly contributes to heat. I was told by a veteran though that you can damage your cpu simply by "overvolting". I asked him for clarification but he ran off. Maybe I overestimated the rank of veteran.

So can you damage your cpu by bumping up the voltage even if you've got cooling that keeps your cpu under 70-90?
July 7, 2010 9:22:55 PM

banthracis said:
Correct, the limiting factor to OC is keeping temps low.

Boosting F, has a very minor, almost insignificant heat increase.

It's v increase that dramatically increases heat.

I'll just quote myself again
<snip>

Great info, thanks

Thanks to your help, I think I'm getting the hang of all this and now feel pretty confident about my components... Now if I could just settle on a video card I think I'd be set and ready to purchase. I'm just still having trouble deciding on video: nvidia vs ati, sli vs single card, cuda vs no cuda, etc...

I'm going to be running a dual display @ something around 1920x1080 on both monitors, and will be using the whole CS5 suite like it's going out of style. Will also use Nero and Roxio suites for video editing... not sure if I will use the system for gaming or not yet, though, but would like it to be ready just in case. But I don't want to drop $400 on a card if all I end up doing is Photoshop, you know?...
July 7, 2010 9:26:53 PM

I would reccomend nvidia for the CUDA. And IMO if you aren't planning on major upgrades the 470 is the only good price/performance high end card nvidia sells. You could opt for ati but for your mostly proffesional needs I'd opt for a 470. But if you're planning on running more than 2 screens that's another story.
July 7, 2010 9:34:35 PM

Somebody_007 said:
I would reccomend nvidia for the CUDA. And IMO if you aren't planning on major upgrades the 470 is the only good price/performance high end card nvidia sells. You could opt for ati but for your mostly proffesional needs I'd opt for a 470. But if you're planning on running more than 2 screens that's another story.

Yea, I'll be dual display. If I went w/ ATI, would a 5770 be enough?

As for CUDA, I barely know anything about it. I know that you can see some increase is speeds w/ some Adobe apps, although I know a lot of programs out there don't even utilize it. But quite honestly, I really know nothing about it or how to even set it up and what it's benefits/cons are. It hit up wikipedia and nvidia's own website, but a lot of it was over my head
July 7, 2010 9:38:11 PM

Somebody_007 said:


Also I've been confused often about how harmful voltage is. Can you please enlighten me? I previously thought it was as you said siimply heat that was a concern and voltage is what mainly contributes to heat. I was told by a veteran though that you can damage your cpu simply by "overvolting". I asked him for clarification but he ran off. Maybe I overestimated the rank of veteran.

So can you damage your cpu by bumping up the voltage even if you've got cooling that keeps your cpu under 70-90?



Ugh this is gonna have to get complicated. How much do you know about electron orbital theory and quantum tunneling?

I'll assume nothing so I'll try to keep this as simple as I can.

Normally, electrons stay around their atom's and don't go wandering off. So in a CPU, they'll stay in one transistor and not move to others. However, if you've learnt quantum tunneling principles, you'll know it's actually possible for electrons to escape from energy wells, even infinitely deep ones, it's just very uncommon.

Now, a transistor in a CPU is made from alternating + and - doped and undoped silicon. Once in a while, an electron will escape and bury a couple atoms into an adjourning transistor, and if this happens enough times, eventually all the way through to the adjourning transistor before coming back to it's orbit.

Keep doing this and eventually an electron doesn't come back, but stays attached to an atom in the adjourning undoped section of silicon. Over time (usually years), this tunneling causes a hole to be formed between two adjourning transistors and allows free electron flow. This bypasses the "gates" between the transistors and as a result, the computer will misread this resulting in an error.

This process is called silicon degradation and eventually results in a complete CPU failure.

Now, as to where overclocking comes in.

If you know about electron orbital theory, the more energy an electron has, the more likely it is to leave it's orbit and tunnel. IE if yur CPU is running hot, or has a considerably higher voltage going through it, electrons tunnel in much higher numbers. As a result, the more you OC, the faster you make those tunnel which cause silicon degradation.

In addition, if you increase the voltage enough, you can actually physically destroy the silicon lattice of the gates within a processor. Please don't make me explain this as well.


All that said, yes, you can run a 1.4v for years without issue as long as heat is managed.
July 7, 2010 9:39:18 PM

Also, rank is meaningless. You get rank based on points, you can get points from any post. Ie, you can post "Intel Sucks" enough times and still get veteran.
July 7, 2010 9:47:53 PM

Wow thanks for the lenthy explanation it is very very much appreciated :D  I didn't expect in depth knowledge like that even from you. What do you do as a job?

So just a quick question do you have an idea when overvolting will become an issue even when heat is maintained?

And yeah I know veteran is meaningless, but if you're on the forums that much you'd expect them to know something. I've met a few who we're really not very knowledged and when it comes from me it's got to mean something.

as for the CUDA thing from what I understand it's simply an architecture which is better for proggrams like photoshop. I don't think their's anything to set up. It just faster for the supported proggams. I could be wrong though if I am i'm sure bantracis will tell you the truth :p 

I think a 5770 will do fine though I'm not certain about the needs of pohtoshop concerning cpu/gpu but I hear it's mostly cpu intensive.
July 7, 2010 10:16:39 PM

2 Electrical engineers as roommates in college + I work extensively with networking, Bio informatics and videoconferencing specialist's.

I run several clinical research studies at an Ivy League Institution.


As to your overvolting question. Ask Intel, I've got no idea. The numbers required to calculate this require some information Intel probably keeps well guarded.

There is also no exact number, where if reached your CPU suddenly fails. It's simply, the higher you go, the faster degradation occurs.

CUDA, ok you're need build a car. You obviosuly need a foreman to direct which people to build which parts of the car, then someone to direct people how to put the individually built parts together to make the final car.

CUDA is a programming shell which allows an effecient method to do this.

IE, take a calculation that can be done in parallel, direct each core what part to calculate, and them put it all together at the end.

Like anything else, you need to write the software to do this. In your case you can just DL the software to take advantage of CUDA. As far as I know, for Adobe, premier and aftereffects are the only ones to really benefit from CUDA.


July 7, 2010 10:38:12 PM

banthracis said:
CUDA, ok you're need build a car. You obviosuly need a foreman to direct which people to build which parts of the car, then someone to direct people how to put the individually built parts together to make the final car.

CUDA is a programming shell which allows an effecient method to do this.

IE, take a calculation that can be done in parallel, direct each core what part to calculate, and them put it all together at the end.

Like anything else, you need to write the software to do this. In your case you can just DL the software to take advantage of CUDA. As far as I know, for Adobe, premier and aftereffects are the only ones to really benefit from CUDA.

Makes sense...

Is CUDA something that is going to be popular as the years go by? Will a lot of programs ultimately end up using it? Is it something you recommend?.. or would the 5770 suffice for my needs


And more more compatibility question for you... I'm looking into the Megahalems cooler now, but read that there are clearance issues with G.Skill RAM's tall heat spreaders.

Should I a) Just stick with the Hyper 212, b) Get the Megahalems and just buy this RAM or this RAM instead (same speed, just higher latency and higher voltage, but NO SPREADERS, or c) get the Megahalems and the RAM with the big heat spreaders and just shift the fan on the HS up higher... it seems to me that option "b" would be best as long as there is no real performance difference between the G.Skill RAM with the big spreaders vs the RAM w/out the big spreaders

In fact, I'll accept any RAM you suggest that doesn't have big heat spreaders. Since I'll be using the HAF 932 or 922 case (which will be nice and cool), heat shouldn't really be a problem for the RAM, right?...
July 7, 2010 11:35:37 PM

1. CUDA future, who knows? It is very very effective if well implemented though. Order of 11x -100x faster than the best CPU's depending on task.

2. Just grab a Hyper 212. I've taken i7-920 to 4ghz with 1 fine.


July 8, 2010 12:33:56 AM

banthracis said:
1. CUDA future, who knows? It is very very effective if well implemented though. Order of 11x -100x faster than the best CPU's depending on task.

2. Just grab a Hyper 212. I've taken i7-920 to 4ghz with 1 fine.

Ok, I'll do that.

What do you think about the video card I mentioned earlier? Would a 5770 meet my needs? What would the equivalent nvidia card be if I wanted to go the CUDA route?
!