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i7 2600k A70 P8Z68-V Pro HAF922 Ripjaws CL7 cooling advice needed

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May 20, 2011 6:15:41 AM

Hi All. I want to share pictures of my new Sandy Bridge Z68 build with you all, and ask for some heatsink/cooling advice.

First, the question.
How do I spread the thick provided (Shin Etsu) thermal interface material between the Corsair A70 and 2600k for best cooling and least temperature variation between the cores?
My first attempt was to put it on the heatsink between the pipes (somewhat sloppily), but that resulted in the following:
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdXywqho...

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX1qYY8...

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX1s-jA...

Here's an i7 2600k die map I got from the web:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX1tksb...

My 1.6Ghz temps:
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX3-Slz...

And my 3.8Ghz turbo temps, though the UEFI monitor says 47 degrees:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX3-scr...

My 2nd attempt was to clean the chip and heatsink surfaces with special cleaner and coffee filters, and put a large pea sized glob in the middle of the chip, with slightly better, but similar results.
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX1m8ad...

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX1z4q0...

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX3-Cae...

I've read up on forums, and I'd love to read from someone who has actually installed an A70 cooler on an i7 2600k chip.

[H]ard forums did a review and their heatsink looked like this when they pulled it:
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdXx_ELu...
I'm not sure what my second attempt looks like yet, but I may pull it again to see.

-------------------------------
Update:I used Asus AI auto tuning to get a 4635 Mhz overclock. Played some SHIFT 2, and the hottest it got was 65C on the hottest core, and 58C on the coolest core. Interestingly, CPUID Hardware Monitor reports CPU VCORE Max as 1.42, and Min as 0.41, with it mainly hanging around 1.0-1.3. I set the EPU to Auto. Some of the time the CPU throttled down to 1648Mhz which brought down the CPU temps back in the 40s, so the throttling feature is amazing, and the game smooth as butter maxed out! Still, I'd like to get into the high 4s and maybe even 5s considering I have a giant heatsink in push/pull in a HAF case.
-------------------------------

I'm looking for some good advice here.


Now for the build.
Intel i7 2600k
Asus P8Z68-V Pro
Corsair A70
CoolerMaster HAF922
Corsair HX750 modular power supply
Nvidia Geforce GTX470
G.Skill Ripjaws 1333Mhz CL7
Samsung HD103SJ Raid0 2x1TB system
Samsung HD204UI 2TB storage
LG WH10LS30 blu-ray burner
Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1250 ATSC/QAM TV tuner
Texas Instruments 1394 Firewire 400 & 800 PCI card

I was going between the Asus P8Z68-V Pro and the Asrock Z68 Extreme4 motherboards. Release day Asus P8Z68-V Pro reviews were glowing. Tomshardware subsequently praised both giving Asrock a slight overall edge due to Asrock's virtual PCI-E lane implementation. I liked the 16 phases of the Asus over Asrock's 10, though I liked Asrock's front panel USB 3.0 and DisplayPort for future connectivity. I was worried about Asus's poor Newegg ratings of the P8P67 and P8P67 Pro boards, despite great reviews of the P8P67 Deluxe board. Chancing it and knowing I could return it if issues arise and buy the Asrock when it becomes available, on release day 11 May 2011, I ordered the Asus board from Newegg and picked it up same day at their will call at Industry, CA. In hand on release day is the first time I've done that with a new motherboard, or any other electronic, but I was excited. As it turns out, the first 5 Newegg reviews are glowing and my experience so far has been 5 stars, as well. Really terrific board!

And I made a nice USB 3.0 front panel modification out of the included HAF922 3.5" bracket - all it took was some eyeballing measurements, markups, a few cuts and clips, some filing, spray painting and voila! Let me know what you think of it. I like the HAF 922 case the most of all the HAF because of the price, cable management, drive layout, enormous fans, great balance of compact yet spacious size, best looks, and non-painted metal interior, which to me is better for grounding.

43 images total
A70 vs. stock 2600k heatsink
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdXyTxgS...

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdXyUdu-...

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdXyU6B-...

Almost no clearance between horizontally positioned A70 fan shroud and G.Skill Ripjaws, even in 2nd position.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdXyu-H-...

Going vertical
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdXyybU1...

Much better clearance
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdXzIrcj...

mid-build
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdXzJCEm...

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdXzMBJP...

plenty of clearance from the side, lol ;) 
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdXzhod9...

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdXzrfW5...

hard drive layout
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdXzisHl...

The HD103SJs are screamers in Raid 0 (on Intel sata6 ports with Intel Rapid Storage 10.5.0.1022 drivers installed and write-back caching enabled), especially for mechanical drives
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX5HTJo...

and the HD204UI is no slouch, either
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX5HaxY...

I've read somewhere that SSD caching, i.e. Smart Response, can be installed in addition to a Raid 0 configuration, but the price/size (>$100 for 20GB), and benefit of Intel 310 SSD Larsen Creek, to what I already have (considering I also have 8GB of 1333Mhz CL7 RAM, in the near future to be 2x8GB=16GB RAM), I seriously question. For all that, I might as well sell the HD103SJs, and buy a dedicated >100GB top-of-the-line SSD, like an OCZ Vertex 3 or whatever succeeds it.

almost there
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdXz4-w8...

excellent cable management on the HAF922
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdXz9qGs...

All cables but the USB 3.0 front panel are installed, nice and neat (inspired by another build I found online) - and not a single Molex cable is used, all fans directly hook up to the motherboard!
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX0FyPP...

I added fan grating mesh on top, side (doubled and 90 degree cross hatched), and bottom, to minimize dust inside the case - I like how it enhances the looks, as well
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX0HKDr...

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX0jbwi...

Here is the finished USB 3.0 front panel modification from the P8Z68-V Pro's rear bracket accessory and the HAF 922 front panel 3.5" bracket
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX0PsYn...

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX0ZB1h...

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX0i95J...

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX0qIyJ...

No Molex, PS/2, parallel, serial, FDD, IDE... ports. Just USB, SATA, eSATA, IEEE 1394, DVI, VGA, RJ45, toslink, coaxial...
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX0elYa...

A custom CoolerMaster HAF 922 true USB 3.0 header front panel
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX0tYK9...

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX02hOw...

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX097Bk...

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX0_6pj...

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX1LJYw...

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX1Mw0T...

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX1NIEA...

all cables inside with the USB 3.0 front panel plugged in to the motherboard header
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX09Z8M...

And even using a generic USB 2.0 hi-speed device, the performance is improved 5% over the front panel USB 2.0 headered input
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX1sGX1...

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_3TvGwqWNzR8/TdX1rXJB...
May 21, 2011 8:06:04 AM

Quote:
-------------------------------
Update:I used Asus AI auto tuning to get a 4635 Mhz overclock. Played some SHIFT 2, and the hottest it got was 65C on the hottest core, and 58C on the coolest core. Interestingly, CPUID Hardware Monitor reports CPU VCORE Max as 1.42, and Min as 0.41, with it mainly hanging around 1.0-1.3. I set the EPU to Auto. Some of the time the CPU throttled down to 1648Mhz which brought down the CPU temps back in the 40s, so the throttling feature is amazing, and the game smooth as butter maxed out! Still, I'd like to get into the high 4s and maybe even 5s considering I have a giant heatsink in push/pull in a HAF case.
-------------------------------


Quote:
I was worried about Asus's poor Newegg ratings of the P8P67 and P8P67 Pro boards, despite great reviews of the P8P67 Deluxe board. Chancing it and knowing I could return it if issues arise and buy the Asrock when it becomes available, on release day 11 May 2011, I ordered the Asus board from Newegg and picked it up same day at their will call at Industry, CA. In hand on release day is the first time I've done that with a new motherboard, or any other electronic, but I was excited. As it turns out, the first 5 Newegg reviews are glowing and my experience so far has been 5 stars, as well. Really terrific board!


Looks like overclocking fleshed out some issues with this Asus P8Z68-V Pro board, reminiscent of the P8P67 Pro... :( 
After the overclock, my computer came out of sleep mode overnight and nothing was visible on the screen; the fans were on. (I turned off the USB triggers in Device Manger already so that's not likely the cause.) I had to hard power down the computer.

I turned down the OC to 4.4Ghz briefly, and then back to turbo 3.8Ghz. Also, after some more 3.8Ghz max SHIFT 2 gaming (still smooth as ever, and now core temps stay in the mid to high 40s, with peaks in the low to mid 50s periodically), my SYSTIN temperatures hit over 120C according to AI Suite II and CPUID Hardware Monitor, while idling; but everything was cool to the touch, cool air blowing out, and thermal gun verified 20-40C depending on where on the board I measured. Could it be a bug of some sort?

Double-boot style triple boots started after I used the AI Auto Tuning feature, even after returning all settings to stock. Flashing to 0401 04/29/2011 UEFI/BIOS did not resolve this. Someone at overclock.net implicated the Marvell and JMicron controllers, but I'm not ready to give those up. Those cost money and the UEFI/BIOS should know what to do with them, as it did before I used Asus AI Auto Tuning.

Anybody know what's going on and how to get back to the way it was before trying to overclock? I noticed the UEFI BIOS DIGI+ VRM Phase Control default was "Standard" on the original 02xx UEFI BIOS and "Extreme" on the new 0401 UEFI BIOS. Would you Asus engineers care to share with us so-far loyal Asus customers what's going on? We're understanding, but frustrated, and looking for some answers.
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June 16, 2011 12:50:29 AM

I may have been mistaken about the triple boots. This may just be one boot with the initial Asus screen being interrupted twice by text screens - once by the RAID controller text screen, and once by something else. It all happens fast enough (a few seconds) so no real harm I guess, but it just doesn't look very polished.

I haven't done any more overclocking, so no updates there, because:
1.) Either I or my Corsair A70 cooler is leaving 1-2 cores 8C hotter than the rest, (I could still use some good advice on that), and
2.) The i7 2600k is so fast that I don't really need to overclock right now. It's speeding through all the programs I currently use.
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