Do I have a bad CPU?

I admit I never really had a head for overclocking, but I've always been able to get an increase I was happy with. I've had my i7 920 for a while now and just accepted that I can't overclock it, but it has started to bug me lately for whatever reason. I'm constantly reading all these threads saying an overclock to 3.6GHz should be easy on this cpu adjusting nothing more than the BCLK and maybe a slight bump to the vcore, but I swear I can't even get this thing stable at 2.9GHz. I even tried using the Dummy OC feature and it won't even boot. Is there a bad component here or am I really that incompetent?

EVGA X58 SLI LE

Corsair Dominator 4GB DDR3 1600

Corsair Professional Series HX750 750W PSU

ZALMAN CNPS9900ALED CPU Cooler
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More about tomshardware
  1. And what is your HSF? Maybe the reason for your system's unstability is the temperatures it reaches. If you have the Intel stock cooler, try replacing it!
  2. Sorry I forgot to add that. I'm using a ZALMAN CNPS9900ALED.

    I'm not at home right now so I can't post exact readings but I know it idles in the 20's on defaults.
  3. hmm isn´t this a tri-channel cpu ?
  4. make sure your memory has been set correctly in the bios--if i dont set mine manually or use xmp profile the bios sets it to 1066mhz and 1.5v instead of 1600mhz and 1.65v so when i start to overclock the low voltage causes instability

    also remember raising the bclk also overclocks the memory speed so you may need to drop the memory multiplier to 10 or 8 depending how high you overclock--ie 160bclk x 10 memory multiplier or 200bclk x 8 memory multiplier keeps your ram at 1600mhz
  5. correon said:
    hmm isn´t this a tri-channel cpu ?



    yes it is--though he could be using 2gb + 1gb + 1gb rather than 2gb x 2
  6. mcnumpty23 said:
    yes it is--though he could be using 2gb + 1gb + 1gb rather than 2gb x 2


    I'm using 2 x 2GB. Is that a problem?
  7. shouldnt stop you overclocking but your motherboard is triple channel so 3 memory modules should prove to be faster than 2

    still think my previous post about memory voltages/speed and memory multiplier is something you should check

    as you said earlier 3.6ghz should be easy with a decent cooler--i have a different motherboard and memory but the same cpu and psu and can do 4.2ghz stable
  8. mcnumpty23 said:
    shouldnt stop you overclocking but your motherboard is triple channel so 3 memory modules should prove to be faster than 2

    still think my previous post about memory voltages/speed and memory multiplier is something you should check

    as you said earlier 3.6ghz should be easy with a decent cooler--i have a different motherboard and memory but the same cpu and psu and can do 4.2ghz stable

    Thanks mcnumpty, I'll try playing around with those settings when I get home tonight and report back.
  9. Well I set the bclk to 160, memory frequency to 10x, cpu uncore to 21x, CPU and Memory voltages to 1.35v and 1.65v respectively. Rebooted and now it will not post. CMOS reset time, any ideas what went wrong?
  10. you shouldnt need 1.35v cpu--i only use 1.3v for 4.2 ghz

    i think your uncore is wrong--try 17 uncore and qpi link speed 36 i think the uncore is meant to be at least half of the qpi

    and once you start to get it overclocked a little bump on the qpi/vtt voltage may be needed

    i will have a look at my bios settings later today to give you a rough idea of what works for me--but try the uncore at 17 first
  11. Well as it turns out the memory is what was causing the instability. It's rated at 1600 but I found that as long as I keep it under 1066, everything runs fine. Ran prime95 for 4 hours at 3.7GHz without a hitch last night.

    Disturbing about the memory though. I'm not certain if it needs to be replaced or if I just don't have it configured properly.
  12. 1.65v RAM doesn't work well with Intel's i3-5-7's. If you want your higher speed memory, you'll have to get new RAM.
  13. im using 12gb of 1.65v patriot viper low latency at 8-8-8 and 1t command rate timings with absolutely no problems

    so no you dont need to buy new ram just because its 1.65v
  14. heres the bios settings i am using--your motherboard isnt the same but it should give you something to try--just dont go straight for the 200bclck start about 170 with the other settings i have then you can up the bclk

    check your memory timings 8-8-8 or 9-9-9 depending on your ram

    memory multiplier x8

    ram voltage 1.65v

    cpu clock ratio 20x

    turbo enabled

    cpu cores all enabled

    hyper threading enabled--8 cores

    cpu enhanced halt (c1e) enabled

    c3/c6/c7 disabled

    cpu thermal monitor enabled

    cpu eist enabled

    bi-directional prochot enabled

    virtualisation enabled

    qpi link speed 36

    uncore frequency 17

    isynchronous enabled

    bclk control enabled

    bclk 200

    pci-e 100mhz

    cia2--disabled --you wont have that as its gigabyte auto overclock but you probably have something similar

    cpu clock drive 800mv

    pci-e clock drive 900mv

    cpu clock skew 0ps

    ioh clock skew 0ps

    cpu load line calibration (vdroop) enabled

    cpu vcore 1.3v --shows 1.28v in cpuz

    qpi/vtt voltage 1.4v --as far as i remember this must be within 0.5v of ram voltage

    this gives me 4.0ghz and 4.2ghz when turbo kicks in and 1600mhz on the ram
  15. Quote:
    1.65volt is the maximum rated dram voltage for 1155.
    It is perfectly fine.


    hes using socket 1366--its a i7-920
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