Last night I attempted my first overclock with my new i7 980. The CPU was running at 3.33Ghz which I increased to 3.5 while the RAM, rated at 2000Mhz, was running at 1333. I increased this to about 1850 then booted Windows. After about 5 minutes I again enter the BIOS to find that the DIMM voltage, which was set on auto had risen to 1.7 when of course it should remain at 1.65 or less with this CPU. I quickly restored the default settings.
Both the CPU and RAM seem to be operating optimally as I have noticed no change in performance and suffered no crashes. I have also tested with Windows Memory Diagnostic which found no errors. I was wondering if my CPU may have suffered permanent damage and if there would be a method of testing for this damage.
The problem is not running the RAM at 1.7 volts. The problem is running the memory controller inside the CPU at 1.7 volts.
There's a reason you see a lot of fairly fast DDR3 running at 1.5 volts today.
The reason you see a lot of DDR3 runnining at 1.5v is because of Sandy Bridge. This is an i7 980, and it's IMC's max spec is 1.875v: http://download.intel.com/design/processor/datashts/320...
Page 22, Table 2-6, fourth line down. It doesn't list a normal value, but that was of course 1.65v.