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Overclocking - system stability?

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Could you please recommend a software that would test overclocked system stability? I'm getting way too many CTDs mid-flight which I suspect could be related to an overclocked system. Thanks.

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Could you please recommend a software that would test overclocked system stability? I'm getting way too many CTDs mid-flight which I suspect could be related to an overclocked system. Thanks.
An unstable system would give you blue screens and system reboots. Ordinary CTDs might be caused by other problems. Do you still get these CTDs if you run your system without the OC?

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There are a whole host of programs that you can use to test an overclock. Prime 95 will usually bring an unstable one down in less than 5 minutes, but I also use a few others, as they occasionally find an instability that Prime 95 doesn't. These include OCCT, IntelBurnTest, and LinX. Even though Prime 95 usually can bring an unstable system to its knees right away, it's still best to run it for at least 8 hours just to be sure.

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run the OCCT CPU test for one hourhttp://www.ocbase.com/perestroika_en/index.php?Downloadif you do not have it already download realtemp and monitor your core temps, I recommend that your core temps do not exceed 80C to be on the safe side.http://www.brothersoft.com/real-temp-download-154507.htmlif you are only using the stock intel HSF that came with your CPU then you really need to keep an eye on your core temps because the stock HSF may not get rid of the heat and you will need to shut OCCT down. If this is the case you will need to remove the stock HSF and install a better aftermarket HSFif you pass OCCT you can run LinX for 20 passes at a problem size of 25,XXX this runs even hotter than OCCT so keep on eye on your core tempshttp://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=201670look at post 733 for a download link to the latest LinX library packshttp://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=201670&page=30if you are getting BSOD's you can download BlueScreenViewer, this will allow you to look at the cause of the BSOD. From the BSOD fail code you can usually tell what to do to fix it. Report what code you are getting and we can go from therehttp://www.nirsoft.net/utils/blue_screen_view.htmlI have never use it, but there is Memtest86 to test your ram. There is the possibility that your OC is fine and one or more of your ram sticks are causing your BSOD's http://www.memtest.org/

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UlfB attempted to help me on another forum before I believe, I just didn't follow up with any testing. There's a lot of info in this thread that will help me out with the issue. Thanks guys. I'll begin testing this evening.photofv.jpg

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UlfB attempted to help me on another forum before I believe, I just didn't follow up with any testing. There's a lot of info in this thread that will help me out with the issue. Thanks guys. I'll begin testing this evening.
Yes :wink: Just make sure to keep CPU temp below 80C in OCCT. Keep your VCore below 1.45V.

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Ok guys, so I've installed Prime95 and indeed the machine did not last more than five minutes and the temps went slightly above 80 degrees. I am willing to decrease the numbers a little but I am not sure exactly which ones to bring down and how much? I've took screenshots of the bios with my iphone hoping that you could steer me in the right direction. I'm surely confused, especially on the DRAM speeds when I bring the BLCK Frequency down.bios1l.jpgbios2d.jpgThanks for your help!

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DRAM speeds are directly tied to base clock. You should see a multiplier somewhere in the RAM settings, which multiplies the base clock speed to arrive at your RAM speed, i.e., a base clock of 200 times a multiplier of 2:8 (you can pretend the 2 isn't there for simplicity's sake) will give you 1600 MHz.Is your RAM rated to run at those timings? If so, it doesn't look to me like you've gotten too fancy with your settings, so in all honesty, I'd just start over. The first thing I would do is reset it to stock clocks (load defaults in the BIOS) and then flash the BIOS, since I'm sure there's been another release since 2008.Also, judging from your specs and the base clock, I'm guessing you have a core multiplier of 20x. Try 19x; I've heard lots of stories of 920s and i7s in general doing better with odd multipliers than even ones.There are lots of guides out there, some more helpful than others, but what worked best for me was this one. Read that first, but since you've done some overclocking before and probably know the basics, I've tried to condense that here and also tell you how you might save a little time instead of following it to the letter. It shouldn't take more than one evening. This is just advice, though, take it at your own risk. :Tounge:After you've loaded defaults and optionally flashed the BIOS, your RAM should be within spec because motherboard defaults generally don't go below 9. For now, you might as well just plug in 11-11-11-24, and leave the rest on Auto. This will eliminate the RAM as the cause of any instabilities you encounter. Pick out a speed you'd be satisfied with, say, the 3.8 GHz you currently run. If you were to try a 19x multiplier instead of 20x, you would want to see if the base clock can go to 200. First, make sure all the power-saving stuff is off, and if the primary use of this computer is FSX, go ahead and turn off hyperthreading too. Temporarily dial back the multiplier to 12x, and start testing your way up. Two runs of Prime95 should be fine. Since it's currently set at 190, you'd probably be OK starting at 170 and going up in increments of 10 once it passes. If you get to 200 (or whatever your goal is), you know your base clock can support it and you know that won't inhibit you. If it fails, go back to the last one that works and work up in increments of two until you find where it gets unstable. Also, you want to be monitoring your core temps using RealTemp now and any other time you're running a stress test. If any of them go over 80, stop. They shouldn't get that hot in this step, though.Once you've reached your base clock goal (or wherever you have to stop), you should test your memory (step 2 in the guide). However, unless you're planning on using a base clock that would run it higher than spec, I would only test it once at the speed it's rated to run using memtest86+. If you're going over its rated speed, there are instructions in the guide for testing that, which I've omitted here to keep it simple. Assuming you're staying within spec, dial in the highest multiplier that keeps it within its rated speed at the base clock you've settled on (assuming it's 200, this will be 2:6 if it's 1333 MHz, 2:8 if 1600 MHz, 2:10 if 2000 MHz, and so on), then restart and test it. The test will run continuously, but one pass should be enough for our purposes. For a 6GB system such as yours, this will probably take 30-45 minutes and would be a good time to eat dinner or take care of a household chore.Assuming it passes (you have other problems if it doesn't), lower the base clock down to 133 and plug in the core multiplier you want to use. Now is also a good time to enter a starting VCore; I'd suggest 1.3V. This will usually be all you need. Restart it to be sure it POSTs, then go back into the BIOS and set it to 150 and load Windows. Check the settings using CPU-Z to make sure they all were applied correctly, then follow the same procedures you did before when you were testing the base clock. If you start getting blue screens, look at the code it gives. If it ends in 101, bump your VCore. If it's a 124, try VCore, and if that doesn't help, try increasing VTT (uncore voltage) instead. If it's something else... well, it may be best to google it, but hopefully you won't see many until you start pushing the limits. Keep doing this until you hit your goal, start running too hot, or when raising the voltages doesn't prevent blue screens. Once you've found what seems to be the highest stable OC after two runs of Prime95, go back into the BIOS and drop the base clock by 2 or so, then let Prime95 run for an hour or so. Then tighten up your RAM to spec, enable any power-saving features you want, and let it run overnight. I'd also suggest finding the lowest stable VCore for your OC to save some power and let it run a little cooler, but that's up to you.This won't get you the absolute best overclock possible, but it'll get you close. Hope this helps!

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Hi Mike,Thank you very much sir, this is some great stuff and I will work on this tonight. I am a little confused as to the multiplier and where do you plug the values in the bios? Is it somewhere else in the bios where it's not visible in the pictures I've attached?Edit: Never mind, I think I've got it. Is it CPU Ratio:20?

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What Asus motherboard do you have?Like Mike asked, what is your ram rated at. If you have 1333MHz ram and are trying to run it at 1523MHz that maybe part of your problem.In regards to your OC, rather than have CPU Ratio on auto you should plug in a number, 20 would be for your current 3.8GHz at a BCLK of 190. Below are the OC settings that I had for my i7 950 P6T Deluxe v2 system. Note that the ram settings under DRAM Timing Control are for the ram that I had, you will need to adjust them for the ram that you have. When overclocking there are some settings that it is recommend to disable, this provides for a more stable overclock. Note that Intel SpeedStep Tech, Intel Turbo Mode Tech, CPU Spread Spectrum, PCIE Spread Spectrum, C1E Support, Intel Virtualization Tech, CPU TM Function, Execute Disalbe Bit, Intel HT Technology, Intel SpeedStep Tech, Intel Turbo Mode Tech and Intel C-State Tech are all disabled.I suggest that you read these i7 9XX overclock guides, they explain what to do and how to do it.http://www.clunk.org.uk/forums/overclocking/22106-core-i7-overclocking-guide-beginners.htmlhttp://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?board_id=1&model=P6T+Deluxe&id=20081220191040237&page=1&SLanguage=en-usAI Overclock Tuner: ManualCPU Ratio Setting: 21xIntel SpeedStep Tech: DisabledIntel Turbo Mode Tech: DisabledBLCK Frequency: 200PCIE Frequency: 100DRAM Frequency: DDR3-1603MHzUCLK Frequency: 3208MHzQPI Link Data Rate: Auto (3600 MHz)DRAM Timing Control1st Information :CAS# Latency: 6DRAM RAS# to CAS# Delay: 7DRAM RAS# PRE Time: 6DRAM RAS# ACT Time: 182nd Information :DRAM Timing Mode: 1N CPU Voltage: 1.32500CPU PLL Voltage: 1.82QPI/DRAM Core Voltage: 1.34375IOH Voltage: 1.20ICH Voltage: 1.20DRAM Bus Voltage: 1.66Load Line Calibration: EnabledCPU Spread Spectrum: DisabledPCIE Spread Spectrum: DisabledAll Other Settings: AutoAdvance CPU SettingsCPU Ratio Setting: 21x C1E Suppport: DisabledHardware Prefetcher: EnabledAdjacent Cache Line Prefetch: EnabledIntel® Virtualization Tech: DisabledCPU TM Function: Disabled Execute Disable Bit: DisabledIntel HT Techology: DisabledActive Processor Cores: AllA20M: DisabledIntel SpeedStep Tech: DisabledIntel Turbo Mode Tech: DisabledIntel C-STATE Tech: DisabledUnder Advanced Menu: PCIPnPPNP OS = Yes

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Motherboard is Asus P6T (not Deluxe, just P6T)RAM is rated at 7-7-7-24 @1600Mhz.

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Motherboard is Asus P6T (not Deluxe, just P6T)RAM is rated at 7-7-7-24 @1600Mhz.
Then the ram settings that are shown in your BIOS pictures are correct!

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According to the screenshot tutorial you've provided, they're acheiving 4.0Ghz on a very similar system with much lower Vcore voltage of 1.250v versus mine that is set at 1.325v. I will read all this and most likely start from lower base clock like Mike suggested and go up. It's kind of hard to predict now when I'm not around the machine. I will report back either late tonight or some time tomorrow morning. :)

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You need to keep in mind that all systems are unique when it comes to the amount of voltage it takes to keep a system stable at any given CPU/BCLK setting. Your 1.325V is not bad just because someone else has 1.250V, maybe they just got a hold of a golden CPU!The higher your clock the more voltage it takes and these voltage curves are exponential, not linear.

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Ok guys, here we go:Mobo DefaultsBIOS flash: OKCPU Ratio: x12DRAM Timings: 10-10-10-24 (it would not allow me to acheive 11-11-11-24, it'd allow me 11-10-10-24 so I went with all equal values, shouldn't matter right?)BCLCK Freq: 200 x12Vcore: 1.3vSystem: Stable at two Prime95 runs at 7 and 5 minutes each.Temps: Around 69 degrees max, with cores 2 and 4 running the hottestI'm thinking, this is great we have something to work with, until I've brought the multiplier in.BCLCK Freq: 200 x19Vcore: 1.3vSystem: Stable at one hour run of Prime95Temps: High, 81 degrees towards the end of an hourSo, I've started bringing base clock down gradually until I saw temp decrese, cranked up the DRAM timing and decided to let it run for the rest of the night.BCLCK Freq: 190 x19Vcore: 1.3vDRAM Timings: 7-7-7-24System: Stable, I've hanged around for about 10 minutes before I went to bed, woke up to find out that the box restarted, most likely due to stupid Windows update there was from MS yesterday for Windows7. Inconclusive.Temps: Max 80 degrees at the 10 minute mark when I was leaving, disapointed. Ok, so I guess it looks like I'm going to have to sacrifice .3Ghz of the overclock to keep the temps down, which is a little disapointing since I thought I had an adequate cooling. (Coolermaster CM690 case with 6 fans, one of them directly at the bottom of the CPU area, Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme CPU.) It's also possible that the room in the basement was on a little warmer side last night, I think I might be able to get better temps when the outside temps decrease to fall/winter ones here in the midwest.I will resume testing this evening, I just wanted to ask - since I've reached stabil system at 200 base clock, should I keep this clock at 200 and decrease the multiplier or should I do what I've done so far and keep moving the clock down keeping the multiplier at 19?Thanks guys!

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I think you'll be able to keep it at 3.8 GHz. Worry not!I know I said to stop when it hits 80, but if it was stable for an hour at 19x200 and never topped 81, it's probably not sustaining that temp and I would leave it there and start tinkering with the VCore. I know that for my particular CPU, 3.8 GHz (21x181) only requires 1.225V. Yours may be different, but I would bet there's some room to knock the voltages down a little bit, which in turn will bring down your temperatures. Push it down in steps of two until it starts giving you blue screens within a few minutes of Prime testing, then go back up about two steps above the last one that worked, and let it run overnight again. If it crashes overnight, don't worry about it, just push it up a little bit and try again.As for your question of whether it's better to lower the multiplier or the base clock, I don't think it matters too much, but the base clock obviously lets you make smaller adjustments. If you have to lower something, I'd suggest lowering that, especially if you plan on using SpeedStep/EIST once you're done. That saves energy by dropping the multiplier, so leaving it at 19 would give it more room to drop and allow for greater energy savings.

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Will do! I'll report back either later tonight or tomorrow morning. :)
Sounds good. Also, it's worth noting that stress tests like Prime 95 represent an absolute worst-case scenario for CPU load, and most people will never use anything that pushes the CPU nearly as hard. So even if you can't get it below 1.3V (unlikely) and 81 is as hot as it gets under Prime testing, normal load temps will probably rarely exceed 70.

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