Overclocking help on i7-930/950/960

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Overclocking help on i7-930/950/960

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I was not given any instructions on how to overclock the 930, 950, or 960 or if it is even possible. If you have done this, please post the steps you used and the results.

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  • It looks like the 930 is now the default processor in the Area 51 machine; so maybe in the works for the next BIOS update is the Level configuration overclock for the new 930 & 980X processors.  I see the 920 Level 1 Overclock did not come in until BIOS A04 or maybe I am just interpreting the "Fixes and Enhancements" section wrong.  From what I read on the internet the 920 and 930 are very similar processors and the 930 actually seems to be easier to overclock.

    Model: Alienware Aurora (AO8)
    Command Center: 2.5.51.0
    Processor: Intel Core i7 930 3.36GHz
    OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
    Hard Drive: 2x1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 - SATA, 3Gb/s Raid 0
    Memory: 6GB Triple-Channel 1333MHz DDR3
    Graphic: ATI 2GB GDDR5 Radeon HD 5970
    Sound: Integrated 7.1
    Mouse: Alienware TactX
    Keyboard: Alienware TactX
    Optical Drive: 24X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW)

  • Chris, I see the Aurora now comes with the 930 as a Overclock option taking it to 3.36Ghz.  Can we expect a level configuration overclock in a new BIOS soon or any information?  Thanks!

    Model: Alienware Aurora (AO8)
    Command Center: 2.5.51.0
    Processor: Intel Core i7 930 3.36GHz
    OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
    Hard Drive: 2x1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 - SATA, 3Gb/s Raid 0
    Memory: 6GB Triple-Channel 1333MHz DDR3
    Graphic: ATI 2GB GDDR5 Radeon HD 5970
    Sound: Integrated 7.1
    Mouse: Alienware TactX
    Keyboard: Alienware TactX
    Optical Drive: 24X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW)

  • I would hope so but have not heard anything.

    (Liaison for Desktops, Alienware, Monitors)
    Would you like to be a Dell Community Rockstar?

  • My Aurora (plain vanilla) comes with a 960, the high speed with rock solid stability is 3960mhz (165x24).

    Bios settings are as follows:

    speedstep: enabled
    c state: enabled
    turbo mode: disabled
    speed spectrum: disabled
    XMP support: disabled
    QPI frequency: 4.8GT
    memory ratio: 12
    CPU Bclk: 165
    CPU vcore voltage offset: +300
    RAM voltage: 1.65
    IOH voltage: 1.30
    QPI ad uncore voltage: +320

    One thing of note is that even though Alienware supplies, officially, either 1067mhz and 1333mhz RAM, I find the mobo is perfectly capable of running much faster RAM. I replaced the factory-installed 3GB 1067 RAM with 6GB of Kingston HyperX 2000mhz-rated RAM to amazing result. My RAM is currently set at 1980mhz with 1T.

     

  • With your cpu vcore offset at +300, what is the vcore actually at under load?

  • +300 is the max volt. When speedstep underclocks the cpu under light load, vcore voltage is way less than the max.

  • I have the i7-960 on an Area-51 system and by using the settings you provided, it seems to be hanging my system before loading into the operating system (Windows 7). I followed all your settings apart from XMP Support: disabled. I couldnt find this under my A03 bios.. Can you tell me where exactly you find this setting?

    Do you think this would be the setting that is hanging my system.

    I wish I could O/C my cpu successfully.. Anything quicker than the stock 3.2GHZ I would be happy with.

    Thanks

     

    10_mall

    My Aurora (plain vanilla) comes with a 960, the high speed with rock solid stability is 3960mhz (165x24).

    Bios settings are as follows:

    speedstep: enabled
    c state: enabled
    turbo mode: disabled
    speed spectrum: disabled
    XMP support: disabled
    QPI frequency: 4.8GT
    memory ratio: 12
    CPU Bclk: 165
    CPU vcore voltage offset: +300
    RAM voltage: 1.65
    IOH voltage: 1.30
    QPI ad uncore voltage: +320

    One thing of note is that even though Alienware supplies, officially, either 1067mhz and 1333mhz RAM, I find the mobo is perfectly capable of running much faster RAM. I replaced the factory-installed 3GB 1067 RAM with 6GB of Kingston HyperX 2000mhz-rated RAM to amazing result. My RAM is currently set at 1980mhz with 1T.

     

  • You won't have xmp support if you don't have memory that does not have an xmp profile. Try setting the memory ratio to 6 for starters and see what that does.

     

  • It's perfectly normal to have different OC results from similar, even identical systems. When you're experimenting with OC, you need to find the max oc limit for your CPU and RAM individually. That is to say, when you are playing with the CPU, leave RAM settings as close to the default as possible, and vice versa. This way you don't ahve to contend with instability from 2 potential sources.

    I'm quite certain 960 should have no problem reaching 160x25=3840.

  • The reason I ask is because I have i7 920 and I have it set 190x20=3.8 and the vcore offset is +80mv which is 1.28vcore underload in the bios it shows as 1.3vcore. I am just wondering how high the vcore gets to at +300mv?

  • Thanks for the response.

    I managed to O/C my I7-960. I didnt exactly use the same settings as you suggested as it was doing funny things with my display. Upong booting to Windows 7, it would just blank my screen as if there was something wrong with my video card.

    The settings I used

    speedstep: enabled
    c state: enabled
    turbo mode: disabled
    speed spectrum: disabled
    memory ratio: 6
    CPU Bclk: 165

    I didnt bother with the below settings:

    QPI frequency: 4.8GT
    CPU vcore voltage offset: +300
    RAM voltage: 1.65
    IOH voltage: 1.30
    QPI ad uncore voltage: +320QPI frequency: 4.8GT

    My question is, because I didnt bother with some of the above settings, should I worry about this.. By not following all the settings above, could I damage any part of the CPU etc? It seems to be the most stable for me by using only some of the suggestions above.


    10_mall

    It's perfectly normal to have different OC results from similar, even identical systems. When you're experimenting with OC, you need to find the max oc limit for your CPU and RAM individually. That is to say, when you are playing with the CPU, leave RAM settings as close to the default as possible, and vice versa. This way you don't ahve to contend with instability from 2 potential sources.

    I'm quite certain 960 should have no problem reaching 160x25=3840.

     

  • Some of the settings that you skipped are most germame to OC the cpu, other are related to oc the RAM.

     

    Do this for OC the CPU:
    QPI frequency: 4.8GT
    CPU vcore voltage offset: +300

    Note vcore offset +300mv would make the effective max vcore 1.15+0.3 = 1.45v, while still within the 1.5v safety range, it's pushing it hard, I do not recommend exceeding 1.5 (or offset +350)

    The following setting are strictly related to RAM oc, and sould be left to default if you're not oc RAM at all. Again, these setting are quite aggresive, you shouldn't push much more if you're oc RAM.
    RAM voltage: 1.65 (should be safe under 1.75)
    IOH voltage: 1.30
    QPI ad uncore voltage: +320

    Last but not least, download "PRIME95" and select the burn-in test to test cpu stability with all 8 cores running at full. Use "memtest" for oced RAM.