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RichyG
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Quote RichyG Replybullet Topic: core I7 overclock
    Posted: 22 Feb 2009 at 1:00pm

Not too many overclocking reports here.  Kind of interesting in that one of the main advantages of buying from CP is the potential to overclock your system that you do not get with mid-range Dell, etc. machines.

Anyway, here is what I have done thus far with my Gamer XT build (core I7/ Gigabyte X58-UDR3)
 
1.  Enabled overclocking in BIOs and set speed to 166 Mhz.  with the 920's 20X multiplier this is a speed of about 3.33 GHz.  In practice the chip will actually run at a 21X multiplier for a speed of 3.5 GHz - as long as temperatures are under comtrol (the coreI7 turbo mode).  Mine runs at 3.5 GHz all the time.  PCI bus speed set at 100 Mhz.  All other speeds auto.
 
2.  To get a stable overclock I set the voltage on the cpu manually to 1.25.   This prevents the motherboard from raising the voltage higher during the overclock (which it would do if I left it on auto) and thereby increasing the cpu temperature.  The QPI voltage and all othert volyages were left on auto.
 
3.  Memory multiplier left on 8X (8X166= 1333).
 
Pretty simple and my machine runs stably at 3.5 GHz for hours while rendering video on all 4 cores at ~75% cpu utilization.   72 degrees max cpu temp and well within spec.  The Asetek liquid cooling seems OK, but probably no better than high end air coolers I have used.
 
You will see many reports of much higher overclocks than this with the coreI7 920.  However, the chipset on this motherboard is not actively cooled and I did not want to push it too much. 
 
You may ask if it is worth it and my answer is - it depends.  I like having the performance of a much more expensive chip for nothing.  A coreI7965 chip runs at 3.2GHz and sells for $999. With a mild overclock you can best this and feel like you saved over $700.  The increased speed can cut significant time off of operations like video rendering (more than 25 minutes off a 2 hour project).  I suppose if you are risk averse and afraid of messing with the bios this may not be for you.  If you are a little adventerous this can be fun but,
I WOULD NOT ATTEMPT UNLESS YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR BIOS AND THE SYSTEM SETTINGS (INCLUDING THINGS LIKE RAID CONFIGURATIONS).
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Ratdog
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Quote Ratdog Replybullet Posted: 11 Mar 2009 at 1:04pm
Be warned.....
 
This is from a post that CP TS made with link to that post on bottom
 
The reason as to why the warranty would not cover overclock settings done by the customer is because it would essentially be the same thing as a customer adding in another component into the computer, that was not purchased through CyberPower.  Overclocking a system means that you are adding in settings to the BIOS, therefore changing the original configuration of the computer, whether to increase stability or performance.  It is understandable that there are many computer enthusiasts that like to play around with their BIOS settings to get the most out of their computer.  CyberPower can only warn customers that they will be liable for damaged components due to overclocking the computer themselves, since there is no way CyberPower can stop them from doing so.
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and here is another post
 
Thank you Ratdog for providing this information .  The reasoning why we do not offer any other system with overclocking is due to instability issues.  We only offer overclocking for a computer if we have consitently tested the configuration and confirmed that they will run stable.  you can overclock any computer, as long as you know the correct settings to adjust in the BIOS and be very careful not to damage the internal components by doing so.  As mentioned in my previous post that Radog copy and pasted, we don't advise that you go into the BIOS to adjust the settings to overclock your computer, which is why it is not covered under warranty should any component fail due to settings that you changed in BIOS.  Essentially, you are overclocking at your own risk.
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Munch
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Quote Munch Replybullet Posted: 11 Mar 2009 at 1:40pm
That is why I decided to not OC my CPU, I don't want my warranty voided.  I did set my XMP profile for my memory though, but I think that is ok, the memory was designed to run at that speed...
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RichyG
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Quote RichyG Replybullet Posted: 11 Mar 2009 at 4:03pm
Well, given that CP created this nice overclocking forum (learn about overclocking here!) I think they are a bit confused.  I also think it would be very difficult to prove any failure was due to overclocking.  Look at the support forum, stuff fails all the time.  I had a HD failure before I overclocked my new system.
 
In practice I think it is nearly impossible to "fry" an intel cpu these days due to the built in overtemp protection.   Possibly you could cook the chipet on the MB, but even that is unlikely to be a permanent failure.  When I have taken my various MBs past safety they crash and the system BIOS resets or I reset it manually by covering some pins on the mb.  All of your peripherals should be fine as the clock on the PCI-e bus can be set separately and maintained at 100 MHz no matter how high you overclock the cpu.  All of the MBs CP sells allow overclocking and most of the MB companies brag about this capability.
 
I think a low overclock of 3.2-3.5 GHz on the coreI7 920 is pretty darn safe, but as I said if you are not comfortable with the BIOS don't bother.  I also have a Q6600 running at 3.6 GHz (a 50% OC) for the past 8 months and an E6300 running at 3.0 for 2 years (Stock 1.8).  Before any of these cpus "burns out" I will probably want the next greatest thing anyway.
 
Enabling XMP settings while running at stock cpu speeds is giving you 1333MHz memory and somewhere between a 0 and 2% increase in performance in real world applications and games.  I bought CP's cheapest memory and am running that at 1333 while running my CPU at 3.3-3.5GHz.  For my most common real world application (video editing and rendering) this is a greater than 25% increase in performance.  Or you can think of it as a machine which out performs a similar coreI7 965 for $700 less.
 
On the other hand if you don't do anything where you are cpu bound I completely agree that OCing is probably not worth the effort (but it is still fun).
 
 
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KayserSoeze
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Quote KayserSoeze Replybullet Posted: 12 Mar 2009 at 8:39pm
Richy, What's your cpu temp at idle on that set up? I have the same cooler as you do, and I'm contemplating on duplicating your set up. 
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RichyG
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Quote RichyG Replybullet Posted: 13 Mar 2009 at 8:37am
40-42 degrees after about 30 minutes at idle.  Some might call that a bit high and I am not so sure the asetek cooler is doing a great job of keeping idle temps down at a minimum.  However, while running adobe premiere and rendering a video to DVD all 4 cores, temps are in the low to mid 70s despite loads averaging averaging ~75% across all cores.   I haven't found any real world application that stresses the cpu better but you can run mutliple instances of orthos to hit all 4 cores at 100% if you really want to stress things.  The hottest thing on my motherboard is the chipset which is painful to touch when the system has been cranking for a while - despite what looks like a pretty solid heatsink.  Games don't put the same stress on the cpu, and while running far cry 2 (one of the few games that really uses mutliple cores well) loads never really get over 50% utilization and temps are in the low 60s.
 
I have the centurion case which is OK, but I could probably use more airflow.
 
FYI, something that Munch pointed out to me is that the Gigabyte MB "double boots" when it is overclocked.  I looked and sure enough mine does it too.  When you first hit the on button the system does a quick on, off, and then on again cycle.  Adds ~5 seconds to the boot time.  It hadn't really connected with me until Munch mentioned it and I intend to see if the latest BIOS fix stops the behavior.   Machine runs great otherwise.
 
What are your idle temps like?
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KayserSoeze
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Quote KayserSoeze Replybullet Posted: 13 Mar 2009 at 12:09pm
Thanks for your reply.

System at 45c
CPU at 37c
Core 0 at 38
Core 1at 37
Core 2 at33
Core 3 at 33

All times at idle for about an hour, but this are on stock settings, I haven't applied your settings yet. I'll probably try it later and see how temps go.
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Gulfdiver
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Quote Gulfdiver Replybullet Posted: 13 Mar 2009 at 1:00pm

It isnt that hard to screw up your pc by messing around the bios.  I would guess another reason CP doesnt want you messing around in there is if you go in and make your system unstable I'm sure they dont want to have to trouble shoot through all the bios settings to get your system stable again.  Also since all computers OC' differently there isnt settings that will make every system work.  Munch with your RAM OC just make sure your RAM voltage is below 1.65V.  Im not sure what its called in your bios on the x58 its called DIMM VTT.

As for what is said about the 965 extreme you are a little off by that.  You do not have the performace of that chip for $700 cheaper.  Your chip has a about a 35% OC on it.  Do the same OC to the 965 and you have been beaten.  Also the 965 has an unlocked multiplier which is why most people opt for this chip if they can afford it.  The 920 and 940 seem to OC about the same while the 965 will OC higher.  The 920 and 940 only have a 4.8 gt/sec interconnect while the 965 has 6.4 gt/sec.


Edited by Gulfdiver - 13 Mar 2009 at 1:10pm
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Munch
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Quote Munch Replybullet Posted: 13 Mar 2009 at 3:55pm
Gulf your data is correct, After market Motherboards are getting around the locked multipliers now though.  As for my memory it is set using the XMP profile designed by the memory manufacturer.  It isn't an OC of my memory, it is now running AT rated speed. Also my voltage is at 1.5 so I am ok there...
 
 


Edited by Munch - 13 Mar 2009 at 3:57pm
CoolerMaster Centurion 590
I7-920 2.66
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GigaByte GA-EX58-UD4P
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RichyG
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Quote RichyG Replybullet Posted: 13 Mar 2009 at 5:30pm
Gulfdiver,
 
Absolutely if you overclock the 965 you may have me beaten.  However, since most people here (on the CP site) seem disinclined to even a mild overclock I am correct in saying that I have the performace of a stock 965 for $700 cheaper.  In fact, if I cared to push the overclocking business I could go much higher.  I tested stable at 3.8 GHz, but cpu temps were very close to 90 degrees so I backed off.   I also tried 4 GHz but had the BSOD no matter what I tried - but it did not "screw up my PC".   If I had gone with a better heatsink this would probably work.   I think if you are willing to spend >$900 for the 965 that anything less than a 4.2 GHz OC would be very unimpressive.  I am sure you are aware that the interconnect speed scales with the overclock and all of these chips can go over 6.4.
 
As for messing with the BIOS I have been doing it with all my computers for years and last time I checked I am not a rocket scientist.  Did you have a bad experience?  If you search on the GIGabyte site for long enough you will find some very helpful technical reports on how to overclock.  
 
 
While CP may assume you are an idiot the MB makers do not.  Gigabyte even sponsors an OC competition.   It is so easy to go back to default settings that I really don't know what you are talking about.  In fact every time I crashed my gigabyte board when I was pushing it it automatically restored the clock speed to the default. 
 
Munch, BTW the latest BIOS update cured the "double boot" for me.  Piece of cake.
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