Easy overclock for i7-920?

By Xclusiveitalian ยท 14 replies
May 2, 2011
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  1. I have a Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-920 processor (2.66GHz, 1MB L2 + 8MB shared L3 cache with QPI Technology) which came with the PC i bought back in late 09.

    I'm wondering if there is an easy/very safe OC i can preform on it, and will it give me a good performance boost?

    I have never OC a cpu but have on my gpu, but from what i read it involves changing things in the bios which sound rather complicated.
  2. Mizzou

    Mizzou TS Enthusiast Posts: 823

    Since the i7 920 has a locked multiplier a lot will depend on the capabilities of your motherboard and bios. Basically you will need to raise Bclk to increase the Cpu frequency, this however will also affect Qpi, Memory, etc. You will also need to consider cooling requirements as operating temperature will also become an issue.

    Here's a link to a good overview for overclocking this family of processors:

    Guide to Overclocking the Core I7 920, 930, 950 to 4.0ghz

    Although this guides is aiming for a 4Ghz overclock you don't necessarily need to go that high to see a significant performance boost ... ie: 3.6Ghz would still be a full 1Ghz over the factory settings. Also, stepping is an important factor as the D0 is a much better overclocker than the C0.
  3. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 714   +75

    Thanks for the link, i have to admit that guide is really intimidating and it doesn't look easy =(
  4. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    Actually the i7 920 overclocks very easily, but it is your BIOS to keep it stable like Mizzou stated. i don't recommend going to 4Ghz on air though because these things run very hot... unless you have superb airflow and a giant copper cooler or something.

    and my 920 (C0) overclocked just as good as a comparable D0:


    this is using a P6T on w/ 3/8" liquid loop
  5. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 714   +75

    I was just considering doing a slight overclock, maybe between 3-3.5ghz nothing extreme like 4ghz. i was hoping to gain some performance from cpu extensive games by doing it because all my cpus are from HP and they underclock everything plus i feel like it is unlocking the cpu's true potential. My fans are stock though but they do work. What's a 3/8" liquid loop? Also would 3ghz or 3.2 ghz be okay running on air?
  6. Mizzou

    Mizzou TS Enthusiast Posts: 823

    Think you should be able to achieve a 3.2GHz overclock on air , possibly even on stock voltages. That will depend on your motherboard and your particular cpu, as they say "Your mileage may vary" ... but this would be considered a very modest overclock for an i7 920.

    All in all it's pretty straight forward ... to hit 3.2GHz you would need to raise the stock Bclk of 133 to 160. If no other changes are made this will also raise QPI, UnCore and memory speed, you can see this in the attached Nehalem Calculator snapshots. The upper portion are default settings with Bclk at 133, the lower shows the effect of raising Bclk to 160.

    The trick is to adjust the various multipliers to keep system components within their maximum operational limits. For example, if you have DDR3-1066 memory and raise Bclk to 160 your memory will now be running at DDR3-1285 ... this could very easily destabilize your system. To solve this, your would lower the memory multiplier to bring the speed back down to somewhere around DDR3-1066. The same principle applies for QPi and UnCore, the exact names and methods in your BIOS varies a bit by manufacturer.

    I always like to see what I can get for free without raising any voltages ... there are different methods for doing this. You can start by raising Bclk in small increments and do stability testing at each level, this is best if you plan on doing a more extreme overclock since it helps to identify the failure point for each component.

    For a modest overclock, I would simply set Bclk to 160, adjust the memory multiplier, disable Speed Step and C1E and would also initially turn off Hyper Threading. Start stability testing at this point ... if there are problems start backing off Bclk until stable. Once you find this point lower the QPI ratio (probably best to leave UnCore on auto as most BIOS will maintain the appropriate ratio to QPI).

    Now start raising Bclk in small increments and stability test at each level, this should identify your maximum overclock on stock voltages. Up to this point it's pretty safe, once you start raising vcore or other voltages you really need to keep an eye on your temperatures. It shouldn't take much of a bump to vcore to stablize at 3.2GHz ... hope this helps a bit.

    Attached Files:

  7. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 714   +75

    It does sound easy with the way you mentioned and i'm definitely going to give it a go but first just to be safe this is what motherboard I have, I used the program SIW(System information for Windows) to get the results.

    Model TRUCKEE
    Version 1.03
    North Bridge Intel X58 Revision 12
    South Bridge Intel 82801JR (ICH10R) Revision 12

    CPU Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 920 @ 2.67GHz
    Cpu Socket Socket 1366 LGA
  8. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264


    Pegatron Truckee generally means you are running an HP OEM machine.
    Is the board an mATX ( four expansion slots - PCIe x16, PCIe x4, PCIe x16, PCI ) ?
    Should have it's model number -something like IPMTB-TK or UL8E stencilled between the memory slots and the chipset heatsink (early ugly yellow-greenish-brown PCB) or just under the the primary PCIe x16 slot ( later blue PCB)

    If so, then your chances of overclocking the CPU are either slim or none....and I think slim left town.
    The board has very rudimentary voltage regulation, and in any case I would think that HP have locked the BIOS to stock settings....assuming there are any settings to lock.
  9. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 714   +75

    Sorry for taking so long to post, finals week right now. Anyway here is the info, I hope I can overclock it. My next computer I def. need to get an alienware or someone else besides hp they always seem to let me down.

    I copied all the info for SIW under motherboard and bolded the info you asked for.

    Property Value
    Model TRUCKEE
    Version 1.03
    Serial Number MS1C94R43100767

    North Bridge Intel X58 Revision 12
    South Bridge Intel 82801JR (ICH10R) Revision 12

    CPU Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 920 @ 2.67GHz
    Cpu Socket Socket 1366 LGA

    System Slots 4 PCI

    Memory Summary
    Maximum Capacity 24576 MBytes
    Memory Slots 6

    Error Correction None

    Warning! Accuracy of DMI data cannot be guaranteed

    *If you need any more info let me know, ill open up the case if i have to i was just being lazy and hoping to avoid to lol
  10. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    As I said, I think overclocking is probably out of the question on this board. The BIOS and the power regulation provisions of the motherboard would make it a near certainty that HP want the CPU speed to remain at 2.66G.

    Have you looked into the BIOS options available to you?
    If not, check the manual.
    You can post the name/model number of the system if you aren't sure what the BIOS options are. I'll download the manual and see if anything can be tweaked- but don't plan on a big overclocking adventure -HP's don't roll like that.
  11. teklord

    teklord TS Guru Posts: 483

    I OC'ed my 950 to 3.8GHz stable on air cooling without volt modding. I don't leave my CPU OC'ed because my system is waiting on my HDD regardless and there is no speed benefit. There is no difference in speed between my i7 950 and my Phenom II x2 550 when it comes to Windows loading time per the HDD wait time. If you can OC in the BIOS, 3.8GHz is a reasonable goal without volt modding. 2.66GHz is a tad slow so I would look at that.
  12. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Who cares?
    Xclusiveitalian has a specific question regarding a specific board. Unless you have some practical advice on how they can achieve an overclock with a locked down BIOS I would suggest that you post about your OC'ing exploits on a thread where it may be more apropos.
    You are aware that volt-modding pretty much entails either soldering in capicitors, adding rheostats or bypassing onboard resistors. Again, not much use with a locked-down BIOS.
    This is the OP's board.
    Note the 4-pin EPS12v connector
    Note the prehistoric VRM capacitors

    Does this look a board that would sustain a 40% OC on a -130 watt stock, closer to 185 watts OC'ed to 3.5G- CPU, even if the BIOS had overclocking option?
  13. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 714   +75

    Is it possible that in a Bios update that it would unlock?
  14. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    I would very much doubt it. An OEM BIOS revision would be published for a needed hardware or BIOS fix. Updates don't add overclocking features like Vcore and BLCK adjustment...at least not for HP, Dell etc.
    From their point of view, overclocking increases the chances that you will have a warranty claim, and since the warranty claim is against the whole system rather than one component, OEM's take the temptation out of users hands.
    If the system is out of warranty, then there is nothing to stop you from swapping out the Pegatron board and substituting an mATX board from a more OC-friendly manufacturer. Be aware that your OS is probably OEM also so you may need to be a little "creative" on re-activating it once it is reloaded.
  15. teklord

    teklord TS Guru Posts: 483

    HP is uptight about anything you do to their PC once it is in your possession. I upgraded the CPU on an old P4 478 slot mobo, from a Celeron to a Pentium 4. Chatted with several tech reps first and almost all said it couldn't be done. I swapped CPUs anyways and it worked 100%. They upgraded their page for my PC afterwards with the CPU upgrade info. If you swap out the mobo, don't expect to get a modicum of tech support since your PC isn't a HP anymore. You will have to lie to get Windows reactivated.

    I swapped mobos on my old P4 and didn't have to reactivate Windows XP. My situation was that I swapped for the same make and model mobo but with a graphics card slot. If your mobo manufacturer makes a version of that mobo that you can OC, you may not have to reactivate or deal with code purple after a mobo swap. I still got HP tech support after I swapped mobos as well.

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