Having to Underclock / Overvolt to boot

By froonboon · 5 replies
Apr 26, 2009
  1. Oy All.

    Here goes : Pc won't boot anymore, unless i max. Vcore voltage and up FSB voltage, and lower FSB/CPU freq. Rebooting constantly if at stock speed/voltages with the occational bluescreen. Seems to be getting gradually worse and worse.

    Btw. Pc have been running for 1½ Yrs. on an underpowered PSU (not anymore though, got me a Corsair TX650, installed it, and the pc ran fine at stock speed/voltage for about 2 days, then reverted to rebooting if running at stock).
    And yes, 1½ Yrs. is alot .. I was convinced it was vista 64bit killing me .. But no.

    HDD is Ok - RAM is Ok - Gfx/Gpu is Ok - PSU is Ok (voltages and amps are more than ample / minimal ripple) - Software/BIOS (+BIOSsettings) is Ok - Temps is Ok - Tested Vista 64Bit / Win2k / XpPro 32Bit with no difference (various HDD's). Have cleared CMOS - Disconnected all hardware, reinstalled 1 by 1 in different combo's - No visible loose connections or burnmarks anywhere.

    Addition : Pc will boot @ 2,4 GHz (stock 3GHz) @ norm voltages and remain close to stable. Could the BIOS Speedstep setting (minimal/automatic/disabled) minimal (when set to minimal cpu runs @ 2.4GHZ), be interferring with the MOBO/CPU ? (normally running with speedstep and c1 disabled, and maxed high performance power scheme).

    Now, im thinking it's either the CPU or MOBO messing with me, but those are hard to test/errorcheck .. Aren't they ?

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated, as im almost out of ideas (ye, i know that i could "just" get another CPU/MOBO to test with, but the lack of cash u know .. )

    Take Care Outthere.
  2. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    sounds like.....

    Hi froonboon ,
    well I hope that someone like Rage, Captain, or Route, can confirm or deny this, but I had this same scenario about 2 years ago, so I am going to share it with you. what it turned out to be (as it was explained to me) was a cpu transistor cascade failure. you mentioned you have been running an underpowered PSU for a year and a half. under power creates heat and stress just like to much power. PSU's lose efficiency with age from heat and frequency. the less efficient it becomes the harder it has to work, and the more damage it can do to your system. in my case some of the transistors in the cpu were damaged, when that happens it stresses the remaining transistors and they fail, thus the cascade effect. it would explain why your processor needs to be under clocked, the fact that its gradually getting worse, and why your new PSU is not remedying the situation....gee i feel like House. anyway, with a new psu hooked in, you might try benchmarking your cpu against the specs and see if it has lost substantial performance marks. i have no idea how you would test the motherboard. hope it at least gives you a troubleshooting starting point.
  3. froonboon

    froonboon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Take 2 of these and 1 of these ...

    Hello there red1776.

    And thanks for the reply/info. Very usable stuff.
    As for the benchmarking, you are quite right. The CPU has lowered in performance, i was unsure if i should understand this as a result of a "sick" CPU, or the lowering of the FSB.
    But your explanation just seems to fit so fine .. you know .. "the sick clings to any explanation matching their symptoms" . But im not normally prone to hypochondria ... Arrrrgh, im suffering from the dreadded "Cascade Effect" .. Hehe
    Anyways, Thanks again for the reply, and best wishes.

  4. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Exactly how much power was running through that CPU? Constant overvoltage will eventually wear down you CPU and you will need to boost Vcore to boot over time.

    What CPU are you using anyway? An E4600? It is unlikely SpeedStep is hurting, what that does is lower the CPU speed when idling to save power.

    How have you tested those?

    If you havn't already, try too keep everything at stock and turn stuff like FPS/RAM speeds down one component at a time until you get some more stability.
  5. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    well don't hang your hat on it, just seems to match. hopefully someone smarter than me will be able to tell you how to verify/eliminate the dreaded 'cascade effect' lol
  6. froonboon

    froonboon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No hopes, just nice to know.

    Oy hellokitty[hk]

    The CPU is a pentium d925 pressler. Have been running with underpowered PSU well within CPU power specs @ 1.312V. (Intel CPU power specs reads 1,325V. as safe max). Now i have to up CPU Vcore to an insane 1.4V. (What i understand to be the max safe Vcore for this CPU when OC'ing, and no OC here). And yee I know that the upped V's is a CPU killer, but do or die.

    And thanks for the input/confirmation on speedstep, i knew allready what it does, but was wondering if the BIOS setting "minimal" could somehow mess up the power to the CPU. When the BIOS option, regarding speedstep, "minimal" is chosen, the CPU FSB freq is at 160/2.4GHz. Know its far fetched but just had to hear if it could be a possibility.

    Regarding the testing of PSU, it was tested before install, in a working system, after install it have been monitored with HWM / Speedfan and the PSU test in OCCT.
    Vista have been tweaked cleaned reinstalled updated, along those lines.

    With everything at stock, the pc wont boot. With everything at stock, except the FSB/CPU/Voltages being set as mentioned earlier, the pc will boot, but slowly seems to get more and more unresponsive, untill i lower the FSB. By about 10 pr. time seems to work for a couple of days and then i have to lower even further ... It's dying here ..

    Your input is much appreciated, as it further clarify some of my thoughts.
    Best Regards from FroonBoon.
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