I7 overclock grief

By St1ckM4n ยท 18 replies
Jun 30, 2013
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  1. Hi. :( I am sad. :(

    I have an i7920, ASUS P6T mobo, and a beastly Noctua heatsink. The CPU is D0 stepping (renowned overclocker) so I am dabbling in O/Cing for like the 32940385th time.

    I have read multiple guides, and I'm using the BIOS for this. All voltages and frequencies are safe, CPU voltage is set to 1.26 max (this could be an issue?), blah blah. CPU temp on 100% load @ 3.6GHz is a nice 60C, overheating isn't a problem.

    Basically, my problem is that I have inconsistent boots and troubles with games locking up, then gradually the OS locking up. On an unrelated note, I recently changed from SATA-as-IDE to AHCI mode, but I don't think this would cause the issues.

    Why is my lovely PC not booting? (note: no POST) My gut feeling is that the PSU may be on its way out - 3.5yr old Thermaltake 750W

  2. hood6558

    hood6558 TS Addict Posts: 271   +67

    Not clear from your post whether you did a clean install of Windows (required after switching the boot drive to AHCI), if not, it will severely impact drive performance. Thermaltake recently started using more reputable suppliers, but as I recall their PSUs were pretty bad 3-4 years ago, so you may be right about a possible imminent failure. Other possibilities include a bad memory module or a motherboard that's seen better days.
  3. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,922   +630

    The mobo hasn't been destroyed or covered in pet fur etc, but I guess it could have troubles too.

    The boot device was changed to AHCI, yes, but without a clean install. I tweaked the registry as per here, which should be okay. Even if not, hard drive isn't related to the machine not even POSTing.

    Anyway, don't think I'm too proud to say "overclocking isn't going to work for me" - I'm just looking for ideas. :)
  4. hood6558

    hood6558 TS Addict Posts: 271   +67

    If you are comfortable using a multi-meter, you could check the output voltages of your power supply terminals, using a guide such as this one - http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/ht/power-supply-test-multimeter.htm - if you don't own one, a $5.99 Cen-tech can be had at Harbor Freight and many other places.
    Also, did you try resetting CMOS, the BIOS may be FUBAR after the last OC attempt.
  5. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,922   +630

    PC is a brick currently, I'll play with it later. The BIOS was in fact reset once before, due to a similar non-booting problem.

    I'll try out the multimeter idea if I can grab one, thanks.
  6. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    I would clear the CMOS and work from their, start from scratch on the bios and work up to see if it will start working just fine. If your still having an issue after that, then there is an actual hardware issue.
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    With an i7 WHY BOTHER?
  8. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    Does it work if you don't overclock it? If not and you've reset and reinstalled everything then there's a component failure somewhere.
  9. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,922   +630

    You mean, because i7 is top-end chip anyway? This is first-gen, 2.66GHz. It still holds its own in gaming benchmarks, but an overclock to 3.6+ makes it on-par with the latest CPUs... almost...

    At stock speeds, I was having issues with my old graphics card, which I've since swapped. There are still odd issues where the screen stays off which I'm not happy about (mobo/PSU issue?), but successful boot is >95%.
  10. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    I'm not sure I'd be happy with 95% boot success at stock speeds.

    What are your memory settings on stock and OC?
  11. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,922   +630

    Yup, I'm not happy with that either. Alas, that's what I'm given. Seems like a hard reset and leaving the PC turned off for an extended time increases chance of successful boot following a failure. Bad capacitors, maybe? Anyway, I'm relatively satisfied with the performance and the parts are out of warranty, so a full rebuild isn't quite on the horizon....

    RAM sticks are 1600MHz. At stock, they are the stock Nehalem speed - 1066MHz I think. While O/Cing, I set them to the highest setting that is still under 1600MHz. Hopefully this rules out the RAM.

    My PC booted this morning on second time - first hung on POST screen. 3.6GHz overclock is still there. Running Prim95 on all threads, 61C stable (pretty hawt considering the dust), 1.224V core voltage.
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    just how old is that HD? WD drives were known for a "stickion" problem, but that's long gone now.

    I would investigate better cooling to lower case temps. How many fans do you have and the one at the top, does it blow inward or outward?

    grasping at straws are we?
  13. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,922   +630

    WD HDD is 2.5-3. Caviar Green. Another 2TB Green in there is 6mths. The boot drive is OCZ SSD which is 2+. What is this 'stickion' problem?

    Case temps aren't really an issue. The case is decked out fully with fans. (Front intake; side intake; rear exhaust; top exhaust; Noctua with x2 fans push-pull) HDDs are 28-31C. CPU under full load @ 3.8GHz stress-test is 62C, which is damn excellent on air cooling with fairly high ambient temp.

    And yes, I am grasping at straws (in regards to caps). :p Just trying to brainstorm what the issues could be, since they appear even without O/C. I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that either CPU/mobo/RAM/PSU has a minor fault in it...
  14. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

    Bump the voltage up to 1.3v. That's still safe imo. I ran a 920 c0 at 1.4 on water and a d0 at 1.31 on air at 4.4Gh'z. Turn off hyper threading for your stress test. If your temps are good you can attempt the same overclock with hyper threading on and see how it goes. I'll keep an eye on this thread since I have way too much experience with the first gen i7's.
  15. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,922   +630

    I'll confirm when I get home, but I bumped vCore to around 1.245V and haven't had any bluescreens, freezing, lockups. Still the odd failed POST, but it doesn't seem linked. @3.8GHz

    I'll confirm BIOS setting when I get home.
  16. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,922   +630


    Here's my settings, it's been stable since. I believe my other problems aren't related to the O/C.

    Ratio: 21
    BCLK: 180
    CPU Volt: 1.24375
  17. MrBlkfx1

    MrBlkfx1 TS Evangelist Posts: 863   +204

    Your other issues seem to me like a MOBO issue. Still having the inconsistent boot issues?
  18. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,922   +630

    No, I don't think I am. I've had issues caused by an HDD (another thread), and I've also come across a loose PSU cable feeding the GPU (I looked this over multiple times... may have missed it?). The only time that I've failed boot apart from those issues is where I thought GPU/chipset had problems and I manually rebooted, making BIOS think that the overclock failed.

    Fingers crossed..
    MrBlkfx1 likes this.
  19. MrBlkfx1

    MrBlkfx1 TS Evangelist Posts: 863   +204

    Ahhh. That is good news then!

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