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Old 10-22-2011, 07:23 AM   #1
Intel17
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Default Big problems trying to overclock i7 860 w/ Noctua NH-D14

So: about 6 months ago I bought a Noctua NH-D14 in order to juice up the overclocks possible on my i7 860. This thing, as you all probably know, freakin' huge, and in the reviews it's praised quite highly. So I dropped by $90, installed this hefty beast, rubbed my hands together and tried for some good ol' fashioned overclocking.

Fail.

I tried running my chip at 3.6GHz, slowly increasing the voltages to try to get Prime95 stability, but by the time I got it "stable", the chip was running so incredibly hot that it'd actually hit the TJ Max and throttle back.

I really hope I'm "doing it wrong". What kinds of things would I have to be doing to "do it wrong"?
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:09 AM   #2
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I'm 99% sure you installed the Noctua cooler in a wrong way. Or perhaps didn't use thermapaste well enough. This happens often. Just find someone who can install the cooler really well. And make sure there's good air flow in the case as well.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:11 AM   #3
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As much as my pride as a professional PC builder might be hurt to go look it over, I'll take a look at it again, although I'm *preeeettty* sure it's in correctly.

Will report back after HSF is reinstalled and thermalpaste reapplied.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:15 AM   #4
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Sorry, I didn't know! But I couldn't think of anything else that could be causing this. What was the highest voltage and clock that ran stable on manageable temperatures?
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intel17 View Post
I really hope I'm "doing it wrong". What kinds of things would I have to be doing to "do it wrong"?
Have you skimmed through this thread?

The NH-D14 is quite robust at keeping temps down.

I wonder if you got a bum NH-D14, maybe the heat transfer fluid inside it has somehow leaked out or something?
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:50 AM   #6
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If it isn't keeping that CPU ice cold then something is wrong with the install or the fans arn't working or something.

If it was working fine then 3.6GHz wouldn't be a problem.
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:53 AM   #7
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Take the side panel off of your case and point a fan blowing in there. If your temperatures drop, your HSF is doing its job and you simply don't have enough air flow. How warm is it in your house?

On the other hand, if temps don't drop, something is keeping your HSF from drawing heat away from the processor. Bad contact would be my first guess, followed by improper TIM application, followed by defective heatsink.
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:24 AM   #8
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All right, reporting back:

Applied some *real* thermal paste, and while my temps are much better, I still can't get a >3.6GHz OC. Probably limited by my cheap RAM. Also, while the temps are much better, they're still between 75-82 (depending on the core) at full load (Prime95)

I guess I should be happy with an 800 MHz OC across 4 cores!
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:35 AM   #9
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It might be because you have 4 sticks of RAM installed. It may be stressing the memory controller too much.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:47 AM   #10
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Ah! I hadn't thought of that! But I need my memory, so I guess I can sacrifice clock speed.
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Old 10-23-2011, 12:59 PM   #11
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If you don't need hyper threading you can disable that and get some more mhz too.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:17 PM   #12
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D14 is one of the best HSF on the market, but also one of the heaviest, I'd check the mounting again considering its size. I think when I bought my Mugen 2 which is also a heavy HSF, my first mount didn't go too well, after reseating, it worked flawlessly.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:28 PM   #13
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What's your Vcore and Vtt? My i7 860 needed 1.312Vore and 1.21 Vtt to reach 3.9ghz. However, after that it needed 1.38Vcore and 1.40Vtt to reach 4.0ghz.

1) Did you fix your PCI express to 100?
2) Did you disable Spread Specrtum?
3) Did you set QPI ratio to 32x?
4) Did you set Ram ratio to the lowest possible setting so that you are not overclocking your ram? You may want to add more voltage to your ram and let it run at higher speed than DDR3-1333 if it's limiting you. Bump the voltage to 1.65V.
5) Do you have your motherboard flashed to the latest BIOS?

Also, your CPU temperatures at 3.6ghz and 1.30-1.32Vcore should not be more than 70*C with a Noctua NH-D14.
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