Overclocking i7 950 - HELP Needed!

Baasha

Golden Member
Jan 4, 2010
1,997
20
81
Guys,

I've decided to take the plunge and overclock my i7 950.

I have NEVER overclocked before but I've been reading a few 'guides' on overclocking over the past few days.

The most straightforward guide I've seen to date is this one: http://www.clunk.org.uk/forums/overclocking/22106-core-i7-overclocking-guide-beginners.html

To be honest, it seems too easy to be true in the sense that I am quite nervous about frying my CPU or other parts.

First and foremost, my CPU-Z readings are a little strange to say the least. Or perhaps, I'm just not familiar with this whole scene so that's why.

(HOW DO I ADD A SCREENSHOT??)

The CPU-Z screen shows my 'Core Speed' at 3207.3MHz! I have NOT overclocked the system yet but the stock speed of the i7 950 is supposed to be 3070MHz! And, the 'Multiplier' is x24.0!!

My Bus Speed (BCLK) is 133.6MHz and the QPI Link is also 3207.3MHz.

The first step I want to take is to update my BIOS.

I have the ASUS P6T7 WS Supercomputer motherboard. The BIOS version is "0210" and the Date is 04/20/2009. This, I believe, is the first (OEM) version of the BIOS. I have not updated it and have never flashed a BIOS before. From what I've read, to update the BIOS, I just have to copy the update file to a thumb drive, restart the computer, go into the BIOS, and start the EZ Flash utility provided and update! (?) That's it? Also, since I have the first version, I can directly update to the latest version of the BIOS right? I don't have to do it sequentially or anything?

I am aiming for a 4.0GHz speed with absolute stability. I am using air cooling only (for now) with a Xigmatek Dark Knight CPU cooler and the stock Antec 902 fans on the case. I have not modified the cooling system in any manner whatsoever on the case. There is a sh!tload of dust but I clean it quite often (with a lot of dust still in various places in the case).

I would really appreciate it if you guys can help me with OC'ing my system. I'm a little apprehensive and feel like I'm going to ride a bicycle for the first time! LOL! :D

Thanks in advance.
 

Baasha

Golden Member
Jan 4, 2010
1,997
20
81
Well, I tried to overclock the system starting with 160 BCLK and Windows didn't even boot.

That calculator is thoroughly confusing as I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with it.

Since it didn't boot, I just reset all the settings back to the way it was and at least I can boot to Windows now.

HELP anyone?
 

Baasha

Golden Member
Jan 4, 2010
1,997
20
81
Damn! Nobody willing to help?!?

I can't even get Windows to boot when I try to meddle with the BIOS settings. Do I need to update the BIOS first?
 

alyarb

Platinum Member
Jan 25, 2009
2,444
0
76
well you've never overclocked before. so holding your hand through every little detail is kind of uninteresting for us, and anything we could tell you has already been written a thousand times before. which is why we put up very detailed, in-depth guides for beginners. they're all over the internet. it's win-win because you have a better learning experience and we don't have to deal with it.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...king+guide"&aq=f&aqi=g2g-m1&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=


most overclocking guides pertain to the i7 920 but the procedure, precautions, etc are all the same. to answer your question, no you shouldn't have to update the BIOS, but if what you say is true, and it is the first version of the BIOS, then yes you should update it. if your system can start up at 160, but cannot get into windows, then you need to fine-tune some of your voltages or maybe run your RAM at a lower speed. increasing the bclk speed has implications for other components, and these need to be kept within a safe range so that the system is stable, and this is the kind of thing you learn from experience and/or a detailed guide on the net.
 
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KingerXI

Senior member
Jan 20, 2010
222
1
81
Updating the BIOS would be a good idea, but if I had to guess, you may be having a memory issue. Let's start with:

What is the make/model of your motherboard and memory?

I will try to help you out...
 

Baasha

Golden Member
Jan 4, 2010
1,997
20
81
Updating the BIOS would be a good idea, but if I had to guess, you may be having a memory issue. Let's start with:

What is the make/model of your motherboard and memory?

I will try to help you out...

I have the ASUS P6T7 WS Supercomputer motherboard and 12GB of DDR3 Corsair Dominator 1600 MHz RAM.

I downloaded the latest BIOS update from ASUS and it's a "ROM" file. I'm not sure how I can actually update the BIOS. Do I copy that to a thumb drive and then use the EZ Flash feature in the BIOS?
 

Ben90

Platinum Member
Jun 14, 2009
2,866
3
0
That overclocking guide is horrible, I could have written something better in fourth grade. It even contains math mistakes, and the grammar is terrible.
 

KingerXI

Senior member
Jan 20, 2010
222
1
81
I would remove 6GB of memory (just to see if that is stable - 12GB makes the system more sensitive). Get it stable with 6GB, then add the rest and tweak some more. Make sure your memory voltage is around 1.65v. CPU vCore to 1.3-1.35, QPI/VTT a little less than the CPU vCore. QPI PLL 1.22 or so.

Take a digital photo of your settings in BIOS and post them. That would help.

I used to have an Asus Rampage Formula mobo, and I would update the BIOS through the EZ Flash in BIOS. For that mobo, I had to put the ROM file on a flash drive. Yours is probably the same.
 

KingerXI

Senior member
Jan 20, 2010
222
1
81
Oops, I just read your first post in entirety and see where you stated the mobo model. You do not need to update the BIOS in order. Just update it to the newest BIOS. After you click EZ Flash, it will give you a list of drives to find the ROM file. Your flash drive should be listed. Click on it, and it should find the ROM file. All your BIOS settings will be wiped out after the update.
 

Baasha

Golden Member
Jan 4, 2010
1,997
20
81
Okay, I just updated the BIOS and now the computer doesn't boot to windows!! D:

I went into the BIOS and the version is 0607 which is the latest one.

I also noticed a message which says "NTLDR missing, Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to restart". What does this mean?

When I went into the BIOS, it sees all my hard drives including the SSDs but in the Boot Device Priority, it doesn't show the boot drive, which was 2 SSDs in RAID-0. I can't even see those SSDs in the list!!

PLEASE HELP!
 

KingerXI

Senior member
Jan 20, 2010
222
1
81
Once you are in Windows you can get a screenshot by pressing the "Prt Scrn" button on your keyboard and pasting it in Windows Paint, which is in the Accessories section when you press Start: Programs
 

Baasha

Golden Member
Jan 4, 2010
1,997
20
81
Once you are in Windows you can get a screenshot by pressing the "Prt Scrn" button on your keyboard and pasting it in Windows Paint, which is in the Accessories section when you press Start: Programs

I can finally boot to windows now and the BIOS is updated! :D

For the next step, should I use that Nehalem Calculator @ ICrontic?

Should I shoot straight away for 4GHz or do 3.5 first? does it matter?
 
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Baasha

Golden Member
Jan 4, 2010
1,997
20
81
well you've never overclocked before. so holding your hand through every little detail is kind of uninteresting for us, and anything we could tell you has already been written a thousand times before. which is why we put up very detailed, in-depth guides for beginners. they're all over the internet. it's win-win because you have a better learning experience and we don't have to deal with it.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...king+guide"&aq=f&aqi=g2g-m1&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=


most overclocking guides pertain to the i7 920 but the procedure, precautions, etc are all the same. to answer your question, no you shouldn't have to update the BIOS, but if what you say is true, and it is the first version of the BIOS, then yes you should update it. if your system can start up at 160, but cannot get into windows, then you need to fine-tune some of your voltages or maybe run your RAM at a lower speed. increasing the bclk speed has implications for other components, and these need to be kept within a safe range so that the system is stable, and this is the kind of thing you learn from experience and/or a detailed guide on the net.

Fair enough.

Could you then tell me the absolute "BEST" i7 overclocking guide in your opinion and/or experience? Everyone and their mother says 'x' is the best and blah blah but how do I know which one is the best or whom to believe? ;)
 

KingerXI

Senior member
Jan 20, 2010
222
1
81
You should go for 3.5 Ghz first, get it stable, bump it up a little, get it stable, etc. IMO.

Search for your motherboard in the Motherboard Section and see what settings those people used. On this website... or Overclock.net... etc.

BCLK 157 x 23 = 3.61 GHz, memory = 157 x 10 = 1570

BCLK 174 x 23 = 4 GHz, memory = 174 x 9 = 1566

It looks like BCLK 174 will work well as it brings you close to your memory speed and gets you to 4 GHz.

My CPU has a 22x multiplier, and I am using 187 x 22 = 4.1 GHz. I am using 2000 memory, so I am able to get 187 x 10 = 1870 MHz.
 

Baasha

Golden Member
Jan 4, 2010
1,997
20
81
Well, with a BCLK of 152 and a multiplier of x23, I get 3.5GHz according to the Nehalem iCrontic calculator.

I am not sure what DRAM voltages and QPI voltages to set??

The QPI Multi is 18. the Uncore Multi is 16 and the Mem Multi is 8.

What do those mean? What about the voltages? should I leave those on Auto?
 

KingerXI

Senior member
Jan 20, 2010
222
1
81
Here are some screenshots of my BIOS. I have a Gigabyte ex58-ud5 mobo, so this could be totally different than yours. And every mobo is different, so don't assume these are right for your board. Plus I am no expert OC'er. These are probably not the optimal settings... but my machine runs well and is stable.

http://i829.photobucket.com/albums/zz215/KingerXI/DSC_0042-1.jpg
http://i829.photobucket.com/albums/zz215/KingerXI/DSC_0036-1.jpg
http://i829.photobucket.com/albums/zz215/KingerXI/DSC_0040-1.jpg
http://i829.photobucket.com/albums/zz215/KingerXI/DSC_0037-1.jpg
http://i829.photobucket.com/albums/zz215/KingerXI/DSC_0038-1.jpg
http://i829.photobucket.com/albums/zz215/KingerXI/DSC_0039-1.jpg
http://i829.photobucket.com/albums/zz215/KingerXI/DSC_0041-1.jpg
 
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Baasha

Golden Member
Jan 4, 2010
1,997
20
81
Thanks for the help Kinger.

I will try to OC my machine soon and let you know how it goes.
 

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