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OC settings for alienware i7 920

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Old 02-05-11, 06:07 PM Thread Starter   #1
kevinmuff
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OC settings for alienware i7 920


I just overclocked my i7 920 processor from 2.66ghz to 3.8ghz.
I dont know much about overclocking, and basically all i changed is the cpu blck. Is there any better way to do this? It seems to be running fine at 3.8ghz though. Any suggestions? I am running an alienware aurora system with A11 mobo firmware. So i think i am limited to OCing in someways.
Here are some screenshots.



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Old 02-05-11, 07:12 PM   #2
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going from 2.66Ghz to 3.8Ghz you would have to raise vcore voltage, the fact that you didnt have to and it not crashing on you means that your vcore is probably on auto, which is not good because your probably overvolting, for my 920 at stock clocks with vcore on auto my vcore was 1.23v, what i found out by overclocking and testing for stability that i can run 3.5Ghz with 1.15vcore and 4.0Ghz with 1.25v, so at stock voltage should be around 1.10v, instead auto sets it over 1.20v, so set your vcore to about 1.20v for 3.8Ghz and run prime95 for at least an hour to test for stability, if it crashes immediately youre low on vcore, raise it a little, than again if youre stalbe for few hours try to lower vcore a little and see if youre stable( 3-5hrs of prime95 is considered stable), vcore has to be finetuned for every individual chip, as it depends on how good the chip is great chips can do 4.2-4.5Ghz before reaching 1.3vcore, of course when you get to 4.0Ghz and higher its much harder to get system to be stable and other voltages have to be tweaked as well, there really is no specific setting as every chip is little different, just dont exceed 1.4vcore with aircooling, and dimm voltage of 1.65v and keep qpi (cpu vtt) voltage within 0.5v of dimm voltage.

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Old 02-05-11, 07:34 PM Thread Starter   #3
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well it shows in the 3rd screenshot there that the vcore is 1.272v.
and 2nd, at these settings, i actually got a blue screen from running prime95 at around 1 minute probably. so im not too sure what that means. but i will try your suggestions.
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Old 02-05-11, 07:44 PM Thread Starter   #4
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after looking into the bios again, i cannot seem to be able to lower my vcore numbers.
i can only raise them by clicking the dynamic vcore offset button in the 3rd screenshot.
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Old 02-05-11, 08:06 PM   #5
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after taking closer look at those bios, i have to say that they are really limited on options you can adjust, must be because its alienware pc so they limit the things you can do, most manufactured pc usually dont have overcloking option at all, well crashing after 1 min of prime95 is really bad your system is not stable and will crash when gaming and doing other cpu heavy applications, you need to raise vcore, but its already pretty high, for 3.8ghz, it could be qpi or dimm voltage since ram gets overclocked as well as you raise blck, dont really see the options to change those, try raising vcore a bit to 1.29v or so and see if that helps, 2-3hrs of prime95 without crashing is pretty stable, prime also detects errors so after youre done running prime for few hours look if threres any errors, it will say individually for each core, since it crashed after 1 min no tests have been colpleted yet, also if you have no luck getting system to be stable at 3.8Ghz as your bios settings are pretty limited, try oc to 3.5Ghz, its not a huge difference from 3.8Ghz but its alot easier to get it stable at 3.5-3.6Ghz, as you pass 3.6Ghz significant bump in voltage is required for all i7 9xx series cpus

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Old 02-05-11, 09:13 PM Thread Starter   #6
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well i ended up putting it back to 3.6 ghz, and it seems to run fine.
ran for a hour under 100% stress.
but what ive noticed is that when im just on my desktop, my cpu runs at 2.1ghz, and when i play a game, or use the stress test, it goes back up to 3.6ghz, is this normal?
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Old 02-05-11, 09:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinmuff View Post
but what ive noticed is that when im just on my desktop, my cpu runs at 2.1ghz, and when i play a game, or use the stress test, it goes back up to 3.6ghz, is this normal?
That is the speedstep working- 100% normal operation.
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Old 02-05-11, 09:50 PM   #8
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its power saving feature that can be turned off in bios or you can switch power profile in control panel to performance from balance, and you will get constant max clocks speed, but i prefer to use it since you dont need full clocks while watching movie or browsing the net, and as you noticed that when needed it jumps up to full clock, this reduced power consumption when full speed form cpu is not needed and therefore makes cpu run cooler as well when clocks arent at full

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Old 02-06-11, 12:18 AM Thread Starter   #9
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Well that's good. So anyway, with alienware came with a crappy 550w psu, and earlier when I was overclocking my videocards, I found that if I ran them too hard, the power could run out and they would shut off for a sec then go back to a really slow clock speed.
With the setting that I'm playing with on my CPU, could I potentially reach a point where my psu doesn't have enough power?
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Old 02-06-11, 01:13 AM   #10
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From your last post, it sounds as if you are running multiple video cards.
Are you running dual video cards? If so, what GPU's?

Dual GTX video cards, for example, can use well over 200 watts each under heavy load. Depending on how many hard drives, optical drives, case fans, etc., you could definitely push the limits of a questionable quality 550 watt PSU.
I am not saying you will have a problem as there are unknown variables to your system. I will say that if you are running dual GPUs, depending on model, stressing the PSU could be a realistic possibility.
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Old 02-06-11, 01:28 AM Thread Starter   #11
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Yeah, I'm pretty sure thats what happened with my cards. Two gtx 260's. But. I got a stable system now I think
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Old 02-06-11, 02:05 AM   #12
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If I were running two GTX 260s, I would probably consider purchasing a new PSU, for peace of mind.
You may want to run some tests for stability on your OC, but be sure that you stress your GPUs at the same time. You may not have a problem running Prime95 (or whatever you use for testing) or running 3DMark/Furmark by itself, but you really need to run them at the same time for a "full system load". Of course this is an extreme test, but it will tell you whether the PSU can support a maximum load.

You may have weird stability issues occasionally related to your PSU but it may not be apparent unless you hit a certain load. It sounds like your PSU is already a bit angry about the power the GPUs are requiring when you o/c'd them. Something tells me that even at stock clocks on the GPUs, it's possible that you could hit a load that will cause the the computer to crash, or even shut down altogether.
This is only my opinion and in no way suggests that you will definitely have a problem.
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Old 02-06-11, 10:29 AM Thread Starter   #13
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Well i will try running both tests at once in a bit here.
but what i was wondering is what you guys get on passmark benchmarking tool with your processors?
i ran mine at stock, and i got a overall cpu mark of 4228.7, and then OC to 3.6ghz and i get 5358ghz. that seems like a pretty good jump, what do you guys get?
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Old 02-06-11, 10:38 AM Thread Starter   #14
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k i just ran my furmark, and the prime95 test at the same time, everything went well.
But yeah, i do agree i would like to put a new PSU in it anyways for peace of mind. Would all of them fit?
And for the price, i figured i would just put a 750w or 850w PSU in it anyway, even though all i would need is like a 650w or something. What do you guys think?
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Old 02-06-11, 10:48 AM   #15
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You should have a standard ATX PSU in your case, so fitament shouldn't be an issue. 750W PSU should do fine, but a little more never hurts for those running dual GPU's.

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Old 02-06-11, 12:26 PM   #16
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dual 260 with few hdds few fans overclocked i7 gets pretty close to pulling 550W under full load, i know that i pull about 550W under full load with i7 @ 4.0Ghz, dual 5770s which are more power efficient than 260s, three hdds, and 7 fans + fan controller, and two red light panels.

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Old 02-06-11, 12:29 PM Thread Starter   #17
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well alienware sure jams the PSU in there. not like a normal comp with it kind of open. so hopefully i can get it out. So if i bought another PSU, id have all the equip i need?
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