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First time OC'ing a Quad(Q9400)

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Kraulerson

New Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2008
Okay, so this is my first foray in OC'ing using water cooling and with a board with this many options. I've been researching as much as I can. My biggest issues are naming conventions across MB makers in their bios and what name relates to what setting from someone else. So Far I've got my Q9400 ruinning @ 3.4Ghz. I've passed OCCT for 2 hours and been able to game with Crysis and COD4 on high@1680x1050 with no stability problems. My temps seem good except for NB which bugs me as to high. From what I gather I have 3 stuck cores which will not go below 36C or 38C at idle. Cores are 38C 26C(I believe this one i accurate) 36C and 36C. At full load they top out at 46C 42C 44C 44C. My main concern is the NB which is 45C at idle and at full load. I have a side fan on the door which blows across the GPU and NB and the extra fan attached to the SB which is about 38C at idle and full load. I get the feeling I can push this system alot further with the proper guidance. If anyone is willing to help guide me (I'm not asking for anyone to hold my hand, I'll put the time and research in) I would greatly appreciate it. My equipment list should be in my sig and below is a full list of settings. Sorry about the length of the post.

AI Overclock Tuner: Manual
CPU Ratio Setting: 8.0
FSB Strap to North Bridge: Auto
FSB Frequency: 425
PCIE Frequency: 100

DRAM Frequency: DDR2-1066Mhz
DRAM COmmand Rate: 2N
DRAM CLK Skew on Channel A: Auto
DRAM CLK Skew on Channel B: Auto
DRAM Timing Control: Manual
CAS# Latency: 5
RAS# to CAS# Delay: 5
RAS# PRE Time: 5
RAS# ACT Time: 15
RAS# to RAS# Delay: Auto
REF Cycle Time: Auto
Write Recovery Time: Auto
Read to PRE Time: Auto
(DRAM 2nd and 3rd information set to Auto)

DRAM Static Read Control: Auto
Ai Clock Twister: Auto
Ai Transaction Booster: Auto

CPU Voltage: 1.28125V
CPU PLL Voltage: 1.50V
North Bridge Voltage: 1.25V
DRAM Voltage: 2.10V
FSB Termination Voltage: 1.30V
South Bridge Voltage: 1.050V
SB 1.5V Voltage: 1.50V
Loadline Calibration: Enabled
CPU GTL Voltage Reference: Auto
NB GTL Voltage Reference: Auto
DRAM Controller Voltage REF: Auto
DRAM Channel A Voltage REF: Auto
DRAM Channel B Voltage REF: Auto

I've done my best to turn off as many auto settings as I feel I can and have a proper setting. The GTL settings I'm still very fuzzy on (read: not a friggin clue lol). I've been following Automiketic and his success @ 4Ghz is awesome. I'm hoping for at least 3.8Ghz @ 24/7 use, anything higher would be gravy. Thanks in advance for any help/support.

Old K
 
im not too familiar with asus boards, and i see you have an x48. the x48's are a little harder to oc quads on than the p45 like mine. by what i can see yourdoing fine so far hear my only suggestions(once again i dont have much experience with asus):
AI Overclock Tuner: Manual
CPU Ratio Setting: 8.0
FSB Strap to North Bridge: Auto -list what options are available here and ill let you know what i think is the best i believe mine is set to 1333
FSB Frequency: 425
PCIE Frequency: 100 -good

DRAM Frequency: DDR2-1066Mhz -good
DRAM COmmand Rate: 2N
DRAM CLK Skew on Channel A: Auto
DRAM CLK Skew on Channel B: Auto
DRAM Timing Control: Manual
CAS# Latency: 5 -good
RAS# to CAS# Delay: 5 -good
RAS# PRE Time: 5 -good
RAS# ACT Time: 15 -good
RAS# to RAS# Delay: Auto
REF Cycle Time: Auto
Write Recovery Time: Auto
Read to PRE Time: Auto
(DRAM 2nd and 3rd information set to Auto)

DRAM Static Read Control: Auto -no clue what this is
Ai Clock Twister: Auto -no clue what this is
Ai Transaction Booster: Auto - i believe this is your pl setting change this to 9 or 10 to start. lower numbers will provide better performance but less chance of stability.

CPU Voltage: 1.28125V
CPU PLL Voltage: 1.50V
North Bridge Voltage: 1.25V
DRAM Voltage: 2.10V obviously all these will need to
FSB Termination Voltage: 1.30V change as fsb goes up.
South Bridge Voltage: 1.050V
SB 1.5V Voltage: 1.50V
Loadline Calibration: Enabled
CPU GTL Voltage Reference: Auto -set to 63
NB GTL Voltage Reference: Auto -set to 67
DRAM Controller Voltage REF: Auto -no clue
DRAM Channel A Voltage REF: Auto -no clue
DRAM Channel B Voltage REF: Auto -no clue

hope all this helps a bit. like i said i have very little experience with asus so im a little lost as to what a lot of it is but i hope what i gave you helps a bit it should. good luck and let me know how it goes. i wanna see another one of these q9400's in the 4.0ghz. it would be real impressive to see on a x48.
 
Thanks for the reply. I let OCCT run for about 10hours last night just to really make sure of stability where I'm at. I set the GTL's as you stated. And am letting it run OCCT while at work to verify no problems. Also, "FSB Strap to North Bridge" options are as follows:
Auto
200Mhz
266Mhz
333Mhz
400Mhz

As for the "Ai Transaction Booster" When I set it to manual I get several options as follows with their settings:

Common Performance Level: 05 <---(in the note section is says "Number of
Pull-In of CHA PH1: Disabled phases is determined by dram frequency
Pull-In of CHA PH2: Disabled and FSB strap)
Pull-In of CHA PH2: Disabled
Pull-In of CHA PH4: Disabled
Pull-In of CHB PH1: Disabled
Pull-In of CHB PH2: Disabled
Pull-In of CHB PH3: Disabled
Pull-In of CHB PH4: Disabled

If I read it correctly, is the pl setting your talking about the same as the Trd setting I've read about that can have an impact in response times , i.e. 12 may show 60ns where an 8 can show 45ns? I can't find what the Trd would be anways. This naming convention is killing me when I'm trying to make sure I changing the right thing.

Old K
 
The naming will drive a sane man nuts! Try a PL of 10 for starters and static dram disabled for now. Play with the GTL settings, and your VTT is a shade high for 425fsb.

Larry
 
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OK, So if my I translating properly, I'll lower my CPU Volage(i.e. VTT) from 1.28125V and go down a tick to see how low I can go and maintain stability. As for setting the PL to 10, I'm guessing this is the "Common Performance Level" which is set to 5 automatically when the "AI transanction booster" is set to manual. Again, I apologize for re-iterating but because none of the names match up I want to be sure so as not to skew my results or damage my board haphazardly. I'm going to begin a Bios terminology translation table here soon so I know I'm always on the same page as everyone else.

Old K
 
im not sure what is the name of your pl but i can tell vtt is fsb voltage vcore is cpu voltage.
 
im not sure what is the name of your pl but i can tell vtt is fsb voltage vcore is cpu voltage.

Pretty close, I think its called fsb termination voltage, don't have bios open but thats what I remember, its in the manual tho.

Auto: I can give you my phone # if you like, got 1 other thing to try if the stuff in pm's does not work...

Larry
 
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:welcome:

on the GTL settings...you shouldnt have to really mess with them until you get into the 500FSB range or start pushing the memory past 1200Mhz...leaving them at auto is fine at those settings...

One the memory settings...you should try

Ai Clock Twister: moderate or strong (varies with memory)
Ai Transaction Booster (PL): from 7 - 10

You will see a nice boost in bandwidth and lower latency running those settings...

Also...NB voltage will need to be raised around 450 or so...and about every 10 - 15FSB steps after that...for me to run 590FSB on the 3110 it takes well over 1.8v and thats a serious no, no without some good cooling...

Larry's can help you with the quad settings since I am running a E3110...

nice setup :thup:
 
listen to glock on this one as if it werent for his help i would have never gotten my quad to where it is now. thanks lar i may or may not need it as i picked up some ram so well see how that goes. ill shot you a pm later when i get some time to play with it. thanks again and good luck Kraulerson with the oc keep us posted and lets us know anymore questions you have.
 
Alright, I'm going to go ahead and start doing some testing utililizing these setting changes. I'll report what I find. Also, I wanted to say thanks for all the help. The members of this forum are really a great bunch of OC'ers.

Old K
 
I have a Maximus flashed to a Rampage with a Q6600 running 3.6ghz.

Yes the PL is CPL. Don't mess with the pull ins. Leave them disabled for now. Find your lowest stable PL and then enable the pull-in's and see if it's still stable. The pull in's are almost the same as going down one more PL. Definitly leave Static read control disabled and try to run it enabled once you found your best settings. The clock skew rate has helped me get my 8gb of ram to 1266mhz stable. it takes a lot of time to see which direction you need to go. Also you don't want to have the set at the same rate as it defets the purpose of the skew rate settings.

FSBT you want as low as possible along with your CPU PLL voltage. At 3.6 400x9 I'm like 4 notches from the yellow change on both, but I'm also running 1.4350 Vcore. I have to run 1.45v VNB to kept all the ram happy. I don't see over 37*c loaded on my NB temps, but I'm also running a EK-NB-Max on my board.

Also note that that board does overvolt the Ram by 0.1v. So be sure to kept that in mind when you are pushing voltage to the ram. Also fairly common but not every board it seems the NBv overvolts by .05v. @ 1.45v I'm seeing 1.5v in windows using PCProbe2. I've noticed a bit more stability running 105mhz PCIE. I also have a 3 disk RAID 0 array so I also bump both the SBv's up one notch as I was seeing very very random (once every few weeks) raid issues.

I'm at work now so I can't give you my setting right now. I'm on a high end W/C set-up so it might not work for you if your on air on the board. You need to kept the NB temps below 47*c for the memory controller to remain stable. Before I got the water set-up I had 56 *c NBtemp under full load and would have just random memory errors.

If you really want to push the board I would recomend getting the NB and SB blocks. I also got the Fet blocks as well. You also want to maybe put a fan on the memory to kept it cool. Even in my UFO case the air flow at the ram just isn't adiquet to kept it cool. No need to have it hot enough to cook egg's ya know. :)

Ok enough rambling. You do have a great board. I've been out of the hardware scene for a while and I know knowing about anything released in the past 5 months. I do know that before I flashed to the Rampage bio's I couldn't even boot at 4 ghz. Now I can run 4 ghz fairly stable if I push the NBv past a point I feel comfortable with 24/7. I'll post up my setting here later tonight.
 
I haven't been able to find anything concrete but it seems my board is only has a range of 6.0 - 8.0 for the multiplier. I'm wondering if this is a limitation of the board or I'm just missing something.
 
Gotcha, thanks. I was starting to wonder if something was wrong as I kept seeing others hitting multipliers of 9 or 10.
 
Ok, after a brief hiatus of storm prep for Hanna(I live in florida) and some quality family time I'm back. So I've made some progress. I'm currently at 3.8Ghz but am unable to run OCCT or prime95, yet I can surf and write this with no problems, not much CPU usage. I'm guessing that either my CPU core or PLL voltage is to low. Also, I have been able to "start" booting into windows at 4Ghz but have not been able to finish (hard lock up). Below are my current voltage settings. Any advice on which way to go would be appreciated to try and obtain stability at 3.8 and then moving to 4.0 eventually.

New settings

FSB Frequency: 475
DRAM Frequency:950Mhz
Common Performance level:10

CPU Voltage: 1.36250V
CPU PLL Voltage: 1.60V
North Bridge Voltage: 1.49V
DRAM Voltage: 2.20V
FSB Termination Voltage: 1.40V
South Bridge Voltage: AUTO
SB 1.5V Voltage: AUTO
Loadline Calibration: Disabled
CPU GTL Voltage Reference: Auto
NB GTL Voltage Reference: Auto
DRAM Controller Voltage REF: Auto
DRAM Channel A Voltage REF: Auto
DRAM Channel B Voltage REF: Auto


I ran for several days stable @3.6ghz at previous settings so I'm now working my way up. Any help is appreciated.

Old K
 
well looking good so far but your a little high on voltage. i wouldnt go any higher on pll if i were you. you need to start playing with those gtl ref's. that will help a lot and should allow you to back down the voltages some. right now your ok but i wouldnt run much more volts for 24/7 use. good luck and keep us posted
 
What kind of clocks did you finally end up with? Also can you post your settings? I just got my hands on a Q9400 and I have had nothing but trouble on this DFI DK X38 with it. There is a an fsb limit of about 413 on this mobo with this cpu. I just pulled the trigger on a Rampage Formula ROG mobo and I am looking to oc on it as well.
 
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