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Q9550 & P7N Diamond - Overclocking Help

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looter

New Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2013
Alright guys, so after an hour of BF4 beating my machine up and 5 hours of cleaning my rig out by hand, I'm ready to try and overclock my Q9550 to see what kind of performance gains might be possible with my setup. Before we get started, I have to stress - this situation isn't exactly ideal for overclocking as far as I can tell, the research I have done on the board have revealed that it's not exactly overclocking-friendly, but I believe I should be able to squeeze a bit out of it.

I've never really made a serious attempt at overclocking before, any and all assistance with the voltage calculations, multipliers and FSB etc are greatly appreciated. I'll try and detail everything I can about this weird (outdated) setup.

Motherboard - P7N Diamond (MS-7510)
Code:
Manufacturer	MICRO-STAR INTERNATIONAL CO.,LTD
Model	P7N Diamond (MS-7510) (CPU 1)
Version	1.0
Chipset Vendor	NVIDIA
Chipset Model	nForce 780i SLI SPP
Chipset Revision	A2
Southbridge Vendor	NVIDIA
Southbridge Model	nForce 780i SLI MCP
Southbridge Revision	A3
	BIOS
		Brand	American Megatrends Inc.
		Version	V1.4
		Date	7/30/2009
	PCI Data
			Slot PCI
				Slot Type	PCI
				Slot Usage	Available
				Bus Width	32 bit
				Slot Designation	PCI1
				Characteristics	3.3V, Shared, PME
				Slot Number	0

CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550
Code:
Cores	4
Threads	4
Name	Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550
Code Name	Yorkfield
Package	Socket 775 LGA
Technology	45nm
Specification	Intel Core2 Quad CPU Q9550 @ 2.83GHz
Family	6
Extended Family	6
Model	7
Extended Model	17
Stepping	A
Revision	E0
Instructions	MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1, Intel 64, NX, VMX
Virtualization	Supported, Enabled
Hyperthreading	Not supported
Fan Speed	2782 RPM
Bus Speed	333.3 MHz
Rated Bus Speed	1333.3 MHz
Stock Core Speed	2833 MHz
Stock Bus Speed	333 MHz
	Caches
		L1 Data Cache Size	4 x 32 KBytes
		L1 Instructions Cache Size	4 x 32 KBytes
		L2 Unified Cache Size	2 x 6144 KBytes

RAM - DDR2 400.0 MHz Single Channel
Code:
RAM
		Memory slots
			Total memory slots	4
			Used memory slots	4
			Free memory slots	0
		Memory
			Type	DDR2
			Size	6144 MBytes
			Channels #	Single
			DRAM Frequency	400.0 MHz
			CAS# Latency (CL)	5 clocks
			RAS# to CAS# Delay (tRCD)	5 clocks
			RAS# Precharge (tRP)	5 clocks
			Cycle Time (tRAS)	18 clocks
			Bank Cycle Time (tRC)	22 clocks
			Command Rate (CR)	2T
		Physical Memory
			Memory Usage	24 %
			Total Physical	6.00 GB
			Available Physical	4.51 GB
			Total Virtual	12 GB
			Available Virtual	10 GB


As you can see, not exactly top of the line. Even after cleaning this system out from top to bottom, with 3 unparked cores it will idle at about 42c, can reach 56-62c under heavy load on a prime95 test. The reason the cores are currently unparked was some suggestions via DICE and the community on how to optimize performance.

The Ram isn't ideal either, and no matter how much I tried - I could just not get this board to try and run it in dual channel, so it's currently single channel. I'm hoping it isn't so slow that it will limit my options heavily.

Ideally, I'd like to attempt a 3.4GHz overclock, and if I could get that running stable either creep up to 3.6GHz or stay where I am depending on system performance. CPU Cooler isn't stock, but I don't have the specs on hand (doh, forgot to grab them while cleaning it out last night!), it does an okay job for what it is - although I was surprised to see my idle temps only fall down about 15c after cleaning the cooler out thoroughly.

I think my biggest issue will be the motherboard, it has pretty limited options in terms of overclocking - from what I have read its locked into a multiplier of 8 with Intel EIST (Speed Step Technology) off, and 8.5 with Intel EIST enabled (which it is currently to help reduce temps during idle time).

So, where should I begin with this situation? I'll try and find some good pics or the manual of my mobo so you can see what im working with under "Cell Unit" options - it isn't much, but It should be enough I think to get started. Anyone have any experience with this board and CPU? or any suggestions, questions, advice?

Thanks for reading.

:comp:
 
Last edited:
OP
L

looter

New Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2013
Hey thanks for the heads up, I ran into that thread earlier this morning while looking into the board some more. I was checking out my BIOS again and noticed all the voltage settings are grayed out on "Auto" (regardless of other settings as far as i can tell, tried everything but enabling DRAM Manual Timing) and have seen some mentions of it in that thread but no info on how to unlock the settings. I saw someone mention if some settings are missing to press F4, so I'm gonna give that a try when I can and see if maybe theres some hidden menu or settings or something on the board.

Went ahead and changed the motherboard part of the title to P7N Diamond as that will probably be more familiar to people. Removed some of the bloat from my ram code-block in OP as well.
 
OP
L

looter

New Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2013
After a bit of more searching around, I found out that the voltages are grayed out to "AUTO" until you attempt to raise/lower their values, then they unlock and behave normally. So, ready on that front I suppose.