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How to Overclock Intel Core i7 920 & Core i7 930 to 4.0 GHz

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Old 14-05-2010
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 505
How to Overclock Intel Core i7 920 & Core i7 930 to 4.0 GHz

From the very beginning of the PC the most demanding users have sought ways to improve the speed of their systems. Overclocking may in fact be pre-PC era of simpler devices, but the myth of 8088-8 MHz CPU overclocked to 12MHz with a simple change in clock crystal started the phenomenon.

Overclocking means pushing the speed of a component beyond that specified by the manufacturer. The word "clock" comes from the use of a "crystal clock, an oscillator that sets a pace which established the higher frequency components. The most simple devices operating at the frequency of the oscillator, so that a 8 MHz processor required a crystal clock at 8 MHz First overclock processors was as simple and as limited, as for example, change the clock frequency of the crystal separated by 8 MHz to 12 MHz.

When computers became more complex, a single crystal clock could no longer withstand the wide range of speeds demanded by the different data bus. Even if the motherboard could be several oscillators for specific components, we needed an extra chip to access a wider range of speed for a wider variety of interfaces. Known as the clock generator, this component generates clock signals whose frequencies are multiples and fractions of the crystal clock. The clock generators have become increasingly complex, so much so that some modern motherboards and components now support additional frequency adjustments in increments extremely small.

I am here providing you a guide to overclock Intel Core i7 920 & Intel Core i7 processor to 4.0 GHz. I had found much discussion on forums which talk about this and found several errors about overclocking. This guide is meant for the beginners who had not performed overclocking before and wants to do the same to get nice performance from their system. I have an Intel Core I7 920 Processor with Gigabyte Motherboard and 4GB RAM support. I use a 1GB ATi GPU on my system. But for playing some high end games I overclocked the same and found this thing very useful which I want to share the same with you. This guide will provide you information on overclocking the Intel Core i7 920s/930s processor.

Let’s first know about the processor:

Intel Core i7 920:

After analyzing in detail the Nehalem architecture, which is at the heart of the new Core i7 processors from Intel, we decided to test the most affordable of them: i7 920. I will return later on the i7 965, which has also been delivered, but that is a model that exists more for the image and marketing for the actual user. Running at 2.66 GHz, has a base frequency equal to the other two models 940 and 965, 133 MHz, and a factor which can vary from 12x to 20x at rest in normal use and 22x with the Dynamic Speed Technology or Turbo mode, to set. His QPI link, it is 4.8 GT / s, cons 6.4 GT / s for the model Extreme. Core i7 LGA1366 for the high end, but another socket for the machine.

Both sockets should then live for at least one or two generations, Intel has decided to divide its market into two incompatible platforms between them: the expensive motherboard that uses the expensive processors and motherboards that use affordable processors affordable. As it was currently impossible to use a Pentium E X48 motherboard. An approach diametrically opposed to that of AMD, although it often changes recently socket ensures compatibility between different models. The question remains what will happen in practice for both founders and how consumers will approach the most sensitive.

Moreover, in terms of cooling, I recognize that Intel has not sought to promote its processor excessive merely because the depth to provide a simple reference model. It is the same memory as I had enjoyed a simple kit 3GB DDR-3 1066MHz CAS, which is mainly characterized by its compliance with JEDEC standard. Intel would therefore probably more show here its commitment to upholding the standard that the performance at any price.

Intel Core i7 930:

It seems that things have changed since according to some of our sources among the manufacturers of motherboards, this product has just made its appearance. It is scheduled for first quarter 2010 and will replace the current i7 920. Not a big deal or raise the interest of the socket LGA 1366 platform because it will no question that a frequency of 2.88 GHz up to 3.2 GHz in Turbo mode . On the side of the i7 970 , the model with six hearts, but not part of the extreme range, it will take patience by cons.

Using a socket LGA unsurprisingly 1366, the Core i7 930 will carry 8 MB L3 cache. This quad-core processor will benefit from Hyper-Threading and integrate a memory controller, DDR3 triple-channel. The TDP will reach its next 130W. Big interesting current platform, the next models LGA 1366 will feature six cores and will run on current maps, even if the first model in the range will fly over one by its price: the processor will 980X Extreme Edition, offered at $ 999. A Core i7 970, which also has 6 cores, is expected in the future, but a priori not before the summer. Finally, we note a little quirk: the Core i7 950 (3.06GHz) and 960 (3.2 GHz) are worth the same price.

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Old 14-05-2010
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 505
Best Tools for Overclocking Intel Core i7 920

Overclocking Intel Core i7 920 –

I am posting the guide on the base of my system which I had used. I will also provide you information on the hardware and tools I used. For this you first must go through the list below. This is the minimum system requirement for the overclocking process.

Hardware Requirement :

  • You must first have a good cooler. I will not recommend you to use the old ones which comes with the system. They can make your system too much hot. You must first read around for the different cooling option. For extreme overclocking liquid cooling is quiet preferable.
  • I have a 2 sticks of DDR3 1600+ RAM which totals to 4 GB. You can also get some cheaper RAMs if you try to get the around 1333 MHz.
  • You must have a similar x58 type board. There are various available.
  • One of the most important thing which is needed here is a nice PSU unit. This must come with an EPS plug which is a 8 pin support. Don’t rely on your old PSU.


Here are the list of tools which are recommended for overclocking. I am using this tool for long time and they are really very stable while testing. It is very important that you must first figure out the stability of tools which you are using. This can spoil your system.

The First tool for the same is Prime95:

The software commonly used as a test of stability, Prime95 has been updated to version 25.6If you overclock and just want to test the stability of your setup, then go. The change log of this version is not great since the bug corrected main problem relates to a function at the SSE2 factorization above 2 ^ 64. The 64 bit version of the same is available.

The Second tool is Linx :

Linpack is the ultimate test to confirm definitively an o / c . If it takes everything holds. Can dare leave several hours because it heats to death and are satisfied with a medium data set in OCCT. If not crash without AC Linpack left like that but you miss a test and I Me not validate an o / c without this test. An AC Linpack really heated in a vacuum. Your processor can not be used this way in normal use: It is deliberately created by Intel. The Linpack benchmark is better to be on the stability of the CPU.

The Third tool is Memtest 86+ :

Memtest86 can diagnose the PC memory by applying a series of tests low. Indeed, the memory tests performed by the BIOS to boot the computer are a quick scan. There may be a bar to be recognized by the BIOS and does not allow for example the installation of the operating system because it is defective.

Memtest addresses this problem: it is a utility, independent and bootable. That is, Memtest will be installed on a floppy disk or CD on which the PC will boot at startup in order to achieve a comprehensive test of RAM installed.

The Fourth Tool is Realtemp :

Real Temp is a small program that displays real-time temperature of your Intel Core. This application allows you to test all your processor cores at once simultaneously or individually. It is also possible to be alerted by a sound when a temperature value is above normal. You may at any time be warned of risks of overheating of one of your cores and perform a series of tests to determine how much the core is reached.

Even more interesting, Real Temp continually calculates the difference between the current temperature and maximum operating temperature of the processor (TJMax). You can see your discretion before the processor will slow its speed automatically to protect themselves. Among its features include a test of temperature sensors which verifies the consistency of measures at a ramp-up and cooling during a downturn.

The Fifth and Final Tool is CPUZ :

For any user who wants to overclock his system it is important to know accurately the frequency of the FSB, the bus speed or multiplier system. CPU-Z can know all this information and from Windows. Better yet the utility gives precise details when the processor model used (stepping, voltage, supported instructions, etc..). CPU-Z does not merely that since the utility also provides information about the motherboard and memory. Thus it is possible to know the type of barrette installed on each bench and the memory timings being used.

CPU-Z is a utility that provides you information about your hardware like name and brand of processor, voltage current package, and revision of the processor core, information on the motherboard name, vendor, BIOS, chipset, memory, memory information: size, type, specifications, etc..
Try to get this all tools for your system.
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Old 14-05-2010
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 505
Quick Tips for Overclocking Intel Core i7

You must note down one thing first that almost all i7 processors are quiet similar and the process of overclocking them is too similar. You just need to ensure that first the tool which you are using must be stable and your CPU is not getting overheated. I have a similar quality of IMC which usually works on most of the system. You can raise out the clock speed and notice the difference. The RAM also have similar quality of the output in most of the system. In many case the D0?s have higher overclock support and that too on lower voltage as compare to the C0 chips. This is due to the process of refinement in the process involved. After some time past the C0 chips are then provided the same and they become capable of hitting 4.0 GHz on low volts. TheD0 in my view are much more desirable chips as compare tot eh C0s. I have tested my systems on both.

The one thing you can figure out with the new Intel Corei7 930 processor that they are equipped with new D0?s which give them the power to use much less voltage as compare to the older models. Usually I had found that system used eats up more voltage after hitting the specific overclock rate. This mainly lies with the manufacturing part. The chip consumes power when you overclock them and the same is measure in watts. The more high power used the more heat is generated. So it is very necessary that your chip must lie within a range of the temperature. I recommend that for hitting 4.0 GHz on D0 the voltage consumption must be over 1.3v. The other most important thing is that if you want to force your processor on a higher overclocking rate then you need a much better motherboard, best cooling solution, newer chips, etc.

Some quick Tips and Settings :
  1. BCLK stands for the Base Clock. This is the clock you is engaged in controlling your memory speed, qpi speed and the core speed which is usually based on various settings you have on your system. This is you can say a important aspect of oveclocking in Core i7 part. 133 is the stock setting for this.
  2. Then comes the Uncore thin which the speed of all the process running but not your core. It can be the L3 Cache, IMC, etc. The stability is much higher if this is set to 2x.
  3. Quickpath interconnect is one more term which must be clear to you. It is similar to AMD's hypertransport also called as QPI. It is a procedure or process by which the your processor and x58 motherboard communicate with each other. It comes with multiplier of 18x, 22x & 24x. In the case of Intel Core i7 920 it must be set on 18x for a better stability.
  4. Memory in the same sense is calculated on the basis of speed of base clock. It comes in multiplier of 6x,8x,10x, 12x, or 14x. Here I my view you must choose the 6x and 8x. This usually depends on the type of motherboard you are using.
  5. Turbo mode : By default, the i5 700 with a Core or a Core i7 800 is 1.2 GHz and that of a Core i7 900 1.6 GHz. Between this value and the nominal value, the processor can adjust its frequency and voltage in real time, as the number of active cores. When the turbo function is activated, the nominal frequency may be increased by a number of "bin". This unit is the base frequency of the processor or 133 MHz by default.
  6. CPU Multiplier ? The multiplier allows a processor to determine the frequency. Indeed, the clock of a processor, which determines its operating frequency cannot be directly generated by a specialized chip. The frequencies currently in play (several GHz) are too high to be generated by a quartz oscillator or a mechanical way.
  7. Vcore which is the CPU voltage.

The Beginning :

First you have to reset your bios to its original settings. For you can enter the BIOS from boot and then use the load default settings. In most the new motherboard this is quiet easy to do. Once you have to properly set your BIOS on stock configuration then first thing you have to do is disable ESIT, Turbomode, C1 and all the other power saving options that are provided in the BIOs. This will cause interference in overclocking which becomes unstable. After that jut book in Windows and then run CPUZ. Then run Prim and check the voltage. This is the approximate value of voltage which is consumed by your system in stock configuration. The chip here shows running properly. You can try various method for here. I set my BLCK to auto where it adjust itself on the basis of current process. The other thing you must note down is that your memory must be set to 8x or 6x which depend on the 2x Uncore settings of the RAM. Just set the QPI to lowest. Restart Windows. The other thing you have to make sure that the GPU overclocks must be set to disabled.

The modern processor cores running at a multiple of the clock speed of the interface, the simplest example is the 500 MHz Pentium III running at five times the speed of 100 MHz FSB: 100 MHz x 5 = 500 MHz If we increase either the multiplier or frequency of the interface, we obtain a higher speed, can reach 600 MHz for example by increasing the multiplier to 6 (6 x 100 MHz = 600 MHz) or in increasing the bus frequency to 120 MHz (5 x 120MHz = 600MHz). The only problem in this demonstration is that these processors in particular had multipliers fixed and it was not possible to go from 5x to 6x. It is still possible to play with the multiplier with some other models and it was even possible to unlock some processors "blocked".

Remember that the bus speed shown in this table is expressed in clock cycles, for in data rate. Note that each processor on the list is the slowest model in the type of heart. All these can usually be overclocked up to 50% with a minimum of effort or money, or even beyond, because the heart was designed for speeds much higher.

This does not however mean that the entry-level models are a quality equal to the fastest models. A Pentium 4 1.6 GHz was 2.4 GHz, but a Pentium 4 2.4GHz (Northwood) was 2.7 GHz without much effort, so it wins the comparison of speed even if overclocking margin of 12.5% is lower. The greater latitude of overclocking low-cost models makes them very attractive, but higher speeds than can be achieved with top models make it a better choice for fans of extreme speed.
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Old 14-05-2010
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 505
Methods of Overclocking Core i7 920

The First Method - How to optimize system for Maximum performance.

This method will eat up some time but in terms of power it is very efficient. You must perform this method to make your system voltage control much better. You can do this first by entering your BIOS and then change your voltage setting. You can also setup your QPI/Uncore to 1.25 and then comes the vdimm which must be set to 1.62. Ignore any BIOS warning if you find any. There is no harm in doing this. It is must easier for working if you are working on a 21x multiplier which is quiet better to keep your RAM steady.

After that run RealTemp and then run Prime89. You can here notice down the current temperature and frequency of your system. You must keep RealTemp running to keep an eye on the temperature. It must not go above 80-80 when Prime95 is running in the background. In my case it stays steady to 70. Once that stays stable then the other process begins. Enter your BIOS back again and then set the value 10 to BCLK. You have to look for maximum BCLK. Lowering can make the overclocking unstable. This will help you to run the exact frequency rate on the given voltage. You can go through some Prime95 errors which will give you more information on the same and trouble shoot the system in case of error.

Second Method : Overclock to 4 GHz.

No after setting up everything here are some more things you have to do. First you have to set your ion & ich to 1.2. Then set your vdimm to 1.65 and 1.88 for cpu pll. Then comes the QPI/Uncore which must be 1.35. If you are a D0 user then your vcore must be 1.275 or if you are a C0/C1 user then that must be se t to 1.4. The BCLK must be on 190/191 or 210/211. You have to first check the stability with Prime95. In most of the case the D0 is better as compare to C0/C1 which needs some time. Or else your temperature goes too high. So keep an eye on the RealTemp.

Third Method Vcore Boosting :

Here you can do lots of thin. Set your ioh and ich to 1.2, then 1.65 for vdimm, 1.88 for cpu pl and 1.5 for the uncore. Then set similar setting to BCLC what is mentioned above. In case of D0 chips the frequency will hit 4.0 at the range of 1.175 and 1.25. You must now decide which remains much more stable here. In case of C0/C1 this is where you have to go much higher on 1.27 for 1.4 rate and even to 1.5. So that heats your system much. This method is more difficult in some chips which will not boot when there e is no proper settings for vcore.

Fourth Method Overclocking Memory :

Most of the submissions can be overclocked to some extent, but it really depends on several factors including the quality of the chip, design of printed circuit board and module mounting. The overclocking memory has become so popular that most manufacturers of high speed memory products specify the fastest overclocked frequencies. The benefits of overclocking memory beyond the memory speed and cover basic elements of overclocking the CPU, mainly the ability to retain a memory frequency at least as fast as the CPU interface . Taking as an example the frequency of buses "easier" of the past, a Pentium III with 150 MHz FSB overclocked functioned optimally with memory can also tolerate a speed of 150 MHz Some even demanded that the chipset is the case.

The CPU inexperienced overclockers often grow without knowing the memory beyond its stability limits, the falsely incriminating component when they fail to achieve a goal seems reasonable. This misunderstanding is usually due to the BIOS menu that shows the memory speed as the data rate on a non-overclocked CPU. As memory controllers operate the memory in a report to the interface speed of the CPU, any changes to the CPU speed has a proportional effect on the memory speed. To better understand the thing, take for example a Core 2 Duo FSB1066 associated with the DDR2-533 (PC2-4300), both operating at a frequency of 266 MHz If one chooses a speed of 533 MHz and memory that we move the CPU bus frequency to 333 MHz (FSB1333), the memory will run at DDR2-667, even if the BIOS usually indicates always 533MHz. Some manufacturers have added a second indication to show the original data flow and real flow, but those who do not have this luxury will make calculations to determine the actual speed memory after overclocking.

It incurs memory by overclocking the same risks as with other components, including possible loss of data when a program crashes and possible damage to the memory caused by overheating. The most likely cause of overheating memory is the use of excessive tension, fortunately, the high speed memory has a warranty that covers overclocking to a voltage level specified by the manufacturer.

Test Stability of your system with Prim95 :

Prime95 offers you to test the stability of your system. Run the tool and then set the priority you want. Then you can use the temperature monitor to keep an eye on the cpu temperature. I here recommend you to sue Liquid cooling. Because many time users are not aware about heating up and the BSOD appears. You can then run a test and find out the errors or your system status. Run a stability test from Prim95.

If you found a freeze error in Prime95 then increate the vcore. If the error stats 101 code in blue screen then increase the vcore by +0.25. The error code 124 will need to increase or decrease the GPI/Uncore by .25 whichever is needed. This depends on the base of stability test you had done. The 1.4+ is considered as much stable here. Sometime the QPI are too high and due to that the error come. For that it is needed t setup the same.

Linx for Stability Testing :

Linx can also be sued for stability. I use this one because it provides much exact report and give proper information. It is also right that most of the people think that the processor they are using is not stable. Linx here can help you to increase your temperature even higher than Prime95. But Prime95 is much more stable.

Test you Memory with Memtest 86+ C1E :

Run a memory test until you encounter any memory related errors. If you find then this toll will show you that the RAM is faulty or not. You can then start your ram timing and change the setting from your BIOS. You can set the QPI/Uncore to 1.5 and the vdimm to 1.64-466. In this do not overclock the processor just run the test and find out the specs.

If your RAM is stable then you can optimize the same by using Memtest. It is possible to lower down the voltage of the same in case of error. You can overclock your RAM to run much faster. Here you need to increase BCLK and optimize your voltage on the same hand. There are limited benefit of overclocking the RAM but sometime good for performance.

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Old 14-05-2010
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 505
Re: How to Overclock Intel Core i7 920 & Core i7 930 to 4.0 GHz

The benefits and risks Overclocking :

Overclocking allows one component input range of speeds equivalent to high-end or component quality center to go beyond what is offered the best models. A Pentium 4-3 GHz to 3.4 GHz pushed, for example, displays the same performance as Pentium 4 3.4 GHz more expensive. Those who carried out the overclocking before the advent of version 3.4 GHz had got an idea of what would be the future of the Pentium 4.

The main risks are overclocking instability and possible loss of data, risks can be eliminated through a comprehensive testing to verify what is the highest stable frequency. The eminent Dr. Thomas Pabst, more simply known as Tom, founder of Tom's Hardware, summed it best: "Nobody likes to see his system crash or freeze, but in a professional environment it can avoid being a vital . It is quite obvious that we increase the likelihood of system failure by overclocking the CPU, but it is a probability! If after overclocked his system, one begins by directly typing a text, it should not be surprised if the system crashes causing the loss of all data. After completing the process of overclocking, you should test the system extensively. If the system passes all tests, then we can talk about overclocking success and be sure that everything works well.

Prime95 torture test, available free on the Web, has become the standard essential to test the stability of the CPU. Among the secondary risks, the most important thing is to damage the equipment. Aggressive overclocking leads directly to a higher risk of damage to components, but the risks are not as direct as many people think only of those who do not overclock. The risk factors are, in order of increasing importance:

The speed - The IC has a definite useful life: each operation deteriorates the circuit in an infinitesimal proportion so that doubling the number of cycles per second can halve its lifespan. This is generally not sufficient in itself to crack a component before it is outdated, but the speed has a direct influence on the heat.

Heat - As the temperature increases, the circuits are deteriorating rapidly. Heat is the enemy of stability and should keep temperatures low for a component reaches a steady speed as high as possible.

The tension - A higher voltage allows for greater signal strength and this can have a dramatic effect on the limit at which one can push a component. However, the increased tension also accelerates the deterioration of the circuit and is the main cause of early failure. Increasing the voltage also raise the temperature, which requires better cooling.

The deterioration of the circuit is due to a phenomenon called
electromigration. Once again Tom has something to say about it: The electromigration occurs on the silicon circuit CPU, in areas that operate at very high temperatures, and may cause irreversible damage. Before starting to panic, we must understand certain things. CPUs are designed to operate at temperatures between 25 and 80 degrees Celsius. To give you an idea, nobody can touch more than 1 / 10 second object at 80 ? C. I've never seen a CPU reach this temperature. There are many ways to keep the CPU package below 50 ? C, which increases the probability of maintaining the chip that contains less than 80 ? C. In addition, electromigration does not damage the chip out of the blue. It is a slow process, which shortens more or less the life of a CPU running at a high temperature. A conventional CPU is designed to last about ten years, but in ten years no one will use more CPU with current technology. Personally, I do not use my CPU more than two years. If you want to protect themselves from the nightmare of electromigration, it must do everything possible to cool the CPU. Cooling is the essential element in the OC. Never forget this.

Conclusion :

As and when overclocking became popular, the circle of his opponents fell to fundamentalists of stability that would never consider such frivolity. Nevertheless, those who are still not sure of themselves should be aware that if the risks are proportional to the speed gains, the reverse is also true. Overclockers in a relatively small proportion can comprise no risk because the components will be obsolete before ever being worn. You can use programs to test stability, as the torture test Premium 95, to determine the parameters that we will not risk any data loss.

First back up your data, you can never be too careful when doing this type of manipulation. The most important thing to check when overclocking is the CPU temperature. It generally varies between 30 and 65 ? depending on the CPU type, activity and cooling. Remember that there are rules to follow, but in this area is all a matter of experimentation and testing on a case by case basis. In order to minimize problems, follow always thinking before acting and without making major changes in parameters.

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