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Overclocking virgin needs gentle assistance (i7 965 X CPU + Rampage II X modo)

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Before I start, I know this doesn't probably belong here but I have yet to see an over clocking thread on here so here goes: (I know people on here have OC'd their machines at some stage)
So. I've built a custom machine and have been using the following specs below for 6yrs now and I think I owe it to my Extreme edition gear now to get overclocking. I'm ashamed to say I've not done it until now (maybe wise to save my CPU, I dunno). But I lie, at the start I did try with the automatic Overclocking software that came with the motherboard but I just kept getting BSOD's and left it at factory setting until now.

The last two days I've been trying to get stable results without BSOD's every other attempt or PC just automatically shutting off. (I'll explain further down about my failed attempts).

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
CPU: Intel® Core(TM) i7 CPU 965 @ 3.20GHz Extreme edition
MB: Rampage II Extreme (Intel® LGA1366 Platform & Intel® X58/ICH10R chipset)
RAM: Crosair 12288 MBytes DDR3
GPU: ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2
Primary HD's: 2 x WD VelociRaptor 300 GB SATA Hard Drives @ 10,000RPM
Secondary HD's: 2 x WD VelociRaptor 1000 GB Hard Drives @ 7,200RPM
MONITOR: 32" HP LP3065 Wide LCD
COOLING: Noctua NH-U12P SE1366

I've mentioned the whole spec so you can get an idea of the system I got all those years back (A bit OTT come to think of it). Anyway, cooling system is pretty okay. I just want to achieve a realistic 3.9Ghz or even 4Ghz at a push. I've seen on other forums that they achieve 4.0 on air-cooled systems with ease. Maybe my CPU is past it OR I do believe it may be down to reapplying thermal paste and reseating the cooler?!

OC attempts (Changed factory values in bold)
I've tried just stepping up the ratio to x 27 (133Mhz bus speed x 27=3.591Ghz) without any other adjustments and it fails. It says CPU temp too high after saving the BIOS settings and restarting. The tutorial I followed was from here:,2386-5.html where they managed 4.0GHz but I nver even got close to that.

I tried other settings but the best and most stable attempt is the multiplier of x26 (Increased 135Mhz bus speed x 26=3.510Ghz) and disabling any power saving options such as speedstep etc. I still have to do a stress test on that yet though. At least it's not shutting down. CPU temps are still higher than I'd like at 70degC Average.

As you can see there's not much difference there so do you think 3.510Ghz is the limit or does the VCORE need adjusting? I followed the exact vales in the tomsharedware link but nada y nada (nothing)!! and have tried in vain.

I just thought I'd forget about it until I get some advice by 'more knowledgeable people' as to what may be the root of the problem. I just hope this isn't too off-topic.

On forums like I said they say it's probably the readjustment of the cooler and thermal paste. I DO NOT KNOW! Probably could be a busted CPU or something else.

I'm eager to get this thing working whatever way possible. The results are really good (See gif) at an OC that I got working. (36sec / 17% improvement on 2:54min test render at stock) Although, I'd love to push it to 4.0Ghz to see the improvement (I bet it's unreal) but I suppose that means water cooling which I don't mind installing.

I'm looking to see what peoples experiences are with this sort of thing and if they can help me out then great. The post is a bit long winded, so I won't blame you if you hit the backspace key :P)


You didn't write the MOST important part (but the one everyone ignores when they build PCs), the PSU.

As it is, you have 4870 X2 gpu, which as it is, is classic super hungry AMD chip that happens to be dual-chip card, requiring 650W PSU to power it alone (the GPU alone eats up to 460W in use)
Add overclocked 6-core and you're up to 300W at peak (4~GHz 1.3Vcore), adding up to 800W+ workstation. Does your PSU offer enough juice to power through this ?

Yes, sorry. When I was building it I made sure I had a big enough PSU. It's 850w. Maybe this might not be powerful enough. I've since added another 24inch moniter to go along with the 32inch one. Maybe I'd be better with a new PSU to allow greater head room. If I'm going to get the 980 graphics card then this will use up less power been a one chip setup. Would this have any bearing on the CPU becoming to hot at at relativity low over clock at 3.65ghz?

One more thing I forgot to mention was another error I was getting.

'BSOD: A clock interrupt was not received on a secondary processor.'

Your monitors are powered up separately, unless you use would manually connect it through Molex.

I do not suggest buying another PSU to old computer like this, esp. given 1000W 80+ Gold would be 150+ euros.
I was gonna suggest you 750Ti, which draws only 60W, but is still 4 times faster than your 4870 (esp. bit more since 3dsMax and other CGI apps, don't use dual chip cards, they only see half of your card, dual-chip cards are NEVER good choice to buy).

Unless you play games, or do GPU rendering (Octane,etc..) 3dsMax doesn't care at all, if you use 750Ti, or 780Ti (or 970/980/...) so upgrade carefully, don't waste your money just because.

Getting back to overclocking, you can't expect identical result from another chip. It's "silicon lottery", some chip can get up to 4Ghz at 1.275Vcore, some might need 1.4! . And some chips can't even get there.
70C at 3.5 is already quite high if you're still on default Vcore settings. You can always try reseating but it doesn't guarantee the fault is there.

I thought they might have some effect on power drawn from the GPU. Anyway for new GPU, I'm going to go for the Asus GeForce GTX 970 (450W PSU Required) @ £320 compared to the less powerful 780 at £290. With a 3 yr warranty for the 970 as oppsed to 2yr for the 780.

I just hope GPU ASUS Geforce drivers are better than the ATI ones. Boy, they were terrible I thought. And this will exactly match my motherboard brand. Could the crap driver for my GPU possibly be causing this OC problem or no?

My Vcore settings where left at auto. I don't know if that makes a difference. I did try upping the voltage to 1.4 but that's when I got the CPU overheating error in the BIOS or else auto shut-downs.

Would there be a possibility of damage done to the CPU such as a bent pin?

I'm going to get my hands on some thermal paste and try resitting the cooler. Is their any particular brand that's any better than others in your experience?

Here's an interesting chart from tomshardware. My CP is higher than any of those values by 10-15.


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