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cant seem to crack 4ghz

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my C0 E8400 has been happily running 24/7 at 3.6ghz with stock cooling in my gigabyte GA-EP31DS3L mobo for a few months now but the temperatures were pretty average, especially under load. so i decided to buy it a present and slapped a thermalright ultra extreme 120 with noctua NF P12 on fan on top of it. naturally my temps went down which was good and i thought now that i have this heatsink i may as well overclock the cpu to 4ghz. this is where my problems began.

 

i set the fsb to 445x9, upped the vcore to 1.4 which cpuz reports as 1.362 which was good since ive read you shouldnt really push these past 1.3625v if you dont want a damaged chip. i have Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X4096-6400C5 ram (2x2gb) that i upped the voltage slightly from stock 1.8v to 2v to try to cope with the 1:1 fsb ratio 90mhz overclock. saved all my settings and tried my hand at getting into windows and running prime 95. got about 3mins into prime95 test cpu @ 65c and then crash, bsod BCcode 124. i have tried to change everything in my bios to get this 4ghz to work and i am thinking that it might be the ram that doesnt want to play along.

i have further upped the vcore to no avail, upped the volts on the ram to 2.1v which is its maximum and seemed to make stability worse. then tried all volts in between 2.1 and 1.8 and still no luck. i even relaxed the timings from their stock 5 5 5 18 to 5 6 6 21 and it still crashes. i found that my motherboard had a later bios which i updated to. still no luck if it makes it into windows, things start crashing and eventually a bsod will occur.

 

so, defeated i have dialed down my overclock to 3.83ghz (425x9) which it seems to be happy to run at 1.344v which i suppose isnt too bad. but where have i gone wrong i have read so many people that have gotten really good overclocks out of these e8400s with very similar setups to mine. the only thing i can think of is that a) the motherboard isnt happy b) the ram is having a cry which i cant understand since i was under the impression this corsair xms2 stuff was the goods or finally c) my thermaltake toughpower 600w psu is having a hard time running 3 hdds, 2 fans, an overclocked HD4850, overclocked ram and an overclocked cpu.

 

anyone have any suggestions??

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Higher FSB requires a higher Northbridge voltage, it will need a bump.

 

Also Micron D9 RAM chips that you have are fine at 2.2v even, I have a set of Crucial Ballistix Tracers rated stock at 2.2V, but that being said, Vram may not be the issue.

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no idea where the option to up my northbridge voltages is in my bios. i did a quick search on google, is it something to do with GTLREF voltages?

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Have you tried underclocking your Ram, in other words to bring the speed back down to the original frequency?

 

The instability i feel is coming from your RAM. I have had similar RAM and it just doesnt like to go that far beyond its rated speed though this can also be because of the Mobo itself which may only be rated at a particular level. If the Mobo is rated for xyz Mhz you will have a harder time overclocking the RAM. My Kingston RAM is rated to go up to 1066 Mhz, giving me room to simply adjust the FSB a bit more. But the MOBO doesnt automatically select the 1066 speed, clocking it down automatically to 800Mhz. So I can only reach 1066 Mhz with the RAM manually and the MOBO doesnt always like this. Going over 1066 Mhz on my Kingston memory has resulted in Crashes. So I leave my RAM at the deafult 800Mhz when overclocking, allowing it to increase in line with any FSB tweaks. As you may know adjusting the FSB on your CPU also increases the speed of your RAM. Check in you BIOS - you should have an option to wind you RAM back to a lower FSB setting. Select one that results in a speed closer to 800Mhz (with the CPU overclocked) and this can allow your CPU clock to go a bit higher, giving the RAM a bit more headroom to expand.

 

Just some thoughts.

Edited by GhostFaceKilla

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Its not the chip stepping? my chip runs fine at 4.1ghz with 1.21v (E0) stepping. ram is my biggest limiter. drop the Ram back to stock speed or lower just to eliminate that facor.

Edited by cleadge

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Have you tried underclocking your Ram, in other words to bring the speed back down to the original frequency?

 

The instability i feel is coming from your RAM. I have had similar RAM and it just doesnt like to go that far beyond its rated speed though this can also be because of the Mobo itself which may only be rated at a particular level. If the Mobo is rated for xyz Mhz you will have a harder time overclocking the RAM. My Kingston RAM is rated to go up to 1066 Mhz, giving me room to simply adjust the FSB a bit more. But the MOBO doesnt automatically select the 1066 speed, clocking it down automatically to 800Mhz. So I can only reach 1066 Mhz with the RAM manually and the MOBO doesnt always like this. Going over 1066 Mhz on my Kingston memory has resulted in Crashes. So I leave my RAM at the deafult 800Mhz when overclocking, allowing it to increase in line with any FSB tweaks. As you may know adjusting the FSB on your CPU also increases the speed of your RAM. Check in you BIOS - you should have an option to wind you RAM back to a lower FSB setting. Select one that results in a speed closer to 800Mhz (with the CPU overclocked) and this can allow your CPU clock to go a bit higher, giving the RAM a bit more headroom to expand.

 

Just some thoughts.

 

i cant have the ram running at a slower speed than the FSB :( 2.00 is the lowest it will go and i think this is the same with alot of gigabyte/asus boards from the era. i was looking for that option when the crashing first started because i used to run my old athlon 2800+ with stock speed ram and higher FSB. looks like im stuck with 3.82ghz

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