Dude. There's nothing that
complicated about overclocking. While everything might seem tedious, it's because you want to ensure that you're not you're going to kill your part right away and that you have a stable machine. Overclocking means running the part out of spec. Just because MaxPC got a i7-3820 to reach 4.2GHz, doesn't mean everyone else can, because that part was only rated for 3.7GHz. There is no easy solution other than adjust the parameters and test. And if that's too much for you, then you can stop right here about overclocking. It's not an exact science. There is no magical formula you can use, because every part is going to yield different results (even if often times those results land on the same number).
If you want some pointers though...
- You can only adjust the BCLK on the CPU. Anything about a multiplier goes out the window because you don't have a K designated part.
- If you adjust the BCLK, chances are your memory controller will need tweaking because it too runs off the BCLK. You'll just have to make sure you're not running your memory beyond the speed it was rated for
- Start by adjusting the BCLK in 5 or 10MHz increments and make sure it passes POST, and hell, even going into Windows if you want to go that far.
- The moment the computer chokes up is when you've reached the maximum the BCLK can be adjusted to. Reset your BIOS settings and use the BCLK value that last worked and make sure it still works.
- If you're feeling ballsy you can push past that point by adjusting the voltage upwards, however from what I read a while back, a good rule of thumb of the limit that you should stop at is 10% of the voltage the CPU is normally rated for (Intel says that the maximum voltage for a 3820 is 1.35V, so no more than 1.4V). Then you can do some more adjustments to the BLCK as necessary
- Whenever you hit a stopping point and you've found the highest settings that will work, you have to throw it with a round of CPU stress tests. Give it Prime95 for a few hours at the minimum. This is to ensure that your CPU is stable, will not produce errors, and that it's temperature is manageable.
However, the last time I overclocked was on a Core 2 Duo E8400 so my knowledge may be outdated. I haven't bothered with it sense because I don't really care and for gaming, my processor isn't going to be "obsolete" any time soon.
...OMG! Genuine helpful advice and tips. Wow, "at wong wast!) -"Elmer J. Fudd, Millionaire. I own a mansion and a yacht"I talk a lot and have been politely branded as "loquacious" on many a web forum, sorry. I just can't help it. Just skip down if you don't have the time or interest to read on my history.
Actually, I will answer you now, then yak if you have an interest, to give you a reply that you can see right away. Digital ICs like CPU, memory chips, pretty much ANY digital chips are very, very fussy about their power and voltage requirements. If it is a 5 volt chip, you had better see 5 clean volts at that Vcc terminal of the IC. 4.7 or 5.3 was NOT good enough and was NOT okay. 5.1 maybe okay, but the requirements are very strict to be accurate and CLEAN! A 1.5 volt PCU WILL DIE at 1.7 volts, not kidding. So I am a little skittish about adjusting these values. But to overclock, one is pushing the IC outside of it's designed working limits, thus the IC will require a bit more power to perform what you want it to do, thus higher voltage. But like you said, careful with the voltage and all adjustments must be in very small increments. Let me check that 10% rule of yours, I like the sound of it.(1.5 volts) x 1.1 (100% plus an additional 10%) = 1.65 volts.
Yeah, I like that ten percent rule. That is dead on accurate and safe. Nice! I will put that into my tool/rule/formula toolbox. Thanks! Yes I want the pointers, that is what I have been begging for. Ahhh, the block clock, BCLK is worth going for to gain a decent speed boost but that alone can only go so far. Yes, I get it about boot testing and then stability testing, I need a stress test to run it on, I have been using that Pi test because it does make the CPU run really hard because it is pretty much trying to calculate a value that, I think, theoretically has no final result and one could do some complicated mathematical crunching and forever get closer to a "final" result. But it gets harder and harder to compute as the decimal point vanishes off the left side of the screen. But, it is not a good, true stress tester. I will look for a better stress tester, this Prime95 might be good, and Maximum PC always lists the tests it uses. I think SiSoft Sandra is another good one. Anything to get the CPU off of it's lazy ass and start to kick ass. No time or room for idling here kiddies, time to get that heat sink HOT! Then see if it can hang in there, dies, gives the dreaded BSOD, and watch the internal or CPU temperature to make sure it remains in it's defined safe operational zone.
Yep, I think to get more speed out of the CPU, anything more than 200Mhz, we need a tad more voltage for the CPU and if we go high, then the memory as well. I would like to not mess with memory voltage and timing, bus timing and clocks, and even the CPU voltage and too many of the obscure settings. What I want is to make this rig run at 4-4.2Ghz, be stable at all times, not overheat, and purr like a kitten and roar like a lion. One thing that I really like about this build is that the chosen parts will make a darned good and powerful rig, a genuine keeper for sure. The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo is huge, totally air cooled, and was not really difficult to install. It is bad ass and will keep that CPU as cold as you can get it with air cooling. Nice. I love this build so much that I went double on the RAM and double on the SSD size. A few hundred more dollars but totally worth it. Imagine 32Gb RAM in your desktop PC? God, you could run ten things at once and never even dip into the page file. I could not do 32 but was able to get 16Gb of the specified memory into the machine and I am sure that will be more than ample.
So yeah, we start with BCL, up it in very small increments, get a feel for what the total speed increase is and get a rough formula for how much clock increase will yield so much CPU increase. Check for POST and boot, when I get up a bit and it passes POST, then go to windows and stress test to monitor stability and temperature. Stop and back off a bit when these things become apparently an issue. Appreciate the K series advice, leave the multiplier alone. I will probably have to boost the CPU voltage a tiny amount
, but not much. I do not want to burn this thing out anytime soon or anytime at all.
LatiosXT, you say "I don't really care and for gaming, my processor isn't going to be "obsolete" any time soon." If you don't mind me asking, what is your rig? CPU, graphics, memory, specs or brand/barebones or home built? You must game and for someone that reads Maximum PC and who knows as much as you do, I would not believe that you run a junk rig. Although for budget reasons, many of us are running rigs that we wish were newer, better, faster, or more powerful. For me, one very big deal was the SSD. I have been reading about them now for some time and the AWE factor on how fast it boots and runs has been too seductive for me to ignore. But for budget reasons, I had to wait to get my money, build my dream rig, and this time, an SSD will be the OS drive. My old rig is still purring along (Read below how I keep it running after 6 years if interested.) and yet booting and rebooting was something I always dreaded. Booting would take a minimum of 5 or more minutes before I could grab the mouse and keyboard and actually start "doing suff". A reboot with updates could take over ten minutes! Boot times like that are flat out ridiculous.This is really the end of my reply, the rest is my story about my previous PC and some of the things I learned while building, having, and fixing it. Those with no interest in this part are free to go, thanks everyone!
Part of it is my fault. I love this freeware called "Search Everything" and could not even imagine to have my own desktop PC and not have it. If you are not familiar with this neat search utility, it is basically a search engine for your entire system, no matter how many drives you have. I installed like 3-4 large hard drives and broke them down into 4 partitions each, thinking smaller partitions would give plenty of storage space for various files, different partitions for different things. This ended up being a bad idea because I have "too many hard drives" in Explorer because of it. I got to the point of plugging in a USB flash drive and not being able to access it because I had too many hard drives (partitions) and virtual optical drives with Clone Drive and Daemon Tools. I cut that out now and use the entire 512 Gb SSD for Windows and programs (Games go on additional storage real hard drives.) and bought a huge 4Tb storage drive and that I only cut in two. This worked out pretty well but I put two of my storage drives from the old rig, 1Tb drives cut into 4 partitions. Dumb idea, might use Partition Magic to join then back into two partitions each if this becomes an issue. Starting to drift here...
...oh yeah, boot time and Search Everything. This software is amazing, here if interested:http://www.voidtools.com/
I am not a big fan of installing PC search engines like Copernic, Windows already has a search tool built in but it is horribly slow. Search Everything builds a very fast database of everything you have. If you allow it to start with Windows, it will always be ready to do a fast search, no matter where you put the file. It does file names, dates, sizes, etc., but not file contents. Having so many files and disks makes finding things infrequently used is difficult so I pop open Everything, put something like "geico txt accounts !bills" and it will immediately find my Geico car insurance information, web URL, login and password so I can pay my bill. You can use paths in the search or exclude files. The I put geico because that is the name of the file, txt because it is a txt file, accounts because it is in my accounts folder, and !bills to exclude everything after the bang or exclamation point. I pay online so I keep all of my paid receipts as pdf files rather than print them all. By excluding the bills folder, I do not have to pick through years worth of paid bill files. The point is that it finds anything as fast as hell. It finds the file before I even finish typing in the search criteria. Just imagine for a minute, of using Windows Search to find this geico.txt file, somewhere on one of 12 "hard drives". The Windows Search alone would probably take 15 minutes, this is why I love Search Everything so much. Allowing it to load with Windows makes the database do a quick sweep for any changes. It is pretty fast but with many physical hard drives and many hundreds of thousands of files, this process can add minutes to my boot time. Not many, a minute or two, but put that on top of everything else and boot time was horrible! I never want to reboot, not even after updates because it took too long. I cannot believe the difference the SSD made. Boot time now is about 20 seconds! Holy crap, it really, really is that fast! I will never build a rig again without an SSD OS drive.
BTW, Search Everything does not have to load with Windows. It can be run like any other program but before you can search, it will have to do a fast sweep of the drives. It is fast but nobody wants to wait just to search, even if it is less than a minute. Loading it with Windows stops that but takes away some memory. With 16Gb of memory, it is not an issue.
Dude, you gave me enough to feel confident enough to start playing with the OC. I will research these items first to be sure of what I am doing, but you gave me enough advice to at least consider and begin the project now and I appreciate that. I share a little history about myself and how to repair motherboards out of necessity. I think this is an insane idea but when you have no choice, it is an option that has so far, always worked for me.Any advice is always welcome from anyone. Especially if you have a GIGABYTE GA-X79-UP4 motherboard, and a Sandy Bridge i7-3820 CPU. Thanks guys!
Thank you, thank you. Believe it or not, I am an electronic technician since graduation in 1982. Home electronics; TV, VCR, Plasma, amplifiers, receivers, CD and DVD players and recorders, open reel, turntables, DAT tape machines, and all that. Started with analog devices at the time, amps, Marantz and Pioneer receivers with the tuner string and dial, power supplies and such. Then came digital. First thing was a Phase Linear CD player. Cost $2,000.00. And, it was mostly analog circuits but for the digital circuits which for the most part, were discreet transistors and some IC's. I never seen such a thing before. Knew a LOT about electronic circuits and how to fix them, but this thing? What the hell is it and how does it work? I hooked it up to my bench receiver and speakers and tried to play "Carmen", a classical CD. The CD seemed to be working, the disc would spin up, the red LED laser pickup monitor was visible so you could see it as it moved across the disc, and it seemed to be moving, but somehow, "struggling". I turned up my receiver loud, trying to hear a hum or anything at all to tell if the amp circuits were working. At least, that is how it starts with amps, tape players, and turntables. Nothing. Nada. Quiet as a mouse, even at full volume. I examined the boards and to my horror, they were a LOT of them, chock full of transistors and small pots (Screwdriver turn-able variable resistors). Whoa, doing a setup or calibration on this thing would be one mother **cker!.
Okay, so good tech that I am, I remove the laser pickup, clean the polished rails with acetone to get off all the old sticky grease and lube them up with a good, white lubricant. Cleaned the laser head, cleaned the lens with optical paper bits in hemostats and Windex. Reassembled the entire thing and tried again. Amp on bench is turned up LOUD. I hear nothing, again, at all. That is, until the pickup read the TOC of the disc and began to play track #1, "Carmen". This particular song goes from dead silence to a huge loud boom of cymbals, horns, and bass drum. The sound was SO LOUD and clear it so surprised me that it knocked me off my stool, into the water cooler, the water bottle fell over and dumped on my head, and I sat on the floor, soaking wet, totally amazed at this totally cool new "thing" and how loud and crystal clear it was. Yeah, I fixed it by instinct and my mechanical/analog experience. Since I had only worked up to that point on analog devices like turntables, tape decks, microphones, and tuners, I expected some sort of sound to come, a faint hum, ANYTHING. But digital sound is not like that, there is no hum or background noise. You get crystal clear digital sound, or ...nothing at all. (Well, if you get a bad DAC circuit, it can sound pretty bad.) That was amazing. Then everything became digital or digitally controlled. Gone were the hated tuner strings, power buttons that clicked, and somewhat easy to track and troubleshoot days. I was trained in microprocessors and digital circuits in school so now this stuff was for real.
I have been building, fixing, upgrading, installing, networking, and web designing for years and out of pure experience and downright need or lack of funds, had to repair some motherboards myself. Now let me make this clear. NOBODY repairs motherboards or computer boards. It is simply too difficult, not worth it, and the right thing is to replace it or buy a new computer. But my last rig is an AMD quad core 3 Ghz w/4Gb DDR RAM. Had a good mid range PCIe 16 nVidia card, Hauppauge WinTV card, and was "Da Bomb" at the time. That I built 6 years ago. I always kept it running, up to date, clean, and fixed anything that broke right away. Around 5 years later, I was getting a random BSOD in Windows and it was troubling. Not often enough to pin it down, but unsettling to say the least. They became more frequent and as you know, all you can do is pretty much pull the plug and lose whatever you were doing. ...and hope it starts up again. Most of these I found to be due to heat issues. Clogged ducts, dead fans, and the like. Easy to troubleshoot, run the box with the case open and if it stops, you pretty much have it narrowed down to heat. Remove the CPU fan, clean all the fins with a brush and canned air, clean all ducts and blow out the case, replace any suspect fans. This would fix most of the BSOD cases I came across. The darned BSOD screens are so cryptic that I don't even thing the software designers know what the hell they mean. But mine were consistent and different. In the BSOD message was "Page Fault in non-paged area" or something of the sort. Page Fault means memory. I opened the case and examined the RAM. Yep, right at the memory bank slots were three electrolytic capacitors. One of which was quite bad. Top puffed out and ready to split like popcorn in the oven. Very clearly a bad component. (Remember, I am a highly skilled and experienced electronic tech, component level. So I can spot things like this with certainty.)
I know this is a bad motherboard and am extremely broke at this time. I got an AMD Phenom II X4 945 3 Ghz CPU look for a new AMD socket AM2+ motherboard with DDR2 and PCIe x16 with some nice PCI slots available. Not remembering this is a 5 year old part, I am shocked to see that nobody has such a part. All DDR3 and PCIe now, Socket AM2+ and DDR2 is yesterday's papers, nobody wants or has them anymore and this was a "killer" machine when built and still outperforms many brand new stock OEM desktop PCs. Now to repair my PC and this is NOT optional, I pay all my bills online and keep receipts, have all my records as Word docs, text files, or Acrobat pdf files. I have all of my bills and favorite bookmarks and important email on that machine, plus all of my digital binary music and video files. This machine must be fixed or replaced. ...sigh. New motherboard, now need new CPU, now need all new memory DDR3, and who knows what else. Can this get any worse?!! Now I am broke and need at least $500-600 minimum to fix my rig. Oh this totally sucks man, I do not have the money. But what I do have is technical knowledge and better yet, plenty of hands on experience. I can cash that in if I have to.
What do I know?
1.) Maybe 10 years ago, there was a capacitor company that supplies all the electrolytic capacitors for over 90% of ALL motherboards and they ran many bad batches of capacitors, sold them, and they were built into millions of home PCs. Several OEM manufacturers plus motherboard manufacturers had to give warranty replacement for these units due to the bad caps. Electrolytic capacitors are probably the ONLY thing in your PC that is not 100% solid. Transistors, diodes, resistors, ICs, even all small non polar capacitors are all 100% solid. An electrolytic capacitor is an amazing thing. A capacitor is nothing more than two plates with a wire on each, very, very, very close together without touching each other. The bigger the surface area of the plates and the smaller the distance between them, the higher the value of the part. Making small value caps is easy, they are literally two plates close together and coated with ceramic or some other substance and look like discs with two leads. Easy to make small caps like 22pF, 100pF, and the like (a picofarad is one trillionth of one farad, the standard of measurement for capacitance.) Such small value capacitors are invaluable for tuners and radio frequency tuned circuits, and to remove high frequency noise from data and power lines. But power supplies need BIG value capacitors like 100uF, 10,000uF, or the kind used in most motherboards, 1,000uF to 2,200uF in value. (A microfarad is on millionth of one farad. An actual Farad would be SO huge it would fill an entire room and have no practical value except in maybe some sort of mammoth power supply experiment.
Electrolytic capacitors have one very major difference than any other electronic component. It is basically a long strip of metal, maybe aluminum, and one side is oxidized or "rusted" on purpose. It insulates that one side of the metal. This very long strip of thin foil is coated on the oxide side with a gel that has the desired dielectric characteristics. It provides the necessary close electrical contact that must occur between the uncoated side of the foil and the other electrode, perhaps another strip of very thin foil. This now gel coated strip is tightly rolled up like a jelly roll, pushed into a small aluminum can, leads attached to the uncoated foil side and the other conductor protrude out the bottom of the can and it is sealed with a rubber plug. Whammo, you now have an amazingly powerful capacitor in a very small package! All really cool stuff and very good news, now electronics can be manufactured into very small packages and boards. Bad part is that because this part relies on an internal gel that must remain wet for the entire life of the part, electronics get warm and hot when in use, the gel begins to evaporate, deteriorate, expand, or dry out, the capacitor will fail and this is not a maybe, it will fail. But should have a decent lifetime of up to and sometimes beyond ten years. Yes, capacitors can be checked like any other electronic part, but to manually test each one would take way too long and be difficult because many times the part must be removed to get a really accurate test. BUT, any electrolytic capacitor that shows leakage on the board, or is bulging, or the top expanded or split open is totally bad and may as well be gone from the board for what it is worth.
2.) Computer circuit boards are extremely well made and very long lasting. High voltage or high current boards are different, they get hot and heat kills. But PCs run on low voltage and each board requires small amounts of current for the most part. These things are so reliable that you can put them into satellites, shoot them into orbit, and expect them to work for 50 years! Anything made that does work and lasts that long is a darned good part. There are no high voltages or currents to "blow the parts", heat is addressed seriously on computer parts. Anything that gets hot gets a big heat sink and fan to keep it cool. All parts are well made, rugged, and solid so they rarely fail. But the electrolytic caps are the weak link. They not only can fail, but do and will fail. And when they bulge they are easy to spot and definitely bad. If you spot one or more bulging capacitors on your motherboard, it is bad, and either has failed, is failing, or will fail very, very soon. Electrolytic capacitor can tops are perfectly flat and are usually scored to split open if they heat up and pressurize to prevent them from exploding.
In my instance, page fault meant memory problems. The bad cap was smack dab in the middle of the active rows of memory modules used. Since the store had no replacement AM2+ boards with DDR2 and PCIe graphics, and nowhere online could I find anything available for my parts. I thought I found one, ordered it, and got stopped dead in my tracks when I saw it was an AGP board, and I am not backtracking to AGP from PCIe x16. No choice, have to try and fix the board. The cap is definitely bad, nothing else seemed stressed, burned, or damaged. So I replaced the cap and my rig fired right up, no more BSOD! Maybe 6 months later I started seeing the BSOD again, another inspection found another of the 3 caps bad, so this time I replaced the remaining 2 capacitors, they are 50¢ parts, and the rig runs fine ever since. My mom just had her Dell go bad, CPU fan would roar at full speed, machine would not boot at all. On the motherboard were 3 out of 5 bad caps. I ordered them from MCM electronics for 49¢ each, replaced all 5 of them, and her machine is purring like a kitten. Replacing caps on a computer motherboard is NOT and easy or quick thing to do. It requires skill, experience, and patience. I used a butane soldering iron, solder wick, solder, acetone, and a LOT of patience to get this done. I have tech friends who also out of necessity, replaced the bad caps on their motherboards and they ran fine after that. The trick is PATIENCE and keep the hot iron off the board as much as you can. These boards are as many as 6 layers deep and are NOT made to be repaired. The only reason you can do caps is because they only have 2 leads, so you can heat both leads at once by adding more solder, when hot enough, gently rock and pull out the old cap, then with a lot more patience and time, wick away the solder in the holes. That part is really hard and too much time of iron on board will lift the copper and then the board is shot.That is the end of my story. Thanks for the overclocking advice. Would love to hear from someone with the same board and CPU, but I got good advice today.