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Thread: Sandy Bridge Overclocking Guide & 5GHz CLUB

  1. #1
    OC Jedi Master

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    Lightbulb Sandy Bridge Overclocking Guide & 5GHz CLUB



    Overclocking Sandy Bridge processors are totally different ball game from LGA775/1156 and 1366 platforms.
    Front Side Bus or Base Clock (Bclk) adjustment is not the main focus any more, to achieve highest overclock
    is now 95% depend on from the CPU and 5% from the motherboard, or you may not even be able to overclock the
    CPU at all. This depends on the version of your processor and motherboard though.

    This mini quick reference guide will help you how to overclock the 2500K & 2600K processors with P67 boards.
    Now you don't have to be an overclocker to achieve highest OC.

    Disclaimer: Overclocking could cause negative affect to your hardware resulting in instability, data lost, OS corruption
    or even permanent damage your hardware if not carried out properly. This overclocking guide is based on my experience
    and components, your actual results may vary therefore use this guide as your own risk.


    Sandy Bridge Processor
    Core i3 2100 & 2300 - Fully locked multiplier
    Core i5 2400 & 2500 - Fully locked multiplier
    Core i5 & i7 non-K - Partial unlocked multiplier, the multiplier can be adjusted up to 4x to default setting.
    Core i5 2500K & i7 2600K - Fully unlocked multiplier, the multiplier can be freely adjusted up to 57x. However this depend on
    the processor is binned or not.

    Overclocking Sandy Bridge is now revolving around the Base Clock (Bclk) or CPU Ratio. Because the clock generator is moved
    into the CPU itself and locked down therefore changing the Bclk is very limited. Now CPU frequency is based on the
    Base Clock times CPU clock ratio this is why unlocked processors are capable to overclock higher than locked one.



    Important Key Elements

    CPU Voltage - Vcore
    The obvious this is the main voltage you need to make the adjustment when you increase the CPU frequency.
    Remember, Sandy Bridge is 32nm chip so it doesn't need as much voltage as the 45 or 65nm chips. I would
    suggest to keep this voltage below 1.40v is the max or keep the core load temperature under 70°C (more details
    about thermal later on). Keep in mind, the higher Vcore the heat will be generated by the CPU. I wouldn't
    recommend using over 1.35v for daily usage or unless you have good cooler.

    According to Intel white sheet, the maximum voltage for Core Processor is 1.52v, however I wouldn't recommend you
    to run it for 24/7


    Load Line Calibration - LLC
    When CPU is under full load it draws a tremendous of powers, this cause voltage to drop (Vdrop). However,
    motherboard is automatically compensated by increasing the voltage a little bit. This feature should be enabled
    when the CPU is overclocked to prevent the voltage fluctuation.

    VCC/VCCIO/CPUIO
    It's CPU Input/Output (IO voltage terminals. This voltage work just like QPI/VVT/IMC and the default voltage is
    1.05v but it needs to keep within 1.10 - 1.20v when your overclock beyond 4GHz, increasing this voltage also help
    to improve the stability when 4 memory DIMMs occupied and its max speed (2133MHz). This high voltage
    doesn't seem to affect overclocking.

    VCCSA
    This is "System Agent" voltage inside the CPU. Since Sandy Bridge's IMC (Integarated Memrory Controller) and
    PCI-E controller are very robust therefore you don't really need high voltage to run your DDR3 at highest speeds.
    The default voltage is 0.95v and it is not important to have it above the default value. It's best to keep it at default.

    Memory Voltage - vDRAM
    This voltage is directly related to RAM modules, increasing its voltage will allow you to achieve higher MEM frequency.
    The 0.5v differential rule is still applied for LGA1155 so keep this voltage within 0.5v of the VCC/VCCIO/CPUIO voltage
    to prevent damaging the CPU. The deault voltage is 1.10v.

    CPU PLL Voltage
    This is power of the internal PLL on the CPU, the default value is 1.80v. You only need to change this voltage if you
    have no luck to get your overclock to stable after you have changed the VCC/VCCIO/CPUIO voltages.

    PCH Voltage - Platform Control Hub
    The default value is 1.05v and no need to change this voltage because it doesn't contribute to any overclock capability
    therefore keeps it at default setting.




    Overclocking the 2500K & 2600K processors are mostly based on the Turbo Boost Technology.
    It was introduced to Bloomfield and the effective revised version was implemented to Lynnfield and Clarkfield.
    As today once again Intel has updated its Turbo Boost Technology to version 2. The version 2 is even more effective
    than the previous versions.

    How does it really work?



    Turbo Boost works by calculating the heat output and power consuming by the CPU under load then allow some CPU
    cores to overclock themselves, and if not all cores are in use then they can run faster as a united CPU without
    exceed its TDP or power draw limits. Turbo Boost 2.0 can push the CPU extended its rated TDP and power based
    on thermal performance of the cooler.

    A good cooler don't heat up to its maximum load instantly, therefore CPU can safely exceed its rated TDP until its
    operating temperature becomes potential dangerous.

    Overclocking Sandy Bridge processors are so much easier compared to their predecessors, you can forget the Uncore
    and QPI clock.

    Now you only have to concentrate on the following;
    Base Clock (Bclk) - The default reference clock is 100MHz, it's adjustable but only by small margin. The 5%
    adjustment is considering good achievement, everything above this can be considered extremely high.

    CPU Multiplier (CPU Ratio) - This variable determines the clock speed of the processor.

    DRAM Frequency - Because Bclk is now limited to 100MHz, therefore overclocking DRAM is also limited as well.
    On P67 boards you are now only can select memory frequency as following; 800MHz, 1333MHz, 1600MHz, 1866MHz
    and 2133MHz. All you can optimize the DRAM performance by tweaking its timing. For best balance between
    performance and price, my minimum recommended DRAM speed is 1600MHz with moderate tight CAS (timing) for
    maximize performance or get the fastest modules that you can afford.

    Example: Lets say you have DDR3-1600MHz, you have the options to run it at its stock speed or select the next up
    multiplier (18.66x). However, there are not many 1600MHz module can run up to 1866MHz. If that's a case then
    you have no choice to run it at stock frequency and slightly adjusting the Bclk. With the Bclk default value of 100MHz,
    any slight adjustment to its value will directly affect DRAM frequency, if you increase the Bclk value to 105MHz and
    select 16x multiplier then your DRAM will run as 1680MHz (105MHz x 16).





    Voltage - The following voltages that you are should pay close attention to when overclocking Sandy Bridge processors.
    • Vcore
    • VCC/VCCIO/CPUIO
    • VCSSA
    • DRAM



    The following is a walkthrough how to overclock "K" series processors and since I'm using ECS P67H2-A board which
    doesn't have the new UEFI BIOS menu therefore you will be shown with the old traditional BIOS screens. Keep in mind
    the sub-menu location and name many vary from board makers so get familiar with your BIOS menu before you proceed
    with the overclocking process.





    Important Note:
    • Keep C1E and EIST features enabled for the best overclock capability
    • Keep memory speed close to its stock, specs as possible. If you think your DRAM is capable to go higher then don't be afraid to push it


    Enable Turbo Mode and change the Core multiplier to 43x, leave all voltage on Auto for now.
    Save your setting, reboot the system, after you had the success booting into Windows. Now try with
    44x, 45x, 46x and 47x multiplier and somewhere along you will encounter no boot or BSOD. You can
    check our BSOD code page, but more likely you will need more Vcore. Keep increasing the voltage until
    you get into Windows. Eventually you will hit the multiplier wall, most K series CPU can do up to 4.8GHZ
    or 4.9GHz right out the gate and some can do up to 5GHz or higher. Beyond 5GHz is very slim number though.



    To push beyond 4.8GHz you need to enable LLC, my board listed as IA Core Current. Set TDP
    200W and change Core Multiplier to 48x and set Vcore to 1.40v, this is just a reference voltage only,
    your voltage may vary, save and reboot. Do quick stability stress test if you pass then now try
    49x and 50x, don't forget to increase the Vcore if needed.






    If you've achieved your overclocking frequency and now it's time to do the fine tuning, to check the stability of your processor
    you need the following recommneded software.

    Stability Test: Use one or combination of these programs; IntelBurn Test, Prime95, OCCT or LinX to stress the CPU
    and memory subsystem. BEWARE; CPU will get very hot at load.

    Health Monitor: Overclocked CPU is tend to run hotter than when it's at stock speed and uncontrolled its thermal will
    shorten the processor life expectancy. Therefore, you need to monitor the CPU temperature closely with the following
    utilities; AIDA64, HWMonitor, CoreTemp or Real Temp.

    OC Monitor: Overclockers can't live without CPU-Z, it's an essential program that you need to check your overclock MHz, DRAM specification, CPU voltage & VID, also mobo information.

    According to Intel's specification; the maximum operation temperature for Sandy Bridge is 72.6° Tcase.


    What is Tcase?

    Tcase is the temperature measure from the center point of the surface of heatspreader. Some motherboards use
    calculation by coding algorithms in BIOS, others may use surface mounted diode sensors. These methods of measurement
    is not the same as what and how the processor maker have prescribed in obtaining Tcase temperature as stated in
    figure 6.2. The only way to measure processor temp accurately or at least close enough to Tcase temp listed in the
    processor specification is to use a calibrated thermometer and place a temperature probe at the center of heatspreader.
    This is ann impossible method for most of us but there is an alternative method is to place a temp probe close to the
    center as possible then add 10°C to the reading to provide a temperature equivalent to Tcase specified.



    Alright, if you think you are a flyboy and want to feel the 5G then come and join me in 5GHz Club.

  2. The following users thank 9 For this above post:

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  3. #2
    OC Jedi Master

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    Default 5GHz Overclocking Club



    Sandy Bridge owners please join us and share your overclocking experience, tips secret and discussion
    on everthing relating to LGA1155 platform or even show off your hardware and benchies numbers.




    To qualify as 5Ghzer, there are some requirements;
    • you need to post your CPU-Z valiation screen shot with a live link.
    • it's must stable with screen shot of IBT or LinX, you must use 1/2 of your RAM capacity with minimum of 10 runs
    • provide your CPU batch #
    • system specifications
    Example:


    Live link
    http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=1690136

    Screen shot of LinX


    PI 1MB screen shot


    Mobo: ECS P67H2-A
    CPU: 2600K
    BIOS Vcore: 1.404v
    Batch#: L041C124
    Max multi: 50x
    DRAM: GSkill Ripjaws X DDR3-1600MHz
    Cooler: Custom watercooling

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  5. #3
    OC Jedi Master

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    Default PUREOC 5GHzer

    Member Processor Batch# MHz Multiplier Bck Bios Vcore DRAM MOBO Cooling Method
    Deton 2600K L042B243 5047 50 101 1.404v GSkill Ripjaws X DRR3-1600MHz ECS P67H2-A Custom H20
    GoatNapp3r2600KL040B6905007501001.52vCorsair Vengeance 1866MHz CL9ASUS P8P67 Deluxe Rev.B2 Custom H20

  6. #4
    OC Jedi Master

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    Overclocking X79 and Sandybridge E
    Overclocking the Sandy Bridge-E on the X79 chipset brings some new features from what we found with the LGA1155 systems. Overclockers still need to rely on multiplier-based overclocking, but Intel has introduced a 2nd intermediate reference clock ratio multiplier, called the coarse ratio multiplier that can play a big role during overclocking on the LGA2011 socket systems. The multiplier allows the user to raise the base clock frequency of the processor and its memory controller frequency.

    On most LGA155 processors you only had a 5-10% range of adjustment to the BCLK but Intel’s inclusion of the coarse ratio (Strap) allows for greater flexibility in CPU and DRAM scaling. During overclocking you can now apply 1.00x, 1.25x, or 1.67x multipliers to the other CPU Frequency settings for additional tweaking. This new multiplier is actually not located on the CPU at all; it's located within the chipset, as the chipset is responsible for its operation.
    So what LGA1155 began, LGA2011 now extends, both in terms of usability and refinement.
    Sandy Bridge Clocking:

    Remember with the Sandy Bridge processors the formula was:
    • CPU multiplier x Reference Clock = CPU frequency
    • Example: 45 x 100HMz = 4500MHz.
    Sandy Bridge Extreme Clocking:
    Now with the coarse ratio multiplier we have a new formula available if you decide to use one of the Straps, remember, 1.00x, 1.25x and 1.67x.
    • CPU Multiplier x Reference Clock Ratio x Reference Clock = CPU Frequency
    • Example 1: [32x] x [1.25x] x [100MHz] = [4000MHz]
    • Example 2: [24x] x [1.67x] x [100MHz] = [4008MHz]
    We can confirm these new Sandy Bridge Extreme processors definitely run hotter than their LGA1155 siblings. In addition, less available space around the socket has greatly reduced the VRM heatsink designs, which also means higher temperatures as a result.

    You need to ensure adequate airflow across the board heatsinks, particularly the VRM area, is this is necessary for successful overclocking. The need for additional, component-specific cooling from yesteryear may be making a return from what we've seen on Sandy Bridge-E.
    Lastly, keep in mind that improved CPU cooling is also required, as well as a strong power supply. These new processors are beasts, which also requires strong a power delivery setup on the motherboards; don't skimp and go with the cheapest board out there. If you're investing significant money on the CPU, make sure you complete the rig with the trifecta of a solid motherboard, efficient cooling, and a stable power supply (one that has validation support for the advanced “C” State Protocols, C6 and C7, if you're looking to

    Deton, Hope you do not mind but i put in Jake's overclockimg X79 Sandybridge "E"

  7. #5
    OC Jedi Master

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    res 4

  8. #6
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    Very Nice work Deton thx.

  9. #7
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    Thanks Tony

    As soon as my new board gets here I am hoping to join the club.

  10. #8
    OC Jedi Master

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    what board are you getting?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deton View Post
    what board are you getting?

    Pre-ordered the P8P67 Deluxe; TigerDirect says they don't expect them in until after the 15th.

    If I can sell a few things on eBay I might also pickup the Maximus or the Fatality but I am trying to kick my habit of impulse buying with computer components. LOL

  12. #10
    OC Jedi Master

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    haha...I hear ya..., all you have to do is starve yourself a couple days then you will learn to kick the habit.

    The same here my friend, if I want to get something new then gotta unload something old, can't be a hoarder

  13. #11
    OC Jedi Master

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    Default Voltage & Temperature Report

    SB owners please check your voltage with AIDA64. I want to know if my ECS board have bug or AIDA64.

    If you look at this screen shot, the Core voltage listed 2.928v. I almost die when first saw it if I didn't have CPU-Z


    Ooppss, I thought I uploaded the temperature screen shot to a server but I didn't.

    AIDA64 is also report the temperature as following;
    CPU Package
    CPU IA
    CPU GT
    Core #1, 2, 3, 4

    All these temperatures are consitence the same all across, they are not the same as Bloomfield's core temp is higher than CPU diode temp.

    I will upload the screen shot later when I have a chance.

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  15. #12
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    Sharks deton! you make me wanna just go out this weekend to grab a sandy bridge and try to join the 5ghz club !

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    Nice work Deton.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KIPPER View Post
    Pre-ordered the P8P67 Deluxe; TigerDirect says they don't expect them in until after the 15th.

    If I can sell a few things on eBay I might also pickup the Maximus or the Fatality but I am trying to kick my habit of impulse buying with computer components. LOL
    To kick the habit you have to go cold turkey, thats means sending me your 980X build and buying a Laptop for 399.99. Then after a month of just having the lappy you will appreciate any build and not want to spend more on parts.

    "A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns."

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    KIPPER (11-03-2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deton View Post
    SB owners please check your voltage with AIDA64. I want to know if my ECS board have bug or AIDA64.

    If you look at this screen shot, the Core voltage listed 2.928v. I almost die when first saw it if I didn't have CPU-Z


    Ooppss, I thought I uploaded the temperature screen shot to a server but I didn't.

    AIDA64 is also report the temperature as following;
    CPU Package
    CPU IA
    CPU GT
    Core #1, 2, 3, 4

    All these temperatures are consitence the same all across, they are not the same as Bloomfield's core temp is higher than CPU diode temp.

    I will upload the screen shot later when I have a chance.
    this is what I was talking about

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    A of the ASUS P67 boards are back in stock at NewEgg as of this afternoon. I just ordered the Deluxe board there with 3 day shipping and canceled the one from Tiger who still has them on back order until the 15th.

    A friend at ASUS is sending me a B2 Sabertooth P67 board on Monday so I should be back on the playground next week.

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