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Thread: Best, safest mild OC settings for lowest temps/best stability for recording studio??




  1. #1
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    Default Best, safest mild OC settings for lowest temps/best stability for recording studio??

    With a lot of help around here, I've been working a little on getting the most out of my machine for the recording studio, and I've added a cooler and made some setting changes.

    Since this machine needs to be reliable and stable, I don't want to really "push" it that much, but I am looking for a little more than the stock 2.66 from the I7. With a 4U rack mount case and in trying to keep fan noise to an absolute minimun, I'm dealing with the challenges of lower air flow and using a low profile cooler that fits in the box, so I want to keep CPU/Core temps down as low as possible for the mild OC around 3 or so.

    The system build specs are in my sig.

    Here are my settings as they stand now. It's idling at around 46-49C and hitting 68-73C at full load with Prime95. It seems to be running OK, but I'm still not sure which is the best testing utility to determine that long-term. I did run a MemTest on it and after 3 hours there were no errors, so I got that going for me, which is nice!

    Any thoughts or comments to keep this thing cool and stable?

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    CPU Clock Ratio ................................ [19x] (3.040)
    Intel(R) Turbo Boost Tech .................. [Disabled]
    CPU Cores Enabled ............................ [All]
    CPU Multi Threading .......................... [Enabled]
    CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E) ................... [Disabled]
    C3/C6/C7 State Support .................... [Disabled]
    CPU Ther
    <st1:personname>m</st1:personname>al Monitor ......................... [Enabled]
    CPU EIST Function ........................... [Disabled]
    Virtualization Technology ................... [Enabled]
    Bi-Directional PROCHOT ..................... [Enabled]

    Uncore & QPI Features:
    QPI Link Speed ................................. x36
    Uncore Frequency ............................. x20
    Isonchronous Frequency ..................... [Enabled]

    Standard Clock Control:
    Base Clock (BCLK) Control ................ [Enabled]
    BCLK Frequency (MHz) ..................... [160]
    PCI Express Frequency (MHz) ............ [100]
    C.I.A.2 .......................................... [Disabled]

    Advanced Clock Control:
    <st1:street><st1:address>CPU Clock Drive</st1:address></st1:street> ............................ [800<st1:personname>m</st1:personname>V]
    <st1:street><st1:address>PCI Express Clock Drive</st1:address></st1:street> .................. [900<st1:personname>m</st1:personname>V]
    CPU Clock Skew ............................ [0ps]
    IOH Clock Skew ............................ [0ps]

    Advanced DRAM Features:
    Perfor
    <st1:personname>m</st1:personname>ance Enhance ..................... [Standard]
    Syste
    <st1:personname>m</st1:personname> Me<st1:personname>m</st1:personname>ory Multiplier (SPD) ....... [10.0] = 1600 Mhz
    DRAM Ti
    <st1:personname>m</st1:personname>ing Selectable (SPD) ......... [Expert]

    Channel A + B + C:

    Channel A Ti
    <st1:personname>m</st1:personname>ing Settings:
    ##Channel A Standard Ti
    <st1:personname>m</st1:personname>ing Control##
    CAS Latency Ti
    <st1:personname>m</st1:personname>e ............................. 8
    tRCD ............................................... 8
    tRP ................................................. 8
    tRAS ............................................... 24

    Co<st1:personname>m</st1:personname><st1:personname>m</st1:personname>and Rate (CMD) ........................ 1

    ##Channel A Advanced Ti<st1:personname>m</st1:personname>ing Control##
    tRC ................................................ [AUTO]
    tRRD ............................................... [AUTO]
    tWTR .............................................. [AUTO]
    tWR ................................................ [AUTO]
    tRFC ............................................... [AUTO]
    tRTP ............................................... [AUTO]
    tFAW .............................................. [AUTO]

    ##Channel A Misc Ti
    <st1:personname>m</st1:personname>ing Control##
    Round Trip Latency ........................... [AUTO]

    Advanced Voltage Control:

    Load Line Calibration ......................... [Enabled]
    CPU Vcore ....................................... 1.1875
    QPI/VTT Voltage 1.150v ..................... 1.275
    CPU PLL 1.800v ................................. Auto

    >>>MCH/ICH
    PCIE 1.500v ..................................... Auto
    QPI PLL 1.100v ................................. 1.16
    IOH Core 1.100v ............................... 1.22
    ICH I/O 1.500v ................................. 1.50
    ICH Core 1.1v ................................... 1.16

    >>>DRAM
    DRAM Voltage 1.500v ......................... 1.64
    DRAM Ter
    <st1:personname>m</st1:personname>ination 0.750v .................... [AUTO]
    Ch-A Data VRef. 0.750v ...................... [AUTO]
    Ch-B Data VRef. 0.750v ...................... [AUTO]
    Ch-C Data VRef. 0.750v ...................... [AUTO]
    Ch-A Address VRef. 0.750v .................. [AUTO]
    Ch-B Address VRef. 0.750v .................. [AUTO]
    Ch-C Address VRef. 0.750v .................. [AUTO]<o:p></o:p>
    RCA Victor

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Best, safest mild OC settings for lowest temps/best stability for recording studi

    No helpful comments?
    RCA Victor

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Best, safest mild OC settings for lowest temps/best stability for recording studi

    As you say, in a recording studio you need to minimise the dB the PC kicks out. Does it also matter about the frequency of the sound it makes or is it just over all levels? I say this because often lower frequency sounds are more "bearable" than high pitched whines etc.

    If I were wanting to make a near silent rig in a restrictive case I would do the following:

    First I'd by some sound proofing foam sheets. Akasa make a good product that is sticky on one side and after cutting to size fits great on the inside case surfaces. This does lower over all dB levels but it also helps shift the frequency down a little too making everything sound more pleasant.

    The second easy way to both reduce sound levels and increase air throughput (in an indirect way) is to fill the un needed air gaps on the side of the rack with the CDROM and PSU. You can buy squares of foam that basically lower the over all volume of air in the case. This increases the frequency of a total empty and replace of air without altering current fan speed. Even better it will allow you to decrease fan speed and maintain the number of times per hour the case is refreshed.

    Noctua Fans. they look expensive, I won't lie to you, you can pick up 3-4 fans for the price of a single Noctua. However, NOTHING on the market will beat them in a dB to CFM flow sense. In a rack mount with foam in certain places you could happily run them using the Ultra Low noise adapter. On the 120mm, this will drop noise to 12.6dB(A) max and still maintain a good 63.4cubic metres per hour flow rate. Being very capable in applications where flow restriction is present will further help suck a good amount of air through the system.

    For your low profile cooler, obviously you need it to be able to close the lid. However please try to avoid low profile coolers that come with a fan thinner than standard. These are often 80mm-92mm in size by about 12mm rather then the standard 25mm. These fans are for the most part, pretty noisy. See if the Noctua NH-C12P will fit. Total height is 114mm. They now also come with 140CM fans, circular ones with 120mm mounting holes. The advantage is that you can run at lower RPM and noise for the same flow rates. If you already have your cooler then replacing the fan with a Noctua and using the Low Noise Adapter (not the Ultra Low Noise) will give a great flow (virtually no temp difference to full) and only ~16dB(A) max, which will be further silenced by the sound proofing.

    Power supply is an often over looked item when trying to silence a PC. I can recommend either a Seasonic M12 or Corsair HX520/HX620. These Corsair models are also Seasonic built and contain an ultra silent Sanyo Denki 120mm fan with an excellent fan control profile. Compared to even a Zalman Heatpipe cooled PSU, the difference is very noticeable.

    Implement all these changes, along with smart placement of the system and you will find that the room needs to be completely silent before you'll even notice the machine. As you know, even a bed room at night has a background noise level of around 20dB+. The dB scale is ofc logarithmic, so any small decrease you can make can have a large impact.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Best, safest mild OC settings for lowest temps/best stability for recording studi

    Hey Psycho, thanks for the tips. I did try to fit the NH C12 P and it was a no go by a few millimeters. The Scythe was the best bet. I am running the Corsair HX620. The case is pretty full, so there's really no place to dampen inside it. I have tried the lowest dB fans out there, and there's still noise when recording, and not nearly enough air movement to keep the system cool enough at even a moderate OC. What I was really curious to know from a few folks around here was how my voltage settings were affecting the heat output of the CPU. I don't fully understand those relationships yet, but I"m working on it. My thinking is that a lower temp will allow quieter fans.

    At this point, I've boosted the fans a bit and I'm considering modding the case to put a couple of super quiet 120's in the top. It's running fairly quietly (although louder than before) and keeping the cores at 68-70 C at full load with my I7 920 clocked to 3.04. I still think I'm going to have to build an iso box to put it in. Bulky, but necessary I guess.

    Thanks again!
    RCA Victor

  5. #5
    Chucko is offline Member
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    Default Re: Best, safest mild OC settings for lowest temps/best stability for recording studi

    My experience with Core 2 Quad chips is that they can be significantly overclocked at stock voltage. Or you can run them at stock speed and significantly lower voltage. If you are willing to take the time to experiment, you may find that you can get a 15-20% speed increase at less than stock volts.

    Likewise, your RAM may not need all the voltage you're giving it. The triple channel setup has ridiculously high bandwidth, more than most software can ever use. Higher RAM clocks rarely show much of a performance improvement, so you should consider downclocking and undervolting the RAM as another way to reduce power demand and temperature.

    I prefer to do CPU stability testing with a Linpack test. There are several of them around - LinX, Intel Burn Test, etc. They stress your CPU even harder than Prime95. Do memory stress testing with a memory test like Memtest86+.

    Try using some rubber fan mount "screws" to isolate that vibration from the sheet metal of the case. Bigger fans are better - they move more air with less noise, all else being equal. Get rid of the 80mm fans and replace them with 120s if you can.

    The same is true of the graphics card. An aftermarket cooler with a quiet 120mm fan zip-tied to it turned out to be MUCH quieter and more effective than the stock cooler. You could even try passive cooling if your workload doesn't require heavy graphics.

    I lined most of the sheetmetal in my PC case with car sound dampening material (e.g. B-Quiet Ultimate) and it made a fair bit of difference, mostly in reducing vibration. It won't do anything for airflow noise.

    Hope these suggestions give you some ideas.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Best, safest mild OC settings for lowest temps/best stability for recording studi

    Speaking from experience here, I have an i7 based DAW in a 4U rackmount case. Assuming you have a decent (ie, quiet) recording environment already, it's very difficult to get away with having an overclocked PC in the tracking room.

    The only way I can manage it is to use water cooling. I run only a small overclock while tracking which allows me to turn off all fans in the computer. This leaves only the pump and PSU fan which are whisper quiet. Anything more than that and you can here it in the omni mics. Cardioid mics are fine with a bit of clever mic placement because they are directional but omni's will pick up EVERYTHING.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Best, safest mild OC settings for lowest temps/best stability for recording studi

    Hey Chucko and R3, thanks for the pointers. I do use the rubber mounts on all fans, and my graphics card is fanless 0 dBA. I can't go with a 120 mm fan in the back as there is no cutout that size, but the 2 80's are moving a little more air than the front 120. In hindsight, I'm not sure I'd use the same case again for my next build.

    At this point, I think I've given up on having the machine in the tracking room, and I'm going to try to move it to the other side of the nearest wall and put it in a fanned iso box anyway. I've discovered that when it's all said and done, you have to move a certain amount of air to keep the system cool, and the limits of all fan design means there's a trade-off between volume of air and noise created. ANY fan that moves the minimum you need to do any cooling is too loud when the room is quiet enough and the mikes are good, and water is just too much trouble at this point. My only concern is the DVI cables and how long they can get and still pass signal correctly.

    Right now I'm running a mild OC of 3.06 (17 x 180 BCLK) with a mem mulit of 8, so the memory is slightly underclocked to 1440 (with timings set to 7-7-7-20 and no errors instead of 1600 @ 8-8-8-24) with a 1.64 voltage on memory. I might drop that back a bit.

    I've got CPU Vcore set to 1.2, but it's reading at 1.8175 in CPU-Z and ET6, so I'm not sure what that means. I've run 2 Prime tests for a few hours and it's passing fine with temps of 68C on Core 0 (the others are lower) with the addition of am experimental 9dBA fine in the top of the case shooting straight down on the memory bank and the intake of the CPU cooler.

    I'll post my complete settings if anyone is interested, but it seems to be working pretty well, albeit with some fan noise!
    RCA Victor

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Best, safest mild OC settings for lowest temps/best stability for recording studi

    Moving to noctua fans will definitely help you I can assure you. I was completely taken aback by the low noise levels as well as the overall sound characteristics which meant there was a "woosh" of air audible, rather than a whine of a motor etc. The smaller fans at the rear being replaced with Noctua's especially will make a huge improvement. My other fave fans are Scythe too, but compared to Noctua's noise to air flow they're worlds apart.

    You can use speedfan to slightly turn down the fans or better still as I mention, use the ULNA's that come with the fans. Basically they're just in line resistors. The LNA = 7V and the ULNA = 5V. Before I fitted my pair of GPU's I sometimes had to put my ear to the case to know that the PC was on. Of course in an environment where sound is an issue this still may not be enough.

    I think R3alsp33dy0ne has hit the nail on the head. it will be difficult to keep the temp of an OC'd PC reasonable without a decent volume of air going through the machine.

    Have you considered a Corsair H50? the fan can be replaced with a Noctua for extra silence. All the hot air will be dumped out the back of the case, plus the fan on the rad will become both the CPU cooler fan and the exhaust fan, effectively eliminating one whole source of noise form the rig.

    You may want to consider changing the GPU cooler too. You can safely under clock the GPU if you only use 2D apps. Your card uses little power and could get away comfortably with using a passive heatsink or one that accepts a 120mm fan, geared down to 5V (any less and the fan may not start up). One thing I would definitely do is get some Akasa Paxmate II sound proofing material. From a Hexus review:

    "PAXMATE II does make a significant difference to the sound of Delta fans and other fans, and there was no increase in case or cpu temperatures. This is a great product for suppressing the sound of fans and would recommend it."

    A couple of kits should do under the mobo (cut holes for the risers) the top cover and both sides with the off cuts covering the front. Again, this is another measure that's extremely effective and is cheap. In fact it's probably the most effective thing you can do vs price. As with sound proofing in a studio, it does make a big difference with no temp increase. It works slightly differently than the car sound proofing material or the car sound proofing foam sprays and does actually baffle the noise of air flow more effectively. Noise will still come from the fan holes though.

    Your best bet would be to do the sound proofing material first then add bit by bit other measures. As mentioned by Chucko, rubber fan gromets work well Noctua fans come with a set as do the Enermax Batwing). Use stock speed and see how far you can push your OC. Linpack is OK for a quick blast of the CPU to see if the rig is ready for a more prolonged test. Be warned though that nothing beats using a combination of tests. I can key settings on this rig that will pass Linpack x 50, Memtest86+ 10 loops and a Windows Memtest but fails at the 7 hour point on Prime95. No stress tool is better than the other they're just different and all have their uses. Linpak first for 10 runs to see if it's worth running prime, if it passes run a Prime Blend for a minimum of 12 hours. This will not only stress different parts of the PC together but will also test the PC's ability to cope with raised temps ofer a longer period. Linpak will make things hotter but Prime will better test "Temperature Stamina"

    For you, every little bit of voltage you can shave off will count. Up to a point you will be better with LLC off too. Even though it allows you to set what seems a lower vcore, in fact some times it isn't due to eliminating droop. RAM voltage too may be lowered to ~1.5V-1.58V. Even sacrificing speed of the RAM and going 1333 at maybe 7-7-7-24 and lower volts or the CAS 8 settings and even lower. GSkill also do an "Eco" range of RAM that will run at the same timings and DDR-1600 on a mere 1.35V. The other volotage that may make a difference will be chipset. Also lower that if you can. It no longer controls the RAM so could maybe stand a little reduction.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Best, safest mild OC settings for lowest temps/best stability for recording studi

    Hey Psycho, thanks for the input. I'll check out the Noctua fans but I'm afraid that the case design will still limit me, and that I'll still get some noise from the venting layout, internal wiring dress, etc. As I mentioned, I'm limited to the size of the CPU cooler because of the height of the case, so extra air flow seems to be the only thing that will make up the difference. My GPU is totally silent with no fan.

    I am curious about some of these fan speed controllers, and yes, I'm very ignorant about a lot of this. Are these hardware or software controls, or both? Can you point me in the direction of some good ones?

    As you can see, I'm painfully new to this stuff, so a lot of the terminology is new to me. Where can I find a primer or guide to which voltage settings control which? I'm looking for explanations about the function and relationships between the following:

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    QPI/VTT Voltage
    CPU PLL

    >>>MCH/ICH
    PCIE
    QPI PLL
    IOH Core
    ICH I/O
    ICH Core
    <!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]-->
    Thanks for the help. I frequent a lot of forums, and the folks here are the most helpful and patient by far!
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    RCA Victor

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Best, safest mild OC settings for lowest temps/best stability for recording studi

    The Zalman fan controllers with the potentiometers (5 channels/fans) would look great in combo with your rack mount. They're black aluminium with retro style knobs and feel like very good quality. The model I have used is ZM-MFC1 "Combo" ::: Zalman, leading the world of Quiet Computing Solutions ::: . Controllers like that will physically lower the voltage using variable resistors (pots/potentiometers). If the fan header on the board allows, you can control fan speed via two methods. One is again, lowering voltage (this time in software) and the other is called PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) that turns the fan power on and off to maintain a set speed. This is similar to how a child would propel themselves on a little scooter, they launch with one foot repeatedly to get the desired speed etc.

    The Noctua LNA and ULNA are both small wires with a fan header at one end and a fan header plug at the other. They go in between the board and fan to reduce voltage using a fixed resistor. This is the cheapest method but allows no fine tuning.

    An alternative to an expensive bay controller would be to get a Zalman Fanmate, a single channel variable resistor. They're plastic with vent holes (any fan controller will produce a little heat due to reducing voltages) and also work well.

    I'm not sure of the best guide to direct you to. However have a look at the stickies on extreme systems . org. They have some excellent resources. Lsdmeasap (the forum Mod here) is experienced with i7's too so he will be able to give better advice than me.
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    Core i5 760 @ 20 x 201, 4.02GHz
    TRUE Black with a single Noctua NF-P12 pumping out 55 CFM @ 19db .
    2 x 2GB Mushkin Ridgeback (996902), @ 7-10-8-27, 2010-DDR, 1.66v
    2 x Gigabyte GTX 460 1024MB in SLI (Pre OC'd to 715MHz core and 1800MHz VRAM) @ 850 Core / 4100 Mem.
    Intel X25-M Boot Drive (OS and Programs) 200MB/s Read & 90MB/s Write
    Corsair X32 200MB/s Read & 100MB/s Write
    WD Caviar Blue 640GB C (Steam, Games, Storage, Temp Files & Folders, etc)
    Samsung F3 500GB Backup/Images
    Noctua 1300RPM 19dB case fan (rear extraction)
    3 x 140 MM Coolermaster LED fans (one front intake, one top extraction, one side intake)
    Dell Ultra Sharp 2209WAf E-IPS @ 1680x1050

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