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Thread: GA-EP45-UD3 (r1.0)+Q9400@4GHz - voltages too high? +S3 not working...




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    Default GA-EP45-UD3 (r1.0)+Q9400@4GHz - voltages too high? +S3 not working...

    Hello everyone!

    About a year and half (maybe a bit more) ago I bought a Q9400 for my computer (just before they disappeared from shelves), put it in my EP45-UD3 and started overclocking. I had 2x2GB of Kingston HyperX 1066 DDR2 memory and bought additional 2x1GB with the CPU to get 6GB total. The first problem was that the memory was unstable because of the different capacities of the modules (I put 2+1GB in each channel). After hours turned into days and I could not figure out how to make the memory work at clocks higher than 900MHz, I finally found the Data/CMD/CTRL/CLK Driving Pull-Down/Up Levels. Until now I still have quite no idea what those values do, but after hours of playing with them I figured that setting each of the 8 levels to +5 on both channels did the trick. So I had the memory working and I continued by overclocking the CPU. I had no experience with any other voltage than the basic CPU voltage, so I started by raising the CPU voltage when I ran out of stability at cca 3.65 GHz. But it did not help. I tried up to 1.45 volts, did not want to burn the CPU. So I had to go to the internet and learn about the other voltages. After about two weeks it was complete. I got it to 4GHz, 20 hrs prime95 stable. But it was not all that perfect. S3 sleep doesn't work, S1 is strange - keyboard and mouse do not work after wakeup and the main thing that troubles me the most are the voltages. Those are my current voltages at which the computer has been running for more than 1.5 years:

    CPU Vcore - 1.3250 V (quite low I think - good) (the CPU's default is 1.28something)
    CPU Termination - 1.4 V (quite high for a 45nm CPU - what do you think?)
    CPU PLL - 1.5 V (default)
    CPU Reference - 0.941 V (should be about 0.65 x termination, right?)
    MCH Core - 1.38 V (is that not a little bit too high?)
    the rest - Auto, except DRAM Voltage (which is set to 2.2 V, as specified by Kingston)

    I also added a little tiny fan to the MCH heatsink (I also put the MX-2 cooling paste under the heatsink) and am using a Scythe Ninja 2 CPU cooler, it is all boxed inside a CoolerMaster HAF 922 case and the CPU temp barely touches 71C in Intel Burn Test (linpack).

    So... The broken sleep kinda irritates me, but I can live with it (in the end, computer is not everything, right? RIGHT??? ...looking at my girlfriend...). BUUUT.... in the last month or so the computer freezes from time to time and has trouble surviving 2 hours of prime95 (sometimes the computer freezes, sometimes a worker fails). Also I noticed that when I load the optimized defaults in BIOS, the CPU and PCIe clock drives are set to 800 mV and 900 mV respectively, but when I clear the CMOS, both of these values default to 700 mV. For the first about a year I had those values set to 700 mV, but then I had to load the defaults (optimized ones) about half a year ago and I left those values to 800 and 900 mV. Might that be the cause for the instability? Right now I am running prime95 after I set them back to 700 mV both, so I guess I'll see...

    So I would like to discuss these subjects:
    Anyone can comment on those voltages? Aren't CPU Termination and MCH Core voltages too high? What do those memory driving strength pull-down-and-up levels actually do? What do those CPU and PCIe clock drive voltages do? Is there any way to make the S3 working (perhaps raising some voltages? or trying the latest beta BIOS) ? Any idea why my system gets a little bit unstable lately? Is my girlfriend mad at me because I spend more time with my computer than with her (I keep telling her that I have to study (I study information technology) but once she caught me while I was playing HL2EP2 and I had a hard time explaining to her that I was just examining what great game engines can be written in C++...)? ...No but really, anyone has any ideas on the voltages and S3 and instability? Did I damage my CPU or MCH with high votages? My God I hope not...

    I know Core2 is not the newest CPU architecture, but running 4 Core2 cores at 4GHz is not bad I think, and it will take me some time to make some money for the upcoming i5-3570K, which I would love to own once it's out...

    My PC's full specs:
    MB: Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3 rev 1.0 F9 BIOS
    CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 - OC @ 4 GHz
    RAM: 6GB (2x2GB + 2x1GB) Kingston HyperX 1066MHz DDRII RAM
    GPU: MSI nVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB TwinFrozr II/OC
    HDD: 2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 (1TB + 750GB = 1.75TB Total)
    DVD-RAM: TSSTcorp (Samsung) SH-S203B 20x (SATA)
    PSU: Enermax pro 82+ 525W
    OS: Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1 all updated

    Thanks in advance for our opinions.
    Last edited by Dextor41; 03-30-2012 at 09:57 AM. Reason: Change title

  2. #2
    Chike is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: GA-EP45-UD3 (r1.0)+Q9400@4GHz - voltages too high? +S3 not working...

    Waking from S3 is a very complicated process which does not always work even if the system is completely stabe when OCed.

    As for voltages VTT is pretty high, and MCH Core very high,developing instability is probably due to parts wearing off, but no necessarily related to the high voltages, could be anything from PSU to capacitors.

    You may find some ways to lower those 2 tweaking CPU/MCH references and clock skews.
    The default CPU and MCH refernces are 63.33% of VTT but normally need tweaking at very high FSB.
    Only one clock skew need to be changed and it may be either one.
    I would suggest doing all this with the 4GB kit only and deal with adding the other 2GB later.

    Mixing different memory is always a problem, see some of my findings in this thread.
    You may find it easier to get them stable if you place each kit in it's own channel. The memory will be configured in flex mode which means not all of it woud be running in dual-channel mode, likely 4GB in dual-channel and 2GB in single-channel.

  3. #3
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
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    Default Re: GA-EP45-UD3 (r1.0)+Q9400@4GHz - voltages too high? +S3 not working...

    Latest beta BIOS may also help (F10c), as this is often a BIOS issue and is sometimes not working until they fix it in later BIOSes
    http://oldforum.gigabyte.de/forumdow...11/EP45UD3.zip

    Test with just 4GB as mentioned above, and lower some of those voltages, if that doesn't help and yo are 100% tested stable, then try the latest BIOS.

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    Default Re: GA-EP45-UD3 (r1.0)+Q9400@4GHz - voltages too high? +S3 not working...

    Thanks for the replies. Right now I'm trying to stabilize the CPU, running prime95 with long in-place ffts, inspired by Chike's answer (references / skews). Although I already screwed with the skews a little when I was overclocking the PC originally, I gave up quite soon as it did not help (it required more time, which I already had invested too much to the overclock). When I first overclocked this hellish machine, it was 100% stable, tested 20+hrs with prime95, 10+hrs with IBT and many hundreds of hours of games :P . I even ran memtest from the booting CD for about 8 hrs. So I don't mean any disrespect or anything, but I'm fairly sure the memory is stable. I have a feeling that the problem is somewhere between the CPU and the MCH. I mean FSB (CPU termination). Maybe something burnt a little. Maybe the MCH. Anyway I will try to make it stable by first playing with the reference voltages (as suggested), then with the skews (one of them, I yet have to choose :P ), hopefully achieving a little lower VTT and MCH core voltage. After I get it stable (which I hope I will), I will try to fix the S3 with flashing the mobo with the F10c BIOS. I will post here as soon as something happens...
    Thanks so far

  5. #5
    Chike is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: GA-EP45-UD3 (r1.0)+Q9400@4GHz - voltages too high? +S3 not working...

    Do small FFT toture pass without errors?

    Instead of trying to lower VTT I would suggest going to default VTT or a bit higher but keepiti l.05v ower than vcore under load.
    Get memory stable with memtest86+ by tweaking both references and skews, begin with x6 CPU multiplier then go higher, and the continue with windows.

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