Sunday, October 26, 2014

Useful links page.

So I just made a page called useful links. I will use it to deposit links that I deem useful for overclocking.
Do not worry the RAM review is coming however a recent spell of instabilities caused by a build up of dust new BIOSes and bad GPU settings had my computer out of working order before I managed to finish the review and then I left to ski in Austria so the review is delayed but should be up soon. As an apology please accept the useful links page.
If you know an article or page that you think I should include in the useful links page just leave a comment.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

G.skill ECO 1333 7-7-7-21 2x2GB Early Expirience


Not long ago I bought a G.skill ECO 2x2GB 1333 7-7-7-21 1.35V ram kit. Now the stock settings on the kit may not sound like much but these things are great. Within 35 minutes of playing with them I had them booting 2400mhz. With better timings than many 2400mhz that you will find available in stores. Now they were not the miracles that I wanted because these sticks use PSC ICs and those are know to do as much as 2600 8-12-8-28 @ 1.85V on air cooling. Now this was early testing so I wasn't pushing very high voltages but it is very obvious that I have a pretty bad PSC kit. The settings I ended up with were 2400mhz 10-12-11-33-1T with sub timings of 5-160-12-6-24-6-7 and 1-1-1-1-3-3-2-1-3-1 using 1.75V. The primary timings are pretty bad as they are barely better than my 24/7 sticks which do 2400 10-12-12-34-2T. However the secondaries and tertiaries are pretty damn good.

I hope that I can get this kit to run CL 9/8/7 above 2400-2000mhz since that should put them way ahead of my 2000mhz 8-9-8-24 Ballistix Elite that got me my Super Pi 32M record.
I will have more updates after I'm done with the kit.

My plans for this kit are to see how high and how low it can go. Now frequencies above 2400mhz are really problematic for the IMC on Sandybridge-e CPUs so I doubt I will hit above 2500 even if the sticks are capable of that. However what I'm more intrested in is just how low I can take the CL because a low CL from my experience is key to getting a HWbot prime score so if these sticks could boot CL6/5 at 1333-1600mhz that be great.

UPDATE:
The kit is optimal at 2333 9-12-11-32-1T with secondaries of 5-156-12-6-24-6-6 using 1.8V. I still haven't done any benching with these because I need to setup my new benching HDD.
I still have to try top the frequency and try the low CL(5,6,7) max clock before doing a full write up this weekend.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Voltmodding GPUs using the NCP and PCP 81022 voltage controllers

So HWbot recently launched this. I think the new division system is awesome and as someone planning to participate in division 5 I decided that I'll help everyone by compiling the available information on the NCP80122 controller found on the AMD reference design R9 285 and R9 260(X) cards.

So here is the NCP81022
The red pin controls the Vcore you can solder a 10K ohm variable resistor(VR) to this and the ground to get control over the core voltage.
The 2 green pins control the over current protection. By increasing the resistance between the 2 you will get a higher current limit. The only problem is that you have to find the resistor that these pins are attached to because I couldn't find a good enough photo and because R9 285 PCB designs differ quite a lot. If you want to completely disable over current protection just remove the resistor that these pins are attached to.
If soldering directly onto the IC's pins scares you(me too they are freaking tiny) then find the first resistor that the pin connects to and solder your VR onto the resistor. If you don't have a VR you can try using pencil.
All these mods are universally applicable to GPU using the NCP80122 or PCP81022 voltage controller.

Sources:
http://forum.hwbot.org/showthread.php?t=75953
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Sapphire/R9_285_Dual-X_OC/4.html

Saturday, September 27, 2014

WTF Cooling: R7 260X + Gelid Slim Hero + zipties

Here's a few photos of what I did to my R7 260X after I accidentally used CLU on it's aluminum heatsink.



I will be posting performance results soon if school allows.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I hate digging up crap to write about but oh well here we go SuperPi tweak guide.

The title says it all so lets get going.
SuperPi 32M is a completely single threaded benchmark and is currently one of the most popular benchmarks on HWbot so getting a good score in it can get you a ton of points.


Software
First the OS, you've got to use Windows XP. SuperPi is just weird like that. Windows 7 also works but you get slightly higher times and can't do copy wazza.

Once you have XP installed go into the services and disable everything except for WMI, log event, futuremark sys, windows installer, intel management, drivers, plugnplay and themes.

When benching SuperPi you keep themes enabled because for some reason it runs faster with the olive green theme.

Use task-manager to shutdown as many unnecessary tasks as possible also set SuperPi's affinity to core 1. Set all other tasks to core 0 and put their priority to low. Set SuperPi's priority to high

A really important tweak for getting a good SuperPi time is copy wazza. Here's a video of Splave doing copy wazza.

Hardware
On intel CPUs disable hyperthreading because it adds extra load onto the IMC and only run with 2 cores to increase OC range and lower heat output.

For Haswell CPUs try to get the Uncore/Cache ratio as high as possible.

For AMD CPUs clock the north bridge as high as possible.

For ram you will want to use PSC or Samsung HCH9 as they are capable of high clocks with very low timings. PSCs come in 2GB sticks from a variety of manufacturers but Samsung HCH9s are found on 4GB 2600 10-12-12-34 G.skill sticks.
Another good series of ram to use are 4GB stick Crucial Ballistix Elite that come stock at 1600 8-8-8-24 or 1866 9-9-9-27. These are capable of 2000 8-9-8-25 @ 1.65V the only down side is that they don't scale past that regardless of the voltage I used. But they are still very good sticks that can also serve as daily drivers.


Sorry for not posting for so long. School happened.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Choosing a motherboard has never been this hard for me.

So X99 came out and the 5820K is tempting me into upgrading however I've run into one major issue. No X99 board has the features I want at a price I'm willing to pay. The boards that do have what I want also have a bunch of other crap that I will never use like Killer NICs, WiFi, Bluetooth, Improved on-board audio, Power saving settings, Automatic OC buttons and similar crap that I will never use and don't want to pay for.

Really this should not be that hard. If I had to design a X99 motherboard it would have:
An 8 phase VRM with atleast 40A per phase.
Voltage read point like what EVGA X99 boards have.
PCI-e lane on/off switches.
Dual BIOS.
4 DDR4 slots with T-topology.
On-board power, reset and clear BIOS buttons.
An LED POST code readout.
5 PCI-e x16 slots arranged  to accommodate 3 triple slot GPUs or 4 2 slot GPUs.
4 or more USB 2.0 ports in the rear.
As many as intel support USB 3.0 ports with 1 header on the board.
An Intel NIC.
The ASUS OC socket. (apparently it helps a lot)

Anything I didn't mention wouldn't be on the board

I do believe that all this could be fitted on a board that cost a little more than the MSI X99 SLI because it's stuff  that has been done before and isn't very complex requiring very little development but for some reason a board with a feature set this imbalanced just doesn't exist so I guess I'll have to wait and see if  EVGA figures out that what their charge for their very bare boards is too high and they'll drop prices.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

X99 VRM Analysis

X99 has arrived and what most reviewers seem to have missed is that Intel's FIVR is on every Haswell-e chip. The FIVR stands for Fully Integrated Voltage Controller. It's job is to generate the different voltages an Intel CPU needs more efficiently and more precisely. It does both of these but also has the innate side effect of making motherboard VRM designs much cheaper since they are required to supply a voltage of 1.8+V instead of 1-2V.  Now you may think that this makes no sense. However it is very simple what does 100% of all damage and heat generation in electrical circuits is current. By raising the output voltage of the motherboard VRM the VRM needs to supply a lower current and therefore can be cheaper or more efficient. For example if you need to deliver 250W(an OCed X79 or X99 CPU) of power to the CPU from the motherboard. With X79 the board would need to supply 185A at 1.35V with X99 it only needs to supply 138A at 1.8V. That is a 25% reduction in current requirements. The other thing that X99's FIVR achieves is that you no longer need and X+Y VRM phase setup so 100% of the VRM space available on the motherboard can be used to supply those 138A at 1.8V further reducing the strain put on each VRM phases by allowing for more powerful or more numerous phases.
Now lets go to absurd land. Lets say you want to run your new Haswell-e at 1.35V all day everyday until the CPU or motherboard dies. Well at 1.35V Haswell-e will easily be pulling 300-400W and because were in absurd land lets go with the higher of the 2 so 400W since you can probably still cool that with H2O. Now then 400W at 1.8V gives a current draw of just 222A or less if you push the VCCIN voltage higher. So now lets see how a 6 phase VRM like what you find on the eVGA X99 micro would do with this. Well 222A/6phases means we would have just over 37A of current per phase which should be no problem at all because even the 100$ GA-F2A88X-D3H that I reviewed has 40A phases. Now on a 6 phase you are pushing it rather close so I would recommend an 8 or more phase board for these kinds of OC endeavors especially if the manufacturer is a little too cheap to be true. However any quality motherboard with 8 phases will be fine.
Now I just need to buy an X99 board some DDR4 and a Haswell-e CPU so I can test what raising the VCCIN does to the Vcore and I can do a fuller writeup on minizing VRM load with Haswell-e.

This is the source for Haswell-e having a FIVR