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Thread: Official MSI P7N Diamond (780i) Discussion/Review/Overclock/Guide/BIOS Thread

  1. #1
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    Official MSI P7N Diamond (780i) Discussion/Review/Overclock/Guide/BIOS Thread

    Hey everyone,

    NEW INFO! Quick Update #4 - 5/7/08 - MSI has released a new BIOS (1.1B8) with common voltage settings! vCore is still set the same way (as an amount added to VID,) but this has never really been an issue since figuring out VID has never been a problem. The good news is that the random integers used to set FSB Term, GTL Ref, etc. are gone. In their place are common and meaningful direct voltage settings (i.e. 1.2v.) This should make OCing far easier, as the BIOS settings can now be navigated meaningfully.

    Obviously I'll need to re do the suggested settings section with the new voltages. I hope to get my hands dirty with the new BIOS this weekend and will update then. If you've been playing around with 1.1B8, please share your results.

    Thanks!


    Quick Update #3 - 3/28/08 - Apparently some people are experiencing a performance loss when running a two-card SLI setup with one card in the white PCI-E x16 1.1 slot. One user has reported a drastic change in performance when moving to the two PCI-E 2.0 blue slots, while several others report a gain of 500-700 3DMark points and 1-3fps in most games. I have updated the section about this accordingly.

    Update #2 - 3/23/08 - Since the last update, people have found successful OC settings with the E8400 and E8500. However, while the latest beta BIOS (1.1B4) seems to provide the best shot of success, it does appear to be finicky with 45nm chips. MSI is indeed working on updates, and I have no doubt that the majority of issues will be solved in short time as the product matures. In the mean time, I have posted suggested OC settings for the E8400, based on results obtained from members on this thread. Please try with 1.1B4 and P05 and let us know if you've found success. It may be that it takes another update or two before everyone is covered.

    Note that we've had one user (BKA) try out a non-extreme Yorkfield with this board (a Q9300,) and while it does work at stock, OC attempts seem to be hampered at the moment by a lack of BIOS support. (In particular, BKA has reported that half-multipliers are missing.) If you are looking to pair this board with a Q9300, Q9450, or Q9550, I would suggest holding off unless you are okay with running at stock for a while. Note that MSI lists these chips as under testing (rather than fully supported at the moment,) and from what we've gathered we can expect full support in an upcoming BIOS shortly.

    Lastly, for those new to overclocking in general, I've posted a set of general points to consider. These are not suggested settings, but more-so cover the basics of OCing a Core 2 chip. It's not a full fledged guide, but it should help those new to the hobby get under way. http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...178286&page=10 (Page 10, it's the long post...)

    As mentioned in that post, the point of this thread is to support the growing P7N enthusiast community and to provide it with a rich information and support library. This can best be obtained by people contributing their successes (so we can learn) and their issues (so we can solve.) Thanks to everyone who has been a part of this thread Let's keep it coming!!

    Quick Rundown

    Motherboard: MSI P7N Diamond
    Chipset: nVidia 780i (board is non-reference design)
    NB/SB: nVidia 780i SSP / nVidia 570i MCP
    Chipset Cooling: MSI Circupipe Design
    Compatible With: LGA 775 Pentium 4, D, Core 2 Duo, Quad, and Extreme chips, including 45nm Wolfdale/Yorkfield chips.
    FSB: Officially supports up to 1333mhz FSB.
    DIMMs: 4x DDR-2 officially supporting up to 1066mhz RAM.
    PCI-E: 2x x16 Physical / x16 PCI-E 2.0 electrical, 1x x16 Physical / x16 PCI-E. 1.1 Electrical, 1x x16 Physical / x8 Electrical, 2x x1 Physical / Electrical
    PCI: 1x PCI slot.
    SATA: 6x on board SATA 2 provided by MCP, 2x additional ESATA provided by jMicron add-on controller.
    IDE: 2x IDE Connectors, allowing up to four drives. 1x Floppy drive connector.
    On-Board USB/1394: 2 on-board USB headers, 1 on-board Firewire header for front port
    Backplate I/O: 1x PS/2 Keyboard, 1x PS/2 Mouse, 6x USB 2, 1x 1394, 2x ESATA, 2x 10/100/1000 Ethernet
    Sound: Included Creative X-Fi Xtreme-Audio PCI-E 1 add-in card.
    Extras: Clear CMOS button on back plate, on-board power / reset buttons, status LED lights for standby, power, HDD, all PCI-E slots, all RAM DIMMs.

    MSI Product Page

    http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php?f...2&maincat_no=1

    Reviews & Product Tours

    TigerDirect Product Tour (link via YouTube) -- More of an "infomercial," but he does give a good tour of the board's features.

    Digital-Daily -- Looks to be an English review from a Russian enthusiast site.

    Known Issues

    - Kentsfield Quads wont operate with a reduced multiplier on the shipping BIOS or betas 1.1B1-1.1B4. Performance BIOS P05 resolves this.

    - Overclocking a QX9650 may result in sporadic cold-boot failures. Beta BIOS 1.1B4 is known to resolve this for some, but others are still experiencing an issue. MSI is aware of the problem and should be working towards a fix.

    - Users of optical SATA drives may experience blue-screens relating to an NVGTS.SYS driver in Windows XP 32-bit. This is a known issue across all nForce boards. To eliminate it, first try moving the drive's SATA cable to a different port. If this doesn't resolve it, you will need to uninstall your nVidia motherboard drivers. With all drivers removed (except for display if using a GeForce card,) re-install your drivers except for SATA / MediaShield. This will allow your drives to rely on the built in Windows XP SATA drivers, resolving the issue.

    BIOS

    - Shipping BIOS is v1.0, dated 1/15/08. No new released BIOSes are available yet.
    - Current beta BIOS is 1.1B8. This BIOS is a recommended download, as it swaps the nonsensical integer voltage values with meaningful settings. Perfomance / reliability data is still pending, but expect it to be on par if not better than 1.1B6 / P07.
    - Current performance BIOS is P07, based off of 1.1B6. This BIOS is known to solve multiplier issues with Yorkfield / Wolfdale chips. P09, which should carry over 1.1B8's new voltage settings, should be out shortly.


    Beta and Performance BIOSes are available from the MSI forums. Note that you need to register in order to download these BIOSes. Once registered, see the "User Modified BIOS" sub-forum, availble from the "Overclockers & Modding Corner" forum. Beta and performance BIOSes are also available from MSI forum moderators, as well as from MSI support.

    Overclocking Tips

    Disable Features: As always, be sure to disable OC-hindering features before overclocking. In the CPU Feature menu (accessible from Advanced BIOS Features,) disable Execute Bit Support, C1E Support, Set Limit CPUID MaxVal to 3, and CPU TM function. If you do not see all of these options in the menu, press F4. In the Cell Menu, disable D.O.T. Control, Intel EIST Speed Spectrums, and Auto Disable DRAM/PCI Frequency. Lastly, for best results, set SLI-Ready Memory to EXPERT if available, and System Clock Mode to MANUAL.

    Keep a 1:1 Divider between RAM and FSB: When overclocking, it is best to keep a 1:1 ratio between RAM and FSB, such that the base FSB speed = the base RAM speed. On reference nForce boards, a 1:1 ratio can automatically be obtained by setting RAM to "linked and synced." However, setting your System Clock Mode to LINKED on the P7N diamond does not result in a 1:1 ratio. To keep a 1:1 ratio when overclocking, you must set System Clock Mode to manual and do some math.

    The math, fortunately, is rather simple. The important thing to remember is that the numbers set in the BIOS for FSB and RAM are rated, or multiplied speeds. The rated FSB speed set in the BIOS is the quad-pumped speed, so it is 4x the base FSB speed you want to match. The RAM speed is the double-data-rate speed, so it is 2x the base RAM speed you want to match. To keep a 1:1 ratio, simply set RAM to 1/2 your set FSB speed.

    Below are some examples of popular 1:1 ratios, as set in the P7N BIOS.

    * FSB = 1066, RAM = 533 (base speeds: 266mhz)
    * FSB = 1333, RAM = 667 (base speeds: 333mhz)
    * FSB = 1600, RAM = 800 (base speeds: 400mhz)
    * FSB = 1800, RAM = 900 (base speeds: 450mhz)

    Know your CPU's VID: The P7N has an odd way of setting vCore (your processor's voltage.) Unlike other boards where you simply set the voltage you wish to pump to your CPU (i.e. 1.3v, 1.45v, etc,) the P7N has you set the amount of voltage increase (i.e +0.0500 to stock, +0.1000 to stock, etc.) In order to know how much voltage you've set in the BIOS, you must know your CPU's default voltage. This is called VID, and is unique to each and every Core 2 CPU.

    To find your processor's VID, you must use either Core Temp, Everette Ultimate Edition, or (I believe) CPUID Hardware Monitor. Each of these programs can be downloaded from the Internet, but note that Everette is trial-ware and may not display VID w/o paying for the full version. On a Conroe or Kentsfield processor, your VID will most likely be within the range of 1.2000v to 1.3500v. On the popular Q6600 G0, VID will likely not exceed 1.3250v, with most coming in around the 1.2500-1.2750 mark. On 45nm chips, VID will be lower, often below 1.2000v.

    The amount of voltage sent to your CPU (according to the BIOS) is VID + the amount set in the BIOS. If you leave vCore on AUTO, then the VID amount is sent. Unlike the reference boards, the P7N will not guesstimate an increased voltage to match your overclock when vCore is left on AUTO. Note that this explanation does not account for vOffset or vDroop, which is explained below in its own section.

    North Bridge Cooling: One of the more impressive aspects of the P7N Diamond is that the North Bridge seems to run genuinely cooler than on other 780i boards. While it won't run at breezy P35/X38 levels, NB heat shouldn't be as much of a concern on this board as on others.

    Note that as of now, there is no easy way to accurately read the NB temp. The BIOS, the latest version of Everest, and HW Monitor report a MB temp, which according to MSI, is taken from near the center of the motherboard. You can feel for a hot NB (quite literally) by placing your hand on the NB heat pipe. If it feels too hot to touch for a short period of time, then your NB is running hotter than it should. (Note that this is not necessarily the case with other 780i boards, as they may naturally run too hot to touch w/o aftermarket cooling.) In this case, you may want to inspect the motherboard's heat pipe. Make sure that it's making proper contact with the board in all areas. Furthermore, you might want to remove the heat pipe all together and inspect the TIM. Often times, the TIM is applied poorly from the manufacturer, and replacing it can greatly reduce operating temps. If you do replace it, consider using an alternative to AS5, such as Arctic Silver Ceramique. AS5 is slightly conductive and can cause damage to your board if any of it gets where it shouldn't. If you use AS5, do not use it on the MOSFETS, as these are particularly sensitive components.

    Lastly, if you plan for a high OC, you will likely have to raise NB voltage. Even though the NB runs cooler than on other nForce boards, you may still find it worthwhile to buy a small fan to blow air over the heat pipe. An Antec Spot Cool works wonderfully in this regard, as its easy to set up and does a good job. For example, at 1.425v, my NB heat pipe is never too hot to touch and the MB temp does not surpass 50c.

    Suggested OC Software It's important to have the right software to monitor temps and stress test. Below is a list of recommended software.

    Temp monitoring:

    - Core Temp 0.97, Download from http://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp/. This is perhaps the most popular temperature monitoring program available. Note that the latest version is natively compatible with Vista x64.

    - Speed Fan, Download from http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php. This is a popular alternative to Core Temp, but many do believe Core Temp to be more accurate. Speed Fan, on the other hand, will read the board's other sensors and report processor load and voltage. Important: Note that Speed Fan will inaccurately measure G0 stepping temperatures by -15 degrees. If you use this program, you must compensate for this inaccuracy in the settings.

    - Everest, Download trial from http://www.lavalys.com/. This is the grand buffet of monitoring and reporting programs, and will tell you everything you could ever want to know about your PC. For temp monitoring, it's on par with Core Temp, but it will also monitor much more. This is trialware however, and you will have to pay to access all features in the full version.

    Stress Testing:

    Prime 95 25.6, Download from http://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=9779. This is the golden standard for stress testing. When you are honing in on your final OC, standard practice is to run the Prime95 Small FFT Torture Test on all of your cores from anywhere between 4 to 24 (or more) hours. (Although I find 8-12 hours to be reasonable unless number crunching is a primary function of your computer.) If running a Quad Core, be sure to run version 25.0 or higher as it will automatically run an instance on each core. Also, be sure to check "Round Off Error Checking" before starting the test. Otherwise many stability errors will go undetected.

    OCCT 2.0.0a, Download from http://www.ocbase.com/perestroika_en/. An excellent companion to Prime, OCCT is best used to test NB and RAM stability and for running a quick processor stability test.

    Suggested Settings

    The following settings are known to support a stable 400mhz FSB when paired with a Kentsfield quad. On a Q6600 at default multiplier, this will result in a 3.6ghz CPU. Note that your results may vary:

    FSB: 1600mhz
    RAM: 800mhz

    vCore: <<entirely dependent on the OC capabilities of your cpu.>>
    vDIMM: <<entirely dependant on your RAM. Set to maximum factory setting.>>
    vNB: 1.425
    vSB: Auto
    CPU GTL Ref: 65
    FSB Term: 25
    All other voltages: AUTO

    The following settings are known to support an E8400/E8500 at 4.0ghz and above. Again, the latest BIOS is still finicky when it comes to 45nm chips, so you may not have guaranteed success just yet.

    FSB: 1800mhz
    RAM: 900mhz

    vCore: <<entirely dependent on the OC capabilities of your cpu.>>
    vDIMM: <<entirely dependant on your RAM. Set to maximum factory setting.>>
    vNB: 1.4
    vSB: Auto
    FSB Term: 63
    All other voltages: AUTO


    GTLRef doesn't seem to play as large a role here, and it shouldn't, considering it's concern is more with Quad Core cpus. Compared to the Q6600, the key difference here appears to be FSB Term. 65 (vs 25) seems to be the key for E8400s OCs on this board.[

    vDroop Info, Mods

    vOffset and vDroop do exist and are comparable to other nForce boards, including the reference boards. Expect a -.02 to -.04 drop between what was set in the BIOS to what is reported under idle operation (vOffset.) Expect another -.02 to -.04 drop under load (vDroop.)

    At this moment, there is no setting to disable vDroop in the BIOS, nor is there a known physical mod (like the reference board pencil mod.) This section will be updated with new information if and when it becomes available.

    Other, Misc

    Two Card SLI: The manual states that for a two-card SLI setup, both cards must be placed in blue PCI-E 2.0 slots. This is incorrect. One card can use the top blue PCI-E 2.0 slot and the other can use the white PCI-E 1.1 x16 slot with no issues. Instead of using the two short flexible bridge connectors, which won't fit, simply use the one longer bridge connector. You should experience no issue enabling SLI and no performance loss in benchmarks or games. This will allow you to utilize the board's single PCI slot, which otherwise would be covered up by a double-width card in the second blue PCI-E slot.

    Note that some have experienced a slight performance loss when running with one card in the white slot (500-700 3dMark points and 1-3fps in games,) while at least one user noticed a more substantial difference. This may be due to the loss of a bridge cable (for GTX / Ultra / 9800 users,) the fact that both cards are no longer communicating over the bridge chip, or both.

    If you do want to run this board with a PCI card and 2x SLI, you may first want to see what performance loss, if any, you experience by having one card run in the white slot. 500 points and 1-2fps may not matter much, as I've seen greater performance swings just by switching drivers. However, any difference should be considered when making an evaluation for a long-term setup.

    Update History

    03/09/08 - Update #1 (updated issues list, added OC tips, settings, and vDroop info.)
    03/23/08 - Update #2 (Added OC suggestions on NB cooling and useful software. Added E8400 suggested settings and blurb on two-card SLI.)
    05/07/08 - Update #4 (new BIOS announcement)
    Last edited by theYipster; 05-07-2008 at 11:34 AM.
    ** REBUILD IN PROGRESS / RIG SOON TO BE**
    i7 990x Gulftown cooled by a HeatKiller V3.0 / swiftech MCR-320 / Laing DDC-3.2
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    Corsair HX-1000 PSU / Corsair Obsidian 800D Case
    Crucial C300 256GB SSD / 2TB WD Caviar Black 64MB Cache SATA 6 Drive / 2x 1.5 TB Seagate 7200.11 drives in non-boot RAID 1 / LG BluRay/HD-DVD combo / LG BD-RE Drive
    Dell 2407 WS Monitor / Logitech Z-5500 5.1 THX Speakers / Windows 7 Ultimate x64

  2. #2
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    I am the user that reported the cold-boot issues when increasing the multi on my QX9650. MIS sent me two beta bios' to try, but they only made the problem worse. With the beta's, my Logitech G15 (rev 1) keyboard would not always initialize. I would have to wait until Vista loaded, then unplug it and plug it back in. Plus, I had a hard time cold-booting with them, even when using the stock multiplier. If I stay with the shipping bios and leave the multiplier alone, the system is 100&#37; stable.
    Asus P6T6 Revolution/Core i7 965EE
    Vista Ultimate 64bit
    BFG GTX295
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    2 640gig WD's in raid 0
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    Corsair 1000w psu

  3. #3
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    My goal with this board is to find a thoroughly stable 24/7 operating environment with a Q6600 OC'd to 3.8-4.2ghz and with four to eight gigs of RAM. Achieving this is not always a trivial task on Intel-proc nForce boards, especially when paired with a quad core. If the MSI P7N Diamond can do it w/o a struggle, then it'll have an advantage (in my opinion) over the ASUS boards and the 680i/780i reference designs.

    Unlike the reference boards, the P7N features all solid capacitors and a better PWM system. This should help to allieviate the RAM and Northbridge burnout issues so prevelant on the EVGA and XFX reference boards. Note that while the non-reference 680i boards had their own host of problems, they didn't have the same burnout issues, likely due to the better materials used.

    Unlike the ASUS 780i boards, most early impressions of the P7N are quite positive, noting that the board is easy to work with and OC. The ASUS P5N-T has had some reported compatibilty issues with 45nm processors, while the Striker II has been very hit or miss in supporting even moderate overclocks.

    Right now I have the board running on top of its box, with components taken from my main rig. So far, I've been pleased, as setting everything up has been a plug-and-play experience w/o the slightest issue. I started with a never used Q6600 G0 L737B266 proc, 1 DIMM of 2 GIG PC-6400 OCZ SLI RAM, a single 8800 GTX card, a Lite-On IDE DVD+-RW drive, and a SATA WD 250 Gig hard disk. With Windows XP installed, I began adding my other components, and now the motherboard is supporting nearly my entire rig, with the exception of a three extra HDs and another DVD burner.

    .. unpacking the box ..



    .. everything installed (note the board in the case is an evga 680i, the p7n is on the box) ..



    As seen in the pic (or not, thanks to the GTX cards,) a second DIMM of RAM, a second 8800 GTX, and a Creative Labs X-Fi Platinum card have been installed. Again, I've been impressed so far with my experience, as everything works without issue. Even the troublesome X-Fi is behaving perfectly.

    Note: The P7N manual states that a 2-card SLI setup must use the blue PCI-E 2.0 slots to function properly. I used one blue slot and one PCI-E 1.1 x16 slot (the white one,) so that I have room to install my PCI X-Fi card, which is better than the included PCI-E card (although the PCI-E card is still very good for included audio.) Note that I had no issue enabling SLI and that it appears to be working properly.

    The BIOS is from American Megatrends -- the setup is logical and the feature set is rich, with far more voltages to tweak than either a reference 680i or 780i board. The only real negative I can comment on at this moment is that the BIOS interface lags more than the Award interface on the reference boards. Nothing too bothersome, but still noticeable.

    One odd function of this BIOS, however, is how vCore is set. Unlike other voltages in this BIOS and unlike vCore settings in other common BIOSes, you don't set an actual voltage. Instead, you set an allocated increase from the default voltage. This means that when OCing, you must know your chip's VID in order to gauge how your chip compares to others. Unfortunately, this information is not available from the BIOS, as the default VID is represented by the AUTO setting. Therefore, as I OC beyond what my chip can handle at stock voltage, I'll need to do some simple addition to calculate how much actual voltage I'm sending to the chip.

    Another thing I've noticed is that your only options for setting RAM speed are Auto, Manual, or Linked. When choosing Linked mode, there does not appear to be a means to choose a divider, and the default divider under Linked mode does not appear to be 1:1 / Synced. When I upped the FSB to 333mhz (represented in the BIOS by a quad-pumped setting of 1333,) Linked mode had my RAM set to 532mhz (266 actual.) To maintain a 1:1 relationship, I had to set RAM speed to Manual and input 667mhz. Now this may be an error that will be fixed in an upcoming BIOS. At worst, all this means at the moment is that some more simple math is needed to keep a 1:1 divider when OCing.

    Preliminary OC Results

    With the system still running on top of the box and with the stock cooler attached to the CPU, I tried a modest OC to ensure that the board posts correctly on non-stock settings.

    I simply bumped the FSB from 1066mhz to 1333mhz for 3.0ghz proc, set RAM to 667mhz for a 1:1 relationship, and set vDIMM to my RAM's stock of 2.0v. I left all other voltages on auto and I left RAM timings to SLI (EPP) optimized settings. Note that when vCore is on Auto, the MSI board will leave it on the processor's default voltage. This is different from the behavior of the reference boards, which try to guesstimate an appropriate voltage for your OC. I must say that I prefer MSI's approach, since a motherboard's guess at vCore is rarely accurate or helpful.

    With the FSB set and the RAM voltage set, I saved settings and booted into Windows w/o issue. After a quick 10 minute Prime95 test to ensure that the chip could handle 3ghz on stock voltage, I set out to do some benchmarking. Here are my results:



    (Please click above for a larger, readable image)

    Certainly not too shabby for a first-run, modest OC.

    As for temps, the cores were at what one would expect with the stock cooler. Idles in the 30s, with 10 minutes Prime95 bringing them up into the high 50s, low 60s. Again, 3ghz is likely as far as the stock cooler can handle, so of course I'll be putting this board into my case and hooking the cpu to my water loop for further benching.

    What did impress me during this run, however, was the chipset cooling. Note that as of now, an accurate reading of NB and SB temps is not possible. The BIOS only reports a system temp, and neither Everette or any other program I could find is currently configured to read the temps of these specific chips. However, throughout the prime run and the benchmarks, the system temp did not pass 52c (with ambient at 21c.) Furthermore, and most importantly, the chipset cooling pipes remained relatively cool compared to other 680/780 chipset heatsinks/pipes (and good contact between the pipes and the chips has been confirmed.) By relatively cool, I do mean that they were of course warm, but they were certainly not scorching, as is often reported the case on other 780i boards. By another comparison, the pipes were no warmer than the bottom of my Yonah-based Macbook Pro on a typical day, and considerably cooler than my Macbook Pro after intensive use.

    So far I've seen one other impression stating that the P7N manages to keep the 780i's SSP and MCP relatively cool, and my preliminary tests do seem to support this. We'll see how things keep as I reach for higher OCs, but so far what I've seen is encouraging, especially knowing that the cooling mechanism is entirely passive.

    Next Steps

    With my prelim OC out of the way, my next step is to move the board into my case and hook up some beefy cooling. Given my schedule this week, I doubt I'll have new results for a couple of days, but when I have the time to bench, I'll be posting results right here.

    Thanks for reading
    ** REBUILD IN PROGRESS / RIG SOON TO BE**
    i7 990x Gulftown cooled by a HeatKiller V3.0 / swiftech MCR-320 / Laing DDC-3.2
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawn1998 View Post
    I am the user that reported the cold-boot issues when increasing the multi on my QX9650. MIS sent me two beta bios' to try, but they only made the problem worse. With the beta's, my Logitech G15 (rev 1) keyboard would not always initialize. I would have to wait until Vista loaded, then unplug it and plug it back in. Plus, I had a hard time cold-booting with them, even when using the stock multiplier. If I stay with the shipping bios and leave the multiplier alone, the system is 100&#37; stable.
    Shawn, do you know the VID of your QX9650? You can get it from CoreTemp under the VID label.
    Last edited by theYipster; 02-24-2008 at 01:42 PM.
    ** REBUILD IN PROGRESS / RIG SOON TO BE**
    i7 990x Gulftown cooled by a HeatKiller V3.0 / swiftech MCR-320 / Laing DDC-3.2
    ASUS Rampage III Black / 24GB (6 x 4 Gig) G.Skill Ripjaw 1600mhz CAS9 / 2x nVidia GTX-460s in SLI
    Corsair HX-1000 PSU / Corsair Obsidian 800D Case
    Crucial C300 256GB SSD / 2TB WD Caviar Black 64MB Cache SATA 6 Drive / 2x 1.5 TB Seagate 7200.11 drives in non-boot RAID 1 / LG BluRay/HD-DVD combo / LG BD-RE Drive
    Dell 2407 WS Monitor / Logitech Z-5500 5.1 THX Speakers / Windows 7 Ultimate x64

  5. #5
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    Looks sweet dude, can't wait to see the rest of your results!
    Core i3-550 Clarkdale @ 4.2GHz, 1.36v (Corsair A50 HS/F) LinX Stable
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by theYipster View Post
    Shawn, do you know the VID of your QX9650? You can get it from CoreTemp under the VID label.
    CoreTemp says my VID is 1.0000 volts. The P7N defaults the vcore at about 1.21 volts, though. I have upped it as far as 1.35 volts when I try a 10X multiplier, but still the cold-boot issues. Btw, I use cpu-z to verify what the vcore is...
    Asus P6T6 Revolution/Core i7 965EE
    Vista Ultimate 64bit
    BFG GTX295
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    2 640gig WD's in raid 0
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    Corsair 1000w psu

  7. #7
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    Hmm... I've seen you post about this issue in several threads, but I haven't seen anyone else try to OC a QX9650 with this board.

    Just a thought, but have you tried reaching the same speed by upping the FSB? if 333x10 = 3.33ghz, try for a 370 FSB (1480 in BIOS) at the stock x9 multiplier. If that doesn't cause the same cold boot issues, and if you can adjust the voltage on your proc (if necessary) such that 3.33ghz is stable, then you can at least confirm that the multiplier issue is BIOS or board related.
    ** REBUILD IN PROGRESS / RIG SOON TO BE**
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  8. #8
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    Good point. I am able to adjust the voltage on the P7N without an issue. If I up it in the bios, it reads accordingly in cpu-z, so that is not the issue. I'll go try that now and see if I can get it stable...
    Asus P6T6 Revolution/Core i7 965EE
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  9. #9
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    I upped the FSB to 1440 and had the ram set to 800 and could not reboot from the bios. It would not post. I tried it lower even, no post. I upped voltages, relaxed ram timings and nothing worked. I had to clear the cmos each time just to get back into the bios. I am wondering if I don't have a bum board because this really stinks!
    Asus P6T6 Revolution/Core i7 965EE
    Vista Ultimate 64bit
    BFG GTX295
    6x2gig OCZ Platinum DDR3-1600
    Samsung SH-S223Q
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    Areca ARC-1210
    Auzentech X-FI Forte/Z-5500's
    Corsair 1000w psu

  10. #10
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    Hmm... That's not very encouraging. On the other hand, it may be that nothing is wrong with your BIOS or mobo, and that some other aspect of the system is preventing you from OCing. Probing deeper, I notice that you have 8 gigs of RAM in this system. That's going to put a good deal of stress on the north bridge of any chipset, nVidia or Intel. Try 1440 for the FSB again, and keep RAM at 800mhz. Also, try upping the NB voltage by, a step up until say 1.4-1.45 and see if that gets you stable. Alternatively, the FSB Termination voltage may need a kick. I haven't played with that voltage on this board, but on the reference boards, 1.4v was a good bet to get 1600mhz stable, and sometimes 1.5v would be needed. If bumping up the NB voltage doesn't solve anything, take a look at your FSB termination voltage. I'd imagine NB needs at least 1.4v however with 8 gigs of RAM.
    ** REBUILD IN PROGRESS / RIG SOON TO BE**
    i7 990x Gulftown cooled by a HeatKiller V3.0 / swiftech MCR-320 / Laing DDC-3.2
    ASUS Rampage III Black / 24GB (6 x 4 Gig) G.Skill Ripjaw 1600mhz CAS9 / 2x nVidia GTX-460s in SLI
    Corsair HX-1000 PSU / Corsair Obsidian 800D Case
    Crucial C300 256GB SSD / 2TB WD Caviar Black 64MB Cache SATA 6 Drive / 2x 1.5 TB Seagate 7200.11 drives in non-boot RAID 1 / LG BluRay/HD-DVD combo / LG BD-RE Drive
    Dell 2407 WS Monitor / Logitech Z-5500 5.1 THX Speakers / Windows 7 Ultimate x64

  11. #11
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    I haven't changed my sig, but I took out two sticks this morning, so I tried it with only 4 gig installed. FSB termination voltage on this board is very confusing, I have no idea what the value actually means, as it doesn't indicate voltage, but rather a number value, ie 1, 2, 3 etc... Any insight as to what I shoud set it to to start? I have the NB running at 1.30 now, up from the stock 1.2 volts it defaults to. I'll try to up it a bit...

    Edit: I have the FSB running at 1400, memory at 800, vcore at 1.258, NB voltage at 1.35 and FSB Terminatot voltage at 11. I was able to reboot and am now in Vista. I don't know if it was the FSB Terminator or NB voltage bump that worked. I would really like to find out what the FSB Terminator values equate to in voltage.
    Last edited by shawn1998; 02-24-2008 at 04:59 PM.
    Asus P6T6 Revolution/Core i7 965EE
    Vista Ultimate 64bit
    BFG GTX295
    6x2gig OCZ Platinum DDR3-1600
    Samsung SH-S223Q
    2 640gig WD's in raid 0
    Areca ARC-1210
    Auzentech X-FI Forte/Z-5500's
    Corsair 1000w psu

  12. #12
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    Glad to here you've got it working. My guess is that NB voltage is more responsible for your success than FSB termination, but I could be wrong, as I haven't really explored those two settings on this board yet. The next step is to see if you can now reliably up the multiplier with those voltages in place.

    As for the FSB termination setting, note that the reference boards don't have a setting called FSB termination, but instead have one called FSB voltage. It is my understanding that these are the same thing. However, the reference boards (which I'm familiar with) allow you to set a straight voltage, so another system would be just as confusing to me at the moment. In figuring out this setting, I would see if other MSI boards used the same system and read posts about them. Surely someone's covered FSB termination if it exists in the same manner with the P6N, or perhaps one of the P35 or X38 boards.
    ** REBUILD IN PROGRESS / RIG SOON TO BE**
    i7 990x Gulftown cooled by a HeatKiller V3.0 / swiftech MCR-320 / Laing DDC-3.2
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    Corsair HX-1000 PSU / Corsair Obsidian 800D Case
    Crucial C300 256GB SSD / 2TB WD Caviar Black 64MB Cache SATA 6 Drive / 2x 1.5 TB Seagate 7200.11 drives in non-boot RAID 1 / LG BluRay/HD-DVD combo / LG BD-RE Drive
    Dell 2407 WS Monitor / Logitech Z-5500 5.1 THX Speakers / Windows 7 Ultimate x64

  13. #13
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    I am very used to the reference boards, as I only bought this one to hold me over until it comes back from RMA. I am not sure at all if it is actually working as far as cold-boot is concerned, but at least I got it to restart from the bios this time!
    Asus P6T6 Revolution/Core i7 965EE
    Vista Ultimate 64bit
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    Corsair 1000w psu

  14. #14
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    Hey there yipster. It's a start but, you need to download and run the correct super pi. Uh it is from right here at XS it is mod 1.5. The old one you are using means nothing as it is overly generous on times and does not break down time enough.

    http://www.xtremesystems.com/pi/

    That's the address go and get it. Once you get past 3800mhz then I will start to give this a serious look.

    WZ

  15. #15
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    Would not cold boot this morning. I give up.
    Asus P6T6 Revolution/Core i7 965EE
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    Auzentech X-FI Forte/Z-5500's
    Corsair 1000w psu

  16. #16
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    Before you give up, can you post all your current settings in the cell menu of the BIOS? Perhaps there's something that's overlooked.
    ** REBUILD IN PROGRESS / RIG SOON TO BE**
    i7 990x Gulftown cooled by a HeatKiller V3.0 / swiftech MCR-320 / Laing DDC-3.2
    ASUS Rampage III Black / 24GB (6 x 4 Gig) G.Skill Ripjaw 1600mhz CAS9 / 2x nVidia GTX-460s in SLI
    Corsair HX-1000 PSU / Corsair Obsidian 800D Case
    Crucial C300 256GB SSD / 2TB WD Caviar Black 64MB Cache SATA 6 Drive / 2x 1.5 TB Seagate 7200.11 drives in non-boot RAID 1 / LG BluRay/HD-DVD combo / LG BD-RE Drive
    Dell 2407 WS Monitor / Logitech Z-5500 5.1 THX Speakers / Windows 7 Ultimate x64

  17. #17
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    WhenI get home this afternoon I will. I have tried everything in that Cell Menu, believe me. I have until Wed morning to figure it out, then it's outta here, one way or another...
    Asus P6T6 Revolution/Core i7 965EE
    Vista Ultimate 64bit
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    Samsung SH-S223Q
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    Auzentech X-FI Forte/Z-5500's
    Corsair 1000w psu

  18. #18
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    I think it's worth one last try, but I'm interested to see if you can get it to work. In the end, it could be a bum board. I too am angered by MSI's response to your issue. From what I've read on the MSI forum, it's not a matter of your board not working above stock, but a matter of your board not supporting the base / advertised features of your processor, despite a claim otherwise on the board's box. If you can't get it to work, I would call them up and complain on those grounds.

    I've heard decent things about MSI's RMA policy. It's certainly not as generous as EVGA's, but then again what is? You should have a better chance of getting a new board than you would from say ASUS or ABIT.
    ** REBUILD IN PROGRESS / RIG SOON TO BE**
    i7 990x Gulftown cooled by a HeatKiller V3.0 / swiftech MCR-320 / Laing DDC-3.2
    ASUS Rampage III Black / 24GB (6 x 4 Gig) G.Skill Ripjaw 1600mhz CAS9 / 2x nVidia GTX-460s in SLI
    Corsair HX-1000 PSU / Corsair Obsidian 800D Case
    Crucial C300 256GB SSD / 2TB WD Caviar Black 64MB Cache SATA 6 Drive / 2x 1.5 TB Seagate 7200.11 drives in non-boot RAID 1 / LG BluRay/HD-DVD combo / LG BD-RE Drive
    Dell 2407 WS Monitor / Logitech Z-5500 5.1 THX Speakers / Windows 7 Ultimate x64

  19. #19
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    I'll be watching this thread with interest, and hopefully I'll be able to contribute. I've got one of these boards on it's way to me now.

  20. #20
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    I couldn't help but notice you have the mobo sitting on the plastic shipping bag
    which is conductive.... I can't believe the board even post.. All the crisscross
    black striping on the bag is graphite impregnated for static protection......

  21. #21
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    Interested in this board beacuse of great layout!!

    Ive got eVGA 780I comming soon, but this board can be bought for £165 from OCUK with free X-FI soundcard!

    Can i confirm that this PCI-E card can work in the bottom PCI-E slot?? if so would mean two 8800Ultras in the blue PCI-E slots would leave good sized gap between soundcard at the bottom!

    Can board handle high FSB?

    I have X38 with Q6600 @ 450x8 24/7

    Can do 450fsb (1800) stable 24/7 with quads?
    CPU: Intel Q6600 @ 3600Mhz 24/7
    GFX: eVGA 8800GTS SSC 512MB
    RAM: 4GB Corsair Dominator PC2-8500
    MB: DFI LP LT X48-T2R
    HDD:150GB WD Raptor X
    PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower 1000W
    Screen: Dell 2407WFP

  22. #22
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    Wow, what can I say? Granted I very rarely setup working rigs outside of cases, except to do a quick test or troubleshooting session if something is wrong. This setup is unique, as it's the first time I'm doing a full fledged motherboard review / exploration like this. In any case, the board had no trouble posting from a cold boot multiple times over the last two days, so I doubt that the bag is conductive as I have it. Regardless, it's no longer an issue as the board is now fully installed in my case.

    Psycho_Eddie, the bottom (yellow) PCI-E slot is x8 electrical, so it's probably not the best place to put a graphics card, considering that the other PCI-E slots offer considerably more bandwidth. Given that, I haven't tried.

    Two GTX or Ultra cards will fit w/o issue in the first two blue PCI-E 2.0 cards. The downside to this setup is that the bottom GTX / Ultra card will block the single PCI slot, which will then require you to use the included PCI-E audio card. The top GTX / Ultra will block one of the PCI-E x1 slots, but the other slot is left open just above the second blue PCI-E x16 slot, and this is where the PCI-E Xtreme Audio card will go.

    While the manual states that 2x SLI should use the two blue slots, I had no trouble setting up or using SLI with one card in the first blue slot and one card using the third (white) PCI-E x16 (1.1) slot. This setup keeps the PCI slot free for the legacy X-Fi card, which provides full hardware processing unlike the PCI-E Xtreme Audio card.
    ** REBUILD IN PROGRESS / RIG SOON TO BE**
    i7 990x Gulftown cooled by a HeatKiller V3.0 / swiftech MCR-320 / Laing DDC-3.2
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  23. #23
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    Thanks for getting back so quickly, im afraid you missunderstand what i meant

    I am going to have 8800GTS SLI in both BLUE slots for PCI-E 2.0

    What i wanted to know is the bottom yellow PCI-E slot works with the included soundcard?

    If so then will work with a Asus Xonar PCI-E soundcard!

    You get me now?


    Would provide best thermals/sound solution that way!


    Whats stabilty like with this board, max FSB stable your stable OC?
    CPU: Intel Q6600 @ 3600Mhz 24/7
    GFX: eVGA 8800GTS SSC 512MB
    RAM: 4GB Corsair Dominator PC2-8500
    MB: DFI LP LT X48-T2R
    HDD:150GB WD Raptor X
    PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower 1000W
    Screen: Dell 2407WFP

  24. #24
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    Ok, now I gotcha. I haven't tried a PCI-E audio card in any of the slots since I have the PCI X-Fi, and with everything else I have planned at the moment, the last thing I want to do is create an X-Fi driver mess. However, I can't think of any reason why it shouldn't work in the bottom slot.

    As for max FSB stable, that info is yet to come. As mentioned, I have a busy schedule this week so I don't think I'll be able to get down to testing for a couple of days at least. My goal, however, is for a Q6600 G0 at 3.8-4.2ghz on water.
    ** REBUILD IN PROGRESS / RIG SOON TO BE**
    i7 990x Gulftown cooled by a HeatKiller V3.0 / swiftech MCR-320 / Laing DDC-3.2
    ASUS Rampage III Black / 24GB (6 x 4 Gig) G.Skill Ripjaw 1600mhz CAS9 / 2x nVidia GTX-460s in SLI
    Corsair HX-1000 PSU / Corsair Obsidian 800D Case
    Crucial C300 256GB SSD / 2TB WD Caviar Black 64MB Cache SATA 6 Drive / 2x 1.5 TB Seagate 7200.11 drives in non-boot RAID 1 / LG BluRay/HD-DVD combo / LG BD-RE Drive
    Dell 2407 WS Monitor / Logitech Z-5500 5.1 THX Speakers / Windows 7 Ultimate x64

  25. #25
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    Total BS to the part about the plastic bag above BTW, I do it all the time.

    Im still waiting on some peep actually trying to OC the FSB on these Mobos, the 2 reviews showed 584+FSB on Duals.

    All I see in every forum is talk not actual results.

    I got rid of the Striker II POS.
    Last edited by humeyboy; 02-27-2008 at 08:35 AM.

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