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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:53 pm 
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Let's start with some background info on my old PC. It had an Abit motherboard, and started to go bad. First, it emptied BIOS batteries like no other, requiring me to keep the power on at all times if I didn't want to lose my BIOS settings. Then it started giving me Clear CMOS errors every boot, and finally something exploded in my case (capacitor?), and the IDE controller disappeared from my motherboard.

Needless to say, it was time to do something about it. I initially planned to move to the i5 platform, but high costs kept me from doing so. After all, my Q6600 still has some life in it.

So I decided to get a good socket 775 motherboard, and overclock the Q6600 like there's no tomorrow.

I opted to get the Asus P5E deluxe, which is essentially a Maximus formula without the 2 added fan headers. It boasts the intel X48 chipset, and is reported to be a good overclocker.
I also got a new case. My old made more noise than a vacuum cleaner and had kind of poor airflow. CPU idling at 50 celsius....

Speaking of which, I got a CPU cooler. I first looked at water cooling sets, but the really good sets were cumbersome and expensive, and the cheaper sets were beaten by high-end air coolers.

Opting for air cooling left me with a few options. I looked at reviews, and the top rankings appeared to be dominated by the TRUE (thermaltake) and MUGEN 2 (Scythe). After some more investigation, I found out that the TRUE generally ranks a tiny bit better, albeit when coupled with the default fan. Mount 2 3rd party fans on the mugen and it blows the TRUE off the map (pun intended). It' s also half as cheap as the TRUE, which is a nice benefit.

Now, to mount the whole rig. I initially looked at the CM HAF 922 and 933, both very good high airflow cases, but then I found the Aerotech bx-500. Not too expensive (90 euros), lots of room inside for mounting and cable management, stylish design, and extreme airflow.

And when I say extreme, I mean it. I fitted the thing with 8 casefans, the CPU fans not added. 8x120mm fans means a LOT of airflow, and not too much noise.

Well, I ordered the stuff, and it arrived yesterday. I called a friend and together we installed everything (trust me, an extra pair of hands is godsent when building a PC). We designed the airflow, debated fan positioning, did some epic cable fu, and finally ended up with a very, VERY cool processor. I'm talking a quadcore CPU at stock settings, running at 15 degrees celsius. Thank you airflow!

Still, idle temperatures aren't the only part of the equation, how about load temperatures?

30 Degrees Celsius. I kid you not. That's a quadcore, running 4 cores at 2.4 GHZ each, 100% load. Oh the insanity.

Of course, with those temperatures, the system calls for an epic overclock. We were happy to answer.

First test: 3 GHz, 35 degrees under 100% load.

After some fine tuning with the voltages we reached a final 3.6 GHz stable, with a 50 degrees temperature under full load. Turns out my RAM can't run any faster than 800MHZ, wiht is already the lowest FSB strap available at an FSB of 400 MHZ. Time for some new ram, soon!

:twisted:

Pictures:

Cable-fu:

Image

Side fans:

Image

Top panel:

Image

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:30 pm 
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Nice, it reminds me of my PC building days. Quick question on the temps though, I assume 15C was at idle, but was it even that cool in your room at the time? Obviously the CPU can be no cooler than ambient using only air cooling alone. Just checking as I've gone through various temp monitors in the past, each claiming to be accurate but never giving the same readings as each other.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:18 pm 
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I agree, that sounds really weird.

But then again, the temperature probes fitted on the general parts of the computer are not even nearly accurate.
Given a room temperature around 20-25, the CPU will be somewhere around 10+ degrees higher than that on idle. If it's a decent cooling system.

And 50 degrees @ 3,6GHz on water sounds doable, on air? not likely.
How much vcore did it need? 1,4-5ish?

Awesome strategy though, like seeing people getting more out of their old hardware rather than just buying new stuff, kudos to you! ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:50 pm 
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It is possible to read the sensor in the CPU, although I'm a little rusty and can't remember if it can be read directly from the CPU or if it involves additional support from the mobo.

For comparison, I'm running a Q6600 SLACR at stock. With mid range air cooling, fans set for low noise priority. Getting around 30C idle, 55C with prime95 like load at room temp of around 20C.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:15 pm 
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Not entirely sure how the probe in/on the CPU die itself is read, probably some low level communication between MB and CPU, which also gives information of Core speed, multiplayer, bus speed, rated FSB, batch and other data.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:48 pm 
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CPU temps are always a mixture of the sensor on the die, and the TJ MAX. There' s some algorithm between them.

I too have the SLACR and thanks to the G0 stepping it runs pretty cool. Believe it or not, but 50 degrees is my CPU temp at 3.6 under full load. Keep in mind that I have a huge heatsink on it with push-pull configuration, with a lapped base, thin arctic silver as TIM and extreme airflow in the case.

Motherboard/ambient temp in the case is around 20-24 generally.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:03 am 
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Nice build Marijn!

If my computer maxed out at 30C, it would be below ambient where I am right now, I need a better cooling solution for myself. :?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:13 pm 
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I can highly recommend the Scythe Mugen (rev.B). Tough sucker to install, but can compete with the biggest and best aircoolers, whilst still being twice as cheap.

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