Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New PC

Well, I bit the bullet and bought myself a new PC. Specifications are as follows:

Intel Core i7 920
Asus P6T motherboard
12GB (6x2GB) Kingston DDR3-1333
Asus HD4870 1GB
Lian-Li PC-A77 full tower case
Noctua NH-U12P CPU cooler

Kept the DVD drives and 1.5TB worth of hard drives from my old PC. Total cost? About AUD$1900 (USD$1330) all up.


Initial results for overclocking the i7 seemed promising - it shipped stock with a core voltage (vcore) of 1.2V. The default range of voltages for the i7 920 is 0.8v - 1.375v, according to Intel. The CPU core is a c0/c1 stepping, according to CPU-Z. I didn't really expect to be able to get a new D0 stepping, since it's way too new for the local retailers here to stock it.

Using the stock voltage, I was able to get it to run at 3.6ghz stable. At 1.375v, I could run it at 3.8ghz stable. I reached 4ghz only by increasing voltage to 1.44v. 1.44v was considered far beyond safe for regular usage - the CPU was hitting >87C load, and that's using one of the highest performing air coolers on the market (the Noctua NH-U12P).

I eventually settled for 1.375v and 3.8ghz. With a multiplier of 20x, that means a BCLK of 190mhz. The cheap Kingston ValueRAM also reached a surprising overclock - it's currently running at 760mhz (1520mhz DDR), which is a 14% overclock over the stock 666mhz (1333mhz DDR). And that's at stock voltage of 1.5v, and stock latency of CL9.

That's one mighty fast CPU - a definite upgrade over my ageing Core 2 Duo E6600 circa 2006.

Didn't bother overclocking the video card; it's plenty fast enough for pretty much anything except Crysis.

The Old PC

My old hardware won't be going to waste. there's still a perfectly good E6600 and 4GB DDR2 RAM in there. It'll replace the network server I have here at home; it's currently running on a ~2001 era Northwood Pentium 4 with 512mb DDR. The Core 2 should be a significant upgrade for the server, which runs stuff like my Perforce server and media storage.