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  1. I did a video in October on how to overclock your CPU using liquid nitrogen, this time I show you how to overclock your graphics cards using LN2. It covers preparing the GPU, installing the liquid nitrogen pot and getting started overclocking. I used the following hardware when I shot this video: Intel® Core™ i7 3960X Extreme Edition CPUAsus Rampage IV motherboardEVGA GeForce® GTX580 ClassifiedEVGA EVBotK|ngP|n Tek 9 GPU PotCorsair Dominator® GT DDR3 memory (CMGTX8)Corsair Professional Series™ Gold AX1200 PSUCorsair Force Series™ GT SSD
  2. Overclocking the new AMD Bulldozer CPUs on liquid nitrogen is easy, fun and affordable even for a beginner. The new generation of Bulldozer CPUs are reaching speeds near or over 8GHz on liquid nitrogen. Along with high CPU frequencies the processors are able to run memory at high frequencies as well. In this blog I am going to show you the basic template of the settings I use to reach high core and memory frequencies on liquid nitrogen. Be careful though because overclocking on liquid nitrogen voids most warranties and can kill your hardware! CPU OverclockingIf you haven't already, you may want to watch this Corsair video on how to prep your motherboard to run on liquid nitrogen. Since most AMD Bulldozer CPUs don't have cold bug issues you can normally run them with a full liquid nitrogen pot. This means your CPU would be running near -192° C. Once you have your CPU cooled down you can start overclocking it. This ASUS Crosshair V Formula motherboard has a nice Extreme OC profile built in. You can load the profile which automatically disables some extra features. These features are not needed for extreme overclocking. It also changes a few other settings in the bios to allow you to run higher voltages as well. After loading the profile, I started off by setting my multiplier to 30x and raising the FSB frequency to 240MHz. This would mean the CPU clock would be 7.2GHz. Next the memory frequency and CPU/NB frequency are set to run right around 2000MHz. The HT Link Speed is set to the lowest setting available. I will then adjust the FSB frequency in windows to achieve my final overclock. Now it is time to start raising voltages in the bios. I start out by giving the CPU 1.95v, this is very high and can damage your processor so you need to make sure it is properly cooled. Next the CPU/NB voltage is set to 1.6v, you may need to experiment with this voltage depending on your CPU and what FSB you want to run. The last voltage to be set is the memory voltage at 1.7v. Finally if you are going after the maximum frequency your processor can run disabling some of the cores can help dramatically. Now comes the fun part! You can save you changes and boot into Windows. You can now use ROG Connect to raise the FSB frequency. With this and some minor voltage adjustments you should be able to reach frequencies in the high 7GHz range or even 8GHz if your CPU is good. My CPU was able to reach just shy of the 8GHz mark! Memory OverclockingOverclocking memory for the maximum frequency uses almost the same configuration as above. The first thing you will notice is the CPU multiplier has been dropped to 14x. This will let us run memory at high frequencies without worrying about the CPU frequency going to high. It also relieves some stress on the CPUs memory controller. I set the FSB setting to 280MHz because I know the Dominator® GT CMGTX6 DDR3 memory module I'm using can boot that high. Depending on what memory you are using you may need to lower the FSB or memory divider to ensure the machine will boot. Since I am going for overall speed I am using a single 1GB CMGTX6 DDR3 memory module that I've pre tested to do frequencies over 3.4GHz. In order to set and boot into Windows at 280MHz on the FSB — the memory frequency is set to the 2400MHz divider and with the 280MHz base clock it gives a memory frequency of 3360MHz. The CPU/NB frequency is kept to the same frequency as the memory and the HT Link speed is set to the lowest setting. The CPU voltage is set to 1.7125v which was required to boot in at this higher FSB and memory speed. The CPU/NB voltage was set to 1.68125v which again was required to boot into Windows. Finally the memory voltage was set to 1.75v. The memory timings were set to 11-13-13-31-2T which was the loosest they could be set to on this motherboard. Once in Windows I used ROG connect to raise the FSB and memory voltage. I set the memory voltage to 1.8375v and then I was able to walk the FSB up to 290MHz. This is just slightly better than my previous results I was able to reach in one of my earlier blog posts. This meant my memory was running at almost 3500MHz! Even if you are just getting into extreme overclocking you should be able to get some great results. Overclocking Bulldozer was very easy and it was a lot of fun to reach frequencies that just weren't possible with previous generation AMD and Intel CPUs.
  3. Since I started working at Corsair in late 2009, one of my personal goals has been to break the memory frequency world record. I started to seriously pursue this goal in August 2010 with the launch of the CMGTX6 Dominator GT DDR3 memory. I was able to overclock one of those DIMMs to 2976MHz but was unable to go higher due to a CPU limitation. You can read about my previous world record Domintaor GT memory run in a previous post on the Corsair blog. Over the past year I have tried over 20 different processors in hopes of being able to run higher and go after the world record for memory frequency. Up until last week I was using the Intel P55 platform to go after the frequency world record. However I noticed that the new AMD Bulldozer CPUs overclocked memory really well, so I went out and got an ASUS Crosshair V Formula and an AMD FX-8150 processor. I cooled the processor and memory using liquid nitrogen. On the CPU I used a K|ngP|n Gemini CPU pot and a K|ngP|n Dominance memory pot on the CMGTX6 DIMM. You can read how I broke my previous personal best for memory frequency in a previous post. After swapping out to a second Bulldozer CPU things looked even more promising. After several sessions of overclocking I was finally able to break 3400MHz memory frequency barrier which was just shy of the world record by 43MHz. Getting those last few MHz was really tough! After countless blue screens and crashes I was able to get 3467.8MHz however the CPUz validation was corrupt. I had the screenshot but it was useless without the validation. I continued to test and after an hour of blue screens I was able to get the validation file with the memory at 3467.8MHz and take the world record!!!. You can see the CPUz validation here and more information on the result here.
  4. Towards the end of May this year we launched our Dominator® GT CMGTX7 DDR3 memory upgrade kit. This kit consists of two 4GB memory modules for a total of 8GB of memory. They are rated at 2400MHz 9-11-10-30, which make it the fastest 8GB production DDR3 memory kit available. The last time I overclocked high density modules was when I was testing the 16GB Vengeance kit, which overclocked to 1921.8MHz. You can read more about my earlier Vengeance overclocking run on the Corsair Blog. Since I love pushing components to their limits I wanted to see what the new Dominator GT kit could do. I started off with one of my favorite motherboards for memory overclocking, the GIGABYTE™ GA-P55A-UD4P along with an Intel® Core™ i7-870 Processor. For the cooling I was using a single stage phase change unit to cool the CPU. This is very similar to your refrigerator however it cools only the CPU, it can get the processor as cold as -40°C. Later on in the testing I used a liquid nitrogen container by K|ngP|n Cooling to cool down the memory. This special container called the Dominance Memory Cooler was specifically designed to fit on top of the Corsair Dominator memory modules. The rig was powered by a single Professional Series™ Gold AX1200 power supply and for the SSD I used a 120GB Force Series™ drive. I started off by testing the maximum frequency I could run at the stock timings. After about an hour of testing I was able to reach a frequency of 2508MHz. This was a 108MHz overclock that ran without any issues. After reaching 2500MHz I wanted to go even faster. So I decided to test the modules with looser timings and go for the absolute maximum speed. I started out by going to 2550MHz, then to 2600MHz. I was shocked to see the GTX7 kit hitting these kinds of frequencies, especially because this was a high density kit running in dual channel mode. I wasn't about to stop there though, I kept on pushing and soon was breaking 2700MHz! I asked myself could it do 2800MHz? I kept on pushing and hit a wall at 2796.2MHz, less than 4MHz shy of 2800MHz. Knowing that I was not going to be able to sleep unless I hit 2800MHz with this kit, I had to do something to get those last few MHz. I took the extended fins off the modules and mounted the Dominance Memory Cooler on top of the Dominator GT memory and filled it with liquid nitrogen. Cooling the memory helped the memory modules get that last little bit and I ended up with a frequency of 2819.8MHZ! I was completely blown away by the results, considering reaching this frequency previously meant you had to use a single module! I not only achieved that result with two memory modules in dual channel, but I did it with a high density kit. To put this in perspective this is only 156MHz shy of what I had previously reached with a single Dominator GT CMGTX6 module. You can go back and read about that CMGTX6 overclock run to 2976MHz on the Corsair Blog too.
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