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  #21 (permalink)  
Old October 30, 2008, 09:53 AM
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update time...and the results are quite nice, up to 585FSB benchable under LN2 and another board hits 15K read bandwidth in Everest. until Nehalem drops, that is still quite the feat
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I finally got a hold of a pair of GTX 260s, EVGA Superclocked + GTX 260s to boot. These two are from a retail store and appear to clock about as good as others with stock cooling in normal ambients. I only have them for a short period of time but will do my best to make use of the them as best I can. First up will be some clocking with the cards on air and the CPU under LN2 to get a feel for what they can do on this board and how the CPU will clock FSB under cold on this guy. Here is a complete list of hardware used for these results and then a photo of the setup as always:
  • CPU: Intel C2D E8600 (L814A526)
  • CPU Cooling: Rev3 CU Mousepot w/LN2
  • RAM: Crucial Ballistix 2x1GB PC3-16000 CL9 // G.Skill HZ 2x1GB PC3-12800 CL7
  • NB Cooling: Swiftech MCW30 / MCP655 / MCRES-Micro / PA120.2
  • SB Cooling: Thermalright HR-05-SLI
  • PWM Cooling: Swiftech MC14 x 4
  • GPU: 2 x EVGA GTX 260 Superclocked+ (177.92)
  • PSU: Ultra XPro 750W
  • HD: Seagate SATAII 80GB 8MB NCQ
  • OS: Windows XP Pro SP3 (fully updated)
The setup as tested...
click for full size...

I missed any Vantage or 06 benchmarks because I bugged the CPU and then it was all downhill from there. I didn't want to stick to the same clocks for each benchmark as 05/06 are limited by FSB so I basically maxed out each benchmark. The goal was to test FSB clocks for each benchmark as this was the first time running LN2 on this board. Consider these the shakedown runs, with most tweaks applied...be sure to note the bandwidth in a few of them, 15K on yet another 790i board for this guy

click for full size...

Things went well and getting down to temperature went quite smooth. I was able to boot at the clocks you see above no problem and the board responded as it should throughout the session, until I bugged the CPU and warmed it up with a blow dryer. That was the end of that as the pot was just too unstable to run anymore. Temp swings were nightmarishly quick and all over the place. The pot needed to be warmed up to -80C before the bug went away, with the RE, this CPU would bug and 20 seconds later it was back in action without any outside heat applied which made benching a breeze. With this board, I will just have to make sure not to cold bug the bloody thing.

The other thing I want to mention is that my Ballistix will absolutely not boot at higher than 1050MHz. I thought it was a board issue and threw the G.Skills in to find they were booting just fine at 1096MHz so clearly not a board issue and related just to the Ballistix.

I might have one more session with the cards on air and CPU on LN2 before three potting it, but after getting these scores, there is no doubt I will be getting the GTX 260s cold at some point, even if I am only benching the CPU at 5850MHz. Might even bother with some 32M action at 5850MHz/1096MHz 8-7-6, should be some blinding fast times for the clocks.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old November 4, 2008, 09:24 PM
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what do you do when everyone else is having fun with i7 and you're not? slap the phase to the NB of an EVGA 790i FTWD motherboard, LN2 the CPU, and beat on AM3/01 for an hour or so

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This next setup is for those that just don't play by the rules, and aparently some think I have been cheating with this board so far...well this next step in SPP cooling definitely won't help my cause.

click for full size...

The photos are in a somehwat backwards order because I didn't take any during the setup so they are of the tear down. The first photo shows the insulation enclosing the phase change evaporator and as you can see from the perfectly centered circle impression in the insulation, the evap had perfect contact on the SPP...or so I think. The rest of the photos simply show the setup at various stages. Overall, the insulation was quite adequate and the system ran like a champ. Unfortunately, the results weren't quite what I was hoping for but even still, the board responded surprisingly well.
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At this point I thought I was done with the GTX 260s on air but then something came up and a sleep deprived FTWD owner decided he needed a colder SPP and got crazy with a makeshift LN2 setup on the SPP. The results then spurred the phase change SPP cooling seen at the bottom of the cooling section. First up is a photo of the system followed by the initial results with the cards still on air from SPP temps around 15C give or take a couple degrees.

click for full size...

The results...
click for full size...

I only had a couple liters of LN2 so the session was strictly focused on 01 and AM3. I had to dial back clocks on the GPUs just a touch because the ambient wasn't as cool as before but I am still a little idssapointed with the 01 score. I was hoping for 125K at 6GHz but it just wasn't meant to happen. The AM3 score is just ridiculous though and I would have loved to run higher but as it turns out, my CPU ran out of juice. FSB clocked a good bit higher yet so if I can get this E8600 whipped into shape, the final AM3 score I put up with this board and these cards might be something pretty exciting.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old November 4, 2008, 09:37 PM
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ooh now that looks like fun! Too bad you didn't have more LN2. IS there still some more to come on this board?

did you grab a cpu-z screen?
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old November 4, 2008, 09:39 PM
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You are one genius.. nuff said!!

That's a nice review on the board, clocking, moding.. Gr8 job sir
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old November 4, 2008, 10:25 PM
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haha, thanks guys but i don't know about genius...dedicated to pushing a piece of hardware to the absolute max, yes.

i can always refill the dewar, but i have to figure out why SPP temps were only 18C, they should be around -20C~-30C. it has to be a mount issue so there is still some work to do. the best part was that i figured out the CPU was holding me back. this E8600 apparently doesn't clock that well on this board and when i dropped the multi, i got this with the last couple drops of LN2 in the pot...




SPP volts were still low so i am hoping i might even get higher FSB. to test if this board responded to sub zero temps before setting this up, i did a little test with a water block base and LN2...



that was getting on the border of crazy though, but let me know the chipset cna handle the cold
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old November 7, 2008, 09:28 PM
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vCORE volt mod is done and the board is one step closer to being ready for its big session
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vCORE volt mod
Most people won't need a vCORE mod since this board provides up to 2.0v and actually puts out 2.0v. The problem for me is I have a dog E8600 and it seems to run worse on this board at full boar under LN2 than the RE so I need even more vCORE. In addition to this, a vCORE mod will allow me to boot with high vCORE then tune it down when on air. High FSB requires high vCORE to boot. With the 790i Ultra one could do this with software using the NVIDIA control panel but with the 790i FTWD, this option doesn't work.

This is also a bit of a different mod as it requires two solder points on the motherboard to be combined then fed to the VR. Thanks go to Peter (Shamino) for providing the vCORE mod information. Here she be ladies...

click for full size...

It isn't too tough of a mod but you are going to have to solder to some 0402 package resistors so a soft touch will be needed. These two solder points then get combined and connected to the VR like you normally would. The first photo shows the solder points on the board, the second photo depicts the whole area, and the last photo is a close up of my VR/jumper/read point fan header. I have been asked in the past how I set my mods up so I figured I would label the detailed photo to show exactly how it works. By removing the jumper, I am breaking the loop to ground and it is the equivalent to removing the mod.

A 10K ohm VR is perfect for this guy as at 10K ohm it bumps voltage maybe 0.04~0.05v. A 5K O VR might be a bit nicer for very fine control and I will likely jump over to that for benching. Your starting voltage will simply be higher.
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