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CPU Core i7 920/940 Memory Unlocked/6.4 QPI Enabled!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Jasio, 7 Mar 2009.

  1. Jasio

    Jasio Made in Canada

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    Heya,

    This is probably OFN for some of you, but there's been quite a buzz going on around Intel stating that both the QPI link has been "unlocked" on the 920/940 allowing you to run at 6.4GT/sec -- like the Extreme Edition. Additionally memory multipliers have been unlocked allowing you to run your system at any memory frequency 1066/1333/1600/1866 and up (On these chips, even though you could set the ratio manually in the BIOS for DDR3/1600 or DDR3/1333, the RAM was actually locked at DDR3/1066).

    CPU multipliers still remain "locked" officially, and Turbo Mode is locked.

    But who cares? The 920 suddenly became an even better deal that before. MaximumPC did the tests of American MegaTrends BIOS motherboards and stated that Intel confirmed that these features are unlocked due to "customer requests".

    :rock:

    Compiled with some source information from MaximumPC @ http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/exclusive_retail_core_i7_cpus_more_powerful_originally_reported

    [​IMG]
     
  2. O O 7

    O O 7 New Member

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    SWEEEEET! :naughty:

    This ends my disputes with the other forum members regarding this issue. :D
     
  3. Dozer42

    Dozer42 New Member

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    Neat, but I thought tweaking QPI didn't make much of a difference at all?
     
  4. Jasio

    Jasio Made in Canada

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    Every little bit counts, but the real deal breaker was the unlocking of memory multipliers to allow your $300-400 6GB DDR3-1600 kit to run at its best :) And hey, I'm not complaining about my unlocked QPI -- who would?
     
  5. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    how did they apply this unlock? would you have to do a BIOS update or something?
     
  6. Jasio

    Jasio Made in Canada

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    So... I went ahead to see if this could work and if I could get similar benchmarks to what MaximumPC had obtained.

    NOTE: MaximumPC posts Everest MemoryRead at 16,984 MB/sec @ 2800Mhz (slight overclock) using an MSI Eclipse motherboard with a Core i7 920 CPU.

    Now here are some images of me poking around the BIOS and changing some settings:

    Changing up the QPI:
    [​IMG]

    Enabling XMP Profile + setting memory to DDR3-1600Mhz
    [​IMG]

    Booting system results in DDR3-1600:
    [​IMG]

    Everest MemoryRead results:
    [​IMG]

    Everest MemoryWrite results:
    [​IMG]

    Everest MemoryCopy results:
    [​IMG]

    CPUID confirms DDR3-1600Mhz
    [​IMG]

    As you can see, good results, very similar MemoryRead results however I am using a stock i7 920 at 2.67Ghz and an Asus P6T motherboard.
     
  7. mm vr

    mm vr The cheesecake is a lie

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    This one is hilarious, it says "flash" right where the camera flash is! :D :p
     
  8. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    I posted about this weeks ago... that mine seems to be unlocked. No one seemed to pay much attention.. Oh well LOL

    http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=164623


    You dont have to manually set the QPI speed if you use XMP to get 1600 DDR... it will do it itself.


    Similar results also:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 8 Mar 2009
  9. Jasio

    Jasio Made in Canada

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    Heh, yeah I missed that thread -- probably because your little discovery was hidden in a thread about buying an i7 PC... there's a lot of those popping up now so I pass by most of them. Figured a dedicated thread would at least attract the attention of current i7 owners.

    Seems no BIOS upgrades were necessary, firmware flashes or anything. The system seems to be rock solid as always. What can I say? I'm happy that Intel openly gave us a feature that is generally locked away for users who can afford the $1000+ Extreme Edition CPU's.

    Now all we need to do is overclock the 920 from 2.67Ghz to around 3.3-3.4Ghz (stock speed of 965 Extreme) and we'll "practically" have an Extreme Edition CPU for a fraction of the price.
     
  10. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    To be honest, I thought you got lucky and someone bundled you a wrong CPU or something failed in the locking process? We've not seen it in our samples and ours are engineering samples - usually the ones that ARE unlocked.

    It seems RETAIL CPUS ONLY are affected, so avoid OEM ones which are locked, apparently.
     
  11. bigspin

    bigspin New Member

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    poky said it on my thread about building core i7 system. however I tried it & it worked well.

    Now I'm testing my system using Prime 95 (I OC I7 920 to 4.0Ghz 1.36V). I'll post my sandra results tomorrow :rock:
     
  12. g3n3tiX

    g3n3tiX Active Member

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    I read in some article about it that engineering/review samples were locked, and retail are not.

    Mine is unlocked ^^ (920, box version)
     
  13. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Damn you people :p /kicks free engineering sample 920
     
  14. O O 7

    O O 7 New Member

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    Life saver dude!
     
  15. Hugo

    Hugo Ex-TrustedReviews Staff

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    Motion carried :(
     
  16. bigspin

    bigspin New Member

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    Send petition to Intel :D
     
  17. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Shouldn't be an issue. Mine hits 4GHz without a problem with a very small volt increase, except the crappy stock cooler lets the temps get stratospheric. I really need to get a new cooler. I reckon with a TRUE I will have a 24/7 4GHz machine.
     
  18. bigspin

    bigspin New Member

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    Main stable @ 4Ghz (1.35v/Hottest core 82C/ Prime95 Large FFT 12Hours test passed/ Going to do blend test)
     
  19. Nicb

    Nicb Let's discuss among ourselves

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    This unlock feature defiantly makes me rethink about if it's worth buying into i7 now. Back to the drawing board on the new computer.
     
  20. Jasio

    Jasio Made in Canada

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    So... in my joy I went to NCIX And purchased a 6GB OCZ DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24 kit.

    Plugged everything in, did a clean install of Vista (new HDD) .... I noticed that on boot the BIOS shows the RAM at DDR3-1066Mhz 7-8-7-21 @ 1.5v. A quick Google and browsing of OCZ's site shows that this is a "feature" (huh?) and that I should manually adjust my setting.

    No problem, jump into BIOS set RAM to DDR3-1600Mhz, properly adjust timings to 8-8-8-24 and crank up the voltage to 1.65v. Boot up, BSOD. D'oh. Pull 2 sticks and leave 1 in, boot up, BSOD. Return sticks down to DDR3-1066Mhz and 8-8-8-24. BSOD. Set everything to default, boots up fine, at 7-8-7-21. Hum. I'm not happy. My 3GB Patriot Viper kit did this fine.

    Quick Google, what's the difference between OCZ and Patriot? Seems that it's just the XMP Profile feature. Interesting. Plug in my 3GB kit again, works fine at DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24.

    Go back to store, swap OCZ kit for a 6GB Patriot Viper 8-8-8-24 6GB DDR3-1600Mhz kit. Boot up system, go to BIOS, enable XMP Profile #1. Restart. Boot up. System runs perfectly at DDR3-1600Mhz.

    After chatting with the techs at NCIX they admitted that OCZ RAM is "very poor quality" in their DDR3 variants and the majority is returned/exchanged or DOA. They went out on a limb to say that anything but OCZ will run better.

    So the only difference on paper it seems is the XMP option.
    Anyone running non-XMP RAM at DDR3-1600 on a 920 or 940 CPU without problems?
     

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