Overclocking i7 960 chip


Jun 12, 2012
I own a system I built my self but am having a major issue with my ram not reaching 2133Mhz

System specs are as follows:

Windows 7 Pro 64 Bit
Gigabyte Sniper 1 mother board bios version F3
Intel I7 960 chip
RipjawsZ F3-12800CL8Q-16GBZH (4Gx4) Ram 2133Mhz 9/10/11/28 CMD2 1.66V
Two OCZ 120Gb SSD Raid 1 configuration
Corsair H100 Liquid cooler with Cooler Master Excalibur fans fitted
Cooler Master Storm Trouper case
SLI Gigabyte 560 Super overclock GPU's

The best and almost stable speed I can run my ram at is 1960Mhz and after this point it is a BSOD!
I have only adjusted the BCLK rate and the multipliers in the bios and can get a stable system at 3.6Ghz.
Can some one help me tweak this ram as it was bought without researching it thoroughly and then did I realize that is was designed for X77 or 2011 chips!

I am a novice at this so please go easy and advise what you think I should be able to get from both the CPU and Ram and a step by step guide would not go a miss.
Many thanks all that respond John.


Apr 13, 2010
Unfortunately, most of the first gen i7's couldn't get anywhere close to 2133Mhz ram. Ram speed doesn't really affect performance all that much though; in memory intensive tasks it can perhaps help 10% from 1333mhz to 2133mhz, but there aren't many programs that actually achieve anywhere near that.

I would recommend you stick with a decent speed, perhaps around 1866Mhz, and overclock with that. The reason it can't reach such high ram speeds is the L3 cache on the i7 having to be double the clock of the ram. 2133Mhz would be over 4.2Ghz for the L3. You notice much more from core clock changes than ram speed changes.

Programs to test stability and check temperatures/Core voltage:
Prime 95- Run all three for at least a few minutes each in between settings changes
Intel Burn Test- Must set all 8 threads manually

I personally like to keep my i7 at or below 70C. Intel recommends around 67C Tcase Temp; this is usually slightly cooler than the core temps that realtemp/Hwmonitor report. Before changing anything, I would recommend you test prime 95 with realtemp open to see what your beginning temps are like. I would expect them to be in the 50's; that should give you plenty of room for 4ghz.

An easy way to reach 4ghz(My recommended starting settings):
CPU Vcore: 1.35V
CPU Qpi/Dram: 1.35V
Dram voltage: 1.66V
Disable Load line calibration
Disable Turbo boost
Disable Any Spread Spectrum
Bclk frequency: 175
CPU multiplier: 23
QPI Data rate: lowest setting

Be sure your Ram is set at or below 1866.

The H100 should be able to handle that well enough until you know you're stable and can tweak the voltages for lower power use(unless you want to go beyond 4Ghz).

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.


Jun 12, 2012
Thank you ever so much Haserath for the information, I shall be trying the settings you gave me as soon as Corsair replaces my H100 as the dam pump was resonating and driving me mad with the whirring/buzzing sound from it RMA issued and now to pack it back up and send it off.
I dare not overclock the CPU with the standard Intel cooler as this barley handles Prime95!
I use the Prime95, Speccy and Core temp for my analysis, this overclocking is getting rather addictive as I really did not intend to get into such things :lol:.
I shall keep the post alive with updates as soon as my cooler is returned to me.

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