Area 51 alx overclocking questions

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I'm very inexperienced when it comes to messing with the clocks of computers.  I know virtually nothing regarding settings, dangers, or advantages.  I checked out this post

en.community.dell.com/.../19310782

and it had a bunch of useful info, except that I have the i7 990x, which is missing from that post.  If I want to get the most out of my processor, what OC settings should I use, and should I be tweaking these settings using the start up menu? 

As I said before, I know very little when it comes to overclocking.  I can figure stuff out, but I don't have a foothold yet.  Any and all advice is welcome.  Thanks in advance for your help!

 

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Cass-Ole
4 Ruthenium

RE: Area 51 alx overclocking questions

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OC takes place in the Bios. Memory guide here: Alienware Desktop Memory Specifications > 990x wasn't offered, Aurora & A51 are similar, so you might browse around & see what others have suggested: overclocking 980x >< overclocking 960 >< overclocking 920 ... a similar search would be 'overclocking'. The simplest way is to enter Bios & select OC Level 1 2 or 3* etc (*when available); these are apparently built-in pre-set values. Below find a copy/paste of a page that used to exist, published by Dell Knowledge Base. 990x is $300+ used, take care of yours.


Overclocking on the Alienware Aurora and Area 51 - KB Article - 359781

<!-- Article Title Section Ends Here -->


Article Summary: This article contains information on how to restore the factory default overclock settings on the Alienware Area 51 and Aurora computers.



Resetting System Setup (BIOS) Defaults Clears Overclocking Settings on the Alienware Aurora and Area 51


When resetting the System Setup (BIOS) to its default settings on the Alienware Aurora and Area 51, whether using the jumper or in BIOS keyboard commands, the factory shipped overclocked settings are reverted to a non-overclocked state. After defaults are loaded, the factory overclocked settings must be manually input.
Once the system has been overclocked, this does not mean that it will always run at the overclocked speed. The system will automatically throttle the speed when required, such as during performance taxing video games or applications. The only reliable place to determine the maximum speed once the system has been overclocked is in the system BIOS as many software applications may not reliably determine the maximum speed.



Overclock the Alienware Aurora or Area 51 to the Factory Overclocked Settings


Solution 1: Overclocking the Area-51 and Aurora Automatically

  1. Reboot the computer.

  2. When prompted during POST, press the <F2> key to enter the setup screen.

  3. On the System Setup screen, use the <Down Arrow> and <Right Arrow> keys until Frequency/Voltage Control is highlighted, then press the <Enter> key.

  4. On the Frequency/Voltage Control screen, press the <Down Arrow> key to highlight Load Level X OC setting (where X is the overclock level as received from the factory)and press the <Enter> key (Figure 1).
     Note:
    On the Alienware Aurora, only Load Level 1 OC setting is available. On the Alienware Area-51, Levels 1 through 3 are available.


    OC1a.jpg
    Figure 1: Loading Automatic Overclock Settings on an Alienware Area-51 and Aurora

  5. On the Load Level X OC setting? screen, press the <Enter> key on [Ok].

  6. Press the <Esc> key to return to the System Setup main screen.

  7. On the System Setup screen, use the <Down Arrow> key until Save Changes and Exit is highlighted, then press the <Enter> key.

  8. On the Save configuration changes and exit setup? screen, press the <Enter> key on Ok to restart the system.

Solution 2: Overclocking the Area-51 and Aurora Manually

Alternatively, the below tables (Table 1, 2, 3 and 4) and instructions detail how to manually configure the factory overclocked settings on the Alienware Aurora or Area 51.
 Note:
Alienware Aurora or Area 51 computers shipped with a processor other than the Intel Core i7 920 D0 and i7-975 XE are not factory overclocked.


  1. Reboot the computer.

  2. When prompted during POST, press the <F2> key to enter the setup screen.

  3. On the System Setupscreen, press the <F9> key to load setup defaults.

  4. On the Load Optimal Defaults? screen, press the <Enter> key on Ok.

  5. On the System Setup screen, use the <Down Arrow> and <Right Arrow> keys until Frequency/ Voltage Control is highlighted, then press the <Enter> key.

  6. On the Frequency/ Voltage Control screen, press the <Down Arrow> key to highlight Overclock Configuration and press the <Enter> key.

  7. On the Overclock Configuration screen (Figure 2), press the <Down Arrow> key to highlight Intel (R) TurboMode Tech and press the <Enter> key.
    OC2a.jpg
    Figure 2: The Overclock Configuration Screen with Factory Defaults for Overclock Level 1 Displayed

  8. On the Options menu, press the <Down Arrow> key to highlight Enabled and press the <Enter> key.

  9. Press the <Down Arrow> key to highlight 1 Core CPU Turbo Ratio Limit and press the <Page Up> or <Page Down> keys to adjust Core Ratio to the value defined in Table 1, Table 2 or Table 3. Repeat this step for 2, 3, and 4 Core CPU Turbo Ratio Limit values.
     Note:
    For the Alienware Aurora, reference only Table 1. For the Alienware Area-51, whether Table 1, 2 or 3 are used, ensure the same table is used for all of the manual overclocking steps.

  10. Press the <Down Arrow> key to highlight Turbo Mode TDC Limit Override and use the number pad to adjust TDC to the value defined in Table 1, 2 or 3 and press the <Enter> key once complete.

  11. Press the <Down Arrow> key to highlight Turbo Mode TDP Limit Override and use the number pad to adjust TDC to the value defined in Table 1, 2 or 3 and press the <Enter> key once complete.

  12. Press the <Esc> key to return to the Frequency/ Voltage Controlscreen.

  13. On the Frequency/ Voltage Control screen, press the <Down Arrow> key to highlight Overvoltage Configurationand press the <Enter> key.

  14. Press the <Enter> key on Dynamic CPU Vcore Offset (Figure 3).
    OC3a.jpg
    Figure 3: The Overvoltage Configuration Screen with Factory Defaults for Overclock Level 1 Displayed

  15. On the Options screen, press the <Down Arrow> key to highlight the Dynamic CPU Vcore Offset value as defined in Table 1, 2 or 3and press the <Enter> key to select the value.

  16. Press the <Esc> key twice to return to the System Setup main screen.

  17. On the System Setup screen, use the <Down Arrow> key until Save Changes and Exit is highlighted, then press the <Enter> key.

  18. On the Save configuration changes and exit setup? screen, press the <Enter> key on Ok to restart the system.

BIOS Field Value
Core 1, 2, 3, and 4 Turbo Ratio Limit 27
TDP 180
TDC 160
VCore Offset 80mv
Table 1: The Aurora and Area 51 Factory Overclocked Settings at Level 1
BIOS Field Value
Core 1, 2, 3, and 4 Turbo Ratio Limit 28
TDP 200
TDC 180
VCore Offset 120mv
Table 2: The Area 51 Factory Overclocked Settings at Level 2
BIOS Field Value
Core 1, 2, 3, and 4 Turbo Ratio Limit Core 1: 30
Core 2, 3, and 4: 29
TDP 200
TDC 180
VCore Offset 160mv
Table 3: The Area 51 Factory Overclocked Settings at Level 3 1
BIOS Field Value
Intel (R) Turbo Mode Tech Disabled
Adjust CPU BLCK 160 MHz
Memory Ratio
1333 MHz Memory: 8
1600 MHz Memory: 10
Dynamic CPU VCore Offset +20mv
Table 4: The Factory Overclocked Settings for Systems with the Intel Core i7 930 Processor and 1333 or 1600 MHz Memory Ratio
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