Making sure your system is stable after overclocking

I decided to overclock my CPU and GPU (graphics card) to squeeze out as much performance as I could. The best thing to do is to do a Google search and find others who have attempted overclocking the same hardware that you have. Getting it wrong can be very expensive.

eg.
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760OC
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2013/07/09/gigabyte_gtx_760_oc_version_video_card_review/3#.U_vWcrkcTro

If you want to get an decent gains you will need to invest in some better cooling. I went for a simple, self-contained water CPU cooler. My GPU already has 3 fans but my biggest issue there was there is these fans are right next to my case which can get very, very hot.

I tried using the BIOS’ automatic overclocking but it has never resulted in a stable PC. Having found a good article on overclocking the same hardware I started making adjustments and then testing them by playing Battlefield4. Often everything appears stable until trying to play it.

Testing this way is terribly inefficient and frustrating. So I searched for some tools that would stress out my system in a more controlled way. Both of these tools are free.

CPU
Intel Burn In test
Download: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?197835-IntelBurnTest-The-new-stress-testing-program

GPU
MSI Kombuster
Download: http://event.msi.com/vga/afterburner/kombustor.htm

Windows will not install on my SSD – change the SSD SATA mode in the BIOS

ImageThe other day I had to reinstall Windows 8.1. Something had gotten corrupted and none of the backups I had worked. My first attempt failed so I began the entire process again. When it got to the point of formatting the disk it simply wouldn’t work. I tried deleting the partition and starting over but it still wouldn’t work. So I turned to Google and after a while searching I found some posts where other people had had similar issues with their SSD. There is a setting in the BIOS that sets SSD SATA mode. This was set to AHCI which offers higher performance but apparently Windows didn’t recognise it. One of the hidden Windows partitions that I removed must have had a driver for it I’m guessing. To solve the problem I switched this BIOS setting to IDE and I was then able to format the drive and install Windows. I may have been able to find AHCI drivers that could be used during Windows installation but I hadn’t found any by this time. [http://bourlas.alloenablog.com/2011/01/09/how-to-enable-ahci-mode-for-windows-7-and-vista-without-format/]

However, I wanted to switch back to ACHI mode to get the best performance from the SSD. This required a registration ‘hack’, several failed reboots and somehow I got it working. This link I found afterwards might have helped [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976]

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