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LOL dude, feel your pain as I have seen similar on my ASUS board...2 things:
1) The stock heat sink is crap, always was, always will be. You really need to get an aftermarket cooler worth the name. Zalman or Noctua are top performers in air-only cooling. Use in conjunction with something like Arctic Silver 5 or ceramique... Or go liquid... a lot more work, a lot more headache, but with a good system, 5c above room temperature is quite acheivable
2) The good news is, there probably isn't anything wrong with your CPU or your RAM, and the board is only doing what the bios is telling it to do...
Most x58 boards if not all of them will default to 1066 without user changes to RAM settings. You have to manually increase it yourself -without knowing what board you have or the bios, it can be as easy as choosing the speed from a list to having to manunally choose the timings and voltages. This is technically called overclocking even though the RAM is MADE for the higher speeds, because your board won't increase the settings (particularly the voltages on your RAM) at least in part as a "safety' measure.
If your bios update changed your CPU behavior, it most likely had a default voltage change in its programming for CPU voltage. There may have been other changes, including RAM for that matter which could also limit frequency, but CPU voltage is the most suspect. Just as a matter of course keep in mind that RAM settings CAN effect CPU frequency, so you need to keep in mind these two are not entirely unconnected.
I would spend some time looking at overclocking forums just for general knowledge, although some better board makers include pretty useful info on setting your ram with the mobo, or have good faqs on their sites.
Dimwitland, June 8 2009
Thanks for informing about the voltage, I have bought an aftermarket cooler now temperatures are fine, and yea, the frequencies changed after a BIOS update. I now know that core i7 920 supports only frequencies upto 1066 Mhz of its memory controller by default unless it is overclocked.
But my processor is still not achieving 2.93 GHz mark of its turbo multiplier 22. It is still 21 (when using a single threaded/multi-threaded app).
Do I need to adjust voltage settings of my processor?
Two things. That 920 is tough and can take a hit, but:
One, the "stock" FACTORY SETTING of the 920 is 2.66. With my current settings in MY board with MY Bios, the reported frequency is 2.67, and the multiplier is 12. This is more or less as it should be, but to achieve this the bios set the core voltage at below 1.10v (like 1.048v). So you know, this is a lower voltage in the range of potential voltages defined by Intel... you can see the spec range for voltage in the specs for your core and your stepping at the intel cpu spec site.
Two, your board's original bios was providing (most likely) an overvoltage and may have had other settings altered as well, and definitions, settings and so forth were likley changed in the updated bios, reducing the overvoltage (but clearly still more than what would drop it to stock!). I am guessing here, but it seems likley. To change the settings to achieve what you want will be an overclock. How you arrive at it _can be_ to, among other things, increase voltage. Voltage and resulting frequency are hardly the only considerations in overclocking, and I will suggest again that you read up on the methods, art and consequences you need to prepare for. I would consider it the height of hypocritical irresponsibility to presume to show you in a reasonably brief post, and thereby help you fry your chip or board because I missed some indiosyncracy of your system and its makeup. Google overclocking, specify your chip, read, learn, enjoy! Oh, and Caveat Emptor!