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Confused by Overclocking!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Last week I did my first build. Everything went great. The comptuer is much faster than my older one. I have been reading up on overclocking, but it is just so confusing. I just need someone to tell me where to go in my BIOS, and what to change.

Thanks,
Nick
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post #2 of 16
did you read the intel OCing guide? that gives you the basics, and the Nforce chipsets don't OC well, and you may want better/more RAM if you want to get a monster OC as well as bettercooling, and is that an X1700?
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post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgrado
did you read the intel OCing guide? that gives you the basics, and the Nforce chipsets don't OC well, and you may want better/more RAM if you want to get a monster OC as well as bettercooling, and is that an X1700?
Hmmm, I'm not looking for monster OC, just to get a bit more for my money. No, I said X700... got it abotu 2 years ago. I will be getting a 7600gt soon. Yes I read the guide but I am still very confused. Im getting a ZAlman heatsink also. I just dont know when.
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post #4 of 16
I'll help you a little...there is NO single guide which will tell you exactly how to overclock.

You need to read as much as you can in the Overclock.net's FAQ section and proceed slowly when making changes. It should take you a few weeks on a single rig to really understand how the major pieces fit together. Here is some info that I THINK might help.

When overclocking, the idea is to identify the bottlenecks and remove them one at a time. But, as you remove a bottleneck, you will introduce a new one and potentially corrupt a previous one. It's a strange balancing act.

From the top down (roughly...not necessarily in this exact order), these are the settings that you tweak and each item below is the next bottleneck in line you will have to deal with.

FSB = Front Side Bus. This is multiplied various ways to supply signals to the CPU, RAM and the support chipsets.

CPU Multiplier = Multiplier X FSB = CPU speed. So, if my CPU is at X8 and the FSB is at 400MHZ, then the CPU would be at 3.2GHZ or 3200mhz. The multiplier can be locked or not depending on the CPU and Motherboard. You have to research this setting.

CPU Voltage: As you increase the FSB and alter the multiplier, you increase the CPU speed. As you increase the speed, you increase the energy required. This setting will need to be bumped up slowly as you increase the FSB. Also, temperatures go up on the CPU die. That means you need to monitor CPU temps during the overclocking process.

FSB:RAM ratio: This is the speed of RAM in relation to the FSB. So, let's say you have DDR2 - 1000mhz ram. Your RAM is running at half that or 500MHZ. So, if your FSB is 500MHZ, you would have a 1:1 ratio. If your FSB was 250MHZ, you would have a 2:1 ratio. This ratio can be locked or variable depending on the motherboard and CPU combination

Memory timings: These are the actual internal "clockwork" mechanisms of the RAM itself. Each time the FSB clock ticks, the RAM is doing something. Getting data, writing data, refreshing all the data, etc...This is a long and complex topic. Read the FAQ's.

EDIT: As you increase the memory timing and the ratio, you will need to increase the RAM voltage as well. Each RAM chip typically comes with a voltage max warning. Try not to go over that unless you have additional cooling for the RAM.

NB Voltage: The NorthBridge is the main CPU to RAM conroller chip (also the PCIx bus). When increasing the FSB, RAM speed, and RAM timings, you may need to tweak the voltage to compensate for the increased amount of data flowing through this chip. Also, as you increase the voltage, the temperature goes up (just like the CPU). Additional cooling may be needed.

In general. I've found that minor FSB changes will not require any other adjustments. Just monitor the CPU temp and perform benchmarks (which heat up the system) to validate the stability. If you are happy with the speed, then stop. If you aren't, then be prepared for a long and tedious serious of reboots, frozen BIOS's, and other annoyances.

One more thing...when you are messing around inside the computer, unplug the power cord. There is a low voltage running inside the computer, even when it's turned off. Plugging in and unplugging stuff with this live voltage can damage MoBo's REAL fast.
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post #5 of 16
What BIOS version are you using? i'll find someone with a similar BIOS version that knows what it looks like to guide you.
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post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
FrakenPC - Thanks man. That was alot of help.

cgrado - I'm not sure. Ill check when I get home.
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My System
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Alright. Well cool. I went into my bios and forund out how to manually change the FSB speed and the mem timings. I went ahead and changed the FSb to 1100, from 1066. Now cpuz is read the core speed at 1975. That is up from 1863. I dont think I raised it to much. I am going to wait untill I get my Zalman to overclock it more.... or do you think I can do some more with the stock heatsink?
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post #8 of 16
what are your temps? use the Intel Thermal Analysis Tool (google it or find the thread some where around here) you can keep OCing till you reach about 70*C. that's a pretty high temp but it's been said the real limit is 85*C which is very hot, i don't see how they survive that hot.
Immortal
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Immortal
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post #9 of 16
FrankenPC gave you a good start.

the truth of the matter is that OC'ing is exploratory. No 2 results are exactly the same, even with the same hardware.

I suggest that you know your hardware limits, especially Temperature and Voltage. Then read, read and read. Experiment with your BIOS while not straying outside of the safe limits that you have established for yourself based on your hardware.

Patience.... patience is the most important part. Forgive me, but sometimes you gotta love your rig and gently persuade it to do what you want. Sometimes it works.

But really, patience and alot of re-boots and testing
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post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hmm weird. I just tried uppign the FSB to 1200, and when I booted it gave me an error and booting in safe mode, or re setting the processor. I just reset the processor back to 1199.
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 ASUS P5NSLI ATI X700 PRO PCIe Crucial Ballistix 1gb 
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2 x 160 Seagate Barracuda Windows XP Pro SP2 19" Widescreen FPD1975W Logitech G15 
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Antec TruePower II Raidmax Smilodon Logitech G7 
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My System
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 ASUS P5NSLI ATI X700 PRO PCIe Crucial Ballistix 1gb 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
2 x 160 Seagate Barracuda Windows XP Pro SP2 19" Widescreen FPD1975W Logitech G15 
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Antec TruePower II Raidmax Smilodon Logitech G7 
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