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Overclocking advice

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi all! So I've finally got around to overclocking my PC, and now I'm kinda stuck and was hoping for some advice...but first I'd like to say BIG-ups to NoAffinity for his 'Intel Overclocking Guide', that really helped me a lot! So I've got to the point where I'm not sure if my mobo is crapping out on me or if it's the CPU...here's what Ive got:

OC Setting 1 (High CPU Clock)
- CPU external frequency = 240 MHz
- DRAM frequency = 320 MHz (weird I know, in the bios it should be 333 MHz ???)
- CPU core voltage = 1.525V
- DDR reference voltage = 2.6V
- DDR Timings = 3 - 3 - 3 - 8
- Parity 5:4
*Prime95 torture tests for 10 Hours, load temps max at 60°C, Idle at 50°C

Now, from performing various stress tests, I've discovered that I can reach at least 960 MHz Bus speed, with my CPU at 3.84 GHz, with a Parity of 5:4, my RAM being the bottle neck in this case running at 768 MHz.

OC Setting 2 (High Memory Clock)
- CPU external frequency = 224 MHz
- DRAM frequency = 400 MHz
- CPU core voltage = 1.5V
- DDR reference voltage = 2.6V
- DDR Timings = 3 - 3 - 3 - 8
- Parity 1:1
*Prime95 torture tests for 10 Hours, load temps max at 60°C, Idle at 50°C

If I overclock but using my RAM as the throttling point, I can reach 896 MHz bus speed, with my CPU at 3.58 GHz, with a parity of 1:1, as my RAM is equal to my FSB. In this configuration, I can achieve higher FPS in Counter-Strike/HL2, which is my main goal.

Now 2 Questions:

1. To find my max FSB, I'd have to lower the CPU multiplier, is this possible in my configuration? I've trolled the forums and couldn't find anything, a soft-mod or hard-mod would be fine either way.

2. If I upgrade my RAM to achieve the highest FSB and CPU clock possible, with a parity of close to 1:1, I'd have to go with some DDR500. I've trolled the net, looking at Crucial, Corsair, Geil, Mushkin, Patriot (am I forgetting any? ) and so far I've only found OCZ to 'officially' support my MoBo at DDR500. Can I use any RAM that conforms to my MoBo's requirements (ie 2.55v - 2.85v)? or should I only use the stuff that's been officially said to be compatible? (Price-point being a consideration)

Once I get this cleared, I can move on to Droop Modding to try to achieve a high and stable CPU clock! Any advice is greatly appreciated!
    
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post #2 of 6
Welcome to the forums. To make your life and ours easier, go to your User CP and enter your system specs there. They will then appear in all of your posts.

1. You cannot drop the multi on that setup. The best way to max out the CPU is to run a low divider on the RAM, something like 3:2 (set RAM to DDR266 in the BIOS). That will slow down the RAM enough that your value RAM won't have trouble keeping up. Once you max the CPU, then you can try to bring the RAM back in line with the CPU. I have a similar setup going (at least the mobo and CPU), and I got it just shy of 4.0 GHz stable. I never could get it to boot at 250 MHz, though, at least not with more than one stick of RAM.

2. Mid range DDR500 is an option to get to 1:1, or you could go with some high end DDR400. Check the prices on both to see which fits your needs better. You won't get much above 250 MHz at the best, so high end DDR500 would be overkill. I have not heard of that board disliking any brand/model of RAM, though it's up to you if you want to go by the manufacturer's list. Personally, I wouldn't bother with it.

To get up around 250 MHz, the CPU will probably need in excess of 1.5 volts vcore. Be sure to keep a careful eye on your load temps once you get into that range. Once you top out over 60°C, you need to take care. Also remember that every setup is unique. Your system might fly or might crap out low. The odds are you'll get safely in the 240-245 MHz range.

By using three DIMMs, you're running your setup in single channel mode. Once you get your OC stable, benchmark it with all three and then drop down to two to enable dual channel mode. See which works best for you.
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taeric
By using three DIMMs, you're running your setup in single channel mode.
Thanks for the welcome mat Taeric and thanks for pointing out that single channel mode thing, I didn't even realize it
From your experience, does it make that much of a difference, when playing FPS games for example?
    
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post #4 of 6
I honestly haven't tested things both ways. Depending on the game, the extra RAM may well make up for the loss of speed. The only definitive way to know is to try it out both ways on your system. Another thing to consider with the RAM is the more DIMMs you have, the more load you put on your Northbridge where the memory controller is housed. That has the potential to limit your overclock. While none of these things are definite killers, they are all things to be aware of as you progress through maxxing out your system.
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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Man! I really was hoping for a solution to the multiplier thing, oh well, I guess I'm gonna have to upgrade the RAM...my right brain is leaning toward a pair of OCZ's -

OCZ EL DDR PC-4000 Gold *EOL

http://www.ocztechnology.com/product...dr_pc_4000-eol

but my left brain is telling me to go for the logical choice, inexpensive DDR500 (which also happens to be the economical choice) Any suggestions for the DDR500 RAM option?
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
X2 5600+ AM2 Windsor (Lapped) EVGA NF59 SLI BFG 8800GTS OC2 320MB Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-6400 C4 
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post #6 of 6
I'm a big fan of TCCD, but that's going to set you back a ways. Before you pick your RAM, figure out your CPU max. That will help you determine which is best. It's important to target your needs if you're working with a budget. I have two sets of DDR500. The stock timings on one set are 2.5-4-4-8, and the stock timings on the other are 2.5-4-4-7. Right at 250 MHz, the performance is nearly identical. The second set will go all the way to 375 MHz, while the first set is just generic junk RAM. If you max at 250 MHz, the junk RAM would be perfect. The performance would be nearly the same at a fraction of the cost.

Anyway, get the CPU settled first and then move on to the RAM. DDR prices are fairly high right now, but it's not unusual to see a nice set of 2x512 MB DDR for around $100 (US) on our site. Check your favorite retailers online as well as eBay. Maybe you'll find a steal on some good RAM.
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