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Do I need to increase my RAM voltage? (FX-6300 with slight overclock, failing prime95 tests, details inside)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have been working on overclocking a machine with the following relevant specs:

ASRock 770iCafe motherboard
FX-6300 processor
Corsair Vengeance 8GB 1600MHz

When I was messing with the settings myself, I noticed that bumping up the base frequency (Is that the proper term? The one ~200MHz) tended to cause crashes. However, turning up the multiplier didn't seem to have the same effect. To give some examples:

Changing the base frequency only (AMD Turbo Core, Cool'n'quiet, etc. disabled unless otherwise noted)
200x17.5=3500 (Default, stable)
203x17.5=3550 (Alt. default, stable)
210x17.5=3675 (Stable)
210x17.5=3675 (UNstable with AMD Turbo core, cool'n'quiet enabled. 5/6 cores failed the second round of Prime95 "mixed" testing, no failures at all with CPU-focused testing)
220x17.5=3850 (Unstable, BSODs)

Changing the multiplier / base frequency
18.5x200=3700 (Stable)
18.5x203=3755 (Stable)
19.5x200=3900 (Stable)
19.5x203=3958 (Fails RAM-heavy Prime95 tests, stable otherwise)

Now, I figured this indicated that my RAM voltage was too low (as increasing the multiplier didn't seem to have any negative effects without also increasing the base frequency). However, I wanted to ask the experts first because:

A)The indicated voltages in the ASRock OC Tuner utility are higher than the indicated voltage settings in the BIOS (what does this mean?)
B)Even when using the "Optimized OC Setting" (5% boost) in the BIOS, I still fail RAM-intensive tests in Prime95. I would assume that ASRock would know to boost the RAM voltage if needed, but maybe not.

Here are my existing BIOS Settings (Motherboard default) as indicated by ASRock OC Tuner:
CPU Voltage: 1.425V
DRAM Voltage: 1.40V
NB Voltage: 1.55V
Base Frequency: 203
CPU multiplier:17.5 (The multiplier goes up and the CPU frequency goes to ~ 4.15GHz during low-load periods)
Cool'n'quiet, Turbo Core, Active Core Control, and APM all enabled.

Sorry for the avalanche of information, but I wasn't sure what was needed.

Does it seem like I need to increase my RAM voltage? At this point, my plan would be to
A)Bump up the RAM Voltage (not sure how much)
B)Increase base frequency to ~220MHz
C)Increase CPU multiplier to 19-20
Edited by wyager - 12/4/12 at 8:53pm
post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by wyager View Post

DRAM Voltage: 1.40V

Isn't the stock voltage 1.5v? If so then???

Anyways I wouldn't worry about that right this second. What I would do... Is go into the ram timings and manually set them to what they are running at right now. The stock 1600 timings so whatever that is maybe 9-9-9 or 9-10-9 whatever just lock them in. Then I would set the ram to 1066!

Your multi is locked correct? If so set it to its max. Set the core voltages as well as all the voltages to the stock settings but in manual mode NOT auto. Turn on llc to max or second from highest... This will increase your vcore which means either a thats fine or b you can reduce it a few clicks on the manual side. I would just leave it.

Reduce the speed of your NB and whatever else by 1 or 2 multipliers. The trick is as you are overclocking your CPU NOTHING at all should go above its stock speeds. NOTHING! In fact if you want to find your max FSB you will even want to run your CPU Multi below stock and make sure it never goes over the stock settings.

Then go into windows start up prime95 run blend and start upping your FSB 2 clicks at a time waiting 1-2 minutes in between each. The hope is that when it becomes unstable you get an error in prime95 not a freeze or bsod. If you do get a freeze that is the limit on your CPU speed at that vcore. EDIT I mean to say you have exceeded the max and you need to nock it down a few FSB or up the voltage!

When overclocking in windows ever 8-10 FSB you need to restart windows and save that in the BIOS it is very important that you do this because there are still a few settings in your motherboard that are set to auto! They need to update themselves for the increased memory, NB, and CPU speeds. If you just keep upping the FSB in windows they just stay at what the computer started with. So even though your mobo might have increased secondary timings on the ram automatically for you it did not while you where in windows and that may cause your instability. I am not at all even by a long shot saying that will happen to you I am explaining that you need to take precautions if you want a good stable OC.

After you find your max OC at stock voltage (or because of LLC just slightly higher than stock voltages) it is up to you if you want to go further. In all honesty I will usually push to split the difference between what I topped out at stock voltages and what the best overclocks for that chip are. Unless you have won every scratch off ticket you have ever bought (and you have bought more than a few) you will NOT get to that awesome OC that some people tend to get to. Some people are going to get lucky chips... other people will get lucky chips and have frequency control of there VRMs multiple hundred dollar PSUs 200-300 motherboards and watercooling. You don't have to have any of these to hit an awesome OC just decide wether you want to hit this OC for fun and back off or if you are willing to waste a ton of heat and energy over an extra 10%

Good luck take it slow (most people asking those questions are not taking it slow) but most of us wanted fast and fierce returns the first time around. Read multiple OC guides keep asking the questions because sometimes those OC guides make no sense until someone elses drills it in your head.

You are on the right track and are at least noticing something gives with those FSB frequencies and althogh it may very well be your ram (since it is already below what it is suppoed to be) if you want to really OC that CPU you need to do it right!
Edited by givmedew - 12/4/12 at 9:04pm
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Indeed, it appears that the proper RAM voltage is 1.5V.

For some reason, I am having difficulty specifying the RAM voltage in the BIOS (the motherboard is ignoring me or the OC Tuner is lying), but I will give that a shot.

As for all the other stuff, I don't understand. Why would I increase the FSB speed while decreasing the multipliers? I don't see what that would achieve beyond instability. Is the point to find the max FSB speed without pushing the clock frequency on anything?

I appreciate the help!
post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by wyager View Post

Indeed, it appears that the proper RAM voltage is 1.5V.

For some reason, I am having difficulty specifying the RAM voltage in the BIOS (the motherboard is ignoring me or the OC Tuner is lying), but I will give that a shot.

As for all the other stuff, I don't understand. Why would I increase the FSB speed while decreasing the multipliers? I don't see what that would achieve beyond instability. Is the point to find the max FSB speed without pushing the clock frequency on anything?

I appreciate the help!

Yes that is how you find your max FSB... By doing that you know that no matter what you won't be stable past that FSB. So if you are OCing your CPU and when you underclocked the ram, cpu, north bridge and anything else tied to the FSB and your max fsb was INSERT NUMBER you know that no matter what you cant go past that number on the FSB.

It makes it easier to OC because you know why your are unstable. You need to OC everything separately to know what each things max is. You have 4 things you can OC separately to know the max of each. Your CPU, FSB, Ram, and NB. If your just upping the FSB and running Prime95 then you are overclocking all 4 at once so how are you going to know which is the problem?

Also knowing your max FSB and the max CPU, Mem, and NB you can try to get as close to the Mem and NB OC by lowering your multiplier and using different NB and Mem multipliers. So if your ram can hit 1800MHz but at the max CPU multi and the max CPU speed your ram multi leaves you with the option of 1500 or 2000Mhz (just throwing number out there) then you can reduce the multiplier on your CPU select the ram multi that was 1500MHz and start upping your FSB again to get the ram as close as possible to 1800MHz (or whatever you found your max was).

Black Edition processors are a whole hell of a lot easier to OC but that doesn't mean you can't get a decent overclock out of your processor. You should almost always be able to at least get to what the turbo capability was and then some.
Edited by givmedew - 12/6/12 at 3:30am
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