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New to OC - read initial FAQ's and still confused

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Okay - sorry to post this, but i'm still having some trouble understanding all this...I'd like to OC my CPU but am a bit confused.

Current Setup;
Asus P5n32 SLI Deluxe with American Megatrends BIOS v0405
Intel P D 940 - 3.2 GHz
Corsair CM2X1024-6400C4 (week 25, Year 6)

So I go into the Jumperfree Configuration in the BIOS and change the AI Overclocking from Auto to Manual.

In the Performance Options Menu I disable FSB Optimize Mode and Memory Optimize Mode then I change the System Clock Mod to Manual (I also have the option of Linked but Choose Manual.

At this point I have 2 more selections that appear; FSB Clock [800] and Memory Clock [800]

Is it in the FSB Clock section where I begin to gradually increase the speed...going from 800 to say, 805? When I change the FSB Clock, do I also need to increase the Memory Speed as well?

Finally, I also have the option to move the Memory Timing option from Auto to Manual - I'm assuming I may need to do this in case memory has to be adjusted...

What is confusing me is this;
Here is a link to a picture I snapped from CPUz - does this chow the speed at which my memory is currently running? I also don't understand why the ratio is 1:2...I haven't touched anything up to this point...is that a normal ratio?

http://picasaweb.google.com/tracy.no...97095813063058

Do I need to adjust the Memory Timings to what is shown in the 533MHz column of this photo for the memory to run faster? Here's a link to the picture of the CPUz memory tab;

http://picasaweb.google.com/tracy.no...97104402997682


Now, I understand that I won't mess with increasing voltage until the system becomes unstable...but should I just focus on the FSB first or should I also begin tweaking with the memory settings?

Thank you in advance for the help - I'm new enough to get myself in trouble and would prefer a bit of guidance instead of venturing off on my own only to result in a nice expensive paperweight.

mogwai
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post #2 of 10
Can you fill out your system specs here please, it will help us help you.

And welcome to the forums!
    
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niko-Time View Post
Can you fill out your system specs here please, it will help us help you.

And welcome to the forums!
Thanks for the welcome - Filled out the info...hopefully it will help.

mog
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post #4 of 10
Welcome to the forums. Please take a few minutes to enter your system specs through your User CP. That will help us to better help you. (Edit: darn work interruptions got me beat to the punch )

I'd be willing to bet that if you select the Memory Clock option that there will be something to the effect of "synchronous" or "to CPU". Either that or the tie between the RAM and CPU is automatic. To check that out, bump up the FSB clock by a small amount and see if the RAM speed changes to match.

Basic math of Intel overclocking (for your gear) -

external clock speed of system at stock = 200 MHz
stock speed of CPU = 200 MHz
FSB at stock = 4 x external clock = 800 MHz
stock speed of RAM = 400 MHz
DDR equivalent of RAM speed = 2 x RAM frequency = 800 MHz
PC equivalent of RAM speed = 8 x DDR = 6400

That's what's producing your 1:2 CPU:RAM ratio, and there's nothing wrong with that. You'll want to cut back on the ratio as your OC goes up as you'll really start stressing your RAM at some point along the way.

I would suggest always setting your RAM timings manually. You can start with some loose (higher number) timings at first so that you don't have to constantly juggle both CPU and RAM settings as you increase your OC. You can always go back to tighten up the RAM once the CPU is all set.

I'm not sure how directly I answered your questions, but this should give you a bit of additional food for thought. Post back as you have more questions.
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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks Taeric. That's actually helps explain lots of stuff...sorry it's so basic.

So if the FSB for my CPU and my RAM speed are "linked", then for each bit of FSB increase, the speed of the RAM will increase accordingly...so at some point i'll want to increase FSB on the CPU but not increase the speed of the RAM.

Am I going down the right track here?

I'm still a bit new also at the RAM latency settings and how these affect the ability to OC.

Thanks again.

mogwai
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post #6 of 10
We all started off where you're at, so don't worry about asking questions that seem basic. This stuff gets to be second nature when you're around it every day, but I remember being totally lost when I first got started.

Yes, the RAM and CPU are both tied to the external clock frequency of the system, so they will always move proportionally together (at the same rate if the CPU:RAM ratio is 1:1 or at other rates for non-1:1 ratios). If you run your RAM faster than your CPU and max out your RAM first, you'll want to drop your divider (ratio) down to give your RAM more room to overclock (as opposed to stopping the RAM from increasing while the CPU goes up).

The RAM latencies/timings are just another property of the RAM. The lower the numbers, the quicker the RAM is. Higher frequencies will require higher timings, though, and there's no one set answer as to where the sweet spot between higher frequencies and tighter timings falls. You just need to do a bit of trial and error to see how things work out with your hardware.

It is a bit much at times to juggle the CPU and RAM settings all at once, so a 1:1 multiplier with loose timings is a good place to start. You can, of course, juggle everything at once. Once you get a feel for the interplay of components, you may well do that.
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post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Cool - thanks. Here's the status so far.

I was able to bump the FSB up to 875 (bus of 218.6)...and the Ratio seems to have been automatically adjusted to a 12/22 (1:1.83).

I thought I had decoupled the auto adjustment of the RAM speed as I selected Manual Adjustment on both FSB and Memory speed. Also thought I had adjusted the CPU Voltage to a fixed value (1.250), but CPUz is reporting a Voltage of 1.216.

Any pointers on other things I need to check so I can more manually adjust these?

Anyway, that considered I have the CPU clocked to about 3.5GHz now and it seems very stable. However, when I move the FSB speed to 900 (225 Bus Speed, right?) the PC stops at POST and says the overclocking failed - so I go into the BIOS and adjust it down again to 875 and it boots up fine.

Is this the point at which I should considered increasing voltage to something closer to 1.3 or is there another setting I should begin adjusting to allow the FSB to boot to 900Mhz successfully?

Oh, one other thing, i'm using an aftermarket cooling CPU fan plus a couple of Thermaltake Case fans...the CPU seems to be (at a mild CPU load running DVD burning software and Winamp, Opera and Newsbin) running at low 40'sC temperature. I understand the Conroe chips run cooler, but at what temperature should I become concerned at?

I'll test the CPU temp under full load later when I game for a bit, but just was curious as to what to be aware of.

Thanks again for all the help.

mogwai
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post #8 of 10
When you select the Memory Clock option you listed above, what options are you given? Also include what the FSB clock is at. I have not used a board with those exact options before, so I'm trying to figure out exactly what's going on.

There are a couple of things that happen with vcore. First, software is notoriously bad at reading voltages. Second, when a computer is under load, it's very common for the vcore to droop some, which is to say drop a little below the value it was at when the system was idle. While a small droop isn't anything to worry about, larger ones can cause instabilities at higher overclocks. Droop is sometimes related to low quality PSUs (which you do not have) or motherboards that are susceptible to droops. Some real die hard overclockers will droop mod their motherboards to reduce the magnitude of the droop, but that requires some very precise soldering.

If you're getting and OC failure at POST, bumping the vcore a notch or two (one at a time) is warranted. If that doesn't help, try fiddling with some of the other settings before adding more vcore.

I don't recall the recommended max temps for Preslers (the core name of your CPU), but the low 40°Cs doesn't sound bad, depending on your ambient temperatue. If you really want to heat things up, check out our download section for a program called Orthos. It'll run two instances of Prime95, a stress tester, that will really heat things up.
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post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taeric View Post
We all started off where you're at, so don't worry about asking questions that seem basic. This stuff gets to be second nature when you're around it every day, but I remember being totally lost when I first got started.

If you run your RAM faster than your CPU and max out your RAM first, you'll want to drop your divider (ratio) down to give your RAM more room to overclock (as opposed to stopping the RAM from increasing while the CPU goes up).

Thanks again. Okay, so i'll root around a bit more in the BIOS...so it appears at the moment that the ratio is being adjusted automatically (I've gone from a 1:2 to a 12:22) ratio and I'm not sure how it's doing it.

I'll bring more details back here...I think Asus has a screenshot in the pdf of the instruction manual that may help me describe what i'm seeing.

I'll get this down sooner or later.

Gracias,

mogwai
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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Okay - thanks to you guys and the other stuff posted in the forum I've managed to have a stable overclock at about 3.5 from a 3.2...not much but after running Prime95 for 3 hours there were no errors. Temps run from mid 40's unloaded to mid to high 50's when fully loaded playing a GTR2. I'm using the Thermaltake Silent 775 cpu fan (with the copper pipes) and all that...MB temp runs around 35-36C...

However, here is where I am running into issues now...and i'm somewhat unclear on how to remedy it.

My voltage right now is about 1.3 in BIOS (cpuz shows a bit lower, but SpeedFan doesn't show much fluctuation). I'm currently running at a 4:6 ratio with memory timings "fairly loose" (as I only mildly understand it)
timings being;
5
6
6
12
12

When I jump in a game, the CPU temps bump up to about 55C (as logged by SpeedFan) but the vcore droops from a 1.3 to about a 1.26....it's at 1.26 where the pc freezes, but boots up fine.

Is this a matter of PSU or should I attempt to increase the voltage to the CPU by enough to allow for the droop without a stability problem?

In case it helps, I added the latest SpeedFan log from the last time my machine locked up while playing...I think it's tab delimited so should open up in excel...also, at the point of lockup, i've been actively playing (well, okay driving) for about 5 minutes usually...this is the normal behaviour before the pc locks up.

Thanks again...i'm getting there slowly but surely...

mogwai
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