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Overclocking my e8400

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I hate to be the person who joins the forums and immediately asks for help In my defense reading the forums did get me this far and I am just wondering how much more I can get out of my system.

To start off, here are the system specs.

Motherboard
EVGA nForce 680i LT SLI

Processor
E8400

Memory (4x1GB) (kind of...windows only recognizes 2.75)
Corsair DDR2 XMS2

Graphics Card
EVGA 512MB 8800GT

On the way...

CPU Heatsink (if more OC is possible)
Tuniq Tower 120

VGA Heatsink
Accelero S1 Rev 2

This started out as a budget build, but a friend of mine had to gloat about his 3dmark score so now it has turned into a challenge. The problem is, I was yet to purchase the full version, so I had limited settings and decided to rub my score of 12000 in his face. Turns out, when settings are set to full I only get 8400.

Currently my system is OC'd to 3.6GHz. Unfortunately, I'm pretty new to the OCing proccess and do not know a lot of the useful information to convey, so I will just list the bios settings I changed.

FSB - Memory Clock Mode [Linked]
FSB - Memory Ratio [Sync Mode]
FSB (QDR), MHz [1600]
Actual Mem (DDR), MHz [800]

I also overclocked my memory as follows...
Timing Settings
4-4-4-12

Memory Voltage 2.1V

The voltages on my current system are...
CPU Core 1.3V
CPU FSB 1.3V
nForce SPP 1.4V

A few other settings that I disabled and was hoping to get confirmation on were "Intel SpeedStep" and "C1E Enhanced Hault State." Both these were enabled and I chose to disable them. Just something I read.

My video card has not been touched as of yet. I am waiting for newegg to have the VGA cooler in stock so I can put that on there and then work on OCing.

Any settings you would suggest that would improve the performance of my processor would be much appreciated. Also, I'm trying to determine the bottleneck of my system performance. I have a feeling it lies somewhere between memory and my MOBO. I don't know that I can afford a MOBO switch, but the memory I got only cost me about $35 on newegg, since parentals bought other 2GB, so let me know if any big improvements can be made in that department.

Again, I just want to stress the point that this is supposed to be a budget system. I'm overly pleased with the performance of my system, at this point I'm just getting greedy. Any quick tips or minor system upgrades are welcome.

Thanks in advance,
Shane
post #2 of 12
First off try and get the latest drivers for your mobo in case you have not got them yet.
Second, when overclockking your system, do so while relaxing the timings to 5-5-5-15 in order to avoid unstable overclocks due to memory's tight timings.
Third, in the nVidia forums there are tips about how to o/c you video card (since you have a gpu cooler on the way though it may not be needed). ATITool and Rivatuner are two good programs you will need for your GPU o/c.
Fourth, the memory is not read in Vista or XP 32 but i think the new service pack will address this issue. However, if i was you i would go for the 64 bit OS. (It will also get you better scores in 3DMark).
Fifth, when o/c-ing go up by small increments and test with Prime95 to make sure your o/c is stable. If not try raise the v-core by one notch and retry. Also, try and raise the NB voltage to 1.50 and check if your system gets stable with that. Surely every mobo behaves differently so check google about your mobo and i am sure you will come up with something.
Happy overclocking man.
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yannis7777 View Post
when o/c-ing go up by small increments and test with Prime95 to make sure your o/c is stable. If not try raise the v-core by one notch and retry. Also, try andraise the NB voltage to 1.50 and check if your system gets stable with that.
So, I don't have much knowledge oh ocing. Everything I have done has been from following guides step by step. When you say go up by small increments what are you referring to?
post #4 of 12
I mean when overclocking your cpu. So small increments of cpu speed (say by 100Mhz) to an analogous increase in v-core voltage (1-2 notches up). Then test test test. If you are not stable go by one notch up in your v-core voltage then test again.
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post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShanesterB View Post
So, I don't have much knowledge oh ocing. Everything I have done has been from following guides step by step. When you say go up by small increments what are you referring to?
Hey Shane. He's referring to the FSB increases. You want to increase that by like 20FSB or 10FSB. I use 20 at first then 10 when I reach a possible FSB wall. As you increase the FSB by like 20, reboot to see if it posts and boots to Windows. If it doesn't, then give the CPU voltage a small bump. Then reboot and look for the post and windows. By increasing the FSB in small increments you'll always know where you are. Most likely it will need a small voltage boost. Watch your temps with CoreTemp. That E8400 will most likely reach 4.0GHz or a little above.
I think you are focusing on your RAM a little too much. Just relax the timings like he said. Maybe even go linked 1:1 and you can overclock the ram AFTER to have overclocked the CPU.

Hope that helped.

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post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShanesterB View Post
So, I don't have much knowledge oh ocing. Everything I have done has been from following guides step by step. When you say go up by small increments what are you referring to?
FSB and voltage`s. up the FSB a bit and see if it`s stable. if it`s not...up the voltage a bit and check again.
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post #7 of 12
Sorry i took it for granted that he knew i was talking about the FSB. Well speaking about it i would also recommend trying the higher multiplier on the FSB and raising the FSB accordingly. I think it is 9 on the 8400 right?
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
I appreciate the feedback. All sorts of tests to keep me busy now. I decided to take the advice and install XP 64 bit OS this morning, we'll see how that turns out.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am trying to test my stability with Prime95, but have a couple questions. Are there any particular settings that I need to configure? At this point I just have the request settings of "Request whatever type of work makes the most sense" set, but am only getting CPU Usage of 50%. Is there more to the settings than what I am doing?

Also, when testing, what is a good amount of time to test with this software to determine that the system is stable enough to continue tweaking the settings?

Thanks
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShanesterB View Post
I am trying to test my stability with Prime95, but have a couple questions. Are there any particular settings that I need to configure? At this point I just have the request settings of "Request whatever type of work makes the most sense" set, but am only getting CPU Usage of 50%. Is there more to the settings than what I am doing?

Also, when testing, what is a good amount of time to test with this software to determine that the system is stable enough to continue tweaking the settings?

Thanks
Hey Shane, I've never used Prime95 before, but I hear you have to run 2 instances of it with a dual core. Otherwise you'll only use 50% CPU. What I use and many others also is a program called Orthos. You can google it. It's free.

Orthos automatically recognizes the dual core and will push them both to 100%. Just leave it at the default "blend" setting. Blend tests both the CPU and ram. Most OC'ers recommend stressing the CPU and RAM for 24 hours. In my experience, if it didn't fail after 10 to 12 hours. It never would even after 24 hours.

Good luck. Have fun.

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