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Help a noob OC and optimize this system please (Q6600)

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I was directed here from another board so hopefully I can find some guidance and a hand to walk me through this.

Firstly, I had run a Windows Experience Index on two similar systems - this Quad Q6600 with 4GB Corsair XMS2 and another on an E8400 Duo Core with Kingston RAM. The Q6600's RAM score was 5.6 while the RAM score on the E8400 was 5.9. I wondered why this could be, especially since Corsair is apparently better RAM. I know the WEI isn't important, but I was curious nonetheless. Is my RAM really underperforming? I was told it's because of the FSB speed difference and that the E8400 is getting better memory performance? But that my Q6600 is very stable for overclocking to 3.0GHz/1333 without any additional cooling or the etc.

So I went into the BIOS. I found my RAM timings were set to default at 6-6-6-15 while the chips read 5-5-5-18 but can apparently be run at 4-4-4-12. So I set it to the 4-4-4-12, though I don't see how/if I can change the voltage above the default 1.8v. I saved anyway and ran MemTest86+ without any errors. Is this where I want it to be?

Now I want to overclock my CPU, FSB and make sure all the voltages are good and stable. But while I see the CPU GHz and voltages listed in my BIOS, they are not selectable to be changed. I CAN however change the FSB speed, and below that is "CPU Voltage" (with choices of: Default, +5%, +10%, +15%) and DDR Frequency.

I tried changing the FSB from 266 to 333. When I did this, the DDR Frequency changed from DDR2-800 to DDR2-999. "800" was no longer a choice, but 832 was. When I saved and boot, I got an "Overclocking Failed" error. So I went back in BIOS, tried adjusting the DDR Frequency and get the same error.

So now I tried changing the "CPU Voltage" from "Default" to "+5%" (this is the only toggle I see for voltage) and this time when I boot, I get a blue screen and booting fails. I changed that back to Default, FSB back to 266 and now I boot fine.

So can someone please help me with this? I heard the Q6600 is very stable and that I wouldn't have any difficulty. Is there a problem with my Biostar G31-M7TE board or BIOS? Am I not getting the most out of my CPU and RAM?

Thanks!!
    
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post #2 of 25
If it's a new Q6600, you won't get very much higher than 3.2 for an OC.
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post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
I'd be very happy with 3.2. I'm shooting for 3.0 with a 1333 FSB. I'm at the factory 2.4/1066 and I want to know how to do it, and if I can safely do it considering my mobo and all.
    
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post #4 of 25
Oh man, another G31 board. This is what you're going to need:

FSB = 333 (1333).
CPU voltage up a notch.
Northbridge voltage up a notch.
RAM at 832 5-5-5-18, 1.9V

That should get it going. But that's about where the system will top out. The G31 is an extremely poor overclocker.

Before you do anything though, go get the latest BIOS.
Edited by error10 - 12/18/08 at 1:21pm
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post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by error10 View Post
Oh man, another G31 board. This is what you're going to need:

FSB = 333 (1333).
CPU voltage up a notch.
Northbridge voltage up a notch.
RAM at 832 5-5-5-18, 1.9V

That should get it going. But that's about where the system will top out. The G31 is an extremely poor overclocker.

Before you do anything though, go get the latest BIOS.
Thank you. The guy from the last forum just told me not to overclock at all on this board, heh, but I might give this a shot and cross my fingers. The problem though is I don't see where I can adjust the voltages in BIOS. The one toggle I see is "CPU voltage" with "a notch" only being the option "+5%" or "10%." I can't set it manually from what I can see? I can't for example put the RAM to 1.9 nor the northbridge. I believe I have the latest BIOS because it's the same date as that link, but I'll try the updater out and look through BIOS once more and check back.
    
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post #6 of 25
Yeah I looked through your mobo's manual. You have very few options, even fewer than average for a G31 BIOS. I'd say adjust what you can and pray.

CPU voltage up 5% is fine.

Set DRAM from SPD to Disabled and fill in the timings 832 5-5-5-18. Hopefully it'll work.

Bizarre, BIOSTAR doesn't list the Q6600 on their supported CPU list.

If things don't work, then we'll do something else.
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post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by error10 View Post
Yeah I looked through your mobo's manual. You have very few options, even fewer than average for a G31 BIOS. I'd say adjust what you can and pray.

CPU voltage up 5% is fine.

Set DRAM from SPD to Disabled and fill in the timings 832 5-5-5-18. Hopefully it'll work.

Bizarre, BIOSTAR doesn't list the Q6600 on their supported CPU list.

If things don't work, then we'll do something else.
OK, my BIOS was already updated. I looked again and saw no other options. I changed the FSB to 333, DDR Freq to 832, timings to 5-5-5-15 (there was no 18) and left the CPU voltage to default. I booted up fine this time, and ran CPUz. It tells me my DRAM freq is 418 now, bus speed 334 MHz and the "core speed" jumps back and forth between 2000 MHz with x6 multiplier and 3010 MHz with x9 multiplier. Is that supposed to happen? Core voltage around 1.2v and RAM voltage is still about 1.8v. Am I fine leaving the only voltage option to "default" then if I'm running? Or should I go to +5%? Does the core speed changing have anything to do with that?
    
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post #8 of 25
That just means you have SpeedStep and/or C1E (power saving features) enabled. So it lowers itself when the computer is idle. You can disable them if you want.

But it looks like you might just have an OC there!
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post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Ah, OK, so I'll just leave the SpeedStep on as long as that wasn't an issue.

Thank you very much for hanging with me here. So do I just want to leave that CPU Voltage setting alone now, or would you still suggest the +5%?

How and what do I monitor to keep it stable and catch any problems? I have temperature monitors (all CPU at 34-42 right now), but what what else? Should I run any stress tests or MemTest86+ again?

Other than that, now what?
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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post #10 of 25
Yeah now it's time to stress test it and make sure it's stable enough for you.
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