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Where to go from here?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys,

Specs: P4, 3.0 (socket 775) w/ 2 GB Kingston ValueRAM (lol), x800 XT Platinum (Sapphire) w/ 250 GB Western Digital SATAII/300 Drive. Mobo is a 648FX-775 Gigabyte.

I have stock cooling, but have a 120MM Thermaltake 'exhaust' fan, but currently I have flipped it around and it's blowing pretty much directly on my video card (intake fan) and I leave the side of my case open to allow the heat to dissipate as fast as possible.

I plan on getting a Blue Orb for the CPU. I dont plan on overclocking the video card much, simply because I dont feel the need to, however I have jacked the Memory clock upto 600 as it's specced' at that and just ran lower.

Anyway, I have pushed the system uptp 3.15 GHZ, memory to 410 MHz, the ValueRAM original timings were shocking, 3-9-5-5 and I have ran it to 2.5, 8, 4, 4 so I assume that will make a positive difference to the speed of the RAM. I tried to go 2-4-3-3 but my system as expected just crashed. I have the DRAM voltage @ +0.1% (I think it's 0.1 and not 0.01%) and the CPU Voltage @ +5%. I haven't touched my AGP speeds from 66

It's running quite stable, Prime95 ran for ~12 hours with no problems.

How far should I attempt to push this system with near-stock (other than the intake fan, which does keep one side of the heatsink / video card environment cool) and my badly timed ram (if I knew it was timed so badly I'd never have bought it, I assumed all kingston ram would have some kind of decent timings but obviously I learnt the expensive way)

I want 3.4 Ghz & RAM @ 420-430, which will improve the video cards performance anyway.

I dont understand about overclocking TOTALLY (in particular, RAM timings) but enough to get by.

So my question is, what should I try and push now?

1. Do I need to increase my AGP speed from 66 to higher (and number suggestions, plz!!) to make the general overclock run more stable?

2. Can someone suggest some RAM timings I should try and go for?

3. I can't find anywhere I can increase my voltage/vcore - is there a 3rd party app to change this, or do I need to do it via the BIOS?

4. Can someone suggest what I should aim for realistically to overlock out of this system and run it stable.

I basically use it to play battlefield 2.

Sorry for the long winded post but I thought the more info the better...thanks guys, I know you are the experts, I'm the biggest computer geek I know so I can't go to my superior nerdy friends and ask them questions, so I am coming to you guys!
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post #2 of 16
1. Lock your AGP frequency at 66 MHz. While you're at it, lock your PCI frequency at 33 MHz. Those settings will help with stability.
2. Is your RAM 2x1GB or 4x512 MB? Generally, the larger the DIMMs, the looser the timings. Either way, you're going to have to run them loose since you're overclocking value RAM. My suggestion would be to make them very loose at first, and once you reach your goal on the CPU, tighten them back down. Dealing with one component at a time is a lot easier, especially the first time around.
3. Adjust vcore and vdimm in the BIOS. Ideally, all overclocking should be done in the BIOS.
4. That CPU has been known to get to 4.0 GHz on air cooling. That will be a stretch on your system but would be an outside possibility if you run a divider on your RAM. I would first shoot for 3.6 GHz as a goal (in small increments, of course) then go for 3.8 GHz. Just be sure to keep your load temp safely under 65°C and your vcore at or below 1.525 volts.

While you're at it, you might as well OC your GPU. Try ATI Tool. It automatically detects the maximum core and memory speed for your card, and the process is very simple.

Also, please take a minute to fill in your system specs in your User CP. Links are provided in my signature. That will better help us help you.
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post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taeric
1. Lock your AGP frequency at 66 MHz. While you're at it, lock your PCI frequency at 33 MHz. Those settings will help with stability.
2. Is your RAM 2x1GB or 4x512 MB? Generally, the larger the DIMMs, the looser the timings. Either way, you're going to have to run them loose since you're overclocking value RAM. My suggestion would be to make them very loose at first, and once you reach your goal on the CPU, tighten them back down. Dealing with one component at a time is a lot easier, especially the first time around.
3. Adjust vcore and vdimm in the BIOS. Ideally, all overclocking should be done in the BIOS.
4. That CPU has been known to get to 4.0 GHz on air cooling. That will be a stretch on your system but would be an outside possibility if you run a divider on your RAM. I would first shoot for 3.6 GHz as a goal (in small increments, of course) then go for 3.8 GHz. Just be sure to keep your load temp safely under 65°C and your vcore at or below 1.525 volts.

While you're at it, you might as well OC your GPU. Try ATI Tool. It automatically detects the maximum core and memory speed for your card, and the process is very simple.

Also, please take a minute to fill in your system specs in your User CP. Links are provided in my signature. That will better help us help you.
Wow, it's a bit concerning that you say to keep the load temps under 65c - they are way higher than that with no OC'ing and I've learnt to accept that, I can see it go upto about 74c during load, and ~50c idle. I've heard thats hot, but not unusual for my type of processor.

Thanks for all your help-

"While you're at it, you might as well OC your GPU. Try ATI Tool. It automatically detects the maximum core and memory speed for your card, and the process is very simple."

I can OC my GPU from 520/560 to 535/600 (the x800's aer known to have 600 mhz rated RAM i believe) and it runs fine, however I bought this card recently with the intention I wouldnt need to overclock it.

My MBM temp's are all screwy, and I use the ones provided on the gigabyte CD. I get case temps of -120c to +120c (?) and CPU temps upto 130c, which isnt right.

Are my temps a MAJOR issue? I heard to not start worrying until 85-90c+. Anyway, as I said - I am buying a blue orb from thermaltake for it, with arctic paste (all stock at the moment) hopefully to reduce CPU temps by 10-15c minimum and bring them back aruond the 65-70c load mark.

My video card maxes temp @ 74c overclocked and running the "3d View" in ATI Tool - I've read it can take load upto 105c. I have noticed that at a certain stage of overclocking the clock speed, it will actually slow down, if i back off a bit on the clock speeds the FPS's on 3d view run higher (currently with the overclock im getting 305 AVG FPS on the ati tool 3d view it's kinda my benchmark...and I score ~5800 w/ 3dmark05)

PS: I am running 2x1GB sticks (I have 3 single channel slots, but am going to change mobo's to take dual channel, I know im losing some perforamnce benefit by not running it dual)

Also when you mention a "RAM Divider", I WILL do a search but could you briefly explain this? Is it a program or something I put in my BIOS/ Addon?
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post #4 of 16
I would definitely suggest getting your CPU temperatures under control. Check the temp in your BIOS. It'll be the most accurate as any software has a chance of misreading the temp sensor. The CPU is not fully loaded in the BIOS, but it should be within several degrees of your load temp. I would seriously worry well below the 85°C mark. Although you can safely go a few degrees above the 65°C recommended max, I wouldn't suggest going above that often or for very long. Some aftermarket cooling would be very helpful. Also, monitor your temps, take the side panel of your case off, wait a few minutes, and check temps again. If they go down significantly with the side panel off, your case needs better air flow and/or a good cleaning (dust insulates heatsinks). Sometimes simple cable management can go a long way.

GPUs can definitely take a lot more heat than CPUs. I would start to get concerned there in the vicinity of 85-90°C, though there is some cushion there. Of course you can get away with not OCing your GPU, but I'd say go for it anyway. Having said that, I determined my GPUs max OC but very rarely every actually OC it.
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post #5 of 16
T has you covered well, but a couple of comments to add..

1. Dont leave your case open, all this does is limit air movement throughout you case.. Preferably, you would have air movement from in to out in your case...

2. Fill out your user CP here
    
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post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taeric
I would definitely suggest getting your CPU temperatures under control. Check the temp in your BIOS. It'll be the most accurate as any software has a chance of misreading the temp sensor. The CPU is not fully loaded in the BIOS, but it should be within several degrees of your load temp. I would seriously worry well below the 85°C mark. Although you can safely go a few degrees above the 65°C recommended max, I wouldn't suggest going above that often or for very long. Some aftermarket cooling would be very helpful. Also, monitor your temps, take the side panel of your case off, wait a few minutes, and check temps again. If they go down significantly with the side panel off, your case needs better air flow and/or a good cleaning (dust insulates heatsinks). Sometimes simple cable management can go a long way.

GPUs can definitely take a lot more heat than CPUs. I would start to get concerned there in the vicinity of 85-90°C, though there is some cushion there. Of course you can get away with not OCing your GPU, but I'd say go for it anyway. Having said that, I determined my GPUs max OC but very rarely every actually OC it.
Thanks - after running my PC for a while, BIOS reports 58c in BIOS and this will drop as low as 51c if PC has been left off overnight.

My PC runs cooler with the case off. I am running a 'coolermaster' case (It's not the master of cooling, trust me) and the case runs 25c with no side on, or 28c with the side on- I bought a thermaltake 120mm exhaust fan which didnt fix the problem, I now run it as an intake fan w/ the side off and everything runs much cooler, around 21c. CPU/ GPU lose 2-4c.

I think the reason my CPU runs hotter is due to the design - I've seen a friends case which had a tube running from the outside with mesh, and channeled right on top of the cpu so it was always blowing fresh outside air onto CPU. His was a $50 case, mine a $120 case. My case is all clip in, but doesnt have that tube which seems to be the difference why his CPU runs cooler.

Thanks for all your help thus far, I will try and push to 3.3 GHZ and see how that goes.

Can someone suggest regarding the RAM freq/ CPU freq- my BIOS only appears to do them linar, ie CPU @ 205 = RAM @ 410, CPU @ 210 = RAM @ 420, etc etc..am I just stuck with those locks, I can adjust them using gigabyte tool that came with my mobo...but that's inside windows
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post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wowza
T has you covered well, but a couple of comments to add..

1. Dont leave your case open, all this does is limit air movement throughout you case.. Preferably, you would have air movement from in to out in your case...

2. Fill out your user CP here
Is it a problem leaving your case open but having the intake fan blowing air throughout the case? It's the best thermaltake one I could find w/ control at the back and I run it full speed when loading it??
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post #8 of 16
Basically, leaving the side off reduces the speed of the air moving over your parts to a stand still except where it's RIGHT NEXT to the fan. Your exhaust fans start pulling outside air mixed with case air ... your intake fans start blowing air half into the case half out. Opening your case will only decrease your fan's efficiency because half of its effort is no longer being used on the rig.
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post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thraxz
Basically, leaving the side off reduces the speed of the air moving over your parts to a stand still except where it's RIGHT NEXT to the fan. Your exhaust fans start pulling outside air mixed with case air ... your intake fans start blowing air half into the case half out. Opening your case will only decrease your fan's efficiency because half of its effort is no longer being used on the rig.
just had a good look inside, and would appear I could maybe fit a fan on top (which would require a case mod) 100mm, MAYBE 120mm but that would be very close..

there is also a fan at the front of the hdd bay (i think possible 100mm or smaller if one exists) which is being used as exhaust..I dont have any drives in there, my hdd sits beside it (there's a slot outside which it fits into perfectly, wont even fall out if i tip it...)

So maybe I will replace the front HDD fan with a better one, make it intake, then make the thermaltake at the back become an exhaust and add an intake to the top, and to the side if I can buy a panel which has space for one (will that make u guys happy, lol)

anyway back to my overclocking issue..so you're basically saying jack up the CPU as high as it will go until it crashes..and is that my aim here, to JUST get the CPU to run faster?

Edit: I clocked to 3.45 before the cpu/heatsink got too hot to boot into windows, it would get to the desktop and the mouse would move, a few apps would load up in the system tray and I think ati tool or catalyst control centre is causing the power to just shut down - I think I have a 400/450w PS, but the RAM was also running @ 460 .. the CPU temps were 80c+ .. do you think the shutdown might be the PS (cpu voltage is +10% now, 1.435~)

I am buying the orb tomorrow for it and possibly a GPU cooler as the RAM chips on the x800 are feeling very hot (they burnt my fingertips!!) and i'm hoping that may fix the problem, which will eliminate the CPU temps as being the reason for the power shut down.

ps: thanks for all your help, i think im getting the hang of this overclocking buso.. :withstupi this is the first time trying to seriously oc my machine, i figure a 3.45 boot is promising for 3.66 stable with some decent cooling, and maybe an extra power supply..if I have money come winter (i live in australia, so it's summer right now) I will get some water cooling and see how far it will really go..the rams now at 2.5-7-4-4 which is better than 3-9-5-5!! I will prime95 for 12 hrs tonight and see how it goes @ 3.2 with the better ram timings

phirex.
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