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Making sure of my knowlege before I OC

post #1 of 4
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I've been reading on this and other forums for quite a few days now. I've recently OC'ed my graphics card and it got me over the "hump" of being afraid to OC - just out of sheer fear of "burning my money..."
(BTW, my GPU is Radeon X850 and I opened it up to 16 pipelines from 12 and raised my core and mem from 500/500 to 534/579.)


Anyways... I will be attempting to OC this weekend and I wanted to make sure that I will be doing this correctly, so please bear with me, as I'm fully aware that the regulars see these posts on a daily basis from people too lazy to search for themselves. However, I am not that person - I have already searched for myself and just need confirmation, and a few quick questions.


BTW, I'm a COMPLETE noob when it comes to computers. The only thing I am able to do on my computer is browse the internet and open up Microsoft Word when I need to do my HW.



Well, I guess this is what I know...


I'll need to enter the BIOS during start-up in order to OC my CPU.
Ideally I would want a 1:1 ratio of FSB speed to my RAM speed measured in mHZ. And because my computer's a pentium, I will need to divide the MHz speed that I see in the BIOS by 4, because it's quad pumped. And since my RAM is DDR, I'll need to divide that MHz by 2. And the reason that this is important is because I'll want that 1:1 ratio.


Now the process for OC'ing:

I'll want to raise my FBS by increments of 5-mhz. Then I'll return to desktop and see if everything is okay. Then I'll have to manually re-start my comp and get back into BIOS. Then continue to raise my FSB by 5 mHZ increments. And the most I can raise the voltage/temp is 65 / 1.525V.
Now if I hit a "max" FBS settings, then I'll have to raise the voltage. And if THAT doesn't work, then I'll have to raise my RAM timings. Then I go back and raise my FBS to see if it'll go up. *However, since my ram is PC 3200 - DDR400, my limit with my 1:1 ratio will be 200 MHz. BUT, I'll be able to raise the MHz of my RAM but first I will be requried to raise the voltage in order to raise the FSB and RAM higher than 200MHz and still having a 1:1 ratio.



A few questions regarding this:

1) After I raise my FBS by increments of 5 MHz, and when I boot back into Desktop, how long will I have to be on desktop? Should I run a program?

2) Going from BIOS to Desktop, do I manaully restart my computer, or is there a way through BIOS?

3) I know by which increments to raise the MHz for the CPU, but by which increments should I raise the voltage for my CPU?

4) By which increments in MHz should I raise the RAM?

5) Now what should I do with the mulitplier? Lower it or leave it the same? Or raise it, (If I could).

6) I know the max voltage of my CPU, but what's the max voltage for my RAM?

7) What MHz do you think is around my max OC in terms of FSB MHz? (Just so I know not to push my system too far.)

8) Should I lower the timings on my RAM first, or should I raise the voltage of my RAM first?

9) Now, if I OC'ed too high, how would I know it was the fault of the CPU or the fault of the RAM?


================================================== =======

THANK YOU for your helpfulness and patience, which I'm sure will come into later

================================================== =======






Here are my system specs:

MoBo: ASUS P4P800s
CPU: Intel Pentium 4
Code name: Prescott
Specification 2.80 GHz
Family: F Model: 3 Stepping: 3
Ext. Family: 0 Ext. Model: 0 Revision: C0

Multiplier x14.0
FSB 199.9 MHz


RAM: Corsair XMS PC 3200 DDR 400.
post #2 of 4
You've got it all jotted down!

An easier way to find your CPU/RAM 1:1 Ratio is the following:

Take the "stock" external speed, and your DDR RAM. Divide RAM(if shown in DDR Mhz) By 2, and it should be at the stock external speed of your CPU! If it's not shown as DDR, just choose the stock ext. speed of the CPU! Then welcome to 1:1 Ratio Land, if not keep trying till you get it!

Regarding your questions...

1) It's not NECCESARY to run a program, as Windows will usually yelp or not load after it can take no more, but running 10/20 minutes of Prime95 won't kill and will make sure you have at least a semi-stable CPU Overclock.

2) You need to restart your computer, load the BIOS, make the changes and save it, and let the HD toggle on the OS again and be at the desktop. Do the step above, thousands of times! No other way through.

3) Leave it as it is, and If you have an Auto feature turn it on. Then when you hit a wall, start by the last known "good" voltage Speedfan gave you. Example:

Last Voltage at 3.0GHz was...let's say... 1.425...so you raise it to 1.450. ONLY DO THIS WHEN YOU ARE STUCK OVERCLOCKING.

4) RAM, to by understanding at the moment, cannot be raised, but it goes synchronusly with the CPU Frequency in par to "keep up". In my case, for ever Mhz I raise my Speed in CPU, my RAM raises.

5) Intel CPU's are locked, and their multipliers are too. No use trying to change it, unless you have an Engineer's Sample. You basically are stuck in it I think.

6) That has to be checked in your manufacturer's website or manual, but most are safe at 2V. MOST. Usually you just take the "next step up" with Vdimm(RAM voltage), just like with Vcore(CPU Voltage)

7) The maxium Overclock differs alot, and I do not own this CPU, so I could not give you a "good" estimate, but just keep playing with the RAM Timings, the CPU Clock, and the voltages carefully. When you can't go up a MHz more stable, then thats your top.

8) Raise Voltage, just 1 notch - Lower Timings.

9) The CPU basically gets stuck where your "software" allows it to go. Odds are your RAM is unstable if you get problems. If you want to be sure, however, rum Prime95 for a long time. Then run OCCT stability test. If these fail, then rum Memtest86. If all else fails, then contact me ASAP!

10) There's no 10, but I wish you a good luck and happy overclocking!

Hope I was helpful!

Programs Mentioned Above:

Prime95: http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft.htm
OCCT: http://www.short-media.com/download.php?d=456
SpeedFan: http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php
Memtest86: http://www.memtest86.com/

Show us those benches!
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The Shehanigator
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post #3 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by empireme
A few questions regarding this:

1) After I raise my FBS by increments of 5 MHz, and when I boot back into Desktop, how long will I have to be on desktop? Should I run a program?

2) Going from BIOS to Desktop, do I manaully restart my computer, or is there a way through BIOS?

3) I know by which increments to raise the MHz for the CPU, but by which increments should I raise the voltage for my CPU?

4) By which increments in MHz should I raise the RAM?

5) Now what should I do with the mulitplier? Lower it or leave it the same? Or raise it, (If I could).

6) I know the max voltage of my CPU, but what's the max voltage for my RAM?

7) What MHz do you think is around my max OC in terms of FSB MHz? (Just so I know not to push my system too far.)

8) Should I lower the timings on my RAM first, or should I raise the voltage of my RAM first?

9) Now, if I OC'ed too high, how would I know it was the fault of the CPU or the fault of the RAM?
1) Being able to login to Windows after OC`ing is already a good thing but not enough. You should put your system under the maximum stress possible for hours to see how it holds.
You can do that by running two instances of Prime95 along with 1 instance of Folding@home for a minimum of 8 hours (do it for 20 - 24 hours if possible).

2) Going from BIOS to desktop means you have to either select "Save changes and restart" or "Discard changes and restart" from inside the BIOS itself depending on what you want to do.

3) If your BIOS allows you to manually raise the CPU voltage then you should do it in 0.015 increments. Otherwise just up the voltage by the smallest stepping available in your BIOS.

4) Your RAM frequency is linked to that of the FSB. As you raise the FSB by small 3 - 5 MHz increments you RAM will follow accordingly.
It will depend on the divider you have set.
If the FSB:RAM divider is 1:1 then everytime you raise your FSB by 1 MHz you will also be raising your RAM by 1 MHz.
If the FSB:RAM divider is 4:3 then everytime you raise your FSB by 1 MHz you will only raise your RAM by 0.75 MHz.

5) Intel CPUs have their multipliers locked. The only time they change is when the processor supports SpeedStepping. What the CPU does is it lowers it's multiplier to 14 when it's idle or working at less than 50% to save energy.
In your case your CPU is already at multiplier 14 which means that the multiplier cannot be changed neither up nor down even if it did support SpeedStepping and you had it enabled in the BIOS.

6) Max safe voltage for DDR RAM is around 2.8Volts (factory settings at 2.5Volts). If you exceed that you are taking a risk of frying your RAM although some people push it to 2.9Volts but I wouldn't encourage it. Here's a link to a review of the same RAM you have and how it was overclocked.

7) I cannot give you a precise number as to how high you should be able to take your FSB but judging from your specs I say your RAM is going to limit your overclocking so you will have to set it on a divider (4:3 or 5:4) to be able to take your CPU higher. You should also make sure you have a good PSU (Power Supply Unit) with a solid 12Volts rail (20A or more) unless you have a power hungry Video Card in which case you're gonna need more than 20A to do the job.

8) Raise the voltage of your RAM first as this might allow you to run it at higher speeds with tighter timings. If all fails then you should start relaxing the timings. If you still cannot take the RAM higher then you should resort to dividers.

9) Excellent question. You have to test your major components one by one to determine each component's overclockability.
Start by loosening your RAM timings (and even set FSB:RAM dividers to 4:3 or 5:4) and try to determine how far the CPU can go.
Once you determine your CPU's overclocking capacity you can then work on your RAM to see how far you can take your system with a 1:1 FSB:RAM divider (which yields the best performance on Intel based systems). Again to check your RAM for stability run either MemTest86 or Prime95 on the "Blend" test.
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post #4 of 4
Just a couple of comments and suggestions based on what the other guys have shared -

Max. voltage for your RAM is 2.9 volts, but your mobo likely only provides 2.85 volts (if it's like the other Asus boards I've used). It is safe to run at that voltage, and Corsair offers a lifetime warranty as long as you don't exceed 2.9 volts or physically damage the RAM.

Final stability testing should be accomplished with 24 hours of Prime95. For me, I tend to run Prime95 for a far shorter time at intermediate steps, often as short as 15-20 minutes. Many instabilities will show themselves very quickly. If you're in doubt of a set of settings, definitely run Prime95 for an extended period of time.

I personally run Memtest86 every time I up my settings. One pass on that takes 10-20 minutes, depending on your settings and RAM, but it's a very worthwhile investment. It will quickly tell you if your RAM settings need tweaking. Prime95 does a great job, but it doesn't specify the source of instabilities it finds.

Corsair offers three types of PC3200 XMS - XL, LL, and C2. Your overclocking approach will depend a lot on which you have as the timings and OC potential of each vary significantly.

Good luck with your OC. Be sure to post back here as you come up with more questions.
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