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OC error interpreting and some other specific questions

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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-14-2008, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all. Admittedly, I am new to the world of overclocking. I have read the guides, and have a basic understanding of how this all works.

I have managed to pull off some stable OC's so far, but feel that they are somewhat modest. I know mileage varies, but I believe that I should be able to achieve more than I have. To do so, though, I think it would help if I could get some questions answered (please). You'll have to bear with me, as I have a lot of questions that are related, and I have a little difficulty figuring out which order to ask them in.


My main question is how to interpret the various errors that are faced when testing stability. Namely, the most common occurance is Windows just locking up on me. I don't know what to make of it. Is it a result of the temps running high (depending on my settings, it usually can get up to 63-68 on 100% loads)? Is it a result of too low of a voltage? Is it a memory related problem? Or is it, and I hope it is not (but know it probably is), any or all of the above?

What about when ORTHOS (or Prime95) simply report an error? I've gotten the feeling that's when the voltage is too low.

Are there any errors, that when they occur, you can pinpoint the problem to one specific thing?


I also have some questions regarding setting voltage. What's the methodology in this? Is it best to leave it at auto (or some static figure) until you find a stable OC, and then work it down to the lowest stable setting you can find? Does setting the V to auto, or something higher (but realistic, like 1.45V for the core) ever cause you to hit a ceiling, where if you reduce the V further, you'll then be able to clock higher?


I also have some questions regarding RAM settings. As you'll see in my system below, I have an XFX nForce 680i LT and Corsair Dominator PC8500 RAM. In my mobo specs, it says it supports JEDEC DDR2-800 and SLI-Ready memory up to 800 MHz, and I believe the RAM specs support up to 1066.7 MHz (but on the data sheet, it only says up to 800MHz). Does this mean I cannot (or otherwise should not) clock the RAM above 800 MHz?

Also, is there any advantages/disadvantages between setting my RAM as linked/unlinked? If I set my RAM as unliked, the FSB to 800MHz and the timings to 5-5-5-15, as specified by Corsair, would that completely eliminate any possibility of the RAM being a factor in OC errors, or no? Does setting to Linked ever allow for higher OC's, or otherwise greater stability?

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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-14-2008, 12:41 PM
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If the RAM says on it's spec sheet that it is rated at 800Mhz (DDR2-6400), you shouldn't go much past that as any failure could be down to it - Memtest will tell you that, although personally I can't be bothered with it. If you unlink the RAM, and set it to run as close to 800Mhz without going over (not sure how your RAM settings work - mine work on a multiplier, just like the CPU), then the main causes of instability are going to be:
1) FSB frequency too high for MB (kinda unlikely unless you've really cranked it)
2) CPU clock frequency too high for CPU (you can test this by turning the multiplier down on the CPU)
3) CPU Voltage too low (try raising it by a click each time, up to the "safe" amount for your CPU)
4) FSB/NB Voltage too low (try upping them by 0.1V and see how you go)
5) CPU overheating (check what the max temp is on Intel's Processor finder, and use HWMonitor to check you don't go over it. My system will beep when I do, and then it locks up)

How far have you got so far in your overclock?

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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-14-2008, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chemicalfan View Post
If the RAM says on it's spec sheet that it is rated at 800Mhz (DDR2-6400), you shouldn't go much past that as any failure could be down to it - Memtest will tell you that, although personally I can't be bothered with it. If you unlink the RAM, and set it to run as close to 800Mhz without going over (not sure how your RAM settings work - mine work on a multiplier, just like the CPU), then the main causes of instability are going to be:
1) FSB frequency too high for MB (kinda unlikely unless you've really cranked it)
2) CPU clock frequency too high for CPU (you can test this by turning the multiplier down on the CPU)
3) CPU Voltage too low (try raising it by a click each time, up to the "safe" amount for your CPU)
4) FSB/NB Voltage too low (try upping them by 0.1V and see how you go)
5) CPU overheating (check what the max temp is on Intel's Processor finder, and use HWMonitor to check you don't go over it. My system will beep when I do, and then it locks up)

How far have you got so far in your overclock?
Thanks for responding.

The RAM spec sheets have me confused, as they are PC8500, which, correct me if I'm wrong, are 1066Mhz, but the data sheet says supported up to 800 MHz. I'm confused further with my mobo saying it supports up to 800MHz. I'm wondering if that is a hard limitation, or if it's simply a supported rating (and can be clocked further.

I appreciate you mentioning the various causes of general instability, but I'm wondering if there are any specific causes for certain errors. Namely, I would like to know if Windows freezes during ORTHOS, what are the specific causes of that? Could it truly be any single one of those thing, or could we possibly rule out a few? Or are there any other errors, which when they occur, you can pin-point to one specific thing?

My last stable setup was before upgrading my RAM and heatsink (just bought them last night). My last set of RAM was Corsair Dominator 4GB PC6400. I saw the store I bought that from (just last week) had a sale on the PC8500 w/ fan combo, so I returned the PC6400 RAM in exchange for that. At that time, I also bought my new CPU cooling, before it was an Arctic Cool Freezer 7.

I had it stable with the CPU at 2.9 Ghz in the bios (appeared as 3.33Ghz in Windows, though) using the following settings:

Multiplier - 8x
FSB - 1400Mhz (I believe)
Ram Linked in Sync mode - 740Mhz
Ram timings - 4-4-4-12
CPU V - 1.2625 (I believe)
FSB V - 1.2 or 1.3
RAM V - 2

My current (mostly stable) settings since the new hardware is:
CPU @ 3Ghz
Multiplier - 9x
FSB - 1333MHz
RAM - Unlinked, 800 MHz
RAM timings- 5-5-5-15
CPU V - 1.45V
FSBv - 1.5
RAM V- 2.1

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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-14-2008, 03:13 PM
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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-14-2008, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wolfy87 View Post
what are the temps?
Well, when I boot windows, it's usually 49-55. When I first start ORTHOS, it shifts between 58-62. I've had it running for 2 and 1/2 hours now, and temps are shifting between 63-65 now.

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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-14-2008, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RShannonCA View Post
I had it stable with the CPU at 2.9 Ghz in the bios (appeared as 3.33Ghz in Windows, though) using the following settings:

My current (mostly stable) settings since the new hardware is:
CPU @ 3Ghz
Multiplier - 9x
FSB - 1333MHz
RAM - Unlinked, 800 MHz
RAM timings- 5-5-5-15
CPU V - 1.45V
FSBv - 1.5
RAM V- 2.1
Are you using CPU-Z to tell you the clock speed? That's the most reliable source (not sure where it says it in the BIOS!) One reason for variation is you may have CIA or some other CPU Accerlation feature enabled - you need to turn that off in the BIOS.

The FSB is always divided by 4, as Intel are dumb and can't count. Therefore, if you say your FSB is 1333MHz, your actual current FSB is 333MHz. That's how it gets to 3GHz (333 x 9 = 3GHz). What CPU do you have? That VCore sounds really high for the clock speed if the multiplier is already 9. The reason she's running hot is due to the voltage.

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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-14-2008, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah. Admittedly, I was trying to take the fast approach, and attempting some medium range OC's off the bat. I'm now taking the methodical approach. I set my VCore to 1.25, VFSB to 1.3, and brought the FSB down to 300MHz, and am just doing 10 MHz increments and testing, and I'll do slight increases to the VCore as necessary. I'm now at 320MHz, and at 100% load, its between 47-50, so it's definitely running cooler, and I'll probably achieve a better OC doing it the proper way. I'll post my results later.

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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-15-2008, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, my update is not exactly a good one. I have been unable to achieve a stable OC with anything over 320 FSB. For that to be stable, I had to increase my VCore slightly (around 1.27). My next attempt was for 333 FSB, and pretty much no matter how much of an increase I made on my VCore, it would not remain stable. I am aware that there are some FSB holes on certain processors, so after bumping up my VCore between 1.35 to 1.40, I then tried bringing up the FSB to see if I was in a hole, and all the way to 450 MHz (even with bringing my clock down to 8 and 7), I still could not achieve stability. My temps have not been high, either. My current stability at 320 MHz has the temps fluctuating between 47-50. With all of my attempts, I really did not see higher temps than 51-55. Pretty much each attempt, my Windows would lock up either after 20-30 seconds, or between 4-5 minutes.

Anyone have any suggestions or advice?

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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-15-2008, 10:46 AM
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hi m8!
i have a totally other setup, but i have found that it is a good idea to loosen the timings on the ram.
try setting them to 6-6-6-18, you should also find out what the sub-timings on the ram should be.
often you will get advice on the ram things on the producers forum. i got good advice on my mushkin ram on their forum.
also find the max vcore for the cpu, and dont go past that.
it takes a little reading, and some good advice to get there with the OC, but you will find it out if you try!!

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