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Discussion Starter #1
I have my e5200 at 3325Mhz, but I think that some values in the BIOS could be improved. Here's what I've done:
Multiplier: 12.5
FSB: 266MHz
Motherboard FSB (Rated FSB in CPU-Z): 1066MHz
RAM: 400MHz
PCI-E: 101MHz
vCore: 1.362 (BIOS) - 1.344v (CPU-Z with vDrop) - 1.304 (CPU-Z with vDroop)

CPU-Z


BIOS settings:


Now I have some questions:

1) I have read that it's easier to overclock having the highest multiplier and changing only the FSB. For example:
3000MHz: 10x300
3000MHz: 12.5x240
In the first case I would get higher scores in benchmarks but have a less stable system. Is it true that the second case would be an easier overclock?
I'm interested in having a rock solid daily use CPU for gaming.

2) My MB can change the FSB by moving some jumpers, what does it influence? For example, I have it at 1066, that means that I can have my CPU running at maximum FSB of 266.5 (because of the QDR, 1066/4)?

3) My only interest is not having my CPU bottleneck the graphics card, at what speed should I stop? I play at 1680x1050.

4) I use LinX (with the latest Linpack) to stress the CPU. I have read that it stresses a lot more than other programs and that in normal use the CPU would never be that stressed. Is it true? Do you have another program to suggest?
LinX is good because it's fast, but by stressing so much I have to raise the vCore higher than other programs and have higher temperatures.

5) Depending on the answer to question n° 3, do I have to change other settings (like NB voltage etc.)?

6) Are RAM timings very important? If I have to increase the timings do I lose performance in gaming?

7) Other general suggestions? I use Speedfan to control the fans and HWMonitor for the temperatures.

Thanks for any help.
 

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12.5x240 will be easier to stabilize than 10x300, not more stable.

I'm not sure how the jumpers work on your motherboard, but I'd set it to 800MHz FSB and bump the FSB through the BIOS.

As for what speed you should stop at, I'd benchmark an overclock, then increase the CPU speed by 10% and run the benchmark again. If your FPS is increased by less than 7.5% I'd say the CPU isn't bottlenecking anymore.

LinX will be fine for stress testing. I just doubt you need that much vCore to be stable. Also, make sure you are running all memory.

I would try manually setting NB voltage to stock since your motherboard is probably overvolting that without necessity since it's a low overclock.

Higher timings equal lower performance. Your RAM should run fine at 800MHz 5-5-5-15. The performance gain/loss is minimal, though.

I usually use CoreTemp for processor temperature monitoring, I guess it's just personal preference.
 

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The E5200 I'm playing with managed 3.66ghz with 1.325 vcore, but everything over 3.7 has taken a tremendous increase in voltage. I'm testing right now with 3.77ghz (328 x 11.5) @1.381 vcore.

All chips are different, but I agree with nolonger - it shouldn't take that much vcore for only 3.3. What's your VID? Mine's 1.28ish.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Quote:


Originally Posted by nolonger
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12.5x240 will be easier to stabilize than 10x300, not more stable.

You mean that 12.5x240 requires less Vcore?

Quote:


Originally Posted by nolonger
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I'm not sure how the jumpers work on your motherboard, but I'd set it to 800MHz FSB and bump the FSB through the BIOS.

On the manual it says: "When you mount a FSB800 or FSB1066 CPU, and try to overclock to FSB1333 or FSB1600 (by BIOS setting) you may face the problem that DRAM frequency will be overclocked very high. Please use jumper to force NB to be strapped at higher frequency, so the DRAM can work at lower frequency."
I can set it at 800 (default), 1066, 1333 or 1600. So if I put it at 800, am I able to put the FSB of the CPU higher than 200 (QDR, 800/4)?

Quote:


Originally Posted by nolonger
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As for what speed you should stop at, I'd benchmark an overclock, then increase the CPU speed by 10% and run the benchmark again. If your FPS is increased by less than 7.5% I'd say the CPU isn't bottlenecking anymore.

Which benchmark do you suggest? Heaven benchmark?

Quote:


Originally Posted by nolonger
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LinX will be fine for stress testing. I just doubt you need that much vCore to be stable. Also, make sure you are running all memory.

Yes, I always run with all memory. I forgot to mention that i fail LinX after the first run everytime, but I have being using the PC without any problem, even in games (for example Starcraft II with maximum settings, 1680x1050).

Quote:


Originally Posted by nolonger
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I would try manually setting NB voltage to stock since your motherboard is probably overvolting that without necessity since it's a low overclock.

Is the stock voltage the one that appears when I select manual voltage?

Quote:


Originally Posted by pursuinginsanity
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All chips are different, but I agree with nolonger - it shouldn't take that much vcore for only 3.3. What's your VID? Mine's 1.28ish.

Mine's 1.25 according to Core Temp.
Now I'm worried that I may have ruined my CPU by having the Vcore too high.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by link_90
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You mean that 12.5x240 requires less Vcore?

On the manual it says: "When you mount a FSB800 or FSB1066 CPU, and try to overclock to FSB1333 or FSB1600 (by BIOS setting) you may face the problem that DRAM frequency will be overclocked very high. Please use jumper to force NB to be strapped at higher frequency, so the DRAM can work at lower frequency."
I can set it at 800 (default), 1066, 1333 or 1600. So if I put it at 800, am I able to put the FSB of the CPU higher than 200 (QDR, 800/4)?

Those are just MCH staps I believe. If you don't adjust those you might need more NB Voltage to keep it stable.

Which benchmark do you suggest? Heaven benchmark?
I would suggest running a game's built-in benchmark. Mafia II and Metro 2033 both have them. Heaven seems to isolate the GPU pretty well from the CPU so it won't show a bottleneck at all.

Yes, I always run with all memory. I forgot to mention that i fail LinX after the first run everytime, but I have being using the PC without any problem, even in games (for example Starcraft II with maximum settings, 1680x1050).

Your computer is unstable. It shouldn't fail at all. I would try bumping NB Voltage a bit.

Is the stock voltage the one that appears when I select manual voltage?

Yes.

Mine's 1.25 according to Core Temp.
Now I'm worried that I may have ruined my CPU by having the Vcore too high.


You only ran 1.38V through your processor, that's far from enough to cause degradation this quickly.

Answers in quote.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I went in the BIOS to change the NB voltage but there aren't any numbers, only Low, Middle, High, Highest.
I tried setting highest and leaving all the other options like before but I still get an error in LinX.

What should I do? Maybe I have to change other voltages?

Anyway, I'm using Resident Evil 5's benchmark.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Quote:

Originally Posted by nolonger View Post
Try giving it a little more VTT.
I tried changing and it has the same options of the NB: Low, Middle, High, Highest.
I tried setting highest to both and leaving the same Vcore. LinX sometimes fails the first run, sometimes the second.
So I tried putting the jumpers back at default (800MHz) and now I have 241x12.5, my RAM runs at 802MHz. I have decreased a little the bit the Vcore.
If I increase more the FSB then the RAM will go out of specification, is it a problem? Or should I put back the jumpers back at 1066MHz so the RAM runs under specification?
Anyway with 241x12.5 I pass 20 runs of LinX, 63°C max temperature.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Let's say I would like to reach 3500MHz, so I will use 280 as FSB and 12.5 as multiplier (because it's easier to stabilize).
I can move the jumpers on the MB to decide the strap @800, 1066, 1333, 1600MHz but I have selected only 1066 and 1333 because 800 is too low and 1600 is too high. These are RAM frequencies available for each strap:

RAM frequency options with strap @1066MHz
350 (4:5, 700 DDR2)
421 (2:3, 842 DDR2)
561 (1:2, 1022 DDR2)

RAM frequency options with strap @1333MHz
280 (1:1, 560 DDR2)
336 (5:6, 672 DDR2)
448 (5:8, 896 DDR2)

So, which would be the best option and why? Is it better to have 1:1 but lower RAM frequency or higher RAM frequency but asynchronous FSB:RAM?

Edit:
I forgot to mention that when having the strap @1066MHz I cannot have the CPU FSB higher than 266 (1066/4) so I think that the strap @1066MHz has to be excluded, anyway the question is still valid.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Quote:

Originally Posted by nolonger View Post
Doesn't matter much if it's synchronous or not, just go for the higher frequency.
For some reason, if I put the strap @1333 I get some random BSOD, sometimes even the core 1 would just non be detected! So I just put it back @1066.
I'm trying 266x12.5 (3325MHz) but it seems to always fail the first run of LinX. I tried setting the vcore to 1.36 and the NB + VTT to highest but it still fails.
Are there other settings to change? My VID is 1.25, is it normal that it takes so much voltage?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm back because I would like to improve my overclock.
I'm at 3125MHz (12,5x250) LinX stable (20 runs with memory on "All"), the Vcore is 1.312 (1.33125 in BIOS). I already tried reducing a notch but then it fails LinX.
I don't have any screenshot, ayway the temperatures were OK, I'll do another test soon to show you.
I happy with the CPU, but I want to improve the RAM speed, timings and voltage. I don't know which I should change and how, so here's all the information:

BIOS:




CPU-Z:


 

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Discussion Starter #18
Quote:


Originally Posted by nolonger
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Manually set your other voltages and I think maybe a bump in NB voltage could be beneficial.

Could you be more specific?
Maybe I wasn't clear before, I'm interested in reducing the timings. The frequency is OK, I think...
The voltage could be reduced, but only to 1.79 (default at 1.80).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Quote:


Originally Posted by nolonger
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Ah my bad. Try setting 2.1V and 4-4-4-12. If that doesn't work, try 5-4-5-15.

I know that this numbers are the timings, but which is which?
In the BIOS there are many values, why did you give me only 5 of them? Are they only the important ones?
Why do I have to increase the voltage? My RAM should work at 4-4-4-12 with 1.80v at 800MHz (from the specs), I'm at 750MHz so I can try undervolting maybe...
Sorry for all these questions, it's all new for me. >_<
 
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