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First Overclock - few little questions

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  • Overclocking
Last response: in Overclocking
October 14, 2005 2:43:26 PM

Okay, just started overclocking, after reading tons of sticky's on various forums. Going okay so far but now I need some advice/reassurance.

Here's where I am at (remember I'm new so my termonolgy could be a little off!!):

FSB/HTT set to 250
CPU Multi 10x
CPU Volts (1.450 x 113% = 1.6385)
CPU Temps idle 32C-34C, 100% load 50C-51C (MBM5 reporting)
Stock cooling

DRAM running 2-2-2-8 1T at 3.2V 9/10 divider (it's running at DDR450 right?)


1) Am I okay on CPU Volts? I've read that 1.6 - 1.65 is max for 90nm core. Is this 1.6385 okay?

2) CPU temp maxes at 51C and rarely stays there, usually around 48C-49C. Stock cooling. Is this too hot? I've read not to go over 50C but a degree or two now and then won't kill it.

3) I can't get RAM to run at 1/01 at 250 HTT/FSB. I've read many reviews that this ram (BH5) needs 3.7volts or so to really shine. Any problems giving it that much? DFI board goes up to 4.0v if I move the jumper. Just didn't want to fry my nice little gold sticks.

4) If I do push the volts on the DRAM up (to 3.7v max or so) and I can get RAM to run 2-2-2-8 1T at 1/01, is that a good overclock (250 HTT)

Any general advice/warnings/praise for newbie would be great.

So far I seem pretty stable where I'm at, MemTest #5 35 passes, OCCT 30 min test fine, 8M superpi = 6 min 9 sec (full minute faster than my stock time)

What do you think? Thanks for your help!

DFI Lanparty nF4 Ultra-D, Venice 3200+, Leadtek 6600GT Extreme, Antec TP 2.0 550W, (2x512mb) PC3200 OCZ Gold (OCZ4001024ELDCGE-K), WD 160gb SATA 3.0gb/s(x2), Maxtor 60gb IDE,

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October 14, 2005 4:14:53 PM

Sounds rather good. I cannot answer all the question, I dont own a A64 so I really dont have much experience!
But here's a few advices.
2) Id say its a good operating temp. I personnaly wouldnt go over 60c. The 50c advice is more for longevity. You wont wear your processor noticeably faster than on stock speed. So yeah 50+/-5 is all good IMO.

3/4) I dont think you would fry the stick. I personnaly wouldnt run 24/7 with any voltage over 3.2. I,d even stay around 3V for longevity but againt hats just me!.
You can do some benchmark runs at higher voltage without damaging your memory thats certain. Only concern is you're shortening the life span but if you do a few runs every now and then its no biggy.

Anyways thats just my 2 cents, when it comes to Ocing its all about personnal opinion. If you dont mind wearing the memory and possibly have to try to RMA /void the warranty etc then by all means run at 3.7 24/7 =))

Asus P4P800DX, P4C 2.6ghz@3.25ghz, 2X512 OCZ PC4000 3-4-4-8, MSI 6800Ultra stock, 2X30gig Raid0
October 15, 2005 1:03:05 AM

Well, thanks for your input.

Despite passing a number of tests (OCCT, 3DMark05, Memtest) I just ran a Prime95 Torture Test that failed in 2 minutes!

I read a lot of people like OCCT better since it usually reports an error faster than Prime95 but certainly wasn't the case for me. Guess I will have to back off the HTT a bit??

Really hoping to hear from someone who is experienced with overclocking A64's, especially 90nm cores like the Venice. Also, anyone using OCZ RAM with BH5 chips? I've read that 3.7v should be considered a minimum when overclocking, and up to 4.0v is okay too. Not sure about longevity, but certainly don't want my overclock to shorten the life of my components dramatically. Need this PC to last 3-4 years!

I need help getting a nice, but mild overclock. Can anyone help, or point me to the right place to ask?

DFI Lanparty nF4 Ultra-D, Venice 3200+, Leadtek 6600GT Extreme, Antec TP 2.0 550W, (2x512mb) PC3200 OCZ Gold (OCZ4001024ELDCGE-K), WD 160gb SATA 3.0gb/s(x2), Maxtor 60gb IDE,
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October 17, 2005 9:05:10 PM

I think you're OCing too many items at once. Should focus on one thing at a time to find it's limits.

I'd suggest back-off the ram timings till you get happy with the HTT (use 2.5-3-3-8).

Might lower the multi on the CPU also at first.

Seems to me you're OCing/doing the cpu, ram and mobo all at once. Hard to figure out the sticking point that way.

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October 17, 2005 11:58:19 PM

Thanks for your reply!

I have gone through and found the CPU max, then RAM, etc. I'm no where near my CPU's max which was around 2600, or just a little under (2575).

To find CPU max, I went x3 LDT, ram @ 1/02 divider. Once I lost stability, I lowered CPU multi down, ram to 1:1 and started raising HTT for the ram. Might have been using 2-2-2-8 1T instead of your 2.5-3-3-8, maybe I can retry that using those timings.

Problem is, I'm not looking for a maximum OC here. I know the CPU will run at 2.6 or so because I got there. (too many volts to CPU I think to get there on stock air so I am content to back off it a little)

Now my RAM won't run right even when I use a divider trying to keep it at DDR 400 or even a little less.

My current OC now is:

HTT 245 10x CPU multi x4 LDT (1960) CPUVID 1.55v
VDIMM 3.1v 2-2-2-8 1T 7/10 divider (DDR 343)

This OC is stable (Prime 6 hours so far, SuperPI, OCCT 30 min, 3dMark05) Also played FarCry for 4 hours no problem, Madden 2005, etc (Hey, I play games too!!!)

Problem is I can't understand if my OCZ Gold is rated DDR 400 2-2-2-5 1T, why can't I use a different divider, say 3/04 to get DDR 367 or maybe even 5/06 to get DDR 408 (that's not asking much) and still keep my timings 2-2-2-8 1T.

In the end, my question is this:

If the RAM is rated 2-2-2-5 1T DDR 400, why does it matter if the HTT is overclocked to 245 if I use a divider to keep it at DDR 400 or less (like a 5/06 = DDR 367) I can't keep stability with the 5/06 divider so I tried 7/10 and that seemed to do the trick. Why is the RAM affected if a divider is used? Shouldn't it run fine either way at DDR 343 or DDR 367 (since it's rated 400?????)

I am going to experiment with some other settings, Drive Strength, and others. Found some info on OCZ forums that I'll work on too.

Any tips, thought or advice is appreciated.

DFI Lanparty nF4 Ultra-D, Venice 3200+, Leadtek 6600GT Extreme, Antec TP 2.0 550W, (2x512mb) PC3200 OCZ Gold (OCZ4001024ELDCGE-K), WD 160gb SATA 3.0gb/s(x2), Maxtor 60gb IDE,
October 18, 2005 4:56:26 AM

Thanks Wusy, I was hoping to hear from you! And I'm glad to hear you say that (3.5V) because no one else seems to have the balls to just come out and say it. People have been telling me, 3.0V is too much! I thought I needed more but everyone kept saying no.

BTW, here's my OC so far:

2500 @ 1.6065v, 3x LDT
DDR417 @ 3.1V, 2-2-2-6 1T using 5/06 divider


3DMark05 = 4057
3DMark03 = 9400
Aquamark3 = 63,633
PCMark04 = 4888
Super PI 1M = 34 seconds

If I can keep this stable, I'm done. This is more of an OC than I expected for my first experience. I would prefer to not have to run 3.5V if I don't have to (warranty, issues with using DFI jumper to push VDIMM to 5V rail, don't want to mess with OCZ Booster, etc) Plus I'm a wimp cry baby and I don't want to fry my RAM (plus I'm married and my wife would shoot me!)

Running Prime for next 24 hours, that should tell me how stable it is. Cross your fingers for me!!

Thanks to everyone and also, thanks to AndyOCZ at OCZ Forums. He's got some great posts on specific BIOS settings for my ram + DFI nf4 boards! Great guide.

Thanks again!

PS - You and Rugger had a lot of input on that parts I chose for my machine. I'm very happy with it!! All newbies should heed your advice for happy computing!! Thanks guys!

DFI Lanparty nF4 Ultra-D, Venice 3200+, Leadtek 6600GT Extreme, Antec TP 2.0 550W, (2x512mb) PC3200 OCZ Gold (OCZ4001024ELDCGE-K), WD 160gb SATA 3.0gb/s(x2), Maxtor 60gb IDE,
October 18, 2005 5:26:49 PM

I did huh... *whistles*

Yup, you and Rugger answered a few questions for me back in February when I first started thinking about a new PC. Mainly though, just reading all your posts helped me a lot. You seem to not only have a lot of knowledge, but take the time to share it and not beat around the bush too!

You also might want to try between 3.4-3.6V to find the sweet spot for your RAM. Some batch of those Winbond chips have a very weird taste for voltage...

Still, I'm just a wimp. After 3.1v I void my warranty and I just got this stuff 2 months ago. I'm sure I could push the RAM a little more with higher volts - no doubt about it. But since I seem to have hit my CPU's max around 2.5ghz, I'm not sure pushing the RAM harder will net me much performance gains. Currently at 2-2-2-6 1T DDR 417 @ 3.1v. Even if I could push the Ram up to DDR 500 with 3.4-3.6 volts, with the CPU stuck at 2.5 ghz, how much will I notice? Few frames here and there? Another second of Super PI? Going from 2.0 ghz to 2.5 ghz I can feel a huge difference in my office programs, Word, Excel, Photoshop, ect. Games feel fine but not that much different (more GPU dependent anyway I suppose)

If you're anal about RAM temperature, get your finger on its heatspreader while running memtest86/benchmarking. If you feel it's too hot(like mine), think about getting a tiny 40mm in there.

It's still more to have excellent case cooling when pushing things to limit.

When this computer is a little older and I have some spare cash, I may play around with it more, see what happens then at 3.6v. I was planning on mounting a 80mm fan (using heavy duty velcro - is that ghetto?) to blow directly on the ram sticks if I push it beyond 3.1v.

I promised my wife I won't ask to build another PC for me for at least 3 years. When I get closer to that, look out! Feed the volts, fry the ram, no big deal. Three years from now I won't be able to use these sticks on a new PC anyway, I'm sure!!

Thanks for all your help!

<i> Note to newbies: DFI nf4 board + OCZ ram?? Check out OCZ Forums for specific BIOS settings for UTT, TCCD and all sorts of combos - they test 'em all over there and will help you get a better overclock!! </i>

DFI Lanparty nF4 Ultra-D, Venice 3200+, Leadtek 6600GT Extreme, Antec TP 2.0 550W, (2x512mb) PC3200 OCZ Gold (OCZ4001024ELDCGE-K), WD 160gb SATA 3.0gb/s(x2), Maxtor 60gb IDE,
October 18, 2005 9:29:55 PM

Hey, I had to talk her down from 4 years!!! She still refuses to let me upgrade her 500 Mhz Athlon K6-II. She had a 300 Mhz K6-II for the longest time, then I bought a 500 (max for her board) for like $12 new.

So, yeah, longevitity is the key here. Or divorce, 'cause then I can be an overclocking madman and she can't stop me!!!! Of course, then I'll be broke 'cause she'll take me to the cleaners but oh well.

Ram is nice on 3.1v so I'll be happy with my 2.5ghz 2-2-2-6 1t DDR 417 OC. Cool. Thanks all!

DFI Lanparty nF4 Ultra-D, Venice 3200+, Leadtek 6600GT Extreme, Antec TP 2.0 550W, (2x512mb) PC3200 OCZ Gold (OCZ4001024ELDCGE-K), WD 160gb SATA 3.0gb/s(x2), Maxtor 60gb IDE,
October 19, 2005 12:17:03 AM

Oh we already do all that, she's the Coupon Queen. She just sees no value in better computer components. Her 500 Mhz K6-II still turns on and gets on the internet and does our banking so that's all one needs, right? Who cares about performance! Games are for children, right?

DFI nF4 Ultra, 3200 Venice @ 2.5 ghz, Leadtek 6600GT Extreme, Antec TP 2.0 550W, (2x512mb) OCZ Gold 2-2-2-6 1T DDR 417 @ 3.1v, WD 160gb SATA 3.0gb/s(x2)