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help me with the best oc settings!

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January 12, 2006 5:50:34 AM

in my rig is:

amd 64 3200+ venice core
gigabyte GA-K8NS-939
chaintech gforce 6600
dual channel kingston hyper-x
xconnect 500w power supply

currently, everything is air cooled. the cpu fan is a little better than stock, there's 2 exhaust, a side panel fan and a fan near the top of the case. the video card's fan is till stock. what's the best oc settings for my rig? dont flame me, i dont take big risk unless someones there to back me up.

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January 12, 2006 7:54:15 AM

Everyone's hardware overclocks to different levels. The only sure way to know is to try it!

Your CPU should be able to hit 2.5Ghz, but the best balance of RAM speed, CPU speed, and heat output can only by found through experimentation. Increase things a little at a time, and when instability strikes, increase Voltage a little, and try again.... And keep an eye on temps of course.

It can take a while to get there....
January 12, 2006 9:09:54 AM

According to anandtech here are some baseline settings: http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=265...

Take a look at this and you will see what a 2ghz CPU (dual core though) can do. There has been talk lately on the forums about heat and stuff. Heat can kill your CPU but it will shut down first. Voltage is what will damage it forever. I have done it myself. The damned thing just wont turn on anymore. You wont see smoke or smell burning stuff and THAT IS THE TRUTH. Here is my take on voltage and transistors: transistors are like little highways. Voltage is like traffic. I wouldnt want to create too much of a traffic jam if I were you. Lets say you bump it to 2.4 ghz. Thats just 400 Mhz.... You will see this: an 18 degree F jump in CPU heat output and a 27Watt increase in power usage. You will also have to bump up the voltage on EVERYTHING. Some parts are actively cooled. Some are not. Those will probobly be the first components to break. If you can get it to 2.4 ghz. i say you are blessed. Some will tell you that they have theirs at 2.7 ghz and its all good. Dont get all caught up in that crap. You want to know the truth? Most of those people are lying thru their teeth and overclockers never know when their system is going to crap out. Its not guaranteed. You have a chip that is designed to run a 1.35-1.4 volts. As you can see form the charts going to 2.7 (and 1.7 volts) is damn near impossible even with the best components. Overclock with a purpose, not just to impress friends or people on the forums. If your system is getting a little long on the tooth someday, go ahead, OC. What do you have to lose? But screw around early in the game and you may find out 6 months down the road your system is toast just so you could get 10 more frames per second out of quake 4. Read that whole review and they clearly state its dangerous and no result is guaranteed.
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January 12, 2006 2:58:39 PM

Quote:
But screw around early in the game and you may find out 6 months down the road your system is toast just so you could get 10 more frames per second out of quake 4.
Not necessarily. Sometimes you buy stuff specifically because it's a good overclocker. For instance, I bought a Athlon XP 1700+ (1.46Ghz stock speed) years ago because I knew it would overclock well. Stock voltage of 1.55 or 1.6V I think, but it'll do 2.25Ghz with 1.52V (although requires 1.775V for 2.3Ghz). I ran it that way for ages. The really great thing is that it'll do 2Ghz with only 1.4V - over 500Mhz increase with a drop in voltage...

Of course you're referring to overclocking beyond what's on the market, but the above was an example of overclocking a mid or low-end part to the sort of speed that the same core was already running at higher in the range.

AMD release cores at 2.6Ghz. you can buy a chip based on exactly the same technology, but has been set at a lower speed. This may be because it lacks the quality to run at higher speeds, but more often than not these days it's because they don't have enough 'poor' quality chips to satisfy demand in that market segment, so they have to take better quality ones and set them up to run at lower clocks. Us mad overclocking idiots know this, and that's why you never see someone recommending a high-end chip for overclocking. Not only is it cheaper, but you've no guarantee of actually hitting a higher frequency by starting with a better chip anyway...

My point is that though there are risks with overclocking, they are small to nonexistant if you stay within the margins of what is oficially released based on the same technology (+/- a few %), as you're still within the design limits of the silicon. it's only when you start advancing a fair bit beyond that range (in Voltage or clockspeed terms here) that you start to have a serious risk of permanent damage.
January 12, 2006 3:06:52 PM

alright, i'll try to oc my cpu to 2.4-2.5, what about my video card and ram?
January 12, 2006 3:56:59 PM

I think we have a double irony here! You name is chipdeath and I am referring to the same 1700 that died on me! I had the same 1700 and I did overclock it by 100 Mhz. I then tried to lower the bus speed to underclock and BAM! Nothing. Dead forever. Me and my buddy OC'd two XP chips. I did the 2700 and him the 3000. No more than 120 mhz on each. Both of us had dead computers within 3 months of each other (both on gigabyte boards too!) No word of a lie. I am not arguing with you for the sake of arguing either. I bought an XP-M 2400 cuz everyone said it would do 2.5 ghz GUARANTEED! I went on the forums and got the same mobos they were using. An Asus of course. I could boot at 2.35 ghz but not run intensive programs. I could start encodng video at 2.25 but sometimes it would reboot. I finally settled down at 2.13 stably. Where those guys on the forums all lying? Not all. but I think some of them just wanted to talk poopy and fit in. I really dont think a 100-400 Mhz overclock will hurt. And I do feel the A64 will do 2.4 ghz with just a little effort. But 2.6-2.7 is madness. There is a reason why the FX chips cost 800 bucks. Only a few out a hundred wil make the cut. But I feel anytime you run a chip way past specs (in this case 1.7v for the A64) There is no telling what will happen. And for what? A few more fps? So you can finish encoding a file 15 minutes faster? Insanity in my book. Everyone here in these forums all scream 2.7! 2.8!!! But there isnt anyone saying proceed with caution. I was just trying to explain to our good friend to be cautious and to have a strategy when over clocking. Do it to extend the life of your system; not just to say you did it. You are right "not necessarily". But someone has to point out the dangers. I think we are both saying the same thing. I say anyone who gets 2.4 ghz out a 3200 is blessed and shouldnt needlessly push the envelope for an extra 200 Mhz that yields a few fps in exchange for more heat and risk. Did you read that link I posted BTW? After looking at the system status at 2.7 ghz, would you risk your CPU?
January 12, 2006 4:16:09 PM

I take back my last question. It seems like you already like to live on the edge based on your system specs. I have a question: Is that ballistix RAM you have DDR 500? Or is it overclocked? I want to buy the ballistix RAM @ 500mhz stock. See, I too intend on overclocking a X2 3800 to 2.4 ghz in order to delay jumping on the M2 in 2007. I dont want to waste my time with performance DDR400 cuz I read from some reviewers of not even getting 10 mhz over stock with some expensive RAM. So I opted for 500 Mhz RAM to ensure a decent overclock when the time is right. I wanted some input from a real person and not newegg's user reviews...
January 13, 2006 10:16:49 AM

Well, Half of it's PC4000 (DDR500). I originally bought one stick of 500, and then bought another matching one a few months later, But fairly recently I discovered loads of errors on one stick (I hadn't actually pushed it beyond it's ratings, if anything I was running it at slacker timings than its rated ones) so I had to RMA it, but the site didn't stock the 500 stuff anymore, so I got a stick of ballistix PC3200 as a replacement. This isn't much of a problem, since I happen to know that there is no difference between Ballistix 3200 and 4000 - the 4000 simply has an extra entry in the SPD table with slacker timings for 250Mhz (if you look, the DDR400 has ratings of 2-2-2-5 or something, but the 500 is 2.5-4-4-8 IIRC).

So although the sticks are allegedly rated differently, they're sufficiently similar to run in dual channel at 250Mhz. Since I've only just replaced my mobo I haven't got the timings down to what they'll eventually be though, that's why they're a little loose. (cas 3 instead of 2.5, etc) I've got it at 3V because my board set the wrong voltage by default (2.6V - the sticks are officially 2.8V) so I just upped it a little more to ensure it'd be stable (and 3V is basically 'safe' for this stuff.)

I agree that 1.7V for an A64 is far too high for any extended length of time. I wouldn't go above 1.6V, and would hesitate to go beyond 1.55 or so if only using the stock cooler (I'm using an XP-120).

Everyone I've seen attempting to overclock a Venice-cored 3200+ has achieved 2.5Ghz at least - that's why I'm not too shy about recommending it to the OP. Winchesters like mine were usually ok overclockers, but the Venices all seem to be exceptionally good. :mrgreen:

You seemto have had really bad luck with CPUs.... The only thing I've managed to kill through overclocking was my 9800Pro. I voltmodded it and putting 2V through the core (stock is 1.6 or 1.7 - can't remember which) for a few days was too much (even though I had modified a VGA silencer to use an 80mm fan to cool it. It was freakin' HUGE. It made the card about 2.5" wide or so, and effectively blocked 3 PCI slots) Still, it was artifact-free at 460Mhz when it died.. which is of course quite high...

Oh, I suppose you could say I killed my old Epox 8RDA+ mobo too, because I ran it at 200Mhz when it was a rev 1.1 (the nforce2 Ultra, as opposed to the Rev 2 Nforce2 Ultra 400) so it was only officially rated to 166Mhz. It suffered a few capacitor failures, and having replaced them it's back running again, and there's no way to prove they wouldn't have failed if I'd never overclocked it.. it's the board that's currently running the 2Ghz 1700+ in my flatemate's pooter. Since I brought it back to life, does that count as killing it? :?
January 13, 2006 10:40:27 AM

Yeah, I have had some bad luck. I have been waiting so long to buy again. Since the 1st gen M2s look to be another "newcastle" type of upgrade for the 64, I decided to buy now. One day, I want to push the X2 3800 to 2.4 ghz just so I can hold off that much longer so i dont jump on the M2 bandwagon too early. But I dont want to drop $200 on a overclocker's mobo. I want the Tforce 6100 ($75). If it cant get me 400 mhz then I just wont OC. The reason why I asked about the ballistix @ 500 was just to ake sure that it does IN FACT run at 500 mhz. If I had the choice bewteen premium CAS 2 400mhz DDR for $150 or CAS 3 500mhz DDR for 150 I want to go with the 500 mhz set up. Just to make sure though I have a few questions: Can I keep my FSB @ 200 mhz and run the RAM @ 500mhz? or does it only run @ 400mhz?

Here is my ideal scenario:I want to run the X2 3800 @ stock speeds this year. maybe next year I will run it @ 2.2 ghz. So I back off my HT a little, set the FSB to 220 mhz and the RAM will run @ 440mhz no prob right? (I mean it is rated t run @ 500!!!)

Here is another question: While I am at stock speeds, and my FSB is @ 200mhz, my RAM will be at 400mhz right? Can I lower the voltage from 2.8v to 2.6 since it is 100mhz under spec?

How hot does your 500mhz RAM run do you think?

My 9800 Pro did the same. I never even broke 400mhz either. Well, it didnt poop the bed on me, it just wont play certain games though. My buddy OC'd his mobility X800. (not smart) he didnt get very far and his also screws up on certain games.

I beleive you when you say you get a 500mhz OC on your chip. Judging from your specs you know all the right stuff to buy. Is the XP-120 worth it? What are your idle and load temps? Thanks for the help.
January 13, 2006 10:40:37 AM

[EDIT]
Forgot to mention, as soon as you start playing with the bus, you'll need to set the HT (hypertransport) multiplier down to 4x or 3x. the HT bus can't really run much beyond it's rated 1Ghz, and there is zero advantage to doing so anyway.
[/EDIT]

Ram's a tricky one. I would suggest playing it safe and setting the BIOS to run the ram at much lower speeds while you're playing with the CPU clock. At least that way when you hit problems you'll know it's not the RAM that's being a pain. Remember that even setting the RAM to '166Mhz' in the BIOS, it'll probably still increase in-line with the CPU clock. For example, if I set My BIOS to run ram at '200Mhz' it actually means it keeps it in synch with the CPU, so it's currently at 250Mhz, even though BIOS is saying 200Mhz. If I set the RAM speed at 166Mhz, then it would run at 5/6ths of 250Mhz, or ~209Mhz..

So I would suggest setting your RAM to 133Mhz (or 2/3rds, not sure how your BIOS will display the options) while you play with CPU.

Once you find out a sensible limit for the CPU, you can leave the CPU at whatever voltage you needed for that, but drop the bus back down to 200Mhz but set the RAM to 200Mhz (or 1:1, in synch with the CPU bus) and slowly increase the bus again until you find problems. as long as the CPU's running below the limits you found earlier, you'll know any issues are the RAM, so you can relax memory timings and/or increase memory voltage. I have no idea what the safe Voltage limit is for your RAM though, so try not to go more than .2V over whatever the stock voltage is and you should be fine. Find other people with the same memory and see how far they've pushed it and you should get some idea.

Graphics cards are simple to overclock, because they don't really let you adjust voltage and timings (well, not easily anyway), so just download coolbits (google - it's just a registry hack) and you'll be able to select clockspeeds for memory and GPU in display properties. Same principle - small increments and lots of testing, but look carefully for artifacts. Stuff like 3dMark '05 is good for checking that out. AtiTool apparently will check for artifacts for you, but I've never used it myself. It's quite difficult to damage the core through just slight overclocking, but I've seen numerous people who've managed to damage the RAM on their cards by pushing it too far - be careful with the RAM speed (you get larger gains by overclocking the core anyway). The guys in the Gfx forum would be able to give some pointers on that front.

The key things about overclocking are:
1)Don't push voltage too high. It's fairly difficult to damage stuff until you start upping voltage;
2)Go slow. Test a lot in between. Small increments will show potential problems before they become damaging.
3)Try to only play with one thing at a time. If you've played with 10 settings and the system crashes, you have no idea what the problem was! If you've only changed 1 thing, then you know that must be where the instability lies.

Oh, and as Dux says, try not to lose sight of the fact that you've bought the computer to do things with... It's all too easy to forget about that and become obsessed with benchmark scores and clockspeeds! Playing games and watching movies is more fun than watching your 9 thousandth 3dmark 2005 run... :roll:

Good luck to ya....
January 13, 2006 11:03:04 AM

Quote:
Can I keep my FSB @ 200 mhz and run the RAM @ 500mhz? or does it only run @ 400mhz?

Hmm. Not actually sure if modern mobos let you run the RAM at a higher speed than the CPU bus... Don't think there's much advantage to it to be honest. I certainly don't remember seeing a RAM speed option higher than 200Mhz in either my current mobo's BIOS or the previous one (an Epox Nforce 3 mobo). If set to autodetect it might I guess...

Quote:
Here is another question: While I am at stock speeds, and my FSB is @ 200mhz, my RAM will be at 400mhz right? Can I lower the voltage from 2.8v to 2.6 since it is 100mhz under spec?
The ballistix is rated for 2.8V. at 400 it has tighter timings than at 500, but both are officially 2.8V. You could try it and see, or you may need to relax timings to get 2.6V working. I initially had trouble installing windows because mine had auto-detected 2.6V. You could try it - no one ever killed ram by undervolting/underclocking it! :lol: 

Quote:
I back off my HT a little, set the FSB to 220 mhz and the RAM will run @ 440mhz no prob right? (I mean it is rated t run @ 500!!!)
In theory it should be fine, although you'll probably have to manually set the RAM timings to something a little looser, as it'll probably still try to use the tighter timings from 200Mhz/400DDR. Actually, I forgot to mention HT multiplier earlier! I'll go and amend that little essay in a minute :oops: 

Quote:
How hot does your 500mhz RAM run do you think?
Not too sure - I've never touched it and thought it was that hot. My antec case has some built-in temperature probe thingies. I'll stick one on my RAM (other one's on the Gfx card Heatsink). Now I have a board that supports higher VDimm than 2.8V It's probably wise anyway! 8)

Quote:
Judging from your specs you know all the right stuff to buy.
Been doing this a while, and haven't always bought the right stuff..... Learning all the time though.

The lesson best remembered is that got through painful experience.

Quote:
Is the XP-120 worth it? What are your idle and load temps?
Idle in the BIOS was 32C when last I checked. I haven't installed any software for monitoring temps yet, since I've only just reinstalled windows. Plus I really should clean off the HS/CPU and re-apply some thermal paste (I didn't realise I'd lost my tube of arctic silver until I'd already removed the HS and CPU from the old board so I had to re-use what was one there :oops: ) at an educated guess, probably mid to low 40s C under load.

The XP-120 is a great cooler, but I believe the XP-90c (the copper one) gives about the same performance in a smaller package. a pretty worthwhile investment in my book.

Of course these new cores overclock so well that the stock cooler's plenty good enough. I had 2.6Ghz (although not quite 100% stable...) from this chip on the stock cooler when I first got it. It was mostly because of the Noise that I bought the 120. The stock cooler isn't very loud, but it does make some noise. plus of course load was mid 50s with the stock one (overclocked).
January 13, 2006 11:28:52 AM

So if I am reading you right, unless my mobo supports DDR 500, I will run at 400Mhz UNTIL I OC? gotcha. I needed to know that. The only reason why i want DDR 500 is I dont want to waste my time with a pair of DDR 400 sticks that wont go past 240mhz. I have heard horror stories of high end corsair stix that didnt OC worht crap. but they could do CAS 2 @400 mhz. I dunno, maybe those guys were just morons.

I also need to make sure my mobo supports voltage changes on RAM. I would hate to be stuck with RAM that wont run cuz it was underpowered. I always figured DDR 500mhz RAM was simplr DDR 400 that was GUARANTEED to "run" or "OC" to 500 mhz. So they just saved us the trouble on upping the voltage and just set it at 2.8 and bumped the clockspeed up.... Maybe I was wrong.

I read this one review of DDR 600 and I am almost certain it said the DIMMS were over 100 degrees F with heat spreaders. Kinda scary considering the only thing cooling it off is the exhaust from your CPU.....


ok, I need to do more research before I go an buy that mobo. damn, cuz I really wanted the Tforce...
January 13, 2006 11:53:28 AM

Just popped home for lunch, installed SpeedFan (first prog that came to mind for google-ing) and it appears my CPU is 43C. It's been on since yesterday and running Folding@home So that's the temp after quite a few hours of full load.

SpeedFan is quite good actually. First impressions are high-up, although I have no idea what the mysterious temp. sensor that's showing 41C is... Chipset perhaps? hmm. I've got 4 temps listed: 43C (assuming that's the CPU one, since it's the highest and sounds about what I'd expect) 33C (which seems about right for the case temp, so I'm assuming that's what that one is), but then I have a 41C and a 37C. No idea what either of them is. I'll have to look into which sensor is what.

Thing even gathers HDD temperature info.
January 13, 2006 12:01:54 PM

Quote:
The only reason why i want DDR 500 is I dont want to waste my time with a pair of DDR 400 sticks that wont go past 240mhz
Yup.. Ages ago when I got another 512Mb of RAM for my old athlon XP system, I bought some Corsair PC4000 for the same reason. That stuff turned out to be crap and I've since gotten rid of it.

Quote:
I also need to make sure my mobo supports voltage changes on RAM.
Yup... My last mobo only went up to 2.8V, which was really annoying. To make matters worse, it actually undervolted slightly so the RAM didn't even get 2.8.... something like 2.76 I think was the actual value.

Quote:
I always figured DDR 500mhz RAM was simplr DDR 400 that was GUARANTEED to "run" or "OC" to 500 mhz.
It is, basically. They just make RAM. Virtually all of it can do at least 200Mhz/400DDR, so they sell it as that. The stuff that can do 250 gets the PC4000 moniker... Speed-binning isn't just for CPUs... RAM is warm, But not frighteningly so (Then again, the XP-120 actually overhangs the RAM slots, so they are getting a nice blast of air...) at a guess, a bit over 40C I think.
!