OC beginner seeking help

I finally purchased and built my first build about a month ago, and I doubt I could have done it without all the knowledge garnered from the TG forums. So now, having tested it for about a month, I'm looking to push it further. The problem is, I'm really new to OCing, and while I've read tons of guides on the process, many are hopelessly outdated or incomplete. So once again I turn here.

See my sig for hardware specs. For starters I'm looking to do a modest overclock from 1.8Ghz to 2.0Ghz--in other words, pushing my FSB to about 223 Mhz (since the CPU multiplier is locked at 9x). So, following the rec's of most guides, I lowered my HT freq to 3x and memory freq to DDR 266 (133 Mhz) in order to avoid problems before pushing the CPU slowly up to 223. Having run Prime95 for several hours without any obvious problems/errors, I then upped my HT freq to 4x (I understand the goal is to keep (HT Freq) x (FSB) around 1000?).

Here's my problem, though: When I go to re-up the memory frequency, my timings go from 2-3-2-5 (stock settings) to somewhat higher. And unfortunately this is the point in most guides where my comprehension of OCing hits a wall, since they don't really explain in dummy terms how to OC RAM. So, my questions:

1. After finding a good setting for FSB, <i>should</i> I raise memory frequency back to previous settings, or to a little lower? If the latter, how do I know how high/low to go?

2. Either way, should I adjust the timings seperately and manually, or just stop at changing the mem freq? If the former, do I need to adjust ALL timings, or just the standard ones (CAS, Trcd, Trp, and Tras, right?)?

3. Where does VDIMM voltage fit into this? Should I raise it after adjusting settings for mem freq and/or timings? How will I know when and how much to raise it?

4. You don't want to answer all of these questions! So, any <i>recent</i> guides for OCing RAM that explain it in terms that won't make n00bs like me black out?

Thanks for any help! Oh, and as far as cooling goes, the only changes from stock are the use of this Zalman CNPS 7000B-AlCu LED HSF and Arctic Silver 5 grease.
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  1. Ok, no one wants to tackle this one, so I'll make it simple and limit it to the last question. Can anyone point me to a recent and fairly clear guide on OCing with regards to RAM?
  2. Psh, just do a 1:1 ratio on the ram. have it run 223 with the HTT speed and set htt multiplier to x4. Keep the timings what they are at stock (2-3-2-5 im guessing?) Seriously, you have shitty ram if it isn't even capable of 23 more mhz!
    Give the VDIMM a little more voltage (be careful with that) to keep it stable. You probably won't need more CPU voltage as 200mhz isn't shit for a 165 to overclock. By the way...what is your opty 165 stepping? I can tell you straight up what it is capable of just with that.
  3. I understand (from here, referring to a very similar EPoX mobo) that with this mobo, which doesn't have a ram ratio option, setting the memory frequency to 200mhz (400ddr) is the same as setting it to 1:1 ratio.

    So, in terms that this OC noob can understand, what you're saying is:

    *set HT freq to 4x
    *set HTT speed (FSB) to my OC goal (in this case 223mhz)
    *set memory freq to 200mhz (400ddr)
    *adjust memory timings manually, with slight increase in VDIMM voltage

    ...right? When I do this, a 446 DDR reading is giving in NTUNE (which I'm using just to observe, actual changes being made in BIOS). I assume this is what I should expect?

    As for why I'm OCing so low, it's just so I can get familiar with the process without pushing it too far. My concern isn't really _how much_ I can overclock, it's the actual process of overclocking, since I'm a newbie at this and want to learn. Still, though I won't pretend I know what 'stepping' actually means, CPU-Z shows that value as 2 for both cores of my Opty 165, and any input you can give based on that is appreciated.

  4. Correct, DDR446 should be read (223mhz, ddr446 effective). The stepping for your processor is an identification code on the CPU itself.
    2nd code down.
    Don't be afraid to set your settings uber high. Below is my first build (venice) and I went for 2.6 straight out of the box XD
  5. Great, your advice helps alot. Running Prime95 now just for form, but I can't imagine I'll run into any trouble. The OC only yielded a 1500 pt increase in 3dMark2001 (from 23600 to 25100 - haven't tried 05 or 06 yet), so I may yet push it further. Muchas gracias!
  6. it will be stable at 2.0, trust me. take off your heatsink and tell me what stepping you got then tell me when and where you purchased it !
  7. Quote:
    it will be stable at 2.0, trust me. take off your heatsink and tell me what stepping you got then tell me when and where you purchased it !

    Ugh, maybe another day on that first part.....But FWIW (probably not much) I purchased it in mid-January from Mwave.com.
  8. hm, is that zalman a pain in the ass to install? my zalman gfx card cooler was...
  9. Quote:
    hm, is that zalman a pain in the ass to install? my zalman gfx card cooler was...

    Not much more than any other HSF, I'd imagine. It's just more effort than I'm willing to put into it right now. I'd expect the GPU cooler to be more of a pain, but then again I have even less experience OCing those than I do CPU & RAM, so what do I know. (I'll save <i>that</i> project for next month!)
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