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Critique my Opteron 165 build...

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May 24, 2006 12:06:58 AM

Please review/critique my gaming rig. I want to OC it as much as possible.



DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 Ultra-D Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

AMD Opteron 165 Denmark 1000MHz HT Socket 939 Dual Core Processor Model OSA165CDBOX - Retail

XFX PV-T71G-UDE7 GeForce 7900 GT EXTREME (520MHz) 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail

CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model Twinx2048-3200c2pt -
May 24, 2006 12:27:04 AM

Nice rig...I would get PC4000 Ram and if you can afford it even PC4400 but they are more expensive. G.SKILL has some PC4000 ram for 179.00 and that is a 2GIG kit.
May 24, 2006 1:16:40 AM

Quote:
Nice rig...I would get PC4000 Ram and if you can afford it even PC4400 but they are more expensive. G.SKILL has some PC4000 ram for 179.00 and that is a 2GIG kit.


Agree with Sandman. If max overclock is your goal also look at a good Zalman S939 CPU cooler.
Related resources
May 24, 2006 1:46:34 AM

There are a couple of mods out there for your board and people are getting their 165s up to 310-320 *9 stable on air...

Oh yeah - SLI, too.
May 24, 2006 3:05:03 AM

Quote:
There are a couple of mods out there for your board and people are getting their 165s up to 310-320 *9 stable on air...

Oh yeah - SLI, too.


What do you mean by mods?
May 24, 2006 3:22:53 AM

Don't do SLi. Not worth it at all. Also, your build looks pretty nice, almost exactly the same as mine.

DDay
May 24, 2006 3:26:06 AM

Quote:
Don't do SLi. Not worth it at all. Also, your build looks pretty nice, almost exactly the same as mine.

DDay


Yeah, I was considering waiting for AM2, but I figure this rig will handle any game thrown at it for quite awhile. Plus, I can grab a DX10 vid card when they're available.
May 24, 2006 4:22:42 AM

Quote:
Don't do SLi. Not worth it at all. Also, your build looks pretty nice, almost exactly the same as mine.

DDay


Yeah, I was considering waiting for AM2, but I figure this rig will handle any game thrown at it for quite awhile. Plus, I can grab a DX10 vid card when they're available.Forget AM2; the performace is equal to s939 at best, in some cases it's worse because of the high-latency DDR2. Plus, the prices have gone up. The energy efficiency is nice, but I'll take high performance and low price over that any day.
May 24, 2006 5:11:02 AM

Quote:
Nice rig...I would get PC4000 Ram and if you can afford it even PC4400 but they are more expensive. G.SKILL has some PC4000 ram for 179.00 and that is a 2GIG kit.


Agreed nice spec. But he's only about $100 away from an x1900XT.

Gofer it!
May 24, 2006 6:22:12 AM

Mostly great choices as you'll find it to be a OC'ing beast.

You'll be really limited with your RAM. The Zalman cooler works but some will contest there are cheaper choices. I just got my 7900 GTX trade-up from the 7800 GTX and wow I am happy. The temps are 10C lower on load and it blazes. Anyway sorry to get off topic, grab some DDR500 (Mushkin or OCZ Platinum, and few others you can find by researching here on the forums)
May 24, 2006 12:50:24 PM

Quote:
What do you mean by mods?
This is from one of the very knowledgeable guys that's on the folding team that I'd joined. He recommended your board to go with my 170. Said that it takes about 5 minutes to make it SLI compatible and that with the right BIOS you could hit the above specs. We didn't get in to too much detail as I don't yet have the board, but I'm sure that a little googling will put you on the right path. FWIW, his everyday rig is with your board and a 170 @ 280*10, though it's stable beyond - I've seen the CPUZ screenshots.
May 24, 2006 1:17:21 PM

This may not be the best place to post this, but I have noticed on many, many occassions people suggesting that Ram should be upgraded in terms of its' quality/speed. In the above post, hatsurfer said that he would be seriously limited by his Ram.

Granted, more expensive Ram can hit higher clocks and tighter timings, but in all real world benchmarks I've seen across the internet, these increases in Ram speed and timings seem to make little difference in terms of FPS.

Is it really that important to spend that much more getting quality Ram?? Wouldn't it make more sense getting a better CPU for the same amount of money??
May 24, 2006 1:27:50 PM

Nothing wrong with that rig. Maybe spend some extra $$ and get a 512mb video card, as it will help future-proof the system.

Also, what are you running for HDD's? I always recommend the WD Raptor series drives, as they reduce the load times of games and WinXP. Alternately, the newer SATA HDD's with 16mb of cache are very fast and efficient as well.
May 24, 2006 1:31:27 PM

Quote:

I Agree, But only for games that is, maybe he want to make some DivX or DVDs and it will get beneficial then, otherwise, is not worth at all, tu put money on quality ram.-
Im Happy with my 2Gb value corssair.- :D 
May 25, 2006 1:14:40 AM

He said, "I want to OC it as much as possible".
There's nothing wrong with trying value ram, but it most likely will limit his head room that he could achieve on his opty. I just mentioned a few brands that have good results from similar system builds. Here's a good guide that I googled to help him get started with his o/c'ing.

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=795444

Here's a small bit from the guide.

"So go back to the RAM that I linked before. It is listed at a speed of DDR PC-4000. PC-4000 is equivalent to DDR 500, which means that PC-4000 RAM has an effective speed of 500MHz with an underlying 250MHz clock speed.

So what does this all have to do with overclocking?

Well, as I said before, when you raise the FSB, you effectively overclock everything else in your system. This applies to RAM too. RAM that is rated at PC-3200 (DDR 400) is rated to run at speeds up to 200MHz. For a non-overclocker, this is fine, since your FSB won't be over 200MHz anyway.

Problems can occur, though, when you want to raise your FSB to speeds over 200MHz. Since the RAM is only rated to run at speeds up to 200MHz, raising your FSB higher than 200MHz can cause your system to crash. How do you solve this? There are three solutions: using a FSB:RAM ratio, overclocking your RAM, or simply buying RAM rated at a higher speed."
May 25, 2006 6:55:49 AM

OK, thanks for the info regarding why go with higher speed RAM.

2 more questions;

1. How do you change the FSB/Ram ratio?
2. What are typical errors associated with overclocked RAM which can't handle the speeds?
May 25, 2006 10:57:23 AM

Quote:
There's nothing wrong with trying value ram, but it most likely will limit his head room that he could achieve on his opty.

In addition, with value ram, there's a good chance that it won't run in dual channel.
May 25, 2006 11:10:27 AM

Quote:
1. How do you change the FSB/Ram ratio?
2. What are typical errors associated with overclocked RAM which can't handle the speeds?

1) Change it in the BIOS. Usually it's set to 'auto' or 'by SPD' - set it to 'manual' and select the desired speed/ratio.

2) errors as in, not grabbing the right info stored... think of memory as a warehouse, and you keep track of where everything is stored by row # and shelf #. If stuff is coming in and going out too fast, your ram can simply forget (or recall incorrectly) where a certain 'item' was placed. If your ram really can't handle it, you'll have a strike on your hands, your system simply won't boot. :D 
May 25, 2006 12:20:15 PM

You don't need special rams to overclock more..
Just have to be smarter and use dividers.
I'm running my Opteron 165 at 2.4ghz on Corsair Value 400mhz rams..
(8x301) 301 is to make the rams even out at a perfect 400 clock..
May 25, 2006 12:34:14 PM

Quote:
1. How do you change the FSB/Ram ratio?
2. What are typical errors associated with overclocked RAM which can't handle the speeds?

1) Change it in the BIOS. Usually it's set to 'auto' or 'by SPD' - set it to 'manual' and select the desired speed/ratio.

2) errors as in, not grabbing the right info stored... think of memory as a warehouse, and you keep track of where everything is stored by row # and shelf #. If stuff is coming in and going out too fast, your ram can simply forget (or recall incorrectly) where a certain 'item' was placed. If your ram really can't handle it, you'll have a strike on your hands, your system simply won't boot. :D 

Thanks for the reply. I'll have a look in my bios and see if it all makes sense :wink:

Regarding errors, thanks for your comments, but what I was really looking for was what errors will crop up on your system. I am going to be pushing my overclock in the next few days and have value ram. I'd like to know what errors I can attribute to Ram - pagefile errors for example? Any others?
May 25, 2006 4:05:50 PM

Other than no being able to boot? I don't know! :D  Always test immediately after adjusting! Better to be more proactive about it rather than wait around for errors to slow you down. An above poster mentioned memtest86 - run that overnight and you'll know if it's stable. Also, you can run Stress Prime and see if CPU/RAM errors pop up. Increase, then test. Increase, then test. Once you start getting errors adjust the voltage or the divider and test again. If it comes back clean, keep going. If it doesn't, back it down and that's your max. Refer to your CPU and RAM specs - keep an eye on temps and don't over-volt.
May 26, 2006 6:50:17 AM

Quote:
Other than no being able to boot? I don't know! :D  Always test immediately after adjusting! Better to be more proactive about it rather than wait around for errors to slow you down. An above poster mentioned memtest86 - run that overnight and you'll know if it's stable. Also, you can run Stress Prime and see if CPU/RAM errors pop up. Increase, then test. Increase, then test. Once you start getting errors adjust the voltage or the divider and test again. If it comes back clean, keep going. If it doesn't, back it down and that's your max. Refer to your CPU and RAM specs - keep an eye on temps and don't over-volt.


Great, thanks for the tips :D  My watercooling should be arriving today so it should be a weekend of fun (Hopefully not tears... 8) ).
May 26, 2006 10:58:11 AM

Quote:
Other than no being able to boot? I don't know! :D  Always test immediately after adjusting! Better to be more proactive about it rather than wait around for errors to slow you down. An above poster mentioned memtest86 - run that overnight and you'll know if it's stable. Also, you can run Stress Prime and see if CPU/RAM errors pop up. Increase, then test. Increase, then test. Once you start getting errors adjust the voltage or the divider and test again. If it comes back clean, keep going. If it doesn't, back it down and that's your max. Refer to your CPU and RAM specs - keep an eye on temps and don't over-volt.


Memtest no longer works on my motherboard.. It seems to be incompatible with the AsusA8N32Sli board I have..
I sure don't rely on that any more.. :/ 
May 26, 2006 2:46:03 PM

Quote:
Other than no being able to boot? I don't know! :D  Always test immediately after adjusting! Better to be more proactive about it rather than wait around for errors to slow you down. An above poster mentioned memtest86 - run that overnight and you'll know if it's stable. Also, you can run Stress Prime and see if CPU/RAM errors pop up. Increase, then test. Increase, then test. Once you start getting errors adjust the voltage or the divider and test again. If it comes back clean, keep going. If it doesn't, back it down and that's your max. Refer to your CPU and RAM specs - keep an eye on temps and don't over-volt.


Memtest no longer works on my motherboard.. It seems to be incompatible with the AsusA8N32Sli board I have..
I sure don't rely on that any more.. :/ 

Yey Asus for another craptacular board!
May 26, 2006 11:38:23 PM

Right, well the card works just fine, the application does not however...
May 27, 2006 1:00:45 AM

Looks good to me...


Trying to build same thing with Opteron 144 and 7600GT!
May 27, 2006 6:23:03 AM

I noticed that the DFI Lanparty doesn't officially support Opterons... is there any danger in using an Opty with it?
May 27, 2006 11:21:41 AM

I don't think that you're going to find to many boards that officially do... but as long as your board supports dual-core 939s, you'll be cool.
!