I am rather new at overclocking, but I'm learning a lot, and picking it up quick. I just built a brand new rig, which is working flawlessly, I couldn't be happier, and so I've decided to make it even more beautiful by overclocking it. My rig is as follows:
E6600 2.4Ghz Proc
EVGA Nforce 680i Mobo
2GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 800 RAM 4-4-4-12
BFG 8800 GTX
Zalman 9700 CPU Cooler
I've pretty much followed Wusy's sticky guide, and I've been able to push it to 3.15Ghz with it remaining completely stable. I have the VCore set at around 1.25 volts, and according to CoreTemp both cores are running at 34C idle and 45C under 50% load. I can't get Prime95 to run in two instances, so I haven't been able to test temps at 100% load.
However, I ran into a wall when I tried to push the FSB past 352Mhz (I had the VCore set at 1.4v by Wusy's recommendation). When I tried to push it a little past this I would get a BSOD everytime it tried to load Windows. I was running my RAM at 5-5-5-15 timing at 2.2v because I hit the limits of 4-4-4-12. I just throttled back the FSB to get it stable again, and now I'm working with the 3.15GHz overclock, which is a good bit, admittedly. But I want to push it farther!!! Have I just hit the limits of my RAM? Or is there a way to get around this and acheive a better overclock. I know it's possible to get a 6600 farther than this...
I needed to increase the board voltages a bit to get the higher speeds.
spp > mcp 1.25
unlink your ram and let the system determine settings for the time being.
I am able to get my system orthos stable at 3500 with a vCore of 1.39375
I actually had overclocked earlier with the system determining RAM settings, and I was able to get it up around 3.5 Ghz, where I chose to stop and stress test. However, the system adjusted the RAM timings to something weird, like 5-6-5-19 or something, and I thought that was a bit strange. Would a strange timing like that hurt my performance? I definitely am able to get a higher overclock with the RAM timings automatically adjusted, but will the RAM take a big performance hit from the odd timings?
You will gain a lot more from the higher CPU speen than you will loose from the RAM.
What I would recommend is that you get the best stable CPU performance you can and then optimise your ram. CPU is definately the more important. ONce my chip was stable I was able to tighten the memory considerably.
Well if 1.4v wasnt enough, raise it! Give the NB and FSB voltage a hand too.
Go with 5-5-5-15 timings all the way and this is better for DDR2, once you reach your desired OC you can set it at a higher speed, but keep 1:1 while OCing.
No, I actually really like the 680i so far. It has some nice features, and comes with good software. The only thing is that I really can't get my E6600 past 3GHz without going past 5-5-5-15 and 5:4 ratio. I haven't experimented all that much really, but I did do a little, and I couldn't figure anything out. I might mess with it a bit later, but for now, 3GHz is quite fine for anything I'm doing. I'll probably buy another 2 Gigs of the same RAM right before Vista ships, and then go for that. I should be set.