So I've been overclocking my CPU and have read maybe 10 guides for overclocking. I had some remaining questions if any of you experienced overclockers has time to help out a newbie overclocker
I have an e4300 with gigabyte s3 board cooled by a Big Typhoon
1) Should I install a system fan? What do I point it at?
2) Intel TAT and Speedfan read very different temps.
Intel TAT= Idle 45 (avg) Load 67 (avg) (note TAT reads different temps for the 2 cores, I averaged them)
Speedfan Idle 23 Load 51 (these are both Temp2, which goes up when I load the CPU)
Which program is right?
3) How hot is too hot? Which program do I trust?
3) how do you know how low your memory latency can go? I'm running at 4-4-4-10 right now, but I've seen guides that say to go to 2-2-2-6
I have never run memtest, but prime95 has no problems with 4-4-4-10
4) People talk about FSB affecting how low memory latency is will affect how fast your FSB is. They say if your FSB is half your top rated RAM speed (ie 400 for 800mhz RAM), you have to increase your memory latency to 5-5-5. What if I'm running at 333 or 350? Can I be at 2-2-2-6 or is that too low?
5) Should I increase my memory voltage? What will this buy me?
6) When people say to run 2 instances of prime95 and do torture, are they talking about 2 instances of Blend torture test? Or 1 blend, 1 other?
7) How do I know when to stop increasing voltage? I'm running at 2997mhz (333*9). If I lower my voltage to normal, my system crashes. If I have it at the value it is now (slightly higher than normal), it works fine. Should I increase voltage and go for a higher FSB?
2. A couple of system fans would probably be a good idea since you are overclocking. You didn't really say what graphics card or RAM you are using so it is hard to tell how much cooling you need. A typical setup would have a fan or two in the back blowing air out of the case and a fan or two in the front blowing air into the case. Fans on the side panel usually blow into the case. Fans on top would probably be beneficial either way.
3. The guides that say to use 2-2-2-6 timings must be relatively old, because you can't get those timings with DDR2 RAM which is what you have. The only way to know how low you can go with timings is to try them and see if the system is stable. How fast the memory is going relative to its rated speed will influence how low you can set the timings. I would recommend either leaving them on automatic settings or even raising them until you have settled on an overclock.
4. We need to know what speed your RAM is rated for to have any advice on this.
5. Increasing memory voltage will only have a chance at helping you if you are trying to make it run beyond its rated speed and/or with lower than rated timings.
6. The reason for running 2 instances of Prim95 is that you have a dual core CPU. You want to set one to run on each core. I haven't had the oportunity to do this myself as I only have single core CPUs but I would expect that you would want to use blend on both.
At some point, you might want to try lowering your multiplier to see if you can get higher FSB for a similare overclock. That gives you the advantage of higher memory speed and bandwidth between the CPU and the rest of the system.
Also, regarding the 2-2-2-6 timing, you are absolutely right, that guide was from 2004. I've been reading every guide I could get my hands on so I could come to you guys and ask these "final" questions :-) I guess I read some old ones.
So you're saying keep the memory timings at 5-5-5 until I finilize my overclock? Don't try to lower them while I do FSB overclocking?
Yeah, the memory timings won't make as much difference as a higher overclock. Once you overclock, if you want to try to lower your timings go for it. It looks like your RAM is specified to run at 4-4-4-15.
Since your RAM is specified to run at DDR-800 4-4-4-15, I would consider trying to run it at 5-5-5-15, change your multiplier to 7 or so if you think 3GHz is as high as you want to go and set the FSB to 425ish. That will take advantage of your memory's abilities. If that is stable and you are happy with it, then you could try to reduce the timings which may require a little increase in voltage.
If only I had the time and money to do some more overclocking myself.