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Overclocking 101 for the Gigabyte DS3

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May 31, 2007 2:07:32 AM

Ok, after dozens and dozens of requests and positive feedback, I've decided to post my newbie OC'ing guide.....which is specifically geared to the Gigabyte DS3, but the principles can be applied to other boards as well. However, the settings provided are for the DS3.

NOW, please keep in mind this Guide is for newbies, not for advanced users. I'm sure advanced OC'ers will have some minor objections, but put yourself in a newbies' shoes: they need help to easily understand HOW to get to a good overclock. The C2D chips overclock easily and highly, so without getting into all the technical details (that is NOT the premise of this Guide), I simply offer the best experience of getting an easy overclock on a C2D and the DS3.

So take it as it's meant: as an easy, newbie Guide, nothing more, nothing less. I stand by the results, as I've had tons of positive results, but mileage and methods may vary. I may revise this Guide if some overwhelming requests/complaints are received. That being said, let's move on.....


It's kinda long, but don't be intimidated though, it's simple: disable some BIOS stuff, set your overclock, test it for stability and temps......that's it in a nutshell. But it tells you HOW to do all that, so don't feel overwhelmed. Read it a couple times to familiarize yourself a bit more. If you need help, send me a list of your system specs......I'm mostly interested in which CPU, exact mobo, and exact RAM you have, and I can help give you some settings if you have questions.

Keep in mind this is specifically geared towards the Gigabyte S3 or DS3....although the same principles still apply to other motherboards and CPU's. But I've put the exact settings for the S3/DS3 to make life easier for people. And it also depends on which CPU and multiplier you have. But again, the principle is still there.

Here we go......Print this out or something. It's alot of info at once, but once you do it, then it’s not so bad. Most of the info below is actually spent on making sure your system is stable, not doing the actual overclocking itself.....so don't be discouraged or intimidated. Doing the overclock is pretty straightforward and quick. Making sure your system is completely stable takes alot longer and requires some patience.


OVERCLOCKING 101 ON THE S3/DS3

BIOS UPDATE:
FIRST thing you do should do is update your BIOS. Easiest way is to use this:
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/FileList/NewTech/old_motherb....

You can update your BIOS manualy by flashing, but things can go wrong easily. For the newbies, updating BIOS through Windows is far easier, especially on the DS3....it's very stable and I've always had great results, along with other people too. Install @BIOS, extract the files, then run it. You can either manually download the latest BIOS for your motherboard (pick the right motherboard!!!) and then tell @BIOS where to find it, or you can let it connect to the Gigabyte servers and do it automatically. Whichever you prefer. If you are really against updating your BIOS, then just move down further, but the @BIOS from Gigabyte is very good and stable, I've used it a number of times, so I'm not sure why someone who will be overclocking wouldn't update BIOS.

After you update your BIOS, now the fun begins........

Next you need to download some overclocking/monitoring utilities:

UTILITIES:
CPU-Z (to display your FSB settings, CPU speed settings, memory timings, etc in Windows):
http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php

Intel TAT - Thermal Analysis Tool (to monitor your CPU temps), this works with Vista:
http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/392/mirrors.php

Alternatively for CPU temps, you can download CoreTemp. It doesn't work with Vista right now, but it does work with XP:
http://www.thecoolest.zerobrains.com/CoreTemp/

Prime95 to stress test:
http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft.htm (scroll down near the bottom and pick which OS you got)

SpeedFan (to monitor voltages, temps of system stuff):
http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php

Super Pi Mod (a quick way of testing the speed of your CPU):
http://www.xtremesystems.com/pi/

DISABLING BIOS FUNCTIONS:
-Boot your computer, hit [DEL] key to get into BIOS.
-When in BIOS, hit [CRTL+F1] at main screen to unlock all OC’ing options
-Now you gotta turn a bunch of stuff OFF that will interfere with your OC. Turn these OFF (I don’t have screenies of my BIOS in front of me, so I might mislabel something, but you’ll find it, just look around):
1) disable CIA2
2) disable C1E
3) disable EIST
4) disable Virtualization Technology
5) disable CPUID
6) disable No-Execute Memory Protect
7) set PCI Express (PCI-e) frequency to 100 mhz

BIOS MONITORING SETTINGS:
-Next, in PC Health area of BIOS, make sure your CPU fan and System fan are set to Enabled, and SMART fan can be set to Auto.
-Set your CPU warning temp to 70C.

-Next go into the MB Intelligent Tweaker area of BIOS. This is where the real fun happens……I don’t know your memory timings so we’re gonna go on the safe side for now and keep them loose…..

OVERCLOCK SETTINGS:
-Set Graphics Booster to Auto
-Set CPU Host Clock Control to Enabled
-Set CPU Host Frequency to……this is where you set your FSB, so start medium and go up from there after each stress test on your system. With a 6300 that has a 7x multi, then set this Host Frequency at first to 350. This will give you a 2.45 ghz speed to start off. Ok, now the next settings.........

-Set System Memory Multiplier to 2.00
-Set DRAM Timing Selectable to Manual
-Set CAS Latency to 5
-Set RAS to CAS to 5
-Set RAS Precharge to 5
-Set tRAS to 15

That takes care of FSB and RAM timings. Now onto voltages. This is more hit and miss, depends on your RAM. So we start easy. As you bump up the FSB (Host Frequency), you will eventually need to bump up your voltages too, specifically your vCORE and probably your vDIMM. You *might* need to bump up your MCH a bit too, and this will make your NorthBridge hotter but more stable. Again, the keys to OC’ing are cooling and stability. Ok, let’s go with these voltage settings:

VOLTAGE SETTINGS:
-Set DIMM OverVoltage Control to +0.2v (might only need +0.1v, depending the quality of your RAM)
-Set MCH Overvoltage to +0.1 (leaving it at stock will likely work for moderate overclocks....so it's up to you. But higher OC's may also need a northbridge cooler for $20)
-Leave vCORE at 1.325v……..but it may need to go up as you go higher on the FSB. 1.325v is fine for moderate overclocks.
-PCI-e voltage can stay at Normal
-FSB voltage can stay at Normal, should be fine for moderate overclocks. Higher OC’s should go +0.1v

And that’s it. Hit F10 to Save and Exit. Your system will power down on its own and sit there for a few seconds, then start back up on its own. This is normal. Your boot screen should show the new CPU speed. If all goes well, you’ll boot into Windows. If not, restart and go back into BIOS. Lower your FSB first and try to boot again. It's best to try to lower FSB first, then increase volts next (depending on how high you already are on your OC). But at 2.4 ghz you should be fine. But if you go higher, then it gets trickier getting all the combinations of settings correct and stable.

STABILITY TESTING:
When in Windows, start CPU-Z. Check what your FSB is at, what your CPU speed is at, and what your Memory speed and timings are.

Then start TAT or CoreTemp to monitor your temps. Note what they are at idle. Then start SpeedFan to watch your voltages, to see if they fluctuate.

Next you want to run dual instances of Prime 95. Create a Prime 95 shortcut on your desktop, then right click and go to Properties. In the Target, add -A0 at the end of the line, but LEAVE A SPACE before the –A0. Click OK. Create another Prime95 shortcut on your desktop, go to Properties, and this time put –A1 at the end, with a space in front of the – sign. Now run both the A0 and A1 shortcuts for Prime 95. Go to Options pulldown, then Torture Test. Select Large Place FFTs for both Prime programs you have open. Then start the Torture Test for both. Watch TAT or CoreTemp….you should see the CPU usage go to 100% on both cores. And your temps will climb very fast. Monitor your temps, take a note of how high they go. And watch Speedfan to make sure your voltages don’t fluctuate too much, high or low.

Assuming everything is fine, you can wait about 10 minutes, then stop the Torture Tests. Then you can restart your system, go into BIOS and bump up the FSB (Host Frequency) higher. I’d say you can probably go to 2.8 – 3.0 ghz on stock cooling before your temps get too hot. Keep your temps below 60C. If they go above, back down the FSB and eventually the volts. You’ll need to find a happy medium where your CPU isn’t too hot and your volts aren’t too high. Hit F10 to restart and go into Windows. Repeat process.

If you get errors in Prime 95 at all, then your system isn’t stable. Generally speaking, you need to either lower the FSB or raise the vCore….but ONLY raise it 2 notches from whatever you already have it set to. Keep rebooting and running Prime95’s until you can run dual instances for 18-24 hours without any errors. THEN your system is ROCK STABLE. Ideally, you get 24 hours stable, but most people will go 10-18 hours. I go 24 when I’m satisfied with my clock speeds and volts.

AFTERMATH:
And that’s all. DONE!! If you can get your FSB to 385, then you now have a computer that runs as fast as a higher CPU for hundreds of dollars LESS!!!

So it’s basically a simple back-and-forth between higher FSB and voltages, versus keeping your temps low enough. Start with an FSB that will get you 2.2-2.4 ghz, make sure your system is stable and not too hot, then bump it up to 2.6-2.8. Repeat stability tests. If your really luck with your RAM and temps, then you might wanna shoot for 3.0 ghz. But stock cooling will then limit you, and your RAM might as well.

Your biggest difficulty will be finding the right vCore and vDIMM that’s stable and cool for your clock speed. Sometimes you get lucky right away, sometimes not. But the settings I’ve given you should get you a stable OC very quickly. There might be some tweaking, but as long as you don’t go too high an OC, it should get you there no problem and keep your temps ok. You'll probably have your vCore at or below 1.325v with a moderate overclock, which would be great. Higher overclocks, your vCORE will be anywhere from 1.325v to 1.425v.

If you get stable for a long time in Prime95, then you can consider lowering your vCore by 2 notches, and maybe even your vDIMM by 1 notch. This will lower your temps overall. So you keep backing down the volts until you get errors in Prime, then you bump it back up slightly, and that’s your final resting place. Then you try to get your RAM timings down to their stock specs (ie—4-5-4-12 or whatever they say). Then rock solid

If you have a hard time getting a stable OC, bump up vDIMM another notch and your vCORE.

If at any point your OC craps out and reboots on its own, the DS3/S3 mobo is very good at just going back to stock settings and going into Windows. So just go back into BIOS and lower your clocks (FSB) down a bit. In the worst case scenario (I only had this happen once to me when I pushed my OC too high), you might need to clear your CMOS or remove the battery from your mobo to do a complete reset. Just check the mobo manual on how to do this, it’s easy. But it’s a worst case scenario if it won’t reboot at all, though I doubt that will happen in your case with modest overclocks.

One last thing: Depending how high you push your OC, don’t put your FSB at 400….either 395 or lower, or jump to 410 or higher. Don't set your FSB to 400.....it's the strap change number and it'll be hard on your system. So go minimum 5-10 below or higher than 400 FSB.

Hope that doesn’t overwhelm you. Like I said, the first time might take a bit of work. But take it slow at first and you should get there pretty quick after once you get the hang of it. I hope this helps you get there quicker.

REMEMBER:
OC'ing the 4300.....to get it to 3.0ghz and beyond requires ALOT of voltage increase. The 6xxx chips don't need anywhere need that much juice. So the final volts settings for the 4xxx chip will probably be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.4v vCORE for sure, depending on how high you try to push the OC.

If you are overclocking a 6xxx CPU then you won't need as much vCORE. My 6300 is OC'd to 3.2ghz now and it's only at 1.35 vCORE. And depending on your RAM, you might only need to go vDIMM +0.1v....depends on the quality of your RAM. +0.2v won't kill it though.

If things are stable, try lowering vDIMM and see if it's still stable. You basically want to get the volts as low as possible while still being stable. That's the ideal goal.


And there ya go :D 

GOOD LUCK, HOPE THIS HELPS!!!
May 31, 2007 1:49:10 PM

Kudos Skyguy,

Nice job, seems thorough enough for a decent overclock, yet hopefully not intimidating to the n00bs. :trophy:
June 1, 2007 1:34:17 AM

Skyguy,
Thanks for a Great guide. I’m a Noob and here’s my specs.
I built this PC to be used as Home Theater PC / Moderate Gaming.

DS-3 board rev 3.3, F 11 bios (Just updated via web and @BIOS )
E 4300 (Great Deal $ 113 online )
AC Freezer Pro 7 cooler
RAM - G Skill DDR 2 800 2 x 1 GB ( F2-6400PHU2 )

Video - XFX GeForce 8600 GT, PCie 256 MB, ( PVT84JUDD3 ) HDCP card
Win XP Pro SP 2
Sata 2, 3 GB/s Segate 400 GB

Progress – All Default settings passed dual instances of Prime 95 – 10 hours

Ready for OC but Question ;

My NB Heat sink is way… toooo Hot !! Cant even touch it.
Is it okay to go ahead and OC with stock HS ? Or should I buy a good HS for it ?

If there’s other guys OCing DS 3 / E 4300 with stock NB HS, please let me know.
Related resources
June 1, 2007 1:45:20 AM

The ONE bad thing about the DS3 is that the Northbridge gets notoriously hot. What alot of people don't realize that as you overclock your CPU, all the other components are pushed as well, including the NB. If at all possible, get a northbridge cooler. Coolermaster has one for about $10 and Thermaltake has one (check my sig) for about $20 or so. Both are definitely preferable over stock heatsink. If money is tight, ghetto-rig a small fan using zipties or elastics to blow on the northbridge heatsink. It won't be pretty, but it'll do the trick if you're a starving student ;) 
June 1, 2007 6:54:15 PM

Quote:
One last thing: Depending how high you push your OC, don’t put your FSB at 400….either 395 or lower, or jump to 410 or higher. Don't set your FSB to 400.....it's the strap change number and it'll be hard on your system. So go minimum 5-10 below or higher than 400 FSB.


Can you clarify what you mean by this statement? I was thinking of pushing my machine to the 400 mark, but I am not sure what you mean by the strap change.

Thanks for your great document,

Chad
June 2, 2007 12:22:02 AM

I wouldn't worry about the performance difference for 5 FSB, it's absolutely negligible. So don't think hitting 395 is "unsucessful", because it's not. It's virtually the same as 400 for performance. It's splitting hairs, really.

As for the strap change.....

Without getting into great technical detail, the strap is the fsb "level" you run at, and when you max out a strap, the board will change them for performance reasons. Kinda like upshifting into a higher gear in a car, so to speak......it's the best analogy I can think of right now. I wouldn't worry too much about the technical jargon about what a strap is, it really isn't relevant here other than what its impact is on your overclock. Generally speaking, there are strap changes at 266, 333, 400, and 500 for most users. So for most users here, the 400 FSB strap change is the key for overclocking. Often people will run into problems, so it's best to completely avoid it, and either go a bit lower than 400, or simply jump past it.....to 430 FSB for example, on a 6300....which gives a 3.0 ghz CPU speed. No need to sit at 400. Either layup on the fairway or just go for the pin on the green ;)  If you have a decent CPU heatsink and decent RAM, I'd go up to the 430 to say you hit 3.0 ghz easily ;) 
June 3, 2007 5:55:06 PM

Hey skyguy!

Im planning to get the following:

C2D E6600 with a Scythe Samurai (should be better than infinity), or a Tuniq 120
GEIL, pc2-8000CL4, 2.4V, 4-4-4-12
Gigabyte GA-965P-S3 cooled with a Arctic Cooling AF9225 PWM
Corsair HX520
And a Antec p182 tower.

What settings would you recomend for my system?
And how far do u think it could go stable`?

Sry for the bad english

A friend told me, that i should change the multiplier to get the full power out of my ram, is that something you can help me with?
June 7, 2007 7:28:11 PM

I have some parts on the way for a new computer including an E6420 and the DS3 and I have no experience overclocking so this is perfect for me. I only plan on doing a mild overclock (stock cooling), but I have a question about RAM. I ordered two gigs of Patriot Signature RAM that is 5-5-5-15 (PC6400). In your example you said set these values loose at 5-5-5-15, so should I set mine even higher at first? Can I lower them below 5-5-5-15 after (I have seen people setting this RAM to 4-4-4-12)? Also, will I have to do a lot of dicking around to get the full 800MHz potential of my RAM? Sorry if these questions are dumb, but like I said I am totally new to OCing. :oops: 
June 7, 2007 8:22:13 PM

This is contrary to what most people I have seen report.

My E4300 on the DS3 runs at 3.0Ghz with a 1.264v vCore.
I can run ast 3.2Ghz with a 1.3v vCore(Still under volataged), though I choose to run at the slower speed to keep things uber cool and silent.


Quote:

OC'ing the 4300.....to get it to 3.0ghz and beyond requires ALOT of voltage increase. The 6xxx chips don't need anywhere need that much juice. So the final volts settings for the 4xxx chip will probably be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.4v vCORE for sure, depending on how high you try to push the OC.

If you are overclocking a 6xxx CPU then you won't need as much vCORE. My 6300 is OC'd to 3.2ghz now and it's only at 1.35 vCORE. And depending on your RAM, you might only need to go vDIMM +0.1v....depends on the quality of your RAM. +0.2v won't kill it though.

If things are stable, try lowering vDIMM and see if it's still stable. You basically want to get the volts as low as possible while still being stable. That's the ideal goal.
quote]
June 7, 2007 11:57:46 PM

When I originally wrote this Guide, the 4300 had just been released. It's very possible that later steppings are much improved and don't need as much vCore. That being said, 1.375-1.4 vCore is nothing to worry about, but like I said at the end of the Guide, the overriding goal is always to get the lowest possible volts while still maintaining stability. I used to have my 6300 @ 3.0 ghz at less than stock voltage no problem. But as I went higher, I found there was a disproportionate increase required in volts. That's not for everyone, and certainly not for newbies.

Further, my concern was that if a newbie overclocker started OC'ing at.....say....1.275 vCore, in all likelihood there would be stability problems and BSOD's. Then everyone would be asking: "What vCore should I have? Why does it crash? What's the problem? How do I get stable" , etc, etc. As I mentioned this is a very easy and quick way to get a great overclock. Overclocking 102 would cover things such as lowering timings, lowering volts, finding "sweet spots" in the FSB, etc. But not here.

It is assumed that once a quick and easy OC is achieved, those that wish to continue learning and progressing would ideally work on getting the volts lower. But for those that don't, they'd still get a great OC. Not "perfect", but still far better than stock settings.

OC'ing 101: Loosen the timings, set the FSB, increase the vCore, bump up vDIMM and vMCH. Done.

Can't get much easier than that. :) 
June 8, 2007 12:01:50 AM

Clenched:

No, you don't need to loosen the timings further, stay with 5-5-5-15 and you'll be fine.

And yes, it is possible to get RAM down to 4-4-4-12, for example, but it's not guaranteed, and it will also require considerable more volts. It's not for everyone, but it is certainly possible. For now, however, I'd suggest you learn on getting the overclock done and stable (should be VERY easy with a moderate overclock). Then when you're comfortable with that, then look at lowering the timings to 4-x-x-x.
June 8, 2007 1:31:05 AM

your the champ! exactly what ive been looking for. hopefully setting up my rig after my birthday and definately overclocking. with a ds3, e6420, 2gb g.skill ddr2 800 ram. i was wondering could i achieve a 3.2 overclock easy? and also what kind of hsf should i get? i dont really want to spend a lot of money but the best cooler for the buck, preferably with a fan already. this will be in an antec 900 case too
June 8, 2007 1:50:43 AM

I just registered to personal thank you for all your hard work!

I knew some of the basic basics, but never knew about unlocking my BIOS to get more features. CPU-Z kept reporting my multiplier at 6 on my E6300 so I was only at 1.6ghz since I got this board! Went to 2.45ghz right away, will push it further. Your guide really helped me.

Also, I have the G.Skill DDR2-800 RAM (5-5-5-15). What does higher RAM frequencies do exactly? And should I change mine to a certain one from your guide?
June 8, 2007 11:09:47 AM

Skyguy, thanks for the help! I can't wait to get these parts and start playing around. :D 
June 8, 2007 11:59:29 AM

I hope they make this a sticky.

Great job, Skyguy!
June 8, 2007 12:05:23 PM

awesome guide just set someone up with a overclocking rig on an s3 but they are completely worried about how to oc, this will assure them everything will go smoothly
June 8, 2007 2:46:00 PM

IcY, Evon: Thx, appreciate the feedback.

Skizzy: You're welcome. As for timings......higher timings mean slower performance but higher overclocks that can be stable. So there is a balance: sometimes tighter (lower) timings gives better performance, sometimes looser (higher) timings do because the increase in FSB and CPU overall can overcome any other performance losses. HOWEVER, these generally only apply in synthetic memory benchmarks. The REALITY is that you won't notice any difference in real world usage. So if looser/higher timings get you a better overclock, then go for it! But I'd suggest 5-5-5-15 is the highest to go, otherwise the performance loss becomes too great to overcome. But Overclocking 102 would address tighter timings and how to get them stable, to get the best of both worlds ;)  But for your setup, do 5-5-5-15, crank up the FSB, give some vCore increase, a bit of vDIMM increase, maybe a notch of vMCH, and let 'er rip! You'll hit 3.0 ghz without even breaking a sweat ;) 

Sharp: yes, 3.2 ghz is definitely possible with that setup, PROVIDED that you have a good heatsink and your ambient temps aren't through the roof. Preference for heatsink varies, but the proven winners that come highly recommended are:

-Thermalright 120 Ultra or Extreme
-Tuniq Tower
-Zalman 9700
-Noctua NH-U12F

There are certainly others, but these above will not disappoint, have the best mounting systems and performance, best noise reduction, etc. The others generally have one serious compromise, whereas these don't. Thermalright is overall the best, Tuniq is HUGE and is now beat by the Thermalright, Zalman is sexy but overpriced, and Noctua is just a bit behind but is dead silent. Those are the major differences, but all are great heatsinks and will let you hit 3.2.

Thanks for the feedback, keep it coming! And if any questions, by all means ask! :) 


REMEMBER: gotta keep things COOL. The DS3 northbridge is notorious for getting hot, so if you're gonna push above 3.0 then you definitely need a NB heatsink/fan. 2.4-2.8 won't usually need it. But you can ghetto-rig a fan if you want. Higher you push, the more cooling is important. So don't forget about the northbridge!!! It is the most-overlooked component when overclocking the DS3.
June 8, 2007 7:09:07 PM

Quote:
The ONE bad thing about the DS3 is that the Northbridge gets notoriously hot. What alot of people don't realize that as you overclock your CPU, all the other components are pushed as well, including the NB. If at all possible, get a northbridge cooler. Coolermaster has one for about $10 and Thermaltake has one (check my sig) for about $20 or so. Both are definitely preferable over stock heatsink. If money is tight, ghetto-rig a small fan using zipties or elastics to blow on the northbridge heatsink. It won't be pretty, but it'll do the trick if you're a starving student ;) 


Hey skyguys
I listened to you and got me an Extreme Spirit II. :D 
So, now I got AC Freezer 7 Pro and Extreme Spirit II, rdy to Rock !
just one thing, somewhere I read that before I OC, I should know how to reset CMOS, so if anything goes wrong, I can reset BIOS and boot again.

So, How do I reset CMOS on DS-3 ?

peace
June 8, 2007 7:36:02 PM

Great combo with those 2 heatsinks! :) 

For how to clear CMOS, check your motherboard manual......should be page 29 (Item # 18 ). It'll show how to remove that little jumper (looks like a rectangular plastic cap) and fix it to short it and clear the CMOS. If you aren't comfortable with doing that, then remove the battery instead.....should be page 30 (Item #19) of the manual.

To remove the battery, just push the little tab at the top HARD with your fingernail and the battery will pop out. NOTE: you probably have to remove your graphics card first, it may be in the way. So anyways, remove the battery, sit there for 1 minute, then put the battery back in. Graphics card too if necessary. Make sure everything is tight, then power back on, startup, go into BIOS and that's it!
June 8, 2007 7:58:06 PM

And its usually even easier than that.
Normally if the PC can post, it will auto-reset the Bios.

Mine did that to me a few time while testing some real tight memory timings.
June 8, 2007 9:56:40 PM

Exactly. The DS3 is very good at resetting on its own. Like I said, I've only had it completely crap out once on me, and I was pushing my OC really hard with some weird settings LOL :oops: 
June 10, 2007 6:20:59 AM

regarding this

Quote:

One last thing: Depending how high you push your OC, don’t put your FSB at 400….either 395 or lower, or jump to 410 or higher. Don't set your FSB to 400.....it's the strap change number and it'll be hard on your system. So go minimum 5-10 below or higher than 400 FSB.


shouldnt it be 401 minimum?

when i bumped my FSB from 400 to 401, i noticed i had lower "motherboard temps" it basically reduced the values by around 3c which is good,although my Pi times and 3Dmark Scores are a little lower, the lower temps sure make up for it..

though i doubt its the NB temp as it is still hot to touch..and i doubt 40c is hot to touch :D 

but yes, since i bumped my OC to 401, its been 100% stable (crosses fingers) as opposed to 400FSB which sometimes causes my OC to reset to default
June 10, 2007 2:50:57 PM

Okay heres my 1st OC. Moderate thou;

DS 3 / E 4300

CPU model - Conroe
CPU Cooler AC Freezer 7 Pro
CPU Core Speed – 2.65
FSB 333
CPU Multiplier x 8
CPU-FSB Divider 1:1
MCH OverVolt +.1
NB Cooler TT Extreme Spirit II
VDIMM OverVolt +.1
Other Voltages Stock/ Auto

TAT and Core Temp Readings
Idle 45
Load 57

( SpeedFan Temps Off by 10 to 15 degree less / why ???)

Your comments welcome.
Also please tell what Temp monitor you guys use for DS 3.
And Howmuch more can I push this one ?
June 10, 2007 3:17:14 PM

Pino: As my guide specifically says, do NOT put FSB right at 400, ever. So since you've gone to 401 and it's fixed, that sounds right ;) 

Obee: Great overclock, congratz!! Now you can either choose to push the FSB higher or try to get your vCore lower and make your temps lower until it's not stable anymore, then bump it back up a notch or 2. It's always the goal to get the highest OC at the lowest volts that will maintain stability. 3.0ghz on a 4300 is great, well done. My personal opinion is that pushing it higher.....say to 3.2.....isn't worth the extra volts, temps, etc required for a very small increase in CPU speed. I'd rather have volts and temps that are far better instead. 200 mhz won't make a difference really in CPU speed overall, but lower volts and temps will.
June 11, 2007 7:12:43 PM

Quote:
Pino: As my guide specifically says, do NOT put FSB right at 400, ever. So since you've gone to 401 and it's fixed, that sounds right ;) 

Obee: Great overclock, congratz!! Now you can either choose to push the FSB higher or try to get your vCore lower and make your temps lower until it's not stable anymore, then bump it back up a notch or 2.



okay I bumped up FSB to 350 ( I use 8 x multiplier for lower power consumption by CPU ) so I'ma at 2.8 Core Speed now.
I havent ran Prime dual instance.
I thought I'd give Orthos a try. And It quit after like 1 hour 45 min into it. :cry: 
TAT and Core Temps reporting 57 degrees.

Question ;
Do you use Orthos ? If yes, how long do you run ?
What is the optimal temp should be for Load ?
June 11, 2007 11:21:48 PM

Hi, seems like there are experienced overclockers amog you so I'd like to ask a question but first my system specs:

MB: 965P-S3 (rev 3.3, F9 bios)
CPU: E6300 (with Arctic Freezer 7 Pro)
RAM: 2x DDR2 1024MB 800MHz TRANSCEND CL5 JetRam
GPU: Radeon 1950XT

Ok, here's my problem. All my overclocks (including 2.8GHz, that's about 400MHz, haven't tried more) are rock-solid, but there's one big problem: almost everytime I reset my system (using OS reset function), it won't POST - monitor stays in suspend mode and the system evntually shuts down and starts with default clock values. I can overclock it again, boots with no problem, then I restart, system reverts to default clocks etc. etc. I tried various settings but I don't know what can be causing this. It even happens with 350MHz FSB overclock - when my RAM is running far below specified 800MHz... Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thank you.
June 12, 2007 1:21:41 AM

I've seen that happen before, and had it happen to me a couple times. I just bumped up vCore 2 notches and it was good to go after that. Give that a try and it *should* solve the problem.
June 12, 2007 2:07:13 AM

I've followed this guide with my E3420 and my DS3, and am having seemingly good results thus far. I'm at 3.28Ghz (410 fsb). I had to bump my ram voltage up to 2.0 to avoid Prime95 errors. I've run this setup for more than an hour with no errors. My core temps are 50-54C. But....

My ram is REALLY HOT! I can't touch it for more than about 5 seconds. This seems too hot to me.

I've got G.SKILL 800, which is supposed to be good for 1100 or more. Why is it running so hot? Am I doing something wrong? I've followed the guide, only having touched the fsb and bumped my cpu and ram voltages a bit.

Any informed help would be appreciated.
June 12, 2007 2:54:47 AM

I know some RAM gets hot, and quite frankly I don't know why some more than others. I know that some heat spreaders are more efficient though. Personally I'm a nut for cooling.....I have a RAM fan actually, it's an OCZ XTC RAM cooler.....there's also one by Corsair that is quite good and recommended.

If you can ghetto-rig a little fan on your RAM then that should do the trick....a small 80mm fan and some zip ties or elastic bands will work. Won't be purty be she'll keep ya happy! ;) 

Or a RAM cooler for $20........
June 12, 2007 5:11:54 AM

Hi Skyguy (you a pilot?). Thanks for the great guide. It got me overclocking my rig quick like. And thanks for the reply.

Here's some more info...

I'm running 4x1GB sticks. I tried taking two of the sticks out, realizing that since the second pair butts right up against the first, the two have to be feeding on each other. This is significantly better. In fact, if I'd had it this way to begin with, I think I wouldn't have even worried about it.

So, I can see three options....

1) Put a cooler on my 4x1GB.

2) Be happy with 2GB (a bummer...I'm a programmer, so I CAN use that extra ram)

3) Get 2x2GB sticks

In addition to higher cost of option #3, it sounds from some of what I've read online like 2GB sticks are slower than 1GB sticks. Is this true? If so, will I really notice? Also, will 2x2GB sticks run considerably cooler than 4x1GB?

TIA for any info
June 12, 2007 3:03:39 PM

The finer points of RAM is not my specialty, however, I'll do my best......

The best, cheapest, fastest solution is for you to spend $20-$25 and get a RAM cooler. OCZ XTC and Corsair Dominator coolers are my best suggestions....both are great, effective, not very loud, and affordable. $25 is ALOT cheaper than going to 2x2 gigs RAM.....which will cost you $$hundreds. So honestly, that's your BEST solution, no question.

As for the other personal enlightenment and knowledge questions......I believe 2x2 is slower because they don't have as tight timings yet as the 1 gig sticks. Honestly though, unless you're a total benchmark whore or like to brag, the differences in performance will be negligible except in synthetic benchmark applications. So if someone can afford 2x2 then great, others 4x1 will work just fine. Any overclock will more than compensate for the minor performance loss, and ESPECIALLY more than stock speeds, so it's really arguing a moot point in my opinion. For most users, most of the time, on most programs, you'll never notice a difference except in your bank account. ;) 

Hope that helps.

But just get a RAM cooler, no need to cripple yourself with 2 gigs, and no need to blow your paycheck on 2x2 RAM. $25 is a much better option.......unless of course you want to donate the difference to the "Help Skyguy get a Quad Core CPU" fund ;)  LOL.
June 13, 2007 3:06:13 AM

Thanks Skyguy. I ordered the Corsair cooler. I also ordered a fancy sink for my northbridge. I'm hoping that those, along with my Tuniq 120, will give me more heat headroom to see what this E6420 can really do.

I'm currently at 3.28Ghz. I ran a pair of Prime95s overnight (10+ hours) with no errors, and my core temps never going over 50C. I did that with only two of my ram sticks installed. I'm not going to run all four until I get the cooler.

Any suggestions as to if I should bother to go higher, and if so, how much? Should I try to find the absolute limit for a stable system, or should I be happy here where maybe I still won't wear out the parts too fast?

One suggestion on your guide. In my case, my ram timings were right on the sticks and were better than your suggested timings. You might want to mention that if you know your suggested timings, you just use those.

Thanks again!

Steve
June 13, 2007 6:15:05 PM

Hi,

I overclocked my 6400 to 3.23ghz, 405FSB * 8

System info:
2xOCZ platium ddr2 800 mhz, timing 4 4 4 15
Vcore 1.375V
DS3 rev3.3
MCH voltage is raised to +0.1V
Vcore temp = 62 ~ 65 C under 100% stress for 1 hour +
features turned off on this board to reduce nbridge stress.

I ran prime95 for 44 hours and failed at both Vcore=1.3625, and 1.3685
So i raised my vcore to 1.375 to see if it will last more than 44 hours.

I pretest the ram with mem86 for 24 hours at the 405mhz frequency and there was no errors. The dual prime95 were Small FFT so the stress on the ram should be minimum. The hardware failure that caused prime95 to fail is unlikely to be the ram.

Do you guys have any suggestion as to why raising the Vcore voltage twice did not help? and why prime95 failed twice at approximate 44 hours?

Thanks'
June 13, 2007 10:15:33 PM

I have patriot extreme pc 6400 cl 4. ds3 mobo rev. 1.3 6420 processor.
I built my computer and everything was awesome. I was able to get me fsb up to 400 without any vcore up at all. so 3.2 ghz was not unheard of but damn good. Now my system will not oc at all the ram will oc ok. Please let me know if any of you have heard anything. Thanks all.
June 13, 2007 11:38:13 PM

Won't OC? What happened??? Try clearing CMOS/removing battery and restart from scratch. I hope you wrote down your settings somewhere???
June 13, 2007 11:50:31 PM

I have done that. I reset to safe defaults in the bios first then I reset the cmos. I'm lost. I guess I'm gonna have to rma it.
a b K Overclocking
June 14, 2007 12:21:49 AM

Nice
June 14, 2007 1:23:45 AM

Ok everything is resolved. I reset the bios again and everything is back to normal. I had a lot of random restarts so maybe that messed with some of the config in the bios. It runs at 400 x 8 with no vcore raise again. Thanks all and sorry for the alarm.
June 14, 2007 2:54:20 AM

hey guys
just to keep updated, I raised FSB to 356 x 8 = 2.8xxx now.
45 C idle and Load (Orthos) 60.
V core at 1.375.

I like to lower V Core, but it wasnt stable earlier.

So, what V Core are you guys running at ?

P-S ; I want to keep this PC for a couple of years :D 
before the chips die from overheating.
June 14, 2007 11:32:20 AM

did my first OCing tonight, mainly following this guide :-)

my hardware setup:

E6600
GA-965P-DS3 (rev 3.3, F11)
2x 1024MB GSkill 4-4-4-12, 800MHz
XFX GTS 8800
watercooling CPU and NB

actually i'm a newbie in OC and water cooling so i would be glad about any tips you have for me :-)

so... get to bios: disabled almost all features in the advanced bios setup for firsttime OCing except "no-execute memory protect", without this feature my motherboard does not pass POST normally (i.e. no single short beep).
as for MIB:
cpu fsb 366 (x9=3.3ghz)
ram: 4-4-4-12 at 732mhz (2*fsb)
pci e fixed to 100mhz
vDIMM is +0.1
vFSB is +0.1
vMCH is +0.1
vcore is 1.325 (a bit low maybe?)

i tried until 380 fsb yesterday and got nice super pi results with it, however prime always had failures so i reduced. right now i have the setting above and prime fails again but after 25 minutes, passing the first test, failing the second. so i have to do some changes again...

actually i wonder HOW one does this back & forth - is there a rule of thumb which changes to apply next if prime fails?

and another point: my temperatures. i think they are too high for a watercooled setup, but i am not sure (as said, i'm a newbie): ~35° idle, up to 54° under prime95 load (25 minutes was max until now).
this is too hot, isn't it?

i would like to push the sytem to 3,5ghz if possible, maybe even further (>4ghz? that would be awesome! ^^), althoug wusy advices to loosen RAM timings in such a case.
but i am not sure how to adjust settings for the next step - especially if otheres reach FSB 400+ with almost normal vcore - i think i do something wrong...
June 14, 2007 12:27:30 PM

Skyguy, ive ordered my E6600, P965-S3, 2x Kingston Value Select 667mhz

Im planning to OC it moderately: people said that with that RAM I can get it to 333 FSB to get a 3.0 OC on stock cooling. Ok Im not aiming to get that for sure as I think I'll need to get lucky for that. Im not going to buy 800mhz RAM as I can get that 667 RAM for the same price as 1 stick of 800 where I live so guys please dont suggest to buy 800mhz.

Now my question is: You said that the strap exchanges are like 266 333 400 etc, now could I just set my FSB to 332? so it will be under the strap exchange of 333? Also could you please clarify on what kind of OC I could get with that RAM and what kind of problems I might face with 667 RAM and if it is possible to go over 333 on the FSB?

Thanks
Greg
June 14, 2007 1:07:11 PM

Just set your FSB ultimately to 330. That's "almost" 3.0ghz.....splitting hairs on the negligible speed difference, so no worries.

667 RAM on a 9x multiplier of the 6600 should let you hit 3.0 without problems. The ONLY thing is that you may need to juice up the vDIMM a bit....maybe. But at least get it to spec.....so if it's 1.9v then you'll need +0.1 vDIMM. I don't know offhand what your RAM is rated at, so just check.

You should hit 2.6 ghz without even touching volts. I'd say 3.0 would require a bit of increase. vCore might need a couple notches up from stock, vDIMM might need +0.1v (again, depending what your RAM is rated for), and maybe MCH +0.1v. So, your setup should let you hit 3.0 without problem......PROVIDED you have some decent cooling. Again, an aftermarket heatsink is ideal.....maybe not absolutely necessary, depending on your ambient temps and what volts you end up at....but it is certainly helpful. And your northbridge stock heatsink will get quite warm, but in your instance I doubt it'll get really hot. A 9x multi at 3.0 isn't killer hard, so it shouldn't get too hot.

I suspect with those settings, you *should* hit 3.0 without any great troubles. But remember to check your temps! And always, always test for stability.

Good luck!
June 14, 2007 3:44:51 PM

Do you happen to know much about the FSB and pci-e voltage settings? In order to keep my DS3 from resetting my OC settings I did some research and ended up setting my voltages as follows:
CPU=1.35
RAM=+.2
MCH=+.1
FSB=+.1
pci-e=+.1

With these settings I am rock solid up to 3.2 (probably beyond, but I'm not greedy) and I can reboot all I want without losing my settings. My temps are all in the low 30's while idle so I happy with the results. Now I am wondering if I can lower some of these voltages, but I'm not sure what the FSB anf pci-e voltages are responsible for. My temps on my 6800 (don't laugh) are 37 at idle, even with it OC as it is, so I odn't think the pci-e voltage is hurting it too bad.
June 14, 2007 7:09:24 PM

Quote:
Do you happen to know much about the FSB and pci-e voltage settings? In order to keep my DS3 from resetting my OC settings I did some research and ended up setting my voltages as follows:
CPU=1.35
RAM=+.2
MCH=+.1
FSB=+.1
pci-e=+.1

With these settings I am rock solid up to 3.2 (probably beyond, but I'm not greedy) and I can reboot all I want without losing my settings. My temps are all in the low 30's while idle so I happy with the results. Now I am wondering if I can lower some of these voltages, but I'm not sure what the FSB anf pci-e voltages are responsible for. My temps on my 6800 (don't laugh) are 37 at idle, even with it OC as it is, so I odn't think the pci-e voltage is hurting it too bad.


I might try those numbers, thanks.
FYI, my E4300 at 356 x 8, it was passing 2 hours of Orthos, so I thought it's okay, and put PC in stand-by to record a HD program with installed HD Tuner card.
well, program didnt record, when I rebooted, it all reset.

Should I raise V Core more ? temps at Load 59 C.
June 14, 2007 7:57:01 PM

I had the same issue as you before adjusting my FSB,MCH,and pci-e voltages. I could be dual prime stable overnight and as soon as I rebooted I would lose all my settings. My v-core voltages didn't seem to help. I found out that this a safety feature of the board if it doesn't agree with your settings on reboot. You'll notice that your OC settings are still saved but the manual FSB setting is reset to auto. After bumping my other voltages just a bit I can reboot no problem with all intact. My problem is that I'm not sure which voltage is the "magic" one that made me stable. I would like to lower that FSB and pci-e voltages back to stock since I'm not OC that much but I am so happy that I'm finally stable that I don't want to chance it. :D 
This Tom's article made me feel better about my voltages.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/18/overclocking-gui...
June 14, 2007 9:27:45 PM

Excellent response Scar, you beat me to it! You are exactly right, I've had the same thing happen. It was simply a matter of tweaking the volts. MCH, PCI, and FSB up one notch each and vCore to minimum 1.35 and it was happy :) 

Great advice there!
June 16, 2007 1:55:23 PM

heres my latest

I'm now at 356 x 8 = 2.848 V Core 1.39 V. Load 62 C Orthos, stable.

62 C is too hot for me, I wanna lower Multiplier to 7 and raise FSB (To take advantage of my DDR 2 800 ;

say 399 x 7 = 2.793, minimal difference in speed, BUT MAYBE at a Lot lower V Core ??

Lower multiplier NEED Lower V Core, right ?
We know 8 needs less than 9, then 7 would need even less than 8 ?


thanks
June 16, 2007 2:25:13 PM

The multiplier itself doesn't determine the v core. However, a lower multiplier allows you to OC your FSB higher without having to OC your cpu as high. A lower clocked cpu would result in a lower v core. So yes, if you lower your multi you should be able to lower your v core as well.

Question, how well is that 8600 performing with your setup? I don't game near as much as I used to, but I'm looking to upgrade my old card soon.
June 16, 2007 2:52:06 PM

Quote:


Question, how well is that 8600 performing with your setup? I don't game near as much as I used to, but I'm looking to upgrade my old card soon.


thanks for your reply.
XFX 8600 GT is doing fine. I ran 3 D Mark 06 b4 OCing, scored 5xxx.
After OC, score went up 2 k to 7xxx, so, system speed is holding it back, I think.

I use it for mostly HD playback on my HTPC, and medium gaming.
Warning ;
If you plan to hook up to a widescreen TV, be aware Nvidia drivers on 8600 series wont let you make custom resolutions !
In my case 8600 underscan 6 lines, which I'm ok.

So far I am happy with it.
I might try to OC it soon. :D 
June 16, 2007 5:22:47 PM

So glad I ran into this post.
I just upgraded from a PD 945 to a C2D e6600. I've only really have the right environment for an overclock for less than a year. But since I had an Intel 965 board that was really the only thing holding me back. Even my PD at 3.4ghz was running cool though, usually under 40c idle. Other mobo temps even lower.
So I started to get tempted to want to overclock soon after, just haven't had the bios to do it.

I eventually recently tried clockgen which actually had my pll in the drop down list and I could actually OC my intel board! It worked too. And I could select from the few main frequencies and timings for memory in the bios, but that is about all that had to offer.
I was starting to think I might get away with a good mild overclock to keep me going for a while.

But when I restarted my computer the next day and tried clockgen again, I kept getting some pretty major crashes with it just by opening the program up or having it read clocks. Usually a freeze up and crash, or crazy artifacts and crash (and I know my 7600gt is plenty cool and not the culprit of these artifacts).
Don't know why it worked initially then crash city, but whatever. I still didn't and don't have my C2D installed yet, was just messing around to see what I might be able to do with the intel board while the PD was still in there to see if I could muster a stable OC out of it and avoid buying a new board.

Anyhow, long story short I got pissed after all that. I bought that intel board, and it is generally a solid board, just no OC, right around the time when C2D's were first coming out. Since myself or nobody I knew had one, and there wasn't so much info on them since they were just being released I had no idea they were going to OC as well as they do. Had I known I may have got another board.

Well, I broke down yesterday. This might cause me not being able to eat for a week, but I had to get myself a good mobo! There was a list of good ones here, a handful of them for the C2D. But that list had more expensive boards I wanted to buy, except 1.
The Gigabyte D3 (rev 1.3) was perfect. Great reviews, its highly regarded here, and it happened to be under $100 yesterday (a few $$ less than I paid for the intel board). The board was perfect for me, had everything I needed and the right layout. It looked really cool and most importantly, for an OC'ing board, it sounded pretty stable from what I read, which is important to me.
I don't need a $300 mobo cuz I'm not looking for high overclocks. I'm happy going as high as I can without buying any more stuff.

Can't wait til it gets here, it should be showing up here on Monday (damn I wish newegg allowed deliveries on sat or sun cuz I would of had it today!).
I'm anxious because I still haven't even opened the C2D box yet and I can't wait to crack it open. Definitely no point in throwing it in the intel for a few days, pasting it up, and taking it right back out.

Anyhow, I just wanted to thank everybody here for leading me to the right board for my buck and for all the documentation on it.
That is why I was so happy to see this post.
I am a noob, but only with cpu overclocking (OC graphics all the time). Considering I'm an OC noob plus I'll be tryout out a C2D and this Gigabyte mobo for the first time together, this info is really valuable.

Now the only thing I still feel left in the dark about is the RAM. I noticed in this guide that you don't even mention the whole ratio thing. I was really concerned about that (cuz I knew I probably couldn't get my fsb up to 400 on air cooling to match my 1 gig x2 Mushkin EM DDR2-800 RAM (which of course is 1600mhz, hence why I would need to get the fsb to 400 to get 1:1).

I heard mentioned here to keep the mem timings loose for noobs, or make them loose. I've heard people mention 5-5-5-15, but mine is actually 5-5-5-18 rated at 800mhz.
So am I fine just leaving my RAM at those timings. In fact, I was thinking of going along with this guide but actually dropping the 18 to 15. I heard that is a pretty harmless change to make, and those are still pretty loose timings.
Furthermore, I was thinking if I could push my total fsb to 1333mhz rather than 1600mhz, that that would be a good moderate OC. But the reason I want to get there is because I was thinking of dropping my RAM from 800mhz down to 667mhz with perhaps 4-4-4-12 timings (which I tried with my intel board and everything booted up and windows ran fine, so I guess I can do that).

And if I do that, I got an OC that I am happy with plus better RAM timings (which I assume is good because having the ram at 800mhz wouldn't be doing me any good). Others may want higher, but 1333 would be a great start for a noob OC'er.
Is this a good idea? Or stupid?
If there is even a chance of that causing a problem, no big deal if I have to stick with the ram as it is. I won't worry about it.

I also read something about how the 1:1 ratio thing is kind of dated, was more important in the past than it is currently. Maybe was more important because people had ram rated under their fsb speed and wanted to up it, while these days most people have ram speed high enough or too high.
I heard that, with the C2D's at least, that having the RAM one step ahead (as opposed to a 1:1 ratio) may be just as beneficial as the 1:1, perhaps even give more performance in some cases.

So I'm wondering what other people think about that. Underclock and tighten timings for 1:1 and the benefit of lower timings, or keep the ram as it is if you have ram w/ highe mhz than fsb (one step higher)?

Aside from that, I'll post an update here of how I do using this guide. I can't wait! This makes things much easier and will help me get familiar with the OC'ing and the board itself.
I'll probably have a question or two as I go alone, but I'm sure lots of people here have this board or similar bios that can help out.

Thanks!
!