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OCing the Front side bus (for better RAM)

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May 10, 2009 7:22:18 PM

I have a pretty much stock system and the idea of overclocking scares me. :/ 

Here is what I have.

Processor: E5200 Wolfdale 2.5ghz with the stock retail cooler
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP43-UD3L
Ram: G.Skill 2x2gb 1066
PSU: 450w Corsair (not sure if this is relevant)

Anyway, the E5200 only supports an 800 FSB. The ram will run at 1066. I know with stock cooling I'm kind of limited in what I can do as far as overclocking.

Here are some temp stats thanks to Lm-Sensors in Ubuntu (I also run Windows 7)

The system during normal use barely and rarely breaks 40c. Right now I'm at 37c for the sensors and the same for both cores. From what I understand, this is relatively cool for a system. I haven't gotten her under load yet. I also haven't run her in the dead of summer where my skin starts melting off.

I think the first three things I have to ask before how I go about doing this are:

1. Is it possible for me to bump my FSB up to accept the 1066?

2. Is it worth it? My forays into OCing are extremely limited. What kind of performance boost would I see, if any?

3. At what detriment would this boost be? Would I have to sacrifice something in order to obtain using the memory's full potential? How do the pros weigh against the cons?

Let's start there and see how we progress.

As always, thanks for your time.
May 11, 2009 12:15:57 AM

Hi TFB,

Answers to your questions:

1. Your RAM frequency and FSB are not directly related. A better question is 'can i bump my processor FSB up above 800MHz and therefore the CPU over 2.5GHz'. The answer to that is 'probably, but there's only one way to find out and that's to try'

2. Yes, if it works. If it doesn't then no harm done (providing you don't go mental!)

3. Pros - faster system. Cons IF DONE BADLY - shortened component lifetime, system instability. Regardless, you're likely to end up having a higher power consumption.

hth, post back if you have any more questions
May 11, 2009 12:23:25 AM

Couple more points:

don;t let overclocking scare you. A day or two spent reading and asking questions then a little time 'experimenting' will soon ease any fears. Yes, you will get system crashes. That's inevitable and a part of overclocking. Don't let them worry you.

The pro's (imo) out weigh the cons by a hundred to one. Even if you go for a mild (say 20%) overclock, you'll see a difference. And best of all, it's free!

You temps are fine and the E5200 has been known to go up over 4GHz. Getting 3GHz - 3.2GHz shouldn't be a major issue on air cooling.
Your mobo supports FSB 1333MHz so you have plenty of room to play. However, it does not appear to support 1066MHz RAM, so you may be limited to operating your current memory modules at 800MHz. A good overclock will more than compensate for this.
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May 11, 2009 7:30:39 AM

Thank you for the replies. I think I understand a little better but before making any changes, let me make sure.

I thought this is how it works...

The front side bus is on the motherboard. The CPU controls the FSB. The ram's speed is dependent on the CPU's control of the FSB. Is this correct? Is this correct?

For example, even though I have 1066 speed ram in my machine, it will never run faster than 800 because my CPU is set for 800 stock.

So, now what do I do?
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
May 11, 2009 12:55:24 PM

^Correction, it will never run faster than 400Mhz on the FSB with DDR2 800 with 1:1 (FSB:RAM). For DDR2: FSB*2= RAM speed( ie 333 FSB (aka 1333)= DDR2 667, since 333.33*2=666.66). Your E8400 has a stock FSB of 200Mhz (800/4). The Intel FSB are quad pumped.

For speed calculation: CPU Speed = FSB * Multiplier
in your case: 2500Mhz = 200* 12.5

Please read:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/240001-29-howto-overc...
before OCing.

Also if possible use RealTemp with Win7 to report temps please. Most software are quite inaccurate. RealTemp is the closest to the true temp.
May 11, 2009 2:30:17 PM

Now I'm a bit confused...
May 11, 2009 3:38:57 PM

Okay, I read through some things and I have no idea how to get my ram to run at 1066. :( 
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
May 11, 2009 11:11:56 PM

Here read this:
GUIDE: Overclocking On EP/P35-DS3L

It details all the settings you need. The guide works for all most all Gigabyte boards as the setting names are smiler and their function is the same.


For 3Ghz:
FSB: 240
SPD: 2
Multiplier: 12.5
Voltage(s): Unknown, you have to figure this out.

For 3.6Ghz:
FSB: 288
SPD: 2
Multiplier: 12.5
Voltage(s): Unknown, you have to figure this out.

Also, at stock or until you go above FSB 267 you won't need to OC RAM. There is no REAL WORLD performance gain with faster RAM.
May 11, 2009 11:55:00 PM

This is all too confusing for me. Thanks for your help anyway.
!