Current BIOS settings:
CPU Multiplier: 9
Mem Freq.: 1333MHz
Everything is running fine and I believe the CPU, FSB, and Memory are all synced up at appropriate speeds. However, there seems to be room for improvement since the M/B and Memory can run at higher speeds. So…
Proposed BIOS settings:
CPU Multiplier: 7.5
Mem Freq.: 1600MHz
Will this work? If so, would I be better off or would this be worse because of frequencies not matching?
P.S. Would there be any additional benefit to overclocking for the purpose of using an even multiplier of 8? I know there would be a very small improvement in CPU speed of .2GHz, but is there also a benefit for using an even CPU Multiplier?
Your system would be mildly overclocked if you use 8 instead of 7.5, but thats about it. You would be at 3.2GHz instead of 3.0. Hardly pushing it by any standards, and shouldn't need a voltage bump. Your motherboard should handle 400Mhz as well, you shouldn't need a voltage bump there either. You'll get a bit more memory bandwidth, I doubt you'll see any "real" improvements. Bench before and after with whatever tasks you do to see if its worth it.
If you could leave the multiplier at 9 you'll be at 3.6. You'll see improvement due to the extra half gigahertz. Will probably require a small voltage bump. You'll also see some extra heat, more if you are using the stock HSF.
You should just lower the RAM speed to 1333MHz and lower the timings. Then you'll see better performance with no overclocking needed.
I hadn't thought about doing that. I've got the factory memory settings of 8-8-8-21 and 1.66v right now. I really want to make sure that my system is reliable more than being the absolute fastest. I'm running on the stock CPU cooler too.
I thought it might be important to coordinate the speeds between the CPU and the Memory but it sounds like that is not the case.
I think I'll have to do some benchmarking and see if it's better to boost the CPU and FSB a little or drop the memory timings.
If you do that, please provide the results. I always like reading about real people giving real results.
I absolutely could not get the Memory up to 1600MHz. I tried a lot of different things and it always beeped like crazy at me. It looks like there is some issue with high speed DDR3 and this M/B as I have found other messages about the same problem. But... I could get the FSB up to 400MHz by also changing the Memory Multiplier to 3.33D.
I also tried lowering the Memory Timings and ran some benchmarks. I'm running Vista 64bit and couldn't find a decent (and free) benchmarking software. All I found was something called Cinebench. Here's some numbers I got:
If I'm interpretting this correctly, the lowered memory timings actually reduced the speed in most cases. Looks like I'll be sticking with configuration #3 unless I can find out what's going on with the memory speed. Not that the performance gain would amount to much. Probably equivalent to adding wind spoilers to your cars windshield wipers.
I have found that I can set the Memory divider to auto (4.00) and boost my FSB up to 370MHz before things get unstable. At 380MHz, the board will beep like crazy and reboot.
One other note... When I run the memory at 1333MHz (400MHz FSB, 3.33D Divider) and set the memory timings to Auto, I get faster timings than the factory profile (as reported by CPU-Z). I get 8-7-7-18 instead of factory timings of 8-8-8-21.
G.Skill gave me a bunch of settings and voltages to change but it still does not work.
Gigabyte gave me a generic response about not supporting overclocking. Like the slight CPU overclock had anything to do with it. I changed the CPU divider to 7.5 so I was running at 3.0GHz and was not surprised to find that it changed nothing.