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What's holding me back?

Last response: in Overclocking
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September 20, 2010 4:45:14 PM

First off, here are my specs:

Board: M2n-sli Deluxe (Bus 2000/1600 Mt/s)
FSB: Tunable from 200 mhz - 400mhz
Pci-E: Tunable from 100mhz-200mhz

RAM: 4Gx1 XMS DDR2 800 [(Timing 4x4x4x12) (Volt. 2.1) (Cas Lat. 4)]
CPU: Phenom 4x 9850
PSU: Antec TPQ 850w
GPU: 2xGTX 275


I am totally new to overclocking and have been reading a ton over the past few days and learning a great deal about my computer. I'm trying to get the grasp of multiplyers and voltage. I'm trying to gain a better 3dmark06 benchmark. My gaming experience is already better with the new cards, but for the sheer sake of competition with friends I want my 3dmark06 to soar.

I went from an 8800GTS marking about 10,200... To near 11,000 with a single GTX 275 (x16 pci-e) and slightly lower in SLI. (x8 x8 pci-e on my board) This is after I turned VSYNC off.

I know my CPU is holding me back so I tinkered with the AI settings in my bios where you can bump it up 3%, 5%, 8% or 10% max. 10-percent increases CPU from 2.5ghz to 2.75ghz... and I saw 3dmark06 score rise to 11,873 in SLI and 12,021 with a single card. Here are the settings in CPU-Z.




I know I can manually squeeze a little more out of this CPU, but am contemplating the Phenom II 945 3.0ghz which I know I can OC quite a bit more... maybe to 3.5ghz.
Based on the increase of 1,000 points with .25ghz OC on my 9850... would I get 4,000 more points if I overclocked a P2 945 to 3.5ghz?

How much are my mobo and RAM slowing me down? Is my FSB the problem? Is it even worth messing with them are is my gain going to be minimal?

More about : holding back

September 21, 2010 2:43:49 PM

Nothing wrong with that CPU!

I think you got a stinker MB there, look at the HT link speed on the CPUZ you posted....ok, Im running an Athlon II X4 stock 2.6GHz @ 3.25GHz with HT link of 2250,
I would about bet (without you saying) that your MB has a Nvidia chipset on it and it stocks the HT at 1000MHz.

I really think you should get a different MB and make sure its got the AMD chipset on it! I suggest Asus, BTW! You get that HT up into the 2000-2600 range and youre in a whole new world

Then OC the CPU and bump up the vcore to hold it steady and I would bet that your 3dMark scores will jump up
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September 21, 2010 2:45:46 PM

Also, get you some 2x2GB DDR3 to open up dual channel support
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September 21, 2010 4:42:21 PM

Hey Dead, appreaciate the reply. Was beginning to think I posted in wrong place, or asked too many questions.

A couple of things. First, you're correct about the chipset: Nvidia Nforce 570 SLI. Here's a post I found on a different website regarding my same board.

===========
Right. You dont want your HTT to go over 1000Mhz or it may become unstable. Put it to 4x now. There are minimal if any performance decreases in doing so.

Your memory should also be set manually as well (timings and voltages set to stock specs).

Your FSB (what you call CPU frequency) is what you increase: FSB(200) x multiplier (10) = CPU frequency (2000Mhz).

==============

Now, I know from looking at CPU-Z that my FSB is 220mhz. That jibes with the 10% overclock I did with AI. From what I JUST read from some people who have this board... the NB Frequency is the problem. I think it limits the BUS speed to 240mhz. So I still have 20mhz to play with, albeit I'll probably have to lower my multiplier to a bit and watch temps... and get a better heatsinc. Just not sure it's worth picking up a Phenom II 945 if my mobo can't utilize it.

And it's my understanding that since this is an AM2 board... I can NOT use DDR3 Ram. Would it help much to use 2x2GB DDR2 vs 4x1GB DDR2?
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September 21, 2010 10:25:37 PM

Hey copelander, no problem,
I missed on the original post that its a PhenomX4...i was thinking PhenomIIX4
ok, so we are in AM2/DDR2 territory with it.

Still not a bad CPU and rated to run 4000MHz HT, which it 2000 on the NB. So....if your board runs max stock @ 1000MHz youre only getting HALF that 4000MHz.

I still think you need a board that will get into that without a 2X OC, which no MB will do on HT.

The ASUS M4A78L-M MB will do that for you and it will OC alot easier!

And yes, if the MB is set up to run dual channel and you only run one stick of ram iits slower than runnig 2, even if its the same amount of ram!

Over all the new MB, even if you dont get to run dual channel memory, would be the easyest/cheapest path to the speed youre looking for!
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September 22, 2010 2:49:38 AM

Deadstick50 said:
Nothing wrong with that CPU!

I think you got a stinker MB there, look at the HT link speed on the CPUZ you posted....ok, Im running an Athlon II X4 stock 2.6GHz @ 3.25GHz with HT link of 2250,
I would about bet (without you saying) that your MB has a Nvidia chipset on it and it stocks the HT at 1000MHz.

I really think you should get a different MB and make sure its got the AMD chipset on it! I suggest Asus, BTW! You get that HT up into the 2000-2600 range and youre in a whole new world

Then OC the CPU and bump up the vcore to hold it steady and I would bet that your 3dMark scores will jump up


If he switches to an AMD chipset motherboard and forgoes the NVIDIA Chipset does he retain the SLI he needs to run those two GTX 275's?
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September 22, 2010 1:47:44 PM

I should have included my NB number, or at least what I've seen on another board which is 2,160mhz. So I'm guessing that's plenty for the CPU I have. I'd love to replace my board and RAM, etc... but hopefully not for another year or two.

Take a look at what I found this morning. Looks like it's imperative to keep the HT as close to 1000mhz as possible on this board. Here's a post from another forum talking about oc'ing this board. It's a little bit confusing, especially at this hour, but I'll try to comprehend it later when I'm more awake. Thought I'd put it up anyway.



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You can't change the NB multiplier x8, but you can change the NB frequency increasing the fsb. But remember that if you increase fsb you have to adjust memory frequency, hypertransport multiplier, etc...But don't worry about NB frequency, be worried about the hypertransport multiplier to set it nearly as possible to 1000mhz(it is fsb x ht multiplier) , about the temperature of the cores of the cpu(not only the general cpu temperature sensor), the frequency mode you choose when you increase fsb(it has to be always between correct ram work frequencies and latencies), and set to manual all the frequencies you can and disable all the integrated components on the board you don't need(this will make your board rock solid ;-) )

At first you have to know which maximum fsb your cpu it will support, and you can find it decreasing the cpu multiplier to x8 and increasing the fsb. When it turns unstable, and you can't start windows and pass a bench successfully, you will need to increase a little voltage, but take a look on the cpu cores temperatures with a program like Everest, core temp, etc...

The limit of the voltage you can apply to the cpu will be the one which increases the cores temperatures, at full stress, to nearly 60ÂșC. On air with a good heatsink(which one is your "good cooler"?) it could be 1,45-1,47v , depending on the maximum tdp cpu wattage of your processor.

At the same time you increase the fsb, you have to take under control the ht multiplier, and the ram frequency mode to be sure that when you arrive to an unstable fsb, it is because your cpu is unstable, and no other component is on its frequency limits. Then you find your maximum fsb and maximum voltage your system supports, you can set the cpu multiplier to x13(normal) and increase the fsb 10mhz by 10mhz(and the voltage if it needs it). Then, when you arrive to the half of the maximum fsb overclock increase, be patient and try increasing 5mhz by 5mhz.

If you set a non working bios configuration, it could be you have to shut down your pc and make a clear cmos(bios reset to default). Then you can boot normally and try another possible bios configuration.

To optimize your memory configuration you have to hold under control this formula:
Memory freq = 2 x (fsb x cpu multiplier) / [(200 x cpu multiplier) / freq memory mode]

And the usual optimized timings for the different freq memory modes are(allways cas lat 2):
- 667mhz 3-3-3-9 or 4-4-4-12
- 800mhz 4-4-4-12 or 5-5-5-15(depends on models and voltage applied)
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Best solution

September 22, 2010 2:27:46 PM

Wamphryi said:
If he switches to an AMD chipset motherboard and forgoes the NVIDIA Chipset does he retain the SLI he needs to run those two GTX 275's?


Opps, my bad, the MB i suggested wont do dual cards, missed that.
Ok, so lets just go with helping the board hes got.

@copelander........what you quoted from the other forum is basicaly correct but needs to be sorted a bit first!

1. reduce your ram mutiplier by one step, so youre not having it get de-stabilized as you ramp up the FSB/NB settings
1a. set the pci speed to manual and lock it at the stock Mhz....should be 100
2. normally the HT can handle a LITTLE extra so if you get to 1100-1150 it really should be ok
3. be careful not to bump the CPU vcore above the MAX rated specs...you can kill the CPU real fast
4. reducing the CPU multiplier is going backward to what you are trying to do!
5. take it in small steps, when i did mine i bumped the reference clock 5Mhz at a time (understand that the reference clock effects everything on the board)
6. most times if you push to far the mb will just loop back and re-boot so you can go in and fix the issue, resetting the cmos just makes alot of extra work, so just see how it goes!
7. Heat is your worst enemy here, if youre stress testing and the temps start to skyrocket kill the test, never let the CPU get all the way to its max allowed temp

If you go really extreme you may need to drop the ram down another step to keep it happy

Have fun, I know i did!

good luck, Dead
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September 22, 2010 4:42:59 PM

Sounds good. I'll give it a try and let you know.






Deadstick50 said:
Opps, my bad, the MB i suggested wont do dual cards, missed that.
Ok, so lets just go with helping the board hes got.

@copelander........what you quoted from the other forum is basicaly correct but needs to be sorted a bit first!

1. reduce your ram mutiplier by one step, so youre not having it get de-stabilized as you ramp up the FSB/NB settings
1a. set the pci speed to manual and lock it at the stock Mhz....should be 100
2. normally the HT can handle a LITTLE extra so if you get to 1100-1150 it really should be ok
3. be careful not to bump the CPU vcore above the MAX rated specs...you can kill the CPU real fast
4. reducing the CPU multiplier is going backward to what you are trying to do!
5. take it in small steps, when i did mine i bumped the reference clock 5Mhz at a time (understand that the reference clock effects everything on the board)
6. most times if you push to far the mb will just loop back and re-boot so you can go in and fix the issue, resetting the cmos just makes alot of extra work, so just see how it goes!
7. Heat is your worst enemy here, if youre stress testing and the temps start to skyrocket kill the test, never let the CPU get all the way to its max allowed temp

If you go really extreme you may need to drop the ram down another step to keep it happy

Have fun, I know i did!

good luck, Dead

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September 22, 2010 6:03:33 PM

Okay Dead,

One more question. I've seen guys cranking up the bus speed to 240mhz... which I think may be the max for the board. 240 with a 12.5 multiplier would push my CPU to 3.0ghz. Now, from what I've read, it's possible, but not without some serious cooling. I don't need to push this one that far. But if I did want to climb up a bit would I shift back and forth from upping the bus speed and the multiplier as follows for example"

220mhz x12.5= 27.50ghz (current setting)
230mhz x12.5= 28.75ghz
240mhz x12 = 2880ghz
235mhz x13 = 2925ghz (Is 235 incrementally possible?)
220mhz x13.5= 2970ghz (Do I want a multiplier tha high?)
230mhz x13 = 2990ghz
240mhz x12.5= 3.0ghz


I'm more inclined to buy the P2 945 now that I know it won't just be a waste of money... but I'm still curious whether a combination like that above would be the best way to crank it up too.

I can hardly wait to tinker some more.
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September 22, 2010 6:27:41 PM

Ok, one thing we havent talked about yet....are you monitoring the temps when you run these overclocks??
If youre cooking the CPU and dont know it all this is going to end in one big pain.
In general terms if you can push up the cpu multiplier then do that FIRST, because pushing up the reference clock affects everything, and the multiplier doesnt!
What is the highest multiplier that MB will let you set, and where will the CPU run (at stock reference clock) with just that?
your list shows you can do x13.5 so on the stock clock setting you get 2700Mhz
THEN start to push the clock, and watch out for the memory speed and temps.
On stock cooling you absolutely have to monitor your temps, I dont know what AMD says you max temp is on this CPU, but you need to find out and you should try to stay 10-15c below that max when you fully load the CPU.
And BTW the max for your board you said in the first post was 400...youre not going there, but you should be able to get 240-250 without alot of trouble

Dead
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September 22, 2010 6:31:19 PM

BTW 223x13.5 will get you 3.0Ghz...might be as far as you can get
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September 29, 2010 12:36:42 AM

I worked it up to about 2.943 on a 218mhz x 13.5. I watched temps on speedfan and they seemed to hold around 36 on idle with stock cooling. I double checked in bios to make sure, and to also see which speedfan temp was the cpu and which was mobo.

I didn't run anything too crazy. I see there are a few good programs to really work it. I ran 3dmark06 and immediately checked temps both on speedfan AND ran it again and checked bios. Then ran pcmark05 and did the same thing. I'm not sure that really kicks it into overdrive. I guess I should try Everest or something more intense. That said, I never got it over 42 degrees which I thought pretty good.

I may all be a moot point, as I've ordered the p2 945 from newegg now that it's back in stock. Hoping to crank that up a bit and raise my score. I think I'll begin with the multiplier again and work my way up.
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September 29, 2010 2:11:54 AM

ok, goodluck

Regards, Dead
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September 30, 2010 2:40:33 AM

98% isnt good enough...if you cant get 100% stable you have data corruption, this is not accetable!

Dead
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September 30, 2010 2:12:50 PM

Best answer selected by copelander.
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