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Dell Studio desktop 540 & Q6600

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November 6, 2010 7:05:48 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm stuck between upgrading my motherboard and CPU or OC'ing and getting just a new motherboard. As you all probably know, Dells don't have anything useful in the BIOS regarding overclocking, except for maybe some of their XPS models. I tried using some FSB tuning programs, but for some reason anytime I try and boost the FSB frequency something else prevents it from booting (probably the RAM, but I'm not sure since I'm completely new to this...).

I'm looking for a stable 3.0GHz if possible, as I heard that the Q6600 can handle that. I'll probably have to get a new mobo though.

Should I bother trying to OC or should I go for an upgrade? I'm not sure the upgrade would be worth the money...I'm trying to get FSX running with more stable framerates, especially with some of the add-on aircraft.
a c 156 V Motherboard
a c 197 K Overclocking
November 8, 2010 3:01:35 PM

Will your BIOS let you manually select a 333 MHz FSB frequency? If your CPU chip can run at 3.0 GHz without a voltage increase, that may be your simplest approach.

That worked for me with an ECS motherboard with no other OC capabilities.
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November 8, 2010 7:45:43 PM

I have the 9800GTX+, so it's definitely not the graphics card that's the problem. Especially with Flight Simulator X, which is way more CPU load than GPU. I'm looking for more CPU power.
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November 8, 2010 9:20:32 PM

I realize that Dell motherboards have no true OC capability, but here are my spec's:

Manufacturer:
Dell Inc.
Processor:
Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.4GHz
Memory:
6144MB RAM (6GB spec)
Hard Drive:
483 GB (500GB spec)
Video Card:
BFG NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX+ OC 512MB GDDR3
Monitor:
Dell Widescreen 19" 16:10 ratio 1440x900 (Digital)
Sound Card:
Speakers (High Definition Audio Device)
Speakers/Headphones:
Stereo Standard Dell Speakers + Subwoofer
Keyboard:
USB Root Hub
Mouse:
USB Root Hub
Operating System:
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (6.1, Build 7600) (7600.win7_gdr.100618-1621)
Motherboard:
whatever the heck Dell computers come with
Computer Case:
Standard Dell Studio 540 Desktop Case

And my PSU is the BFG ATX12V 650 watt, which I bought along with the BFG 9800 GTX+.

If I want to OC, I'll have to definitely get a new mainboard. I'll be looking at a new performance grade laptop for college within a year from now, so I probably don't want to spend the big bucks on this desktop here.
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November 8, 2010 9:28:16 PM

I already have win7, home premium x64

So you think upgrading just the graphics card will improve FSX? Every other game works just fine...I get 120 fps in all Steam games and 60s in Armed Assault 2. Those game engines implement multicore rendering. At least the Steam games do.

My main concern is with Microsoft Flight Simulator X, and with all of the highly detailed and simulated aircraft and scenery, I think it's putting load on my processor. I could try benchmarking and see which is getting more strain.
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November 8, 2010 10:16:42 PM

lol true? true is what is real right? and confirmable...

reported clock speeds don't usually lie.. but dells underclock and undervolt things.. so you wont be able to get as high clocks as easily as a non dell/propriety system...and then cheap parts reduce stability..ram is usually #1 then hd's and chips used etc etc..

but you can overclock it.. you just have to find software and settings to support it..

oh boy...

your psu may not be enough for a quad core and a nvidia 9xxx+ series gfx card, i'd recommend 800 minimum! overclocking a single core p4 northwood to 3.2ghz can draw 150watts by itself..includeing all the other hardware.. put my system over 1200 watts during 100% cpu use..

overclocking in the slightest may cause it to do a thermal shutdown /voltage protection.. you could turn off various protections but you really want those there..

in bios there will be power / acpi/ or advanced power management..
sometimes just switching from s3 to s1 will allow it to boot up.. but once you get going, the draw in power may cause it to shutdown.. this may be a good thing..it's preventing damage from happening..

i was able to run fsx beta with a quadro 600 xD p4@3.4ghz and 1gig ram.. at like 10-15fps.. they later did away with legacy cards...

I believe strongly that upgradeing the motherboard first, then consider a more robust psu.. could increase your system performanace and stability..overclocking outside the set ranges on this system, may be locked by dell.. so you'd be tinkering with things to get by that alot..

what error do you get when it crashes if any? does windows say it recovered from a serious error??
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November 8, 2010 11:28:47 PM

=c no bashing people man, just do some tinkering with electrical theory... there are voltage calulators online.. i suggest anyone do this if they want to have an idea of whats going on.. google it

while they are basically estimates and what if's for the most part.. i did confirm that my p4 was drawing a spike over 150watts at times when i had it above 3.2ghz.. on a dell psu- that was 400watts with a dedicated rail..

a quad core... is 4 times that.. tho it has monitoring and voltage step technology..
base watts of specs are not always constant during load...

http://www.pctechguide.com/26quadCore.htm

says 90-105 watts minimum not maximum.. remember the selling point is less power more speed here..

then a nvidia 9x series card.. 95 watts minimum.. not maximum...
http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_geforce_9600gt_us....

thats -190 -cpu/gpu alone... not includeing FANS HD's, cd-roms/dvd, ram, ssd, usb stuff
and anything else powered off the psu.. the dell psu's i've seen don't have a dedicated rail for gfx cards either..unless it's pci-e 2.0 or agp pro maybe..or it just has it..

12watts per hd.. or 2.8 amps minimum.. also variable.. it can go higher depending on settings.. lets say he has 2 he doesnt, and its a 500gb some of which only draw 4 watts minimum.. but for demonstration and to account for spikes and load.. it'll be 12 watts per drive here.

-214- watts cpu / gpu / hd miniumum not under load... consider what it is under load??

all that aside, we still need to figure out if anything else could be causeing a shutdown..or voltage spike /short.. on a clean install, no viri and the sort... few things would cause a system restart without an error.. this is what leads me to believe that maybe 650-watts is not enough.. something isnt mounted right or in the slot fully... ram /gpu..any other card or device..

a heatsink not making a good seat. possibly dislodged or no thermal compound..

lastly 1200watts was for my system as a whole.. not just the cpu/gpu..

basically a fully loaded p4 system.. 4 old drives etc etc a buncha fans.. @ 17 volts instead of 5-12.. many things contributed to such a high number.. todays pc's for the most part won't get near this until you start throwing sli and power hungry stuff in there..


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November 8, 2010 11:41:28 PM

riight ok.. i'll just let you feel that you are right, and your responses are relvent and helpful..

some further googleing with similar upgrades on this sytem, seem to suggest it is not compatable with a higher wattage psu/gpu...like the bios or board is asked to watch and limit this.. i'm still reading up a bit..
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November 9, 2010 1:18:55 AM

xD i edited after finding out more relevent info xD

better? hey maybe pm's would be better for friendly constructive critisism, editing advise and wisdom?
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November 10, 2010 1:25:31 AM

So if I were to upgrade, say to AMD's six core 3.2GHz, will I need more power? Is there a way to tell what wattage I'm pulling right now? Does CPU-Z or Cpu Wizard do that for ya? Btw thanks for the replies!
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a b V Motherboard
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November 10, 2010 11:16:06 AM

supertoast92 said:
Hi everyone,

I'm stuck between upgrading my motherboard and CPU or OC'ing and getting just a new motherboard. As you all probably know, Dells don't have anything useful in the BIOS regarding overclocking, except for maybe some of their XPS models. I tried using some FSB tuning programs, but for some reason anytime I try and boost the FSB frequency something else prevents it from booting (probably the RAM, but I'm not sure since I'm completely new to this...).

I'm looking for a stable 3.0GHz if possible, as I heard that the Q6600 can handle that. I'll probably have to get a new mobo though.

Should I bother trying to OC or should I go for an upgrade? I'm not sure the upgrade would be worth the money...I'm trying to get FSX running with more stable framerates, especially with some of the add-on aircraft.

How comfortable are you with computer hardware ?
Google " Q6600 BSEL Mod "
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November 10, 2010 6:40:13 PM

Ah, I've tried that mod with by covering a single pin with electrical tape, and my PC would just continually cycle through the BIOS as if I boosed my FSB.
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November 10, 2010 6:43:48 PM

Quote:
if you want to switch to AMD then you would need new motherboard, a entirely new system..
what are you saying.?


Well regardless what CPU I'm looking at, I'll need a new motherboard anyway. My current one's a socket 775, which only fits the older generation Intels as far as I'm concerned.

Plus, if I'm going to do some overclocking, I will need a non-Dell motherboard since Dell locks everything regarding OC out of their BIOs. Makes sense though, considering it's OEM.
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November 21, 2010 8:42:31 PM

yea keep the dell running, don't fry it... the reboot cycleing usually indicates a problem or voltage's requested are above what dell programmed as allowable.

Sometimes disableing the onboard sound allows for some better overclocks.. not sure why yet, but i do this for all dell overclocks. If i didnt it would often become unstable around 3.2ghz or 36mhz pci...

thats the other thing too... when you overclock with most software.. it doesn't let you adjust other things... it just boosts everything.. thats something that takes alot of tinkering to find the best setting usually... pci processor usually becomes unstable well before 38mhz which is then multiplied.. usually x2..

If you have a pci card that does not support 66mhz... it may cause repeat reboots as well..

yes cpu'z does report voltages in real time i believe.

not sure if the 775's fixed the 1.9v bug.. where the cpu burns up and becomes useless... this was known to effect northwoods..

hows the heat coming off this thing? if something were really being used hardcore, it would produce alot of heat.. and that would degrade performance. and cause underclocking as well.


Some of the first edition amd phenom 4 cores are like $30-$100

not sure how much memory is on the 6600 4mb i think...but getting more memory there would help as well..

I've seen and had fsx running good on lesser machines tho.. do you have other stuff running?

If it's stuck at 333-533mhz fsb... it's going to suck. but cooling and overclocks can help significantly



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November 21, 2010 9:00:45 PM

fsx min specs...

Windows XP SP2 / Windows Vista / Windows 7
Processor: 1.0 Ghz
RAM: Windows XP SP2 - 256MB, Windows Vista – 512MB
Hard Drive: 14GB
Video Card: 32MB DirectX 9 compatible
Other: DX9 hardware compatibility and audio board with speakers and/or headphones
Online/Multiplayer Requirements: 56.6 kbps or better for online play


if your not able to play this game with your current hardware.. you must have alot of things running in background.. like anti-virus, music, video..video recording etc..

or something is very hot, not connected properly.. or is well beyond it's service life...
Ram and HD's are usually the first things to wear out... when's the last time you defragged?

give defraggler a try..

i'm d/ling the trial now to see what is use d and how on my old p478 with 100mhz fsb.

not the same system.. so there are numerous things that would or would not cause me issues.. but would or would not you... but it would give me an idea of what's going on... if it runs...

what stage are you having issues with? what version?

Are you playing online when this happens?

Did you atleast !carefully! clean the adhesive off the pin with cotton or lint free rag?when you removed the tape?? that stuff could be all up inside the socket now...and would definately cause issues... it's likely it never even went into the socket correctly with the tape on it.. as it would be too large to do so. I think these sockets used spring loaded ball bearings?? to make contact?
in any case, lodging something larger then what's sopposed to be in there could force it to remain open, and no longer make a connection, or make a loose connection.. you'd get random reboots because of this, if not a loop from the get go..this is also not correctable..

which would explain the loop reboot as well..useing tape wouldn't do anything but create a short..once you close the socket it cuts threw the tape..or tries to. I'd never do this .

once you've done this, there isn't really any way to clean it out.. you may need a new mobo just because of this.
:heink: 

it'd be worth buying a new board to get the full features of the q6600.
doesn't it support 1333mhz fsb?
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November 21, 2010 10:57:48 PM

after playing the demo i was reminded why i don't like microsoft games...it was time limited demo.. and the controls were goofy.. not life like.. but meh, w/e floats your boat man.

i think the only microsoft game i liked so far was monster truck madness xD

anyway i noticed a feature in the settings where you select your gfx card and resolution... you have a frame rate limiter default was 15 fps!

I set it for unlimited... and with your system it should fly...like on ice and meth.. xD

when it first loads it may look crappy but as things get cached, it'll become more detailed. And more smooth..

I was able to play with most settings on high. over 30fps..

you should not be having any issues with this game, unless it's win7 compatability...

try right clicking the file in it's folder that starts the game, go to properties... there should be a compatability tab..or advanced button. it may run better if you set this to win xp2 or 3...

i'm using xp3 so any win7 users please feel free to include the details that i am sure i got wrong xD i've never touched win 7 yet.. haven't even watched videos of it.



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