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Bottleneck? Improvements?

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December 18, 2010 3:42:43 AM

:hello:  Goodness, I love this AMD Overclocking forum! I've gotten so zoned out reading all your posts and feel like it's time to work my own rig.

After reading countless threads on the various issues, resolutions, familiarities with overclocking, I've decided just to put my setup out there for you to examine, assess, and criticize.
What I hope to gain from this is technical assistance in terms of bottleneck issues. I also would appreciate any simple tips on how to achieve the maximum performance from this rig.
My setup is as follows:

MSI 870A-G54 Mobo MOBO
Phenom II x3 740 CPU
Hyper 212+ HSF
4 GB (2x2) DDR3 1600 Corsair XMS3 RAM
64GB Crucial SATA III SSD SSD
640GB WD Caviar Black HDD
Gigabyte Radeon HD 6870 GPU
Kingwin Mach 1 1000W PSU

So, I've messed around casually, and got the multiplier up to 17x before experiencing instability. I assume I have to raise voltage at this point but I'm still not sure. I've since kept most everything at stock other than my GPU, which clocks at 990/1240 core/mem. The stock RAM timings are 8-8-8-24 @ 1.65V for 1600MHz but I run 1333, as I'm still unsure about the voltage thing. This is where I came across my first issue. I can manually set my RAM to 1.63V but any higher becomes 1.9XX and any lower is 1.3XX. Suggestions? I'm very familiar with my BIOS, so if you're familiar with it, speak freely. My CPU temps differ according to what's gauging it. 28-30 CPU and 30-33 System according to the BIOS, but much much lower temps according to CoreTemp and AMD OverDrive which both report 16-18 idle and 26 at the highest load.
I know you're probably going to tell me "Read this first" and so on but I feel like everyone's case is unique in some way. Therefore, I'm posting my particular setup and hoping to get unique suggestions, feedback accordingly.

Like I said, I've gotten the CPU up to 3.4GHz using the multiplier and auto voltage, etc. That voltage by the way varies from 1.29X to 1.33X to 1.34X under load. GPU runs about 70c, low 30s high 20s idle.
Case has 3 fans 1x120 2x90. Am I getting off track?

What I would like to do is hear from those who have similar rigs and see what they were able to do. I've searched the black edition clocking forums and the like and there isn't much of a sample size for this particular processor or this motherboard.

Thanks again for any and all feedback.
a c 100 K Overclocking
December 18, 2010 4:47:30 AM

I don't know whole lot about AMD CPUs but I'm just curious if you try to unlock your four core. As for the over clocking you temperatures seem pretty good so I definitely think adding a little more voltage will allow you to hit higher clocks. I'm not sure what's wrong with the ram voltage however 1.63V should be enough to rounded at 1600 MHz and CL8 timings. But the very least I would try increasing to 1400 MHz at CL7. If it's running auto voltage it's probably only at 1.5 and CL8.

For those temperatures are also curious if you've tried to Max out the heat sink fan? I know for sure that the bios will be reading slightly higher temperatures because mine does the exact same thing even though I have an Intel

Edit: sorry for grammar and spelling errors but I'm using speech recognition. Wireless keyboard batteries died, I'll get new ones tomorrow
December 18, 2010 4:49:29 AM

All fans run at 100% as far as I know... 2000 RPM or within the range at all times for the HSF
edit: outside the gpu of course which is auto
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December 18, 2010 7:02:36 AM

wolfram23 said:
I don't know whole lot about AMD CPUs but I'm just curious if you try to unlock your four core. As for the over clocking you temperatures seem pretty good so I definitely think adding a little more voltage will allow you to hit higher clocks. I'm not sure what's wrong with the ram voltage however 1.63V should be enough to rounded at 1600 MHz and CL8 timings. But the very least I would try increasing to 1400 MHz at CL7. If it's running auto voltage it's probably only at 1.5 and CL8.

For those temperatures are also curious if you've tried to Max out the heat sink fan? I know for sure that the bios will be reading slightly higher temperatures because mine does the exact same thing even though I have an Intel

Edit: sorry for grammar and spelling errors but I'm using speech recognition. Wireless keyboard batteries died, I'll get new ones tomorrow


Update: Have been fiddling, raising CPUV little by little and am currently in the 55th minute of stressing prime 95 blend test. CPU @ 3.7GHz (200x18.5) set at 1.469V which is as high as I can get before 1.5XXV. 33c max temp so far 23c min.
December 18, 2010 7:03:45 AM

CPU-Z reporting 1.464V max draw as far as I see.
December 18, 2010 8:24:00 AM

Update: 2 hours of Prime95 blend yielded no errors, no crashes.

Proof:

What to do from here? You mentioned 1400 on the RAM with 7 timings... is that to say I work from 1333 and use NB increase to ~1400.. if so should I leave it at auto voltage in that case?

While I'm familiar with my motherboard, I'm not real familiar with procedural RAM overclocking. I've gotten as far as setting the 1:4, timings, 2T, and voltage, but have never manually clocked RAM to a particular speed as you say. If it'll make that much of a difference, I'd be glad to test it out if it's easy to be walked-through. Let me know what you guys think as far as further improvements go.
December 21, 2010 4:28:38 AM

prodigy said:
Update: 2 hours of Prime95 blend yielded no errors, no crashes.

Proof: http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/9606/overclock1.png

What to do from here? You mentioned 1400 on the RAM with 7 timings... is that to say I work from 1333 and use NB increase to ~1400.. if so should I leave it at auto voltage in that case?

While I'm familiar with my motherboard, I'm not real familiar with procedural RAM overclocking. I've gotten as far as setting the 1:4, timings, 2T, and voltage, but have never manually clocked RAM to a particular speed as you say. If it'll make that much of a difference, I'd be glad to test it out if it's easy to be walked-through. Let me know what you guys think as far as further improvements go.



I might suggest leaving at 2t as 1t get a little unstable...

per 4ryan6's overclocking guide...

"First, You need to manually set your memory speed See Memory Speed Note :, and CAS timings, and the required memory slot voltage, to your memory manufacturers exact requirements, and regarding the 1T, 2T, setting, for AMD in my experience the 2T setting is more stable, (I suggest 2T to attain your overclock then after you're sure its stable you can set it to 1T and see if your memory will stay stable at that setting), if you do not manually set these parameters, you may as well quit right now.See Memory Note Below:

Memory Speed Note :o verclocking motherboard BIOS settings have either built in dividers or manually set dividers, which usually allow your memory to run at it's rated advertised speed, even though the bus speed is set lower, say for example your memory is DDR3 1600mhz, my motherboard has a built in divider setting which allows my memory to run it's rated speed by setting the divider setting to 1:4 = 1600mhz. "

December 21, 2010 4:36:27 AM

I also have that divider. However, Auto voltage for DRAM is 1.5V and 1600MHz calls for 1.65V. However, the intervals at which the DRAM Voltage increases only allows a 1.63V setting. Otherwise, it is 1.59 or 1.669V if I set it lower or higher than the 1.63 allowed voltage.

Is your quote of the AMD OC guide a hint for me to switch to 1T and test the stability?
December 21, 2010 5:12:17 AM

lol no bottom line it's up to you. personally I have my at 2t and quite happy with it. For me when I was OC'ing I was very stingy with adding voltage. I worked on small increments to attain my OC. As you can imagine it took a long time to get my overclock.
a c 100 K Overclocking
December 21, 2010 2:00:42 PM

RAM speed doesn't make all that much impact on overall performance, but it does "feel good" to know you have it optimized.

Your RAM should be ok even at 1.669V, but I would leave it at 1.63 and see what you can get out of it at that voltage. If you can bump it from 1333 to 1400 and keep the same timings, then great! Or you could try 1600mhz with +1 to your timings. Up to you really.

BTW, the difference between 2T and 1T is basically negligible. I forget the exact details but I did read about it, basically 2T just takes 1 extra clock cycle for the initial locating of data on the RAM, but the actual transfer speed of the data will be identical. That said, it's super easy to give 1T a try.

After you have CPU stable (looks like you do, btw, it's recommended to do ~8hrs of Prime95 or 20 runs on High Stress for Intel Burn Test - which is much faster lol) then you can start messing with your RAM speed and timings. Nothing can really go wrong if you don't over volt it, at worst your system won't boot and you just go back into BIOS and tinker some more. I've tried all kinds of stuff, changing speeds and timings and everything. My benchmark for it was Everest which can measure transfer rates and latency, and honestly the numbers barely changed no matter how much I tried.
December 22, 2010 12:05:00 AM

Here's what I've come to.





RAM:Should I use 21 or 24 for RAS if I try for 7CLK? And should I use 1.5V or 1.63V?

Do the voltages look screwy to anyone else? One reports only 9.XXV on the 12+V rail and the other program reports over 14V.
a c 100 K Overclocking
December 22, 2010 12:26:05 AM

Yeah those voltages are bit off it seems... *shrug* don't think there's too much you can do about it

21 vs 24 won't matter, and for voltage it won't really matter either. Use the lowest voltage that's stable? 1.5V conforms to JEDEC specs, which would be what the default speeds are. But your RAM is built to be faster, but only at 1.65V so if you're going to set speeds comparable to the manufacturer specs you'll probably need 1.63V. But if it works at 1.5, then why not? Just make sure you run either a long blend test or like I've said before, Intel Burn Test. You could also run Memtest86+.
December 22, 2010 12:37:45 AM

wolfram23 said:
Yeah those voltages are bit off it seems... *shrug* don't think there's too much you can do about it

21 vs 24 won't matter, and for voltage it won't really matter either. Use the lowest voltage that's stable? 1.5V conforms to JEDEC specs, which would be what the default speeds are. But your RAM is built to be faster, but only at 1.65V so if you're going to set speeds comparable to the manufacturer specs you'll probably need 1.63V. But if it works at 1.5, then why not? Just make sure you run either a long blend test or like I've said before, Intel Burn Test. You could also run Memtest86+.


I've got MemTest86 and as far as I've seen it only tests the RAM at 533MHz. I didn't fool with it too much, but it didn't make sense to me to test at such a low speed when I want to find if the OC speed is stable, feel me? Tell me if I'm doing it wrong, or perceiving it wrong.
December 22, 2010 4:29:10 AM

I've fiddled a bit more and come up with a comfortable, stable, accelerated OC:





Using a combination of FSB and multiplier increases, along with the appropriate voltage adjustments has led me to find that among the stable configurations, the above seems to be best according to AMD Overdrive. What's curious, is that I was able to find stability at higher processor speeds as well as lower RAM timings, but AMDOD rated the 3.6-3.65GHz range better than 3.7-3.8GHz CPU speed. Similarly, the manufacturer recommended RAM timings and speed (1600, 8CLK/24CLK 1.65V) was rated overall best compared to the 1400MHz 7CLK timings. It makes sense to me that a higher MHz and lower CLK would lead to faster times, so decreasing the speed to 1400 and clocks to 7 would sort of negate any enhancement, wouldn't it?

All in all, I've turned a x3 @ 3.0GHz into a x4 @ ~3.64 :)  for only $90 from Newegg.

AMD OD rated my performance at ~6700 prior to overclocking and now it averages ~8600. ~25% increase according to my top-of-the-head calculations...

{Edit} All thanks to this website!
a c 100 K Overclocking
December 22, 2010 4:59:28 PM

Just about Memtest, 533 is the half rate, since it's "double data rate" ram you times that by two, so you were at 1066mhz. If you were actually higher than that, then I'm not sure what was going on. It should be whatever you set in the BIOS.

Looks like a good OC. Good job.
!