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First time overclock, could use some advice

Last response: in Overclocking
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February 6, 2011 4:04:57 AM

Hi,

I decided my 4 yr old gaming PC was getting a little long in the tooth and was in need of some extra juice to give it a few more years of life. I'm on a limited budget so I opted to add a new video card (ordered a GTX 560 Ti today) and overclock my CPU.

I read a multitude of guides on overclocking and followed them to a T, and so far so good, my system is stable. The one item I am confused about is memory. When I purchased my RAM I thought I was buying 1066MHz stuff, but after reading various threads/guides I've learned that I purchased 800 MHz stuff that is guaranteed to 1066 MHz if overclocked. Bummer. I have two memory related questions:
1 - Should I, or do I need to, have a 1:1 ratio with my memory and FSB? So far all I have overclocked/changed were my CPU settings. I left my RAM settings untouched.
2 - If my RAM can be overclocked to 1066 MHZ from 800 MHz, do I gain much improvement in overclocking it? If so, I would like to do it.
3 - If yes to #1 and #2, how do I go about making those changes? If I overclock my RAM to 1066 MHZ I'd like to keep my CPU at 3.2GHz, so what settings (MEM (DDR), MHz and CPU frequency) do I need to accomplish this? Currently my MEM (DDR), MHz settings are on OPTIMAL which gives me Memory Timing Settings of 5, 5, 5, 18, 2T. Also, do I need to increase the voltage to my RAM if I overclock it (current on the SPD tab of CPU-Z it shows 1.80V).

My system specs are:
Power supply - 750W Silverstone Olympia
CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 GHz (1066MHz FSB)(8MB Cache)
Mobo - eVGA nVidia 650i Core 2 Quad (nForce 650i Ultra)
Memory - 4 x 1GB DDR2 Corsair Dominator Dual Channel Extreme-Performance 1066MHz

Here are my current BIOS settings after my overclock:
CPU Freq MHz = 1424
Multiplier = 9
This puts me just a hare above 3.2GHz (actual according to CPU-Z is 3.2 MHz)
My temps per Core Temps are hovering around high 40's low 50s.
My DRAM frequency is at 400 MHz
This is producing a FSB to DRAM ratio of 7:8

This is my first time overclocking so please bear with my ignorance on some of the techie stuff.

Thanks!

More about : time overclock advice

a b } Memory
a c 241 K Overclocking
February 6, 2011 6:30:20 AM

You have 4 stick , ideal overclock ram 2 stick (dual) .
Game need higher size for better 2*2gb or more for oc ram.
In spd vdim 1.8v but you can increase vdim up to 2.1v and spd still 1.8 , it,s normal.
If you still use 4 stick go default , just oc gpu
For better upgrade higher size ram remember game need it
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a b } Memory
a c 197 K Overclocking
February 6, 2011 11:15:21 AM

1. No, you do not. Having said that, I have 4 OC'd Core2 systems - all running at 1:1.

2. No. Core2 systems gain little if anything from overclocking RAM. And it can increase instability. Here's a thread where some of us discussed that:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/251715-29-ratio-myth

As you have discovered, not all DDR2-1066 RAM really is. Much of what is sold as 1066 RAM is actually DDR2-800 RAM that has been tested to run at the higher speed, usually with relaxed timings and at a higher voltage.

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February 6, 2011 2:01:33 PM

How important, if at all, is it to have a 1:1 FSB:RAM ratio?
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February 8, 2011 2:01:53 AM

godzillamax said:
How important, if at all, is it to have a 1:1 FSB:RAM ratio?


Very.

If you get lucky, your system will be able to handle it, but you should always try for a 1:1 ratio as that's essentially what your system is "used to." The "improvement" you gain is the stability of your system. Even in RAM intensive applications such as the Adobe Creative Suite, you'll notice little "performance gains" when going from 800 to 1066.

I'd recommend checking reviews of your RAM to make sure it can overclock well. I assume it can, so to answer question 3... yes. You will need to make sure your RAM voltage/vDIMM is 2.2v (or closest to it without going over) and either adjust your vcore accordingly, or keep it where it is if it's stable.

If those temps you gave are at load, that's very good. If they're at idle... I'd recommend lowering your vcore. Start around 1.325 and slowly lower from there. You should be able to leave all other voltages and timings on auto. However, your RAM timings will be a little more lax, or rather, higher with the overclock. If that ^ doesn't work, you'll need to adjust other voltages and timings... which I have little experience with. Hope this helps.

Just to let you know, I have a similar board (650i chipset) and 800mhz ram with an e6550. I'm running the cpu at 3.44ghz on air, with a ratio of 1:1. My FSB is running at 492mhz so my RAM is running at 984 mhz... stable. Load temps at 62 and 60.


I'm about to get that card too as Crysis 2 and The Witcher 2 are coming. How's it workin out?
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