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Thread: First steps - overclocking

  1. #1
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    First steps - overclocking

    I am just delving into overclocking my XP2500+ on an NF7-S 2.0 and I have just altered the FSB to 200 with a multiplier of 11. I have now got it running along at 2205Mhz at a temp of 26°C.

    Q1. Can I safely increase the multiplier until I start getting problems.

    Q2. What should I be monitoring/altering on the voltage side (I am using a (wait for it) QTEC550!!!!!!!.

    Q3. What can I do with my memory (Kingmax PC3200 CL2.5) or is it already running fast enough?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Triple Ox
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    Q1. Yea, but you'll get better overall performance if you keep upping the fsb

    Q2. Oh dear. Motherboard monitor to monitor your temps/volts! If you get instability when raising the fsb up the cpu voltage. Maybe get a decent psu?

    Q3. 3200 (ddr400) would prob go a tad higher, dpends how decent the ram is!

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Senior Member SilentDeath's Avatar
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    first, bin the q-tec. it will probobly explode in the near future taking a large chunk of your case with it. replace with a decent psu, prefereably unbranded (big red "W" ones )

    nice cpu temp, must be cold where you live!! (and the nf7-s temp sensors == unaccurate++)

    update your bios aswell before you start.... theres a few nice fixes..

    its always a good idea to overclock the cpu and ram/mobo seperatly, and fsb allows much smaller steps, so use that.

    start with the cpu multi down to 8 or something, stick the ram timings to somehting like 7-3-3-2.5 which imo are best (cos lower does sweet fa for performance, and pure mhz is nicer). assuming the rev2 board is like the rev1, your ram will overvolt by 0.07, which is good and will let it go that little bit further, id start with voltage at 2.6 (2.67 ).
    also stick ur mobos chipset voltage up a notch, 1.6 or 1.7 is plenty. get memtest86 from www.memtest86.com bootable iso is best. do a full test first to check its all fine, test 1-4 will detect fault dodgy ram, test 4 being the useless one that takes longest. ive found test 5 detects the most errors caused by clocking, usually i reset as soon as htey start to appear so i dont damage anything, rarly does test 5 not pick up anything and the others (6 and 7) get any errrors. start the overclocking of ram, up by 10mhz each time, then test with 5, and if pass, 6 and 7. once you start to reach the limits (where you get errors) try inc the ram voltage by 0.1 (so its at 2.77), which might help it go further, doesnt help much with my DLT samsung chips though (ddr410mhz -> ddr420)
    adjusting the timings can also help..
    if your ram is uber you might find the mobo is limiting it (if it hangs on test 5 while giving no errors, i think) so you can inc voltage further though ull need a better heatsink for volt modding it, and the rev2 h/s is a niosy one anyway....

    once youve found max for your ram, set it back a bit, 200 being a good place. put the votlage for ram back aswell and chipset voltage. get prime95 (youll have to google this time ) which runs in windows, it will stress the cpu (in torture test) and check the calculations it does with known results - telling you if its overclocked to far and unstable. run this for 30 mins before you overclock it to make sure ur stable first. try not to go much above 200fsb (and not higher than the max u found stable) and also use the multiplyers to change the cpu clock - a calculator is good here, cos im lazy
    start at stock voltage, and only inc voltage when prime95 gets unstable, other causes might be heat, so if you get above 50*c its almost time to stop... try not to go over 0.25v over stock as you risk killing the cpu, this depends a lot on which stepping you have..
    imo its best to overclock in small steps as it burns the cpu in, if you dont it wot overclock as well at first, but if youve burned it in it should clock nicer.
    go up 100-200mhz at a time (by inc multiplyer) and thn fine tune it.

    btw make notes of the max stable ram and cpu clocks youve reached, and the voltages etc they require...

    then do simple maths:

    mullti = max stable cpu clock / max stable fsb

    either round down the multi, or lower the fsb you want to use untill you get close as you can to max stable cpu clock, then try that in memtest86 and prime95.

    hope that helps.. remeber to do your gfx card aswell, makes most difference for games

    (~3460 chars in this post :OOOOO )

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    Triple Ox
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    YEA, what he said.

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    A lot of help there silentdeath. You ought to get out a bit more.

    I will be binning the QTEC soon, but in the meantime what shold I be monitoring on the voltage side to see if the QTEC is wavering.

    I am using the motherboard monitor for voltage monitoring, I presume this is accurate enough. I will be using the NVidia System Utility for my memory changes and I can only change the TRAS, TRCD and TRP. (currently at 2-4-4) Should I be changing it elsewhere?

    My BIOS is up to date I think (1.9)

    Andy

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    Senior Member SilentDeath's Avatar
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    thanks

    just check the +5v and +12 are within 0.5v of what they should be... a multimeter would eb best, but if uve not got one ull have to rely on ur mobo sensors being accurate :O

    dont bother with nvidia system utility, untill it can change ALL the settings mentioed above, its usless, oh and memtest86 is bootable, so youd have to restart anyway to do any proper overlocking...

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    26°C @ 2205Mhz


    That.. can't.. be right (on air anyway)

    What cooler are you using?

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    An AeroCooler 7+

    The readings are from the Motherboard monitor software (MBM5)

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    Senior Member SilentDeath's Avatar
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    my 1700+, slk800, tt smart fan on low:

    cpu[1-AMD Athlon(tm), 2205MHz @ 11.0x200 (256KB, 1%)]

    temps[CPU Temp:34°C, Sys Temp:25°C, Maxtor 40GB:43°C, Maxtor120GB:31°C, Maxtor160GB:30°C]

    volts[VCore:1.81V, VMem:2.69V, +3.3 :3.28V, +5.00 :5.00V, +12.00 :11.73V, -12.00 :-12.19V, -5.00 :-5.34V]

    ok my temps are lightly higher, but ill have silver waterblocks on it soon!!

  10. #10
    Scary!
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    Thats a damn fine tutorial for beginners......superb!

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    Right, I have started to have a go at this but I am a little confused (bear with me please - I learn fast)

    I have followed SilentDeath's initial advice (apart from replacing the PSU at this stage ((funds you know)) ) and have made the following changes. This also states the readings direct from the BIOS:

    Processor Settings
    External Clock 200
    Multiplier 8
    CPU Frequency = 1600


    Voltage Settings
    CPU Core Voltage 1.65
    DDR Voltage 2.7
    Chipset Voltage 1.7
    AGP Voltage 1.5

    Memory Settings
    Row Active Delay 7
    RAS CAS Delay 3
    Row PreCharge 3
    CAS Latency 2.5

    Power Supply Min Max
    CPU Temp 37.00 37.00
    CPU Core Voltage 1.66 1.68
    VCC Voltage 2.72 2.72
    I/O Voltage 3.36 3.37
    +5V 5.02 5.02
    +12V 11.97 12.03
    -12V 11.70 11.70
    -5V -4.89 -4.94
    3.3V Dual Voltage 3.55 3.55
    Standby Voltage 5.01 5.04


    NOw I have started to run MemTest and I immediatley get errors (000's of them) on test 5 (none on the others). Does this mean that even at this low setting my memory cannot be pushed further?

    The next step I understand is to up the memory speed by 10Mhz steps. Do I do this with the CPU FSB/DRAM ratio or somewhere else. In my BIOS I can select this by SPEED if I want????

    I will leave it at that for the moment.

    Appreciate any help.

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    Hi AndyL,

    It's difficult for me to comment on an AMD overclock as I have an Intel rig, but the principles are the same.
    Personally, I swear by memtest86 for memory stability and Prime95 for CPU stability. If either show errors, I would be wary.
    There are a few things you could do, up the voltage or lower the overclock, either may reduce the errors, but if you are happy with the errors it's up to you.
    I have a QTEC 550W and to be honest I have never had stability issues (I have checked my rails, 5,12 and 3.3v and they are all within spec).
    If you are getting temps like 26C on 1.65v I would say you should be ok @ 1.7 (or even 1.75?), try this then run memtest86 and see if the errors reduce. Also can you increase the volt to your mem any more (what manufacturer is it?).
    Hope this helps.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member SilentDeath's Avatar
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    this is strange... which tests do you get the errors on? if it errors on test one it willl probably get them on the rest of the tests. while tests 5,6, and 7 are the only oens that give me overclock related errors, it might be that teh timings are just toooo fast for your ram, try 8,4,4,3 and 8,4,4,2.5. it might also be that your ram hasnt burned in and 2.7v (2.72) is just too much to start with
    You could also try setting the timings to SPD (serial precence detect) which means it will just use the timings programed into the ram chips.

    you should make sure CPU FSB/DRAM is set to 6:6, so the ram and FSB are running at the same frequency.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the advice & thoughts guys. Just some more information in case it makes any difference, my memory is KingMax (2 lots of PC3200 CL2.5) I thought this was quite good stuff at the time.

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    Sorry - the test only started failing at 98% on Test 5.

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