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Thread: Memory upgrade advice...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Queen Creek, AZ

    Question Memory upgrade advice...

    Below you see my system. Right now I have 2GB of the Corsair and it has served me well and will find new life in another rig I'm building. My goal is to overclock my Q6600 to 3.4GHz if it will do is doing 3GHz without any strain, or solid knowledge of what I've done right or wrong to make it to that speed (I've read but it is not entirely connecting in my brain). I'm looking for 4GB (2x2GB). Am soliciting opinions especially from those that have my board and/or processor and/or knowledge. The system is running XP now and will soon run XP 64 bit. Will add Windows 7 when it has a service pack under its belt. PC2-6400 or PC2-8500? Still not clear on exactly why one over the other. I'm certainly partial to Corsair XMS as I've used it for years without incident. The G.Skill Pi Black looks interesting. OCZ has a couple units that are nice too. Bottom line it needs to support the 3.4GHz... or as fast as I can get it to run... overclock and be rock solid and not self-immolate. I hope to get memory that will stand up to something like F@H 24x7 for days at a time and come back for more. Hint...good at dissipating heat here in the desert southwest. This main system is major air cooled with some 8 fans all told (including PS, graphics card, CPU cooler and the addition of the extra fan that the 900 case is built for). Am still shy about liquid cooling.

    Just a little side note. I really have read the posts about OC'ing but my aging mind is just not making the connections. I get the CAS and all the individual memory timings, clock cycles and the like. What I don't get is the relationship on FSB vs. multiplier vs. MCH vs ich vs etc. It just isn't clicking and I've been in computers for 30+years (although 95% of that on large mainframes). One thing driving me to distraction is that all of these great write-ups are done on different boards where the nomenclature for a rookie is just enough to cause me reach for the asprin. I put my own rigs together but have always just increased I guess the FSB (the last one was an AMD Athlon 3200+) and pushed it a bit to maybe a 3600+ but I didn't get into any voltages or multipliers...or I did and didn't know or remember it. So please go gentle on me. I want to learn this and once learned, it is there for the duration. I love doing the work to get the bang for the buck, but I have to understand the work first and it just hasn't sunk in yet.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts and suggestions. And don't hesitate to point me to some good cookbooks on how this is done so if I have questions, they just might be intelligent. I'm fascinated by the potential of the Q6600. I read someone had it at 4GHz !!! Not really stable, but cool. Love to try for 3.4GHz and do so with the minimum voltages to maintain stability. I saw a great article on the P35 (and a couple other chips) but don't know if that extends to the P45 set. All the examples have been interesting but simple comparison of the settings leaves me cold. One says start at lowest settings, the other higher if you know someone with the same rig. Arrgh. Please help.
    Last edited by OldGeek; 04-09-2009 at 02:06 AM. Reason: Background

  2. #2
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    PCB Island

    Default Re: Memory upgrade advice...

    I can help you with your overclocks for sure once you get your ram, if you need it.

    Sorry this reply will be kind of short as I am trying to get caught up around here..... But I can help once you need it for sure!!

    Either 800Mhz or 1066mhz would be fine in your system for 3.4Ghz. Using 375ish FSB x9, or 425 FSB X8 for your 3.4 desires. All up to you really, 800Mhz or 850-900 would allow better timings for sure. So it depends on if you want/need better timings or more Mhz.

    Most all quality 800Mhz ram will do 1066Mhz anyway, you just have to use the 1066 timings and maybe a bit more voltage, and most all 1066Mhz will do 800Mhz with lower timings.

    Ram brand choice is all up to the user, what you like, what you have used in the past, price and of course warranty if that matters to you. You should always check around though to be sure your choice you have in mind is compatible with the board you are using and this is not always the case.

    G.Skills you mention are nice. My personal choices are Crucial and Mushkins.

    So whatever you decide, be sure you pick some quality!!

    If you would like some explanations on what you asked about FSB vs, ect please phrase that better and I can try to explain. I say phrase it better only because I am not sure what you are asking to have explained since you say "X" Vs "Y", ect up there?

    FSB X CPU Multi = CPU Speed
    FSB X Memory Multi = Memory Speed

    MCH Latch can always be left in auto, or manually set. If left in Auto ALL memory Multi's will be present for you to choose from (A, B, C, D). If you set it manually to any given strap, you will only see the Memory Multi's for that strap. Here are the straps and respective memory multi's >>>

    Closest to your set FSB is the most stable. Higher would be looser timings in the NB, lower would be tighter timings for the NB.

    You want to use 333 if you are using 333-400 FSB, and 400 for 400+ FSB. Using lower then FSB is better, but can take some tweaking to get stable, and sometimes will not work at all. That all depends on your choice on what you will and will not use for voltages, your ram's quality, overall speed, and all other settings.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Queen Creek, AZ

    Default Re: Memory upgrade advice...

    Lsdmeasap, you are a fountain of great information and I'm even beginning to understand. Thanks for the help and know I'll be back soon. It is starting to make sense and will continue to read most everything I can get my hands on to come up to speed. It's one thing to slap together hardware... am pretty good at that... another to delve into the BIOS and make the hardware give up all that it can give...within reason. 4GHz may be beyond reason for the venerable Q6600, but certainly 3.4GHz is worth a try and who knows, 3.6GHz?? For being "old", the Q6600 rolls on. Seems to be a hall of fame processor, sales strong even as it is being passed up by the I7 and DDR3.

    The memory? Went with Mushkin Ascent XP2-8500 2x2GB. Listening to you and reading reviews from reviewers and users, this seems to be solid memory. May not set speed records, but solid at its rated speed and premium memory with what I hope is good thermal performance with its new generation heat management.

    I will be back with what I hope to be intelligent questions after the memory arrives...I hope late Friday.

    Here are some thoughts...intelligence of which suspect. Numbers I came up with to start based on first go at understanding:

    To run Q6600 at
    3.4GHz with a 9 multiplier. FSB=378 Strap=333 Memory Multiplier=3.20B
    3.4GHz with an 8 multiplier, FSB=425 Strap=400 Memory Multiplier=2.66D

    3.6GHz with a 9 multiplier, FSB=400 Strap=400 Memory Multiplier=2.66D
    3.6GHz with an 8 multiplier, FSB=450 Strap=400 Memory Multiplier=2.66D

    Am I in the ball park for just these numbers? I know there are other issues/numbers to deal with...only referring to FSB, strap/latch?, and memory multiplier. Still have voltages and timings to fine tune.

    For the record I'm now running (DDR2-667)
    3.0GHz with a 9 multiplier, FSB=337, Strap=333 Memory Multiplier=2.00B --- This appears to be working just fine. Have made no modifications other than to replace some "AUTO"s with hard numbers where I've read it was prudent to do so.

    Question...I used the word that correct or is the term latch correct? This is one area where I've been confused. Many terms are used interchangeably or there are different terms meaning the same thing depending on board manufacturer.
    Last edited by OldGeek; 04-10-2009 at 09:57 AM. Reason: Testing my learning....

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