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Thread: First Overclock - CPU vs. DRAM?




  1. #1
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    Default First Overclock - CPU vs. DRAM?

    Hello All.

    Thank you for creating such a wonderful source of information within this forum! (I've been lurking, reading, and learning for about a week now...)

    I'm a definite newbie, as I've just made the leap;
    and have built my first system.

    After getting it up-and-running and stable @ initial system defaults, (the only setting changed was the DRAM voltage to comply with Manufacturer's requirements...) I decided to try this over-clocking thing, just to see what improvements in performance I might realize.

    Wow.
    So far it's been pretty significant!

    Currently, I sit at a (stable) 9.5x400FSB w/ 2.66D strap overclock, with some tweaks to the DRAM timings. (see listing of my BIOS settings in the next reply post) Max. Core Temps during Prime95 blended torture test were 44c.

    I have some questions:

    1. CPU vs. DRAM
    I've successfully overclocked my CPU up to 9.5x 422FSB with a 2.00D strap, but then did some performance testing in Windows 7 RC1 64-bit, and although the CPU was faster, the Memory was significantly slower (~20%). I've read before that tightening your DRAM timings @ 800Mhz sometimes out-performs 1066mhz at default timings? (I ran my 800Mhz @ 4-4-4-12 timings vs. 1066Mhz @5-5-5-15...)
    Does 4x2gb 64-bit affect this line of thinking?

    2. DRAM limitations (voltages and straps)
    After my experience with question #1, I set to try and increase my FSB > 400 AND maintain 1066Mhz, but was not completely successful. I did manage to boot into Windows with 9.5 x 444FSB w/ the 2.40B strap, and it performance tested really well; but it bombed during Prime95, so I backed-off. Should I attempt something like a 9.5 x 422FSB w/ 2.66D strap? I think that I've read multiple comments that with 8gb DRAM, this will be very difficult to achieve and stay cool...

    3. Command Rate (CMD)
    I've seen multiple posts of settings by Members here, that list a value =2 for this setting? But all the guides I've read say to not mess with this setting unless you really know what you are doing, so I didn't. But is this setting of 2 an established "good setting" for this MB? Just curious...

    4. Voltage "sweet spot"
    In general, when setting voltages, I had thought that the only detriment of supplying too much power (still within safe range) is the heat gain? But it seems that may not be the case? I've noticed that if I set MCHcore voltage too high, or too low; I'll get errors in P95. Example: My settings below with an MCHcore=1.26v will error rather quickly in p95, but runs perfectly @ 1.20v.

    5. "Tightening" DRAM
    Given my current settings below, what would be the next step in tightening and testing the DRAM settings? What would you focus upon first? I tried a 4-4-4-12 and that bombed in p95. Should I try stepping-down tRead or tRFC (or both)? Also, does reducing DRAM timings have an affect upon power requirements? Will Vcore, MCHcore, DRAM voltages need to be increased?

    I think that my overall goal would be to overclock a bit more to reach ~4.0GHz (if the performance gains are significant enough), but keep my max. core temps below 55c.

    Thanks!
    corlay
    <o:p></o:p>
    Last edited by corlay; 06-10-2009 at 10:28 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: First Overclock - CPU vs. DRAM?

    My current settings are in brackets [],
    the BIOS default settings are in parenthesis ().

    Motherboard: GA-EP45-UD3P, Rev#:?
    Cpu: e8500
    Ram: 4x2gb, OCZ, Reaper/OCZ2RPR10664GK R
    Power Supply Unit: Corsair, HX620, 620w
    ***************************************

    Robust Graphics Booster [Auto]
    CPU Clock Ratio [9]
    Fine CPU Clock Ratio [0.5]

    CPU Host Frequency (Mhz) [400]
    PCI Express Frequency (Mhz) [100]
    C.I.A.2 [Disabled]

    CPU Clock Drive [800]
    PCI Express Clock Drive [900]
    CPU Clock Skew (ps) [0]
    MCH Clock Skew (ps) [0]

    Performance Enhance [Disabled]
    Extreme Memory Profile (X.M.P.) [Disabled]
    (G)MCH Frequency Latch [Auto]
    System Memory Multiplier [2.66D]

    CAS Latency Time [5]
    tRCD [5]
    tRP [5]
    tRAS [15]

    tRRD (4) [3]
    tWTR (4) [3]
    tWR (8) [6]
    tRFC (72) [72]
    tRTP (6) [4]
    Command Rate (CMD) [Auto]

    Driving Strength [1066]

    Static tRead Value (10) [8]

    CPU Vcore (1.25) [1.25]
    CPU Termination (1.20) [1.20]
    CPU PLL (1.50) [1.5]
    CPU Reference [Auto]
    CPU Reference2 [Auto]

    MCH Core (1.100) [1.20]
    MCH Reference (0.800) [Auto]
    MCH/DRAM Ref (0.900) [Auto]
    ICH I/O (1.500) [1.5]
    ICH Core (1.100) [1.1]

    DRAM Voltage (1.800) [2.28]
    DRAM Termination (0.900) [Auto]
    Channel A Reference (0.900) [Auto]
    Channel B Reference (0.900) [Auto]
    Last edited by corlay; 06-10-2009 at 01:07 AM.

  3. #3
    kick's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Overclock - CPU vs. DRAM?

    ahh k good to know what you have..2nd post.

    well youve probably noticed for the 45 UD3 its like 470-510 fsb approx for stable running on air. a bit more on duals perhaps.
    Fill in one of the bios template sheets and there may be more responses.
    I know u have most of the settings posted but the standard format helps a lot

    2.28 v for mem is too high for normal running,if you want the memory to last.

    The same goes for 1.60V for mch.

    cmd 2 is the standard for all mbrds.. you migh get away with 1 if the memory is very understressed.

    4-4-4-12 timings on my memory will run up to 900 mhz above that it needs 5-5-5-15 but once you hit like 930 mhz on mem the performance diff of going to 5 timings is outweighed by memory /fsb speed.
    Current Systems:

    Asrock p67 Extreme6.............. Gigabyte EP-45 UD3 ...................... Gigabyte 73 PVM S2
    Intel i5 2500k 4.8ghz................ Intel Q8400 3.8ghz......................... Intel D820 2.8ghz
    Zalman 10x cooler.................... Coolermaster V8............................ HP cooler
    8GB Gskill ripjaw ddr3.............. 4GB Gskill PI ddr2.......................... 4GB samsung ddr2
    60GB ssd/500GB HDD .............. WD 1TB hdd.................................... Seagate 160GB hdd
    GTX 460 1GB x2 SLI ................. Msi 9600GT 512MB(died) ........... Onboard gx
    Win7 64 ,750w psu(ocz)............ Win7 64 ,520w psu,seasonic...... Win XP pro ,400w psu

    HEC 6A34 case . ....................... Jeantec R2 case............................ Packard Bell case

    hoping to upgrade to http://www.thinkgeek.com/stuff/41/habicase.shtml
    http://www.flixya.com/video/140325/Animal-launching

  4. #4
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    Default Re: First Overclock - CPU vs. DRAM?

    Quote Originally Posted by kick View Post
    running on air.
    please, excuse me;
    for a newbie, what does this mean?

    Fill in one of the bios template sheets and there may be more responses.
    will do.
    I'll poke around and try and find one, and fill one out.

    2.28 v for mem is too high for normal running,if you want the memory to last.
    My Mfgr spec fo rmy DRAM is 2.1v (min) 2.3v (max).
    So i figured 2.28 was still safe?
    and plus I seem to need it to POST an dboot to Win7 properly...

    The same goes for 1.60V for mch.
    whoops!
    Um, that was a type-o.
    I should have read: 1.26v
    (I've edited my OP to read the correct value)

    cmd 2 is the standard for all mbrds.. you migh get away with 1 if the memory is very understressed.
    thank you for clearing that up!
    Last edited by corlay; 06-10-2009 at 10:35 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: First Overclock - CPU vs. DRAM?

    Running on air refers to the method of cooling employed. Air cooling is usually most common, however there are more effective ways. You can also cool a CPU using a water cooling block, pump, reservoir and radiator. More extreme forms of cooling include chilled water, peltier and phase change (strapping a mini freezer to your CPU, often reaching negative core temps). There is also dry ice, liquid nitrogen and liquid helium for the mad scientists out there.

    If your RAM is rated to 2.3V then it's fine to set it to or near to that. Most RAM is rated 1.8-2.2V (for DDR2) which is why 2.3V seems high, but there are kits that require it.
    Coolermaster CM 690 II advance Case
    Corsair HX750 (CWT, 91%(80+ Gold rated @230V) single 62A 12V rail
    P55A-UD4 v2.0 @ F14
    Core i5 760 @ 20 x 201, 4.02GHz
    TRUE Black with a single Noctua NF-P12 pumping out 55 CFM @ 19db .
    2 x 2GB Mushkin Ridgeback (996902), @ 7-10-8-27, 2010-DDR, 1.66v
    2 x Gigabyte GTX 460 1024MB in SLI (Pre OC'd to 715MHz core and 1800MHz VRAM) @ 850 Core / 4100 Mem.
    Intel X25-M Boot Drive (OS and Programs) 200MB/s Read & 90MB/s Write
    Corsair X32 200MB/s Read & 100MB/s Write
    WD Caviar Blue 640GB C (Steam, Games, Storage, Temp Files & Folders, etc)
    Samsung F3 500GB Backup/Images
    Noctua 1300RPM 19dB case fan (rear extraction)
    3 x 140 MM Coolermaster LED fans (one front intake, one top extraction, one side intake)
    Dell Ultra Sharp 2209WAf E-IPS @ 1680x1050

  6. #6
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    Default Re: First Overclock - CPU vs. DRAM?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psycho101 View Post
    Air cooling is usually most common,
    Ok, yep. That's me.
    Nothing too crazy...

    If your RAM is rated to 2.3V then it's fine to set it to or near to that. Most RAM is rated 1.8-2.2V (for DDR2) which is why 2.3V seems high, but there are kits that require it
    Ok, cool.
    Thanks for the clarification.
    I got worried, and tried to reduce it a bit tonight,
    but P95 only made it about 10-20min. before it bombed.

    Looks like for 9.5multi x 400FSB @ 2.66Dstrap,
    I need a min. of 2.28v for my DRAM configuration.

    and the full 2.30v for 9.5multi x 411FSB @ 2.66Dstrap.
    (was successful with ~6hrs. of P95 at these levels.
    I will test more completely after I re-establish a good stability @400FSB first...)

    tried like heck tonight to get to 9.5multi x 422FSB @ 2.66Dstrap,
    but couldn't get p95 to run very long without error. Even with pretty relaxed DRAM timings. Oh well...
    Last edited by corlay; 06-10-2009 at 09:56 PM. Reason: corrected DRAM voltage type-o's
    case: Gigabyte 'Triton 180'
    power: Corsair 'HX-620'
    motherboard: Gigabyte 'GA-EP45-UD3P' (rev.1.1, F9)
    cpu: Intel 'e8500' (E0)
    cooling: Xigmatek 'HDT-S1283'
    memory: OCZ 'Reaper' 4x2gb (OCZ2RPR10664GK)
    storage: Western Digital 'Black' (500gb)
    video: EVGA 'GeForce' GTX-260
    display: Samsung 'SyncMaster' 2333sw

  7. #7
    kick's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Overclock - CPU vs. DRAM?

    I usually dont check mfg specs unless theres a link and im used to the usual 2.1-maybe 2.2 v.
    Heh if its good up to 2.3 long term u may even need 2.32v in bios if you get some voltage drop .
    Use a utility such as speedfan SpeedFan - Access temperature sensor in your computer(vcore2 reading) to see what is actually being applied to the memory.

    422x2.66=1120mhz which from other posts is a lot to expect with 8G of 1066 ram installed. 410 seems pretty good tho.

    Have you tried holding your cpu on 8x or 8.5x host cpu ref and using a 2:00D multiplier on the memory to get your 4.0G cpu speed?
    The increased fsb should more than make up for the lower memory speed.
    You might get 500 mhz host ref(2000mhz fsb) stable at 8x multiplier . 533mhz(for 1066mhz memory) would be less likely with the high voltages needed but maybe on a dual core cpu.

    The other option would be to try using the 2:40 B multiplier and a fsb speed more in the mid 400's mhz range tho B multipliers dont seem to be as efficient at higher fsb.
    http://forums.tweaktown.com/f58/2-00...arision-31656/
    Last edited by kick; 06-10-2009 at 05:05 PM.
    Current Systems:

    Asrock p67 Extreme6.............. Gigabyte EP-45 UD3 ...................... Gigabyte 73 PVM S2
    Intel i5 2500k 4.8ghz................ Intel Q8400 3.8ghz......................... Intel D820 2.8ghz
    Zalman 10x cooler.................... Coolermaster V8............................ HP cooler
    8GB Gskill ripjaw ddr3.............. 4GB Gskill PI ddr2.......................... 4GB samsung ddr2
    60GB ssd/500GB HDD .............. WD 1TB hdd.................................... Seagate 160GB hdd
    GTX 460 1GB x2 SLI ................. Msi 9600GT 512MB(died) ........... Onboard gx
    Win7 64 ,750w psu(ocz)............ Win7 64 ,520w psu,seasonic...... Win XP pro ,400w psu

    HEC 6A34 case . ....................... Jeantec R2 case............................ Packard Bell case

    hoping to upgrade to http://www.thinkgeek.com/stuff/41/habicase.shtml
    http://www.flixya.com/video/140325/Animal-launching

  8. #8
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    Default Re: First Overclock - CPU vs. DRAM?

    Agreed. You're not going to get much of an overclock on that RAM, especially as it requires 2.3V just to do its stock speed. Definately don't put 3V through it, that's just dangerous.

    Keep to 1066 or below. For now drop to the 2.5A or 2.4B multiplier, and when (if) you go past 444FSB, switch from 2.4B to 2.00D or 2.00B.
    Coolermaster CM 690 II advance Case
    Corsair HX750 (CWT, 91%(80+ Gold rated @230V) single 62A 12V rail
    P55A-UD4 v2.0 @ F14
    Core i5 760 @ 20 x 201, 4.02GHz
    TRUE Black with a single Noctua NF-P12 pumping out 55 CFM @ 19db .
    2 x 2GB Mushkin Ridgeback (996902), @ 7-10-8-27, 2010-DDR, 1.66v
    2 x Gigabyte GTX 460 1024MB in SLI (Pre OC'd to 715MHz core and 1800MHz VRAM) @ 850 Core / 4100 Mem.
    Intel X25-M Boot Drive (OS and Programs) 200MB/s Read & 90MB/s Write
    Corsair X32 200MB/s Read & 100MB/s Write
    WD Caviar Blue 640GB C (Steam, Games, Storage, Temp Files & Folders, etc)
    Samsung F3 500GB Backup/Images
    Noctua 1300RPM 19dB case fan (rear extraction)
    3 x 140 MM Coolermaster LED fans (one front intake, one top extraction, one side intake)
    Dell Ultra Sharp 2209WAf E-IPS @ 1680x1050

  9. #9
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: First Overclock - CPU vs. DRAM?

    Quote Originally Posted by kick View Post
    Use a utility such as speedfan
    Thanks.
    Will it tell me anything more than CPU-ID does?

    Have you tried holding your cpu on 8x or 8.5x host cpu ref and using a 2:00D multiplier on the memory to get your 4.0G cpu speed?
    I did mess around, briefly, with 9.5x444@2.00D;
    but the DRAM performance was ~15% less than when running @ 1066. So I abandoned that strategy?

    533mhz(for 1066mhz memory) would be less likely with the high voltages needed but maybe on a dual core cpu.
    That would be the ultimate for me.
    But I don't think that I'll ever get there.
    Not with 4x2gb running at my (higher than average) voltages?

    The other option would be to try using the 2:40 B multiplier
    I tried 9.5x444@2.40B, so I'd get 1066mhz on the DRAM; but I couldn't get win7 to boot. (It would POST, though.)

    Either 9.5x444@2.40B or something like 8.0x533@2.00D would be the ultimate overclock achievement for me.

    If I did get there, I'd probably keep my currently stable 9.5x400@2.66D configuration as my normal mode, though.
    Last edited by corlay; 06-10-2009 at 10:00 PM.
    case: Gigabyte 'Triton 180'
    power: Corsair 'HX-620'
    motherboard: Gigabyte 'GA-EP45-UD3P' (rev.1.1, F9)
    cpu: Intel 'e8500' (E0)
    cooling: Xigmatek 'HDT-S1283'
    memory: OCZ 'Reaper' 4x2gb (OCZ2RPR10664GK)
    storage: Western Digital 'Black' (500gb)
    video: EVGA 'GeForce' GTX-260
    display: Samsung 'SyncMaster' 2333sw

  10. #10
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    Default Re: First Overclock - CPU vs. DRAM?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psycho101 View Post
    Definately don't put 3V through it, that's just dangerous.
    My apologies.
    I keep entering type-o's on the DRAM voltages.
    I've corrected them in my previous post,
    and will try to be more careful in the future.

    Thanks for all your help and advice so far...
    case: Gigabyte 'Triton 180'
    power: Corsair 'HX-620'
    motherboard: Gigabyte 'GA-EP45-UD3P' (rev.1.1, F9)
    cpu: Intel 'e8500' (E0)
    cooling: Xigmatek 'HDT-S1283'
    memory: OCZ 'Reaper' 4x2gb (OCZ2RPR10664GK)
    storage: Western Digital 'Black' (500gb)
    video: EVGA 'GeForce' GTX-260
    display: Samsung 'SyncMaster' 2333sw

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