Ready to O/C and need help!

Techniques, tips, and advice for the performance PC enthusiast on overclocking.

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Ready to O/C and need help!

Postby SkyWlf77 » Sun Jul 23, 2006 2:39 pm

Hey all...

Thanks to a recent BIOS update, I am ready to start playing with my overclocking settings. Here's my current setup:

ECS L4VXA2 Mobo
2.8GHz/533/512K Pentium 4 Northwood
1GB DDR400 Memory (currently running at DDR266 speed)
ATI Radeon X800GTO 256MB AGP 8x Video Card
Western Digital 80GB 7200rpm 8MB Hard Drive
Cooling:
---5x 80mm case fans
---1x 120mm case fan
---1x CPU fan
---1x Video Card fan
---1x Dual-Fan hard drive cooler

I'll use this thread to deal with overclocking the processor and I'll start a different thread to deal with overclocking the Video Card.

Currently, my memory timings (according to the BIOS) are set to 2.5-4-4-10 and is running at DDR400...However, according to CPU-Z they are set to 2.5-3-3-5 and running at DDR266. I'm still not sure 100% sure which is right, although I believe it's CPU-Z.

My BIOS has adjustments available for the Front Side Bus from 133MHz (which it is currently running at) up to 165MHz.

My BIOS has adjustments for the processor core voltage for: Stock (current), +2%, +4%, +6%. My current core voltage is 1.5V.

My hope is that I can reach 3GHz with this machine and be stable. That would put me at a FSB setting of 143MHz (10MHz above stock or 7.5%). If I get really lucky, maybe I can reach 3.1GHz which would be a 12% overclock and put me at a FSB setting of 149MHz.

Keep in mind that this machine runs 24/7 as it is running Folding@Home. I don't know if it matters, but I assume it does for heat purposes. Any help I can get here would be great! I've got the basic idea of what I want to do, but am not sure what the safest way is to go about doing it and keeping my system from crashing on me.

Thanks,
Jason
My Heatware: http://www.heatware.com/eval.php?id=48800

System 1: 3.4GHz AMD Phenom II X4, 8GB DDR3-1600 RAM, 1x500GB HDD & 1x1TB HDD, Palit GTS 250 1GB
System 2: 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB DDR2-800 RAM, 120GB HDD, BFG 7800GTX 256MB
System 3: Dual-533MHz PowerMac G4 Digital Audio, 1.5GB RAM, 120GB HDD
SkyWlf77
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Postby SkyWlf77 » Mon Jul 24, 2006 3:38 am

Ok...

Since I'm not getting any replies here, I'll state more exact questions:

1) How many MHz should I add at one time? (In other words, should I go up by 1MHz increments or 3MHz increments from stock or what?)

2) At what point do I need to increase the core voltage? (Keep in mind that the only settings I have are +2%, +4% and +6%)

3) What kind of indications do I watch for to tell me that I have taken it too far? (I would prefer to figure this out BEFORE I get the BSOD or get to the point that I crash hard and have to reformat the hard drive or do some damage to my components.)

That should get me started. Thanks in advance for the help.

Jason
My Heatware: http://www.heatware.com/eval.php?id=48800

System 1: 3.4GHz AMD Phenom II X4, 8GB DDR3-1600 RAM, 1x500GB HDD & 1x1TB HDD, Palit GTS 250 1GB
System 2: 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB DDR2-800 RAM, 120GB HDD, BFG 7800GTX 256MB
System 3: Dual-533MHz PowerMac G4 Digital Audio, 1.5GB RAM, 120GB HDD
SkyWlf77
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Location: Illinois

Postby SkyWlf77 » Sun Jul 30, 2006 3:45 pm

Well....

Still no replies, but I'll post the latest news anyway:

I have been running at 136MHz FSB (+3MHz over stock, 2.85GHz) stable for 2 days now (constant-on). So I'm going to bump up another 3MHz (for a total of 139MHz, 2.92GHz) today and see how it does.

I'm still trying to find free software that will allow me to test the machine immediately instead of waiting days to make sure it's stable. I searched for SiSoft Sandra, but all I found were pay-to-use versions.

Thanks,
Jason
My Heatware: http://www.heatware.com/eval.php?id=48800

System 1: 3.4GHz AMD Phenom II X4, 8GB DDR3-1600 RAM, 1x500GB HDD & 1x1TB HDD, Palit GTS 250 1GB
System 2: 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB DDR2-800 RAM, 120GB HDD, BFG 7800GTX 256MB
System 3: Dual-533MHz PowerMac G4 Digital Audio, 1.5GB RAM, 120GB HDD
SkyWlf77
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Posts: 751
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 10:21 pm
Location: Illinois

Postby MrMozart » Sun Jul 30, 2006 3:55 pm

Jason, this program, Prime95, http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft.htm , is very good for testing an OC for stability. Run the torture test for at least a few hours, and keep a close eye on your temperatures.
ASUS A8N32 Sli Deluxe
AMD Opteron 165
2 x 512 TEAM Group PC4800
ATI AIW X1800XL
2 x 74gig WD Raptors RAID 0
Pioneer 110D DVD+/-RW
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750
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Postby SkyWlf77 » Sun Jul 30, 2006 4:02 pm

Awesome, MrMozart!

Thanks a bunch for that link. That'll save me a lot of time and get me up and running at maximum speed faster than 2 days/3MHz setup I was working with before...

The only program I have for monitoring temperatures on my mobo is SpeedFan, which isn't entirely accurate, but keeping an eye on the averages works decently well. Motherboard Monitor doesn't support my mobo and has a tendency to crash my machine.

Thanks,
Jason
My Heatware: http://www.heatware.com/eval.php?id=48800

System 1: 3.4GHz AMD Phenom II X4, 8GB DDR3-1600 RAM, 1x500GB HDD & 1x1TB HDD, Palit GTS 250 1GB
System 2: 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB DDR2-800 RAM, 120GB HDD, BFG 7800GTX 256MB
System 3: Dual-533MHz PowerMac G4 Digital Audio, 1.5GB RAM, 120GB HDD
SkyWlf77
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Posts: 751
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 10:21 pm
Location: Illinois

Postby DAVE1 » Sun Jul 30, 2006 4:14 pm

You already have a great OC tester, folding, it will crash if your system and runs it at 100% if you set it that high. It also tests memory and is a good cause at the same time...

Plus you already have it installed.
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Postby SkyWlf77 » Sun Jul 30, 2006 4:22 pm

Hi, Dave...

I hadn't even thought about it that way, but yes it runs at 100% 24/7. So far the only thing that's managed to crash my system in 2 years is Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (I get constant "Virtual Memory Minimum Too Low" errors on shutdown of the program) and that isn't really a hard crash.

I am assuming that Folding would crash the system fairly quickly if there was an issue? (Basically, once it loads and attempts to run, it would cause a failure?)

Thanks,
Jason
My Heatware: http://www.heatware.com/eval.php?id=48800

System 1: 3.4GHz AMD Phenom II X4, 8GB DDR3-1600 RAM, 1x500GB HDD & 1x1TB HDD, Palit GTS 250 1GB
System 2: 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB DDR2-800 RAM, 120GB HDD, BFG 7800GTX 256MB
System 3: Dual-533MHz PowerMac G4 Digital Audio, 1.5GB RAM, 120GB HDD
SkyWlf77
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Posts: 751
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 10:21 pm
Location: Illinois

Postby DAVE1 » Sun Jul 30, 2006 4:29 pm

It probably wouldn't be able to finish a w/u or it could crash even faster. It all depends, I don't think prime 95 does that much more if any than folding.
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Postby SkyWlf77 » Sun Jul 30, 2006 9:54 pm

Hi, Dave...

Well, I don't really intend to push the limits of my computer's capabilities...I'm just looking to get a little extra out of it. I probably won't go past 3GHz (which is 143MHz FSB or +10MHz above stock). That shouldn't stress the system all that much...Just not sure if I'll need additional CPU Voltage added at that point (that's my main concern).

Thanks,
Jason
My Heatware: http://www.heatware.com/eval.php?id=48800

System 1: 3.4GHz AMD Phenom II X4, 8GB DDR3-1600 RAM, 1x500GB HDD & 1x1TB HDD, Palit GTS 250 1GB
System 2: 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB DDR2-800 RAM, 120GB HDD, BFG 7800GTX 256MB
System 3: Dual-533MHz PowerMac G4 Digital Audio, 1.5GB RAM, 120GB HDD
SkyWlf77
Black Belt
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Posts: 751
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 10:21 pm
Location: Illinois

Postby SkyWlf77 » Mon Jul 31, 2006 5:42 am

Hi all...

Well, here's the latest--I attempted to go up to 139MHz FSB (+6MHz over stock), but I crashed.

I then upped the CPU Core Voltage to +2% (making it 1.53V) and still crashed.

I then backed off the FSB to 138MHz (+5MHz over stock, 2.9GHz) and left the +2% Core Voltage bump in place and I am now stable and passing Prime95 and running Folding@Home without any issues.

Here's my questions:

1) Does it seem like I had to bump the Core Voltage awfully soon? (+5MHz doesn't seem like much of an increase to necessitate a voltage bump)

2) The only options I have are to increase Core Voltage by 2% (1.53V), 4% (1.56V) and 6% (1.59V)...How much is too much?

3) My goal is to hit 3GHz, but without over-stressing the system. Should I continue on? (If I increase the FSB any more than I have, it's going to require another Core Voltage bump...)

Thanks,
Jason
My Heatware: http://www.heatware.com/eval.php?id=48800

System 1: 3.4GHz AMD Phenom II X4, 8GB DDR3-1600 RAM, 1x500GB HDD & 1x1TB HDD, Palit GTS 250 1GB
System 2: 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB DDR2-800 RAM, 120GB HDD, BFG 7800GTX 256MB
System 3: Dual-533MHz PowerMac G4 Digital Audio, 1.5GB RAM, 120GB HDD
SkyWlf77
Black Belt
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Posts: 751
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 10:21 pm
Location: Illinois

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