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FSB/Memory Overclocking

By XtR-X ยท 29 replies
Feb 23, 2004
  1. I'm wondering whether its possible to overclock the FSB and memory at all.

    I'm running a 3000+ (w/400MHz FSB OEM Edition) O/Ced to 2.3GHz for the moment, and I have 2 sticks of 512MB DDR400 RAM (on a A7N8X-Deluxe 2.0).

    My FSB is at 400MHz right now, and I was wondering how I would go about overclocking that number higher as well as the RAM.

    I've tried a few things like RAM % perf and stuff but whenever I modify the RAM, I usually have to reset the CMOS due to the computer not booting/posting.

    Thank you.
  2. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,645

    So let me get this straight, you've overclocked your FSB but not your memory bus? It's running Async? And you want to figure out how to run it Sync, right? I don't know the exact BIOS setting, you're gonna have to ask someone w/ that system board.

    As for overclocking higher - what have you done with your voltages? Try increasing your Vcore and your Vdimm.

    And have you messed around with your memory timings at all? They're probably the most volatile option (e.g. when I set some timings too tight, I have to reflash my BIOS on reboot :p) in your BIOS and can certainly prevent you from overclocking your memory at all. Just me sure they're set to SPD or 3-4-4-8.
  3. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 829

    No no... not exactly. Lol, everyone that I tell when I have a 3000+ (w/ 400MHz FSB OEM) has no clue what I mean.

    What I mean is that I bought the OEM modified version... (can be purchased at newegg, and other online retailers) and the 3000+ I purchased had 400MHz FSB as opposed to the 333MHz the 3000+ usually has.

    Normal Purchase: 3000+ 333MHz FSB
    My Purchase: 3000+ 400MHz FSB

    Now, for the good stuff. :)

    I'm not too familiar with all kinds of RAM timings and such... I have mine on "Agresssive" or "turbo". Would you be able to elaborate a little please?

    Also, isn't it potentially dangerous to increase the Vcore and Vdimm? Like frying your components from over voltage?

    Thanks Vehemnti.
  4. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,645

    Well of course it's potentially dangerous. Overclocking is like that. But the thing is, I don't think your system board has the voltages available that would cause you to fry your components. Especially with RAM like Corsair, and a good heatsink, as you have. Upping your Vcore to anything below 1.675 or even 1.7V (since 1.65V is the default) and should yield some overclocking gains. If you don't want to increase your voltage then don't, you can just overclock higher if you keep it within safe limits. I'm running fine at 1.6V - where it should be 1.525V.

    But, for your other questions - I would set those Aggressive and Turbo settings down, I bet they optimize the timings for that clock speed, and increasing the FSB throws that off - definitely turn that back down to Standard.
  5. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,182

    The only reason it isn't booting when you overclock the Ram is because it's allready running at its rated speed : PC3200 -> 200mhz ( 400DDR ). As Veh said, if you wish to overclock the Ram, you will have to relax the memory timings & probably raise the VDIMM voltage.
  6. CheezHead

    CheezHead TS Rookie Posts: 35

    Thare is no benifit to upping the Volts on any thing,,you just get more heat and a ton more risk of frying a mem stick or CPU.
    make sure your cpu doesnt run too hot,,i.e. better than stock heat sink and fan. your Corsair mem is good enough, quality wise,,put some heat spreaders on them. Lock your AGP/PCI bus . then keep climbing till you get unstable. From stock Bios settings go 10% at a time,,run your pc,play games,work as you normally would. if ok repeat the process,,when you get unstable ,,take it back a notch or two. Ambient temps(system degrees) play a big role in OC'ing.

    the cooler things are the better they OC.

    Good luck and watch the temps!!
  7. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 829

    CheezHead, I believe that's completely wrong. "Thare is no benifit to upping the Volts on any thing" I've been told by several people several of times that in order to overclock higher, you need more power supplied to that area.

    I also have heatspreaders on my RAM, they come with it.

    So essensially, I need to get my memory back to Standard, and up the Vcore? Does the RAM get faster just by doing this... I'm kind of confused. Isn't there more to doing it? I'm understand the overclocking of the CPU but its so foreign to me when we start talking about the RAM...

    Also, on the topic. My Radeon 9700 Pro... I've overclocked pretty much 20/20 on rate and ram... and that's with an Iceberq 4 Mod w/ upgraded cooler and heatsinks--and that is pretty much as stable as it goes because I have an Artifact tester... and that's as far as I can go without getting Artifacts. I don't think that's as far as it can go... am I supposed to up the Vcore a little on the video card too?

    Thanks alot guys.
  8. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,645

    Um no, I'm sorry but you are completely wrong. Upping the voltage is proven by thousands of overclockers to yield better overclocking speed. Why do you think people need to get their CPUs to -80C for them to overclock fully? Do you think frequency produces heat? Do you think they need to get the processor cooler only to raise the MHz? Voltage produces the extra heat, and they need to make the processor cooler to up the voltage, which then allows for more MHz headroom.
    Do you actually know WHY "the cooler things are the better they OC"?

    Next time when you have no idea what you're talking about, please don't post. What do you think all these stickies are for? Honestly, these types of completely unresearched posts by people with zero prior knowledge of what they're saying is really getting to me. If you don't know for the love of all that is good and right in the universe don't post! I thought this had been discussed already...

    You are obviously one of the people I aimed this thread at. Please read it, and follow what it says. Frankly speaking you sound as if you have zero knowledge on overclocking at all, the few scraps of truth left in your post must have been picked up from somewhere else.

    But please, if you're gonna post bad advice, at least take it somewhere else because I (and I'm sure I'm not the only one) don't want people on this forum getting the wrong idea, especially about something like overclocking. Luckily XtR-X was smart enough to see through that fallacy before it was too late...:eek:
  9. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,645

    Yes you should put your memory timings back to Standard and up the Vcore - not very much though, if you go too high your machine won't boot, and you have to reboot and all that, I'm sure you've gone through it. Your RAM doesn't get faster by upping the voltage, it only lets it get faster. Only tightening your timings or upping the MHz will make your memory "faster".

    I'll write more tomorrow, I'm really tired now and can barely function. Goodnight :dead:
  10. CheezHead

    CheezHead TS Rookie Posts: 35

    Ok, I understand your point,,,Answer me this,,are AMD CPU'S different than P4'S? i have my 2.4Celeron at 3.0Ghz even,,the mem pc-2100 running at 333mhz,,when i raised the vcore&/or vdimm all i got too was 2.8Ghz & 315mhz mem speed or so,,,now that i kept the Volts at stock settings i have had my P4 oc'd for 5 weeks now,,,now tell me how am i wrong???
  11. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 829

    Please take this to another thread with differences of AMD vs Intel. You are derailing my topic, please divert this somewhere else. Thank you.
  12. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 829

    So... I need to set my ram to "Standard" other than "turbo" or "agressive", and then I up the Vcore? Afterwards, what am I supposed to change? So then I resume to putting it on turbo/agressive again?

    Sorry for lack of knowledge on this subject... but hey... that's why I posted. But what kind of stuff do I mess with in the RAM timings freq mhz, etc. I'm kind of confused. Can you provide general definitions of categories please? Thanks, Veh.
  13. MattG

    MattG TS Rookie Posts: 106

    With todays ram, its getting alot harder to fry them by upping the voltage simply because they are using better transistors..etc etc. But its always dangerous, even if you have the best of the best. So take care when your doing that.

    Personally, i would adjust the timings to see if that gets your RAM To a speed you like.

    I never liked Overclocking :) I did my FSB once on my AMD 2600+, bought it up to 175, did a benchmark and put it back down to 166, hehe.

    But yes, i have heard that upping voltage gains speed.

    EDIT: just looked at your rig..that is AWESOME man. GJ.
  14. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 829

    I'm sorry for lack of info, but what timings do I adjust? They are so confusing. There are like 15 different options for the RAM and such... maybe some need to be low and some need to be high. That's what's mind boggling me...

    Thanks for comments on my Rig... I should be taking some newer pictures soon... since I did alot more to it...
  15. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,645

    Don't bother adjusting your memory timings. Just leave them to set by SPD and you'll be fine. And you can up the Vcore whenever, that's the voltage for your processor and Vdimm is the voltage for your memory. Don't bother upping the voltage for anything quite yet, wait until you get unstable or can't overclock anymore - then up your voltage in small increments. Adjust the voltage for your processor first, your memory will hit it's limit later. It really depends on your memory, your Corsair might not need voltage adjustment at all when you reach higher speeds, but if you start getting unstability issues, it's not a bad idea to raise the voltage a notch or two.

    As for the definitions, here you go:

    Vdimm/Vcore - your memory/CPU voltage. I've explained this, only raise it when you can't overclock anymore and/or are getting instability issues. It provides more power to your components to allow them to reach higher speeds, but of course you're pushing more electricity through your components than it's rated for. Just keep voltage modifications to a minimum and you should be perfectly alright. You have good overclocking equipment, and your system board doesn't have high enough voltages to actually risk frying your components, if your voltages are too high, your computer just won't boot and you have to wait for it to load the defaults, that's it. You're safe. If you were using a stock heatsink though, I wouldn't be reccomending voltage modifications. Like I said to Cheezhead, higher voltage is what makes components hotter - not MHz.

    Memory frequency - this is the speed that your memory is running at, completely seperate from the FSB. You can set this to run synchronous with the FSB, or asynch. For best performance results, I would reccomend running it synch, because I bet whatever FSB your processor can handle your memory can too(but you probably already knew that).

    CAS Timings - These numbers dictate how fast the memory accesses, reads, writes etc., you don't really need to know, but you can imagine how complex memory is. Basically, the lower these numbers are the faster the memory is, but it's not as important as having a higher MHz clock. These timings have NOTHING AT ALL to do with MHz. Just remember that. The Performance/Aggressive modes you had your BIOS at lowered these timings - which made your memory faster, but timings are very sensitive to having high clock speeds. Your memory is probably rated for timings of like 2-3-3-6, but that's only for 400MHz, not anything higher. So, when overclocking, just leave the Performance/Aggressive timings alone and set it to read the timings from your onboard SPD. Your SPD has the compatible timings for different clock speeds written in it, and pretty much everything else about your memory in it.

    That's all you need to know for overclocking your memory. Just set your timings to SPD, and set your memory frequency to synchronous with the FSB - or a 1:1 ratio if you have that option. Leave your voltage alone until you can't overclock anymore and/or are getting unstable.
  16. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 829

    Thanks alot for your time and information, Vehementi. My FSB is at 400MHz and my mem timings are at 200MHz on POST, which I believe is double b/c you can't go much higher than that...

    So I set mem to SPD, overclock my CPU 'till I can't go any higher, then add small increments of voltage?

    I have a question as well. On my video card, I've reached the maximum on overclocking without getting artifacts. Is there a way to up voltage to the AGP slot to the vid card? Is it safe/do-able?

    Thanks alot.
  17. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,645

    Your memory timings aren't 200MHz, that's your DDR clock (200x2=400=FSB). Your timings should be something like 3-4-4-8.
    Tell you what, download CPU-Z (link), navigate over to the Memory tab, and tell me everything that's written in their, your memory frequency, ratio, and timings (CAS Latency, RAS to CAS Delay, RAS Precharge, Tras). Your timings should be 3-4-4-8 top to bottom. CPU-Z or a comparable program is a great overclocking tool too, even though it doesn't overclock anything ;) And if you have a different version or program, just download CPU-Z anyway to make sure we're on the same page and just because it's probably better than what you have :p

    Yes, set your memory to detect your timings by SPD. Then make sure your FSB and memory clocks are running in sync, wherever that is on an nForce board I don't know.

    In the same place where your AGP Aperture, AGP Speed (8x, 4x, 2x) and other AGP settings there should be a field for AGP Reference voltage. Feel free to change that as you would normal voltages, overclock as high as you can w/ no voltage modification, then modify the voltage and see what gains you can get. I can't stress enough being careful with voltages, don't set it as high as you can right off the bat. And if you don't make some respectable gains, in your terms what respectable gains would be, I wouldn't bother with volt-modding.
    [Shameless plug]TechSpot actually has a great article on video card volt-modding, if you wanted some extreme overclocking, by our beloved editor Per Hansson and actually done on a 9800 Pro, found here.[/Shameless plug] :)

    Anyway no problem, good luck & have fun.
  18. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,645


    Is it just me or is that the first time you've actually spelled my name right in this thread? ;) Better keep it up if you want to keep getting advice from me :D
  19. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 829

    O.o Sorry. I actually did a typo the first time, and abreviated the second time, and the third time I went all the way.

    On this thread I knew how your name was spelled... I had an English vocabulary test and one of the words was Vehement... that being "characterized by forcefulness of expression or intensity of emotion or conviction" and I knew it just sounded familiar. :grinthumb
  20. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,645

    Haha that's awesome, you're like the only person who actually knows what it means :rolleyes:

    I think it fits, though. It's like the perfect name for me :)
  21. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 829

    Ok... as promised...

    Here's the HTML version of what I got...

    agh... had to zip the html file...


    Oh yeah... these are pre-Vcore modding and pre-O/C after starting this thread...

    Another EDIT...

    I must add a very nice tool that CPU-Z...

    Attached Files:

  22. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,645

    Ah-ha! See, you're running at 2-3-2-6 and not 3-4-4-8 which is optimal for proper memory overclocking.

    Here, I'll give you my CPU-Z report. It has my memory timings.

    Go into your BIOS and change your memory timings to set by SPD. Then just overclock like I've been telling you this entire time! ;)

    Attached Files:

  23. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 829

    Thanks alot for your help, Vehementi.
  24. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 829

    Ok, so now I've reached the 3-4-4-8 timings...

    Now, If I've been paying attention correctly... I should just start to overclock my CPU until unstable? When it gets unstable I up the Vcore to CPU a little bit? Afterwards.. I keep O/Cing processor... and then maybe when I reach 2.6-27GHz I up the Vcore on RAM by the smallest increment?

    BTW, my RAM is all good now... I hope... check it out..
  25. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 829

    Ahh! Yet another post!

    Right now, my computer is at 2300MHz. And that's the most stable, I'd say. But when I up the CPU Freq. Mult. up to 12.0x (from 11.5x), it changes my speed to 2400MHz. My computer POSTs and runs all it's diagnostics but then windows wont start.

    I get several different errors... I'll list different errors by numbers...

    1) After completion of POST, and Silicon Image Drive check... the computer restarts, again checks memory, and checks drives again.. and doesn't boot.
    2) Option to enter SAFE MODE. Try to enter normal mode and the whole thing freezes.
    3)Windows Error. Says I'm missing a file:
    <Windows Root>\System 32\ntoskrnl.exe and Windows won't boot 'till I install it again...

    So I set back to 11.5x Mult, 2300MHz, and I boot just fine.

    Are all of these errors a sign of instability? Is this the point where I up the Vcore voltage? If so, how do I know how far I up the Vcore?

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