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Where's my OC bottleneck?

By Caxus ยท 8 replies
Nov 23, 2004
  1. Ok, i'm using:

    -Athlon 64 3200 (2 ghz, 1mb cache)
    -2x 512 Corsair XMS Twinx pc3200
    -MSI K8T NEO
    -a pretty lightweight Award 300w power supply.

    So far I can't seem to get my fsb above 210 with tight timings (2-3-3-6) or about 220 with pretty loose timings 3-4-4-8. It seems like the ram, while not being capable of getting into that 300 range that i've been reading about, still should be able to go higher than this.

    1) What's most likely holding me back? Is it the motherboard or is it actually likely to be my RAM's cap? What should that RAM be getting up to?

    2) How much of a factor is my crappy power supply in achieving higher speeds, not the safety of my components.

    3) Also, if i did want to get up into that 300 range, what would i need? Some ocz pc 3700 and a better motherboard like that DFI lanparty one?
  2. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Does your motherboard have a working PCI/AGP lock ?
  3. Caxus

    Caxus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 42

    I'm not sure. Would it just be labled as "pci/agp lock" in the bios?
  4. TacticalFlow

    TacticalFlow TS Rookie Posts: 30

    can you explain ram timing to me please..

    I been crashing when i try to set my fsb to 166 and now im thinking its caused by my generic 1 gig ram lol.. My computer runs fine when its at like 164 fsb.
  5. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    The PCI/AGP frequency lock is a chipset feature but I do not believe you can toggle it on or off. The chipset either has it or doesn't. While doing a little googling, most of the discussions around that board confirm that it does not have a PCI/AGP lock, it uses dividers to set that frequency.

    If you happen to be using its SATA capacities, it's not recommended at all as it can lead to data corruption &/or hard-drive failure sometime down the line.
  6. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 664

    As well as the AGP/PCI lock being a possible limiting factor, the first generations of Athlon 64s (Clawhammer based, i.e. 1Mb Cache) were not particularly good overclockers, and so you are unlikely to get much more than a 100Mhz boost by overclocking, even with specialist cooling. The newer cores (Newcastle & particularly Winchester) seem to be a bit better at overclocking, due to the smaller process, and other improvements in the manufacturing process.
  7. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    Also PC3200 ram usually doesn't work well above 230 Mhz. cheaper brands maybe even lower. But AGP/PCI dividers can be a problem if your PCI goes over 37 Mhz (especially with RAID) and AGP usually craps by 87 Mhz.

    TacticalFlow here's a fairly nice explanation of Memory Timing. Buy proper speed memory and if you exceed the rated FSB speed you'll need to loosen up the timings. (IE 2-2-2-5 to 2.5-3-3-7)
  8. TacticalFlow

    TacticalFlow TS Rookie Posts: 30

    Ok i got one stick of 3200 generic 1 gig ddr. I forget the timings its on now.. But im using a 2800+ sempron which i think has 333 fsb.. so i set my fsb to 166 it crashes sometimes. My ram should be able to handle 400fsb right? because its 3200 or just because its generic it cant even handle 333fsb?

    Another question.. i still dont understand the timings... theres 4 numbers. 2-2-2-5. What do each of them mean? Is lower better or the higher the better?

    Also im into gaming so im thinking of getting dual channel to work but i dont know how.. Should i buy another 1 gig stick generic to match my other one to have 2 gig ram total? And would i be able to run them on dual channel?

    Is it even worth having 2 gigs of ram for gaming?

    Thanks for the help! Im such a noob and these questions keep buggin me
  9. SpoonR

    SpoonR TS Rookie

    RAM timing explained

    Example of a CAS 2-2-2-5-1T DDR DRAM chip:

    First value 2 = CAS latency: 2.0 clock cycles
    Second value 2 = RAS-to-CAS delay: 2 cycles
    Third value 2 = RAS precharge: 2 cycles
    Fourth value 5 = RAS active to precharge: 5 cycles
    Fifth value 1T = Command rate: 1T (1 cycle)

    CAS = Column Address Strobe
    RAS = Row Address Strobe

    Fourth value (5) is sometimes called the Dram leadoff timing and is high because the address has to be initialized.

    Values 1,2 and 3 are normally referred to as Burst cycles.

    In general the lower the values grant better performance, but also run higher chances of instability.

    Check this out for more info:

    Hope this helps.
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