• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

newbie needs advice

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.


New Member
Mar 28, 2002
I've read most of the articles on overclockers.com and been hanging around in the forums for a while. I'm trying to push the o/c on my system a bit, and would appreciate any tips on what I should look at...

Dual P3-733, Stock Intel HS/fan
MSI 694D MB with a blue orb stuck with thermal tape to the VIA northbridge (bridge was getting a bit hot for my liking).
512 Gen 133 ram (Hyundai i think.. nutthin special)
Leadtek GF4ti 4400
SB live!
P60 Aluminium case Stock cooling
3xHDD (one 80G, two 20G), DVD

I usually run my system clocked at 137FSB, and it's completely stable. It will also do most things at 143, but tends to drop out of most "heavy" games like Q3 and 3dmark.

A few quick questions then:
1. Are the problems I get at 143 more likely to be CPU cooling or RAM (or something else) ?
2. I seem to get problems when the CPUs go over ~43C. Is this normal ? Should the CPUs go to a higher temp than that ? (cant find any specs on the intel website).
3. Would additional case cooling help ? ( I live in a hot county where ambient temp is at least 35C in summer :) )

I myself have AMD, so I'm not sure on Intel temps; however, AMD claims that 90 - 95C is the upper limit on many/most of they're processors.

The ram may well be a limiting factor. Does it run stabilly between 137 and 143 FSB?
I gained a lot of speed when I bought new RAM
I would think that your temps are your problem. I run AMD but have noticed that I can run up to 1896 on my xp1900. The machine idles fine but when I run seti or anything else that heats it up it crashes, usually around 53c, this also happened at stock speed and voltage before I sorted out some of my h2o cooling system problems. If it were mine I would get better heatsinks first then better ram.
Just my .02.
That's an interesting problem you have there and my first inclination was that it would be your RAM that's unstable. But, you say you crash in Quake which is a CPU intensive game.

You can verify the RAM by running one of the memory tester programs; I have one on a floppy which I boot to (don't recall the name offhand but a Google search would find one that works) which then cycles through the memory as long as you let it run checking for errors. Since the Bios determines the FSB and RAM timings, it should be as susceptible to failure as if it were running Quake.

I've also found that memory errors will also occur during normal Windows activities and it doesn't take a CPU intensive process like Quake to stimulate a failure. Since it very well could be th CPU going unstable, can you boost the core voltage slightly to try to gain stability?
43C is pretty high for an intel, I think its normal that it f*cks itself over that temp, but what do I know, Im a proud AMD user :)
go get yourself som really nice case cooling, then you will be able to clock it som more ;)
i know for a fact that 43c wont lock up a p3 system my roomate ran a 500mhz p3 at and got it up to 90c!! and the thing ran, after un-overclocking it the chip ran at about 50 in change celsius, your getting pretty good cooling considering you using a stock heatsink/fan combo, upgrade that and try getting some ram that is name brand that can handle more stress, also since your running dual chips i've heard that you can only overclock one of them ( i dont know if this is true ) that might cause some problems as well. also make sure nothing on your pci board is old because older components cant handle the o/c stres as well as new hardware, remember when you o/c your cpu your o/c the whole system i.e. everything is being stressed, try some cooling if that fails then maybe you just cant push it anymore than that, it happends.
Thanks for all the info

I tried re-wiring the case at the w/e, moved all the hard disks away from the intake fans and shuffled the PCI cards to give the GF more room and it runs a bit happier at 143 (even got it to run at 147 for a short while).

since your running dual chips i've heard that you can only overclock one of them ( i dont know if this is true )
I figure I must be overclocking them both, since I'm just changing the FSB speed, and they both access the same bus... hmm.. BIOS and MBM only give me a single speed for both CPUs, so i dont think there's any direct way to verify this tho.

also make sure nothing on your pci board is old because older components cant handle the o/c stres as well as new hardware
Sounds like a good idea - i'll try taking out everything 'cept my GF and see how it goes.

try getting some ram that is name brand that can handle more stress
My RAM is Hyundai and NEC PC133 SDRAM.. any suggestions for which "name brand" I could replace it with ? Does anyone make SDRAM that is "PC150" (I havent seen any) ? Should I buy ECC RAM ?

thanks for all your help!

I spent some more time playing with my system yesterday and realised I'd set up MBM incorrectly. Actually the CPU temp were reporting the 2nd CPU (that isnt used much by games) and the main CPU was running at 46-47C.

I decided to throw caution to the wind (and some money) and bought a Coolermaster CPU cooler (the one with the heat pipes) and slapped it in my system with some thermal grease - no lapping or anything. Temp now sits at 36C under full load :p !

Unfortunately my system was still unstable at 147... but i found a RAM clock setting in the bios that changes the RAM to synchronous at "Host Clock - 33Mhz". After changing that, rebooted and.. well I managed to get it through 3dmark and 30 minutes of Q3 without any problems. 3dmark score was lower than the non o/c system though.

Well I guess its the RAM, so thanks for the link and for the help

Adam - see post above.. its got a new HS on it, but that didnt help. Worked fine when I slowed down the RAM speed tho.