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Noob wants to OC P4 2.6c

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mn4az

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Dec 8, 2003
Location
Minnesota
I don't want to bother folks with detailed questions until I play. However, can someone point to a very detailed link on where I can go to learn about the precise steps to OC-ing my box?

TIA
 

Startech

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Dec 4, 2003
Location
DFW
mn4az said:
I don't want to bother folks with detailed questions until I play. However, can someone point to a very detailed link on where I can go to learn about the precise steps to OC-ing my box?

TIA

Have you checked the sticky on the Intel CPU section?
 

batboy

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Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
You have some great components and the makings for a fine overclock (except for the cooling maybe). Even with stock cooling, you should easily reach 3.0 to 3.1 gig. Perhaps as much as 3.25 gig if you don't have to increase the voltage much. Let's start out slow and easy. Learn to walk before you run.

Let's set our initial goal for 3 gig or 231 FSB. I'm more familiar with Abit mobos than I am with Asus, so you might need to visit the Asus motherboard section here on the forum for specific BIOS settings. But, I'll try to give you a few tips to start out with.

First, make sure your system is running good and stable at stock speed. Test it out and maybe benchmark it to make sure it's doing ok. Check temps when you load the CPU. There should be a temp and voltage monitoring program on your install CD. If not, download MBM5. As long as load temps are below 50 degrees C. you should be ok.

Overclocking is done in the BIOS on your mobo. Find the menu that has CPU settings. Cycle through the CPU clock speed settings until you find "user define". This will allow you to change the FSB settings that were previously grayed out. Front Side Bus (FSB) is also called system frequency on some mobos.

For the first attempt, maybe try 220 FSB to give you an O/C of 2.86 gig. But first, Fix/lock your PCI/AGP bus to default speed (33/66). Also, you don't want the RAM to cause you problems at first, so set the memory ratio to 5:4 and just use the SPD timings (default) for now until you find out what your system will do. You can go back later to play with RAM settings, but for now let's keep it simple.

Try this and see how you do. Report back with your successful adventure and then we'll go higher. At some point as you go higher, you might need to increase voltage (vcore and maybe vdimm). My advice is to only bump voltage up one setting at a time and closely watch temps. It's better not to raise the vcore much as long as you only have stock cooling. Good luck.
 
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mn4az

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Dec 8, 2003
Location
Minnesota
4 things...

First... thanks a ton for the walkthrough... I will give this a try tonight.

2nd... I debated about ordering a Zalman CNPS7000A-AlCu Aluminum + Copper CPU Cooler for this (I am already $150 over my orginal budge and my wife is about ready to kill me), but figured if this is stock HSF for the 3.2c and that's the MAX I would try for an overclock it should be OK. That being said Xmas is coming and I could make this a stocking stuffer from Santa to me :) or should I wait and see where the overclock leads then upgrade to it if necessary?

3rd... what benchies would you suggest? From reading I would ventrue Prime95 and Memtest86. Any others?

4th.... How long should I run Prime/memtest before posting results to get your feedback?

Again... thanks for the walkthrough....
 

batboy

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Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
Your logic seems good about the "wait and see" approach to cooling. To keep in good graces with your lady, I would just see how much you can do with what you currently have. You can always upgrade cooling later. Hopefully you have at least an extra case fan or two for good air flow.

I'm finding that PCmark2002 benchmarking program is a decent and quick indication of stability. It's not quite as rigorous or thorough as Prime95, but it will quickly tell you if your system is not stable. I usually save Prime for the final stability test. Some say to run it overnight or for 24 hours, but I figure if it'll run fine for a couple hours, then you are probably close enough for average usage.

With your system, a sweet overclock if you can reach it is 250 FSB or 3.25 gig. Until you learn more about your system's limits and overclocking, 3 gig is a good beginning goal just to get your feet wet. That should be an easy no-brainer O/C.
 

batboy

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Jan 12, 2001
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Kansas, USA
Oh yeah, almost forgot. Asus don't call their memory ratios 1:1 and 5:4 in their BIOS like Abit does. I think the 1:1 ratio is called 400 and the 5:4 ratio is called 320.
 
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mn4az

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Minnesota
Bat...

Getting a chance to work on this right now... default test (after I put the system together and installed the OS) with PCMark was successful.

Looking through the bios I have to choices with the AGP/PCI. One way can be AGP/PCI another PCI/AGP.

Any preference as to which way it is set?
 

bchur83

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Jan 26, 2003
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Land of 10,000 Lakes
mn4az said:

2nd... I debated about ordering a Zalman CNPS7000A-AlCu Aluminum + Copper CPU Cooler for this (I am already $150 over my orginal budge and my wife is about ready to kill me), but figured if this is stock HSF for the 3.2c and that's the MAX I would try for an overclock it should be OK. That being said Xmas is coming and I could make this a stocking stuffer from Santa to me :) or should I wait and see where the overclock leads then upgrade to it if necessary?

As for this HS, I would avoid it for overclocking. I have the CNPS7000-CU, and I have to say I am a bit dissappointed with heat disipation performance. I would go with a SLK800/900 HS with a Thermaltake Smart Fan 2. You will get far better temps for about the same price.
 

batboy

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mn4az said:
Bat...

Looking through the bios I have to choices with the AGP/PCI. One way can be AGP/PCI another PCI/AGP.

Any preference as to which way it is set?

Ummm, that don't make any sense to me. There should be a way to fix the settings to default (AGP=66 and PCI=33). Maybe someone with an Asus mobo can help with your question.
 
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mn4az

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Minnesota
I left it as AGP/PCI. Here are my results....

BIOS Settings
DRAM 320Mhz aka 5:4
AGP/PCI 66.66/33.33
CPU Vcore Voltage - Auto (default setting)
DDR Reference Voltage - Auto (default setting)
AGP VDDQ Voltage - 1.50V (default setting)
Performance Mode - Auto (default setting)

At FSB 245 I was able to post to Windows XP and run PCMark2000. Needless to say I was happy. :)

Idle settings (numbers represent the highest number I saw)
CPU Temp - 34
Vcore - 1.616

Under PCMark
CPU Temp - 42
Vcore - 1.616

At FSB 250 I was able to post to Windows XP and check CPU-Z to view the 3.25Ghz and 1000Mhz FSB, but upon running PCMark2000 the computer spontaneously rebooted.

I have set the FSB back to 245. What do you think, can it get to FSB 250?

Seems that my Vcore and CPU temps are fine. What's the next step??
 
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tio

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Jan 19, 2003
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Hyrule
Hey mn4az. As for the AGP / PCI thing, you did the right thing. It sets the priority for your "graphics controllers", according to my manual. So if you had a PCI graphics card, then you'd set it to PCI/AGP, but assuming you have an agp graphics card, leave it at agp / pci.

BTW, in your 245 FSB overclock, did really mean vcore = 1.161v :eek: ... or was it 1.611v?
 
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mn4az

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Minnesota
Yup.... typo... I will edit and correct.

And yes.. I do have a AGP video card... It's an old Matrox G400.
 

batboy

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Wow, you did good. Maybe you can run 246 FSB so you can claim 3.2 gig? Your temps look good, but when you start getting above 1.6v that means you are close to the CPU's limit. Maybe try one more bump in vcore just to see what happens. That's a nice O/C for stock cooling. Congrats!

The next step now that you have determined your CPU/mobo limits is to fine tune the RAM settings. First try RAM timing of 2,2,2,6 (if that don't work change the RAS to CAS to 3). Lower number timings are faster and larger numbers are more stable. What does that Asus have for GAT settings? This stuff should be in the advanced menu of the BIOS.
 
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mn4az

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Minnesota
I will have to look at the GAT and RAM timing when I am back at home. As far as the vcore... the BIOS is automatically deciding the VCore and it fluxuates. 1.616 is what it maxes to on the high end and then jumps back below it sometimes as low as 1.552.

Are you suggesting that I manually set the VCore or would it be best to bump the FSB to 246 (thus achieving 3.2Ghz) and continue with the auto Vcore setting (if it'll be stable).

I do not want to push the envelope to much, b/c if I blow the thing up I don't have the cash to purchase another CPU.

Again, thanks for all the help. I am enjoying the process of learning this stuff.
 
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skab

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Montevideo, Minnesota
Batboy is giving a realy good lesson in OC'ing and not too intefere but you might want to just let that baby cook in for awhile before changing anything else. Give it a couple days where your at then start bumping the FSB again in small increments. In case you can't tell I'm a fan of the burn in theory.
 
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mn4az

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Since this is OC-ing 101 for me would you please elaborate on the burn in theory.... TIA
 

ttfrog

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Oct 5, 2003
Burn in theory is that if you run a proc at a certain voltage and certain speed for a while, it will be able to go a *bit* further on the next OC. I sort of believe in this, becase it worked for me.. (somewhat..) lol.
 

batboy

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Ok, now this is starting to make sense. If I'm understanding you correctly, the vcore is still at default (auto)? I assumed you had raised the vcore up some already. I forgot the Asus mobos overvolt a little, especially at idle. Under load they generally settle down to a more reasonable level. Default is actually supposed to be 1.525v, so sure, set the vcore to manual and try the 1.55v setting. As long as the voltage doesn't exceed 1.65v to 1.7v at idle and as long as temps stay under 50 degrees, you're fine. You just might make 250 FSB after all.
 

batboy

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"Burn-in" is sort of like breaking in a new car engine. Sometimes it works a little and sometimes it don't. Burn-in is sort of a bad thing to call it, because you don't want it to run hot.
 
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mn4az

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Minnesota
batboy said:
Ok, now this is starting to make sense. If I'm understanding you correctly, the vcore is still at default (auto)? I assumed you had raised the vcore up some already.

Yes... Vcore is still at default. I will set VCore to manual at 1.55v and test at 245FSB. If stable I will kick it up to 250FSB.

Curious question: Why is 250 FSB the "magical number"? Obviously you get the higher CPU clock speed, but does it make my memory operate at it's most efficient speed or something?