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Source of instability?

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Goodberry

Registered
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
I have been overclocking my XP 3200+. I tried a CPU external frequency of 218, but the computer was crashy. It still crashed rather a lot at 214 MhZ.

Both times it auto-restarted, I went into the BIOS to check the CPU temps, and they never moved from 42 C. It was the same temp on 218, 214 and non-overclocked.

If it isn't a CPU overheat causing the instability, what could it be? I'm currently thinking RAM, althought I would have expected corsair to be able to overclock by a bit more than 14 MhZ...
 
OP
G

Goodberry

Registered
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Maybe some more info is in order; I'm not too good at skimming my entire spec off the top of my head as I bought it as a ready made system and upgraded it.

The RAM timings are Active Precharge Delay 8; RAS > CAS 3; RAS precharge delay 3; CAS latency 2.5

Not entirely sure if it affects overclockability but my PSU is a bog-standard 360 W PSU. I got the impression that the deluxe A7N8X was a reasonably good overclocking board.

*More info* : The computer was crashing and the Vcore was at 1.75 V, would raising this possibly help? I am just a leeetle bit nervous of putting too much voltage through my chip. Also, the RAM voltage is at the default minimum which I think is 1.6 V.
 
OP
G

Goodberry

Registered
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Yes that is very true. Please excuse my sudden memory error :)

I am teh absent minded professor.
 

Phextwin

Member
Joined
May 20, 2004
Location
Australia
Up you cpu, ram and chipset voltages a notch. See if you have a bad heatsink mount. Chuck on a ram divider to eliminate that variable

Or just accept hat you have sub-par overclocker.

(but really 2.3 isnt to bad)
 

oc_byagi

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2004
Location
Sunnyvale, CA
I used to own ASUS A7N8X, and it would get limited by fsb a little above 200, so maybe you're pretty much hitting the limit at 217. I think you should lower it down to 210 and see if it'll help.
 

Docta_Z

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2002
Location
Canada
Goodberry said:
Not entirely sure if it affects overclockability but my PSU is a bog-standard 360 W PSU. I got the impression that the deluxe A7N8X was a reasonably good overclocking board..

Quality of power supply has a huge affect on overall overclock-ability. I've owned the A7N8X - it's not a good overclocker. By any means it's stable, and has a decent range of features, but it is one of the least overclockable boards avaliable for the nforce2 platform.

Goodberry said:
*More info* : The computer was crashing and the Vcore was at 1.75 V, would raising this possibly help? I am just a leeetle bit nervous of putting too much voltage through my chip. Also, the RAM voltage is at the default minimum which I think is 1.6 V.

Ram minimum voltage would be 2.6 volts - bump it up to 2.7 volts - Can't really damage much with a marginal increase. Temperature has a far more damaging effect on a computer then straight voltage. Begin checking temps in windows... raising your vcore isn't dangerous if you have proper cooling and do it intelligently. Testing for safe temperatures (load under 55, idle under 50 at the max) and being careful is an important part of overclocking.

Goodberry said:
Both times it auto-restarted, I went into the BIOS to check the CPU temps, and they never moved from 42 C. It was the same temp on 218, 214 and non-overclocked

Checking temps in bios is far less useful then checking them in windows as the cpu is under no load whatsoever.. it has time to cool and plus most bios's don't give the most accurate temperature readings.

EDIT: I forgot to note as well - 360 watts is somewhat small of a powersupply to be overclocking a higher end amd cpu off of. I wouldn't be using less then a 400 watt personally...
 

oc_byagi

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2004
Location
Sunnyvale, CA
A7N8X was a reasonale overclocker, but that was when we were using nforce2 before 400 ultra, or more so since there weren't motherboads like DFI LP2, ABIT NF7 rev2.0, Soltek. But it is a nice stable board, so it's worth keeping.
 
OP
G

Goodberry

Registered
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
It looks like I am off to the internet shoppe to buy a new mobo and PSU then... I had planned on watercooling but if the limit of the board is around 217 then upgrading that becomes priority.

The 360 W PSU was a hangover from when I was new to computing... Mesh sold me a very good computer but upgrading one thing really seems to have a knock on effect on all the other bare-minimum hardware in that tower.

Anyone have any reccomendations on particularly good overclocking boards?

(If this carries on it will turn out more economical to have bough an entirely new Alienware)
 

Docta_Z

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2002
Location
Canada
I would highly recommend the NF7-S Revision 2.0 or greater for overclocking (usually always sold as newer revisions these days) - for it's huge range of voltages, features and the massive amounts of custom bioses available on the net to boost fsb in any sort of setup.

DFI infinity is also a pretty strong overclocker.

Alienware cpu's are sort of a ripoff imho, far too much price for performance that can be matched by significantly cheaper systems.

As for powersupplies - I'd stick to "brand name" supplies, and would try to get 400 + watt - +450 even might be a good idea. I have had nothing but the highest quality and best performance out of 3 Antec power supplies for my computers... I highly recommend.

Any other questions - just ask. :)
 

Docta_Z

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2002
Location
Canada
obviously it depends on your ram... but I would say yes.

I had an A7N8X board that I couldn't pass 205 fsb with, switched to NF7-S, and I was able to hit 217 without a problem - and could go further.

Take a look at some of the results in the Abit AMD Motherboards section of this forum... with all sorts of custom bioses people are able to regularly push fsb to hiiigh levels.