“Gary’s Overclocking Odyssey”
by Gary Smith
The following exchange is a lesson in perseverance and what it sometimes takes to get an overclocking system to run stable:
Here’s my system…
98380860 version 717277-002
64 Meg of 100Mhz ram
Ran for 1/2 hour at 500 at 2 volts, did simple tasks like defrag & run the windows demo. It froze when I tried to access a folder. Would not hit 500 again; I had to resign myself to 415Mhz.
I’m considering exchanging it for a P2-300 at a different shop & chancing that one to get the 450. Is there a website that has all the proper bios settings throughout soft menu for me to do this?
Thanks, I appreciate it.
“Man is a social creature who does not like his fellow beings”
– Mark Twain –
Look at the numbers in the CPU Database overclockers.com. I would try for a week 40-41 SL2W8 – the odds of hitting 450 are almost 100%. Week 38 on the PII333 is not doing well at all – it seems like most week 37s are capable of 500 out of the box. If you can exchange the 333 for a week 37, you have a good chance at 500. Joe.
I took your advice and got a week 37 P2-333.
Here’s what I posted to the overclockers list on the newsgroup:
“OK, truth is I achieved 561 Mhz but something still isn’t right. Perhaps someone can suggest what’s happening…
Soft Sarah 98 Standard CPU Benchmark results:
Processor Intel Pentium II 561 MHZ
Performance rating PR673 (estimated)
Pentium Performance rating P774 (estimated)
CPU Load 100%
Number of threads 51
FPO/BATCH # 98370801
SMT SDRAM IPC395S64800AT-8 PC100
STB Velocity 3D PCI video card
Fujitsu HD’s UDMA 8ms track to track 33Meg/sec UDMA
This processor is pretty much in the middle of the week 37 seen on www.overclockers.com and yes, it does 500 & 561 but it still crashes at 500 if it’s been running awhile. Get BSOD crashes at 500 but can run for an hour with no detectable problem till the crash happens Doesn’t like 100Mhz turbo, crashes pretty quickly every time.
Ran 561 Mhz for 15 minutes & had screen lock up (happened with each reboot). Since it does run at 561Mhz, I’d think it should be quite stable at 500. (I’m currently at 500 but I have no assuredness that it will not crash) I’ve had several different processors in this thing and the only 100% speed I can get from the 333 is something like 412Mhz at a bus
Cause I’m using PCI peripherals, 100Mhz should be easy on the bus. It crashed at 2 volts and 2.1 was somewhat better but 2.2 showed stability. 2.3 seems to be pretty good but what other things might be causing a processor that can hit 561, to still have some instability; & not get the BSOD at 500?
I can’t find any specs on the 64 megs of ram but I wonder it that might be a problem (being an off brand & all). Is there a program that will tell me the ns of the RAM I have in this thing? There’s no web site for what is on this chip? Maybe I need CAS 2?
So, I’m kinda discouraged. Seems like no matter what I get, it’s unstable at 500 or above. At least with the current chip, windows always loads to the end. This store had one other week 37 and I might go back in the morning & see if they’ll let me trade. They have a 15% restocking fee, hope it doesn’t apply to exchanges.
I looked on Anands page for bios settings for the BH6 in the overclock mode but couldn’t find them. Any clue?
Back to ya,
Hmmm, I’m also using win 98.
So, I need to either change processors (again) or change something on my system. Any help is appreciated.
If a chip runs fine for an hour and then crashes, most of the time I would say it is a heat problem. The SL2WY only has one fan and a stock heatsink, so additional cooling to get it to run stable at 500 is almost (to me) a given. I have plenty of air circulating around the chip and I think it goes a long way to making it stable. What is your sys temp?
Gary: 91 Fahrenheit
If it is more than 10 degrees over ambient, you could stand some improvement. Ram is definitely an area to look at, especially if it is off-brand. I have read of others who found that the BH6 “doesn’t like” certain kinds of ram – more likely even though it is certified PC100 it may be running on the edge. If you can try using another kind of ram, try that and see if it makes a difference.
Gary: Just ordered Mosel Vitaleic from memory man.
Also try setting your CAS from 2 to 3 – slowing the ram down is sometimes needed for stability.
Gary: It’s at CAS 3 already
For the cache, run ctp2infw and see what the L2 latencies are – the overclockable chips are 00 and 4, which seems to correlate with 5ns cache.
What is this Joe? I don’t have that in my computer. I entered it in the run command but it’s not a win98 resident program. Where can I get it?
Take a look in tips section of overclockers.com – some examples of people posting at 500 no sweat may give you clues to your problem. My #1 suspects are cooling and ram. Joe.
OK Joe, I did a search & found the program. Here’s what I found:
CPUID Genuine intelltype=0 family=6 model=5 step=2
Processor core: Pentium II Deschutes
L1 Data Cache: 16 Kb 4 way associative
L1 code cache: 16 Kb 4 way associative
L2 Cache: 512 KB 4 way associative unified
L2 ECC: Present but not enabled
Actual clock rate 499.5 Mhz
System Clock Rate: Default 66.6 Mhz Measured 99.9 Mhz
Ratio CPU/SYSTEM: 5
ctpuinfo has detected: Pentium II 499.5Mhz with ECC
Attention: the system clock rate is higher than allowed
What does this tell you about the cache, Joe?
OK – 91 is on the warm side and probably points a finger at the video card – If you feel the processor on this card and it is real hot – there is your culprit. You have to get a spot cooling fan like a Nidec Gamma 28 (at Radio Shack) and direct air into the video card.
I just made a post to the alt newsgroup, here it is…
First, let me thank you all for your replies. This erratic behavior my processor has been showing has really been a problem for me. I’ve been unable to resolve the crashes by any modification of my bios and this problem has been somewhat ongoing.
My first o/c processor was a 300a Celeron. It did not overclock well, it was a new Costa Rican unit, no Malay units were locally available. I returned it & took the 15% hit.
I tried a 9838 P2-333 with terrible results, many crashes in booting windows and inability to get to the desktop for more than a few seconds. I returned the processor an no restocking fee & got a 100% refund
Next unit I purchased was the processor I described and all of you good folks have answered to.
I returned that processor this morning & took the 15% hit again & this time got another 9837 processor ( 9837139 batch 719799-001 ) and it too shows about the same results as the first P2-333. ( when using agent, I got a Norton crashguard error ) but as I type this, it’s at 500Mhz with no noticeable problems following the reboot. I’m still at 500 Mhz.
I’ve considered several ideas at to the cause of the problems that I’ve received by email & via the newsgroup. They are:
1. Thermal runaway due to inadequate cooling
2. Speed deficient ram (the 64meg variety)
No one has considered my video/peripheral equipment as a likely cause. Nor has anyone considered a software conflict. I have looked throughout the net & to date haven’t found someone demonstrating 100% of the settings in their bios on the web. Perhaps those who are using the BH6 & P2-333 have applied a switch I haven’t or I have switched something I shouldn’t have.
Every day someone talks about voltages of 2.4 or greater but my BH6 bios does not allow this. Apparently there are settings & ways to manipulate the settings I don’t know of. Can anyone direct me to a site that goes into detail all of the bios settings & how to get to above 2.3 in the BH6?
I’ve taken it upon myself to consider my RAM as a possible culprit. I just ordered 64 Meg of Memory Man’s Mosel Vitelic CAS 2 ram. (Not one computer store I contacted in Chicago knows what CAS ram is or what it does). I had to explain to every single salesman that CAS stands for “Column Address Strobe”. I had to do this a lot when they tried to bluff a knowing answer, they were dumbfounded & I could sense resentment building so I’d hang up & keep looking. So… I expect the supposed 8ns ram I bought here is far slower. Perhaps the incoming RAM is the solution…?
As to the many suggestions of insufficient cooling: I have to consider this option as well. I’ve been involved in Ham radio for well over 20 years & have done a considerable amount of time in building solid state & tube equipment. Cooling is a real concern. And yes, a well designed heatsink & blower is important but Intel’s looks quite well designed and no matter where I touch the case, it’s cool to the touch. The Celeron I used, with its fan, was much hotter by far & I can’t figure out why.
I think from my experience with solid state circuits in the past, that the prospect of having a non-conductive section of the heat sink or irregularly spread compound cause these problems is possible, but remote. As to overall heating of the CPU, it’s blowing cool air at the moment and nowhere is the plastic case warm to touch at all. I just touched the motherboard immediately beside the CPU & it’s cooler than my finger, so I don’t think it’s overheating at all.
Regardless of that, with so many suggestions regarding cooling, I need to know more about what is out there & what’s usually needed. I’ve seen the web page for the company selling the Klondike cooling units. Are there any other Peltier cooler suppliers around? I’ve spent so much with these 15% hits that I’m closing in on the price of a stock 450 & don’t want to add another $75 to the present expense. Yet, it seems like Intel did exercise bad judgement by not providing any cooling to the back side of the chip.
Any ideas, comments or suggestions on the ideas in this post?
Thank you all again for your earlier replies,
Any clues here?
Success! Problem is solved! Bad RAM from 2 places! I lost beaucoup bucks in return fees and returned a perfectly fine processor that will run at 560Mhz cause of it..
You asked for a write up of my experiences in this for the web page, I now have one of the solutions & since there is a + conclusion to write about, I’ll do it. Tomorrow or Monday. Tonight belongs to my girlfriend. I’m in a good mood & want to take advantage of this natural Viagra.
Here’s what I posted to the overclock group:
Cya & thanks for the time to answer my questions.
“I’ll make this short. If you have been following this post & my problems in getting things to overclock, the problem all along has been my ram. The SDRAM, not the cache ram.
I bought ram from one local shop who swore it was 100Mhz ram; it Said PC-100 on it too. I had errors, constantly, even made me lose my Data in one drive (thank God for backups)
On a hunch I went to shop #2, bought PC-100 ram, still had the problem with constant crashes. At 83Mhz all is fine, faster died inconsistently.
I have returned 3 processors, took a restocking hit on two of them (one a Celeron 300A & the other a week 37 P2-333 that wouldn’t run at 100Mhz consistently although it did run pretty well at 561Mhz at 2 v.
In desperation to know where to go next since return dates are near expiring, I went to CompUSA with their inflated prices, told the guy I had a P2-450 and wanted the ram they had that would support that & faster speeds. The ram they have is NEC, I got it (10 day return policy)
I put it in the computer & there is no problem at all now. I just ran it through everything I have had problems with and it just sails.
So, if you’re not able to get the O/C, your problem might be you have crappy ram & the packaging lied to you.
I’ll write this whole episode up up & send it to overclockers.com for posting.
There is a God…”
Lastly, I picked up another week 37 P2-333 for a friend ( 98370708-0277) and both of these work just fine at 522Mhz. I wish I had the right ram in the first place, I’d have that one processor that did run at 560Mhz. Neither of these processors will do 560, they lock up in the windows screen. What I might try doing is install a high end AGP graphics card and nothing else & see if one of my other cards is causing a problem with boot up in windows. I have to admit that 522 or 500Mhz is plenty fast for my needs and I have chosen to run the system at 500Mhz rather than 522. I suspect it’s good to allow some reserve for as it is right now, the processor runs very cool, absolutely no hot air is blowing from the processor and when I touch the heat sink, it’s only slightly warmer than the case temperature.
I can’t imagine having a computer without this speed in the processor anymore. When I click on Microsoft Word for Windows, it takes less than a second to fully install; it’s instantaneous. Everything else is that way as well. I have a email database of nearly 20,000 entries in Pegasus and to do a search from that database takes maybe 6-8 seconds.
Thanks to the great help at overclockers.com for helpful information!