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Old April 23, 2007, 07:35 PM
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Default Beginning Overclocking - Looking for Information

Hi!

It's been a couple years or so since I've done any major overhauling to my box and as a result I am busy looking into various options for upgrading and doing my homework. My budget is decent shooting for about $1600 CAD or so for a new CPU, Mainboard, RAM and Video card. I've been fascinated with the idea of overclocking and am looking for advice and guides for beginners. Suggested motherboards or directions to reliable sites - aside from this one of course - for hardware reviews would be fantastic as well.

Just to give you an idea of where my sights are, I'm likely going to go with an E6600 for the CPU with an EVGA nVidia 8800 GTX for video. The rest is up in the air for now.

Thanks!
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Old April 23, 2007, 08:06 PM
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well it looks like people are having great success with the EVGA 680I mother board

i personally went with a value overclocker, a e6300 and a gigabyte DS3 board

i would only fork out the coin for a 8800gtx if i had a big monitor and going to run huge resolution, other wise look at the GTS 640mb save yourself a couple hundred
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Old April 23, 2007, 08:34 PM
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Great time to do it- Intel just dropped their chip prices BIG TIME this week. Judging by your apparent budget and your desire to overclock, I'll back beermaster up on the evga 680i mobo (as usual)- I'd go with the evga video cards as well- they have the best prices, service and warranty. for ram, check out NCIX on a weekly basis- they are having some good weekly sales on memory these days- i think there is a set of mushkin pc8500 on this week for $188 off.

Last edited by Babrbarossa; April 24, 2007 at 07:06 AM.
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Old April 24, 2007, 06:22 AM
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Yeah, I had read that the extra memory was unnecessary unless I ran at relatively high resolutions. I currently have my monitor at 1680 x 1050 (widescreen). Thanks for the motherboard suggestion. It's good to have direction. :)

What sort of safety concerns are there with overclocking? Is it merely a temperature issue if stock voltage is used or is there some other things I should take into consideration?

Thanks again!
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Old April 24, 2007, 07:14 AM
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You should have no trouble safely overclocking that e6600 to 3.2 GHz- possibly on stock voltage- if you were to stay at or below 1.45V with decent cooling, you'd never need to worry about temps, although once the bug gets you- you'll want to push that thing to 3.6 or so.

There are a few pretty good CPU temperture monitoring programs out there- TAT, coretemp, speedfan- as long as your cpu doesn't go much over 60C under load, you're ok- at 1.45V, you'd probably never break 55 at the most with aftermarket cooling.

I have a list of OC guides, and a few of them are specifically for the 680i
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/overc...ng-guides.html
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Old April 24, 2007, 01:33 PM
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The guide list was perfect. I think I have a solid grasp on things. Thanks a bunch. :)
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Old April 24, 2007, 01:41 PM
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Be sure to let us know how you make out.
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Old April 25, 2007, 08:57 AM
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Just another couple questions for my own clarification.

Since my beginning target is 3.4ghz for the E6600 which is stock at 2.4 and it has a 9x multiplier, I need RAM that is capable of a rate of 377mhz. So, I believe this means I need memory rated at least 750 (800 I believe is the closest variety to that number) to achieve a 1:1 FSB/Memory ratio.

So, my questions are:

Is this the proper way to go? I'm working under the assumption that it's better to downclock the RAM and have space for later increases if I choose to go to more aggressive cooling options.

Also, I've heard that if I underclock my RAM I can reduce timings to drag a little extra performance out of it. Does anyone have a guide as to how one would find the optimal settings for timings?

And lastly, there's two different voltage settings in the p27 BIOS. Cpu core and FSB. What's the difference?

Thank you for your patience. :)
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Old April 25, 2007, 09:11 AM
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With the evga 680i, you can 'unlink' the RAM, so that you can leave it at stock ddr2 800, and overclock the CPU as high as you want- this way you can buy really cheap ram and still overclock very well.

The FSB is the subsystem that aloows the CPU to interface with the memory- mine is set at 1.4 right now, but on higher overclocks I set it to 1.5 without worrying.

When in linked mode, the speed of both the CPU and the memory is linked directly to the FSB, which is one quarter of the QDR- if your FSB is at 377, then your 1:1 memory is running at ddr2 754, while your CPU with the 9X multi is running at 3393MHz

You need to spend a little more dough to get overclocking ram- what kind of RAM do you have?

There are lots of guides to memory overclocking on the net, but I suggest just giving it the Max Volts allowable by the warranty and motherboard (2.3 for the evga 680i) and trying to tweak it one step at a time- Make sure your CPU setting are perfectly stable before you start to eliminate variables- then either increase MHz, or decrease timings one setting at a time, testing with memtest between tweaks.-- It's something that you can work into, and take your time doing- eventually you'll get a good fell for what your system is capable of, and quickly and easily change settings depending on whatever settings and cooling you have on the go.

Last edited by Babrbarossa; April 25, 2007 at 09:19 AM.
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Old April 25, 2007, 06:06 PM
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Patience is definitely a huge factor and everyone I've spoken with and everything I've read has certainly emphasized that fact. I've also read about unlinking and the fact that you don't have to have a 1:1 ratio with the FSB but I will still be aiming for it.

I've yet to pick up all the bits yet as well. I'm actually trying to cater my purchasing choices to my targets with the CPU rather than just grabbing generic stuff and overclocking it to get the desired 1:1 ratio. I'm currently using PC2-4300 (266 MHz), 512 MBytes, Elpida generic stuff on this current box and will be replacing it. Based on the experience of some friends of mine that have an interest in this stuff as well and what I've read online, I'll likely end up going with some sort of Corsair or Kingston variety.
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