Asus Striker Extreme - QX6850 - Overclocking options

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Asus Striker Extreme Bios 1305
Intel  Conroe QX6850 3Ghz
4gb Corsair XMS2 DDRII 800 - PC 6400 C5DHX (being recognised as 2.5gb)
2x BFG 8800 Ultras
Antec 900 case (5x fans)
Antec Quattro 1000w PSU

Recently got the above system.
I'm looking to overclock withon reasonable rates... and have very little
expertise in the subject.
Looking in bios everything seems to have been set up on "auto".
When the system boots it shows the following memory settings:-
800Mhz  Tcl:5 Trcd:5 Trp:5 Tras:18   -    which seem to be the correct
settings on the Corsair site

I've tried overclocking using the AI overclock facility in bios (about all
I'm capable of doing!)...  at 15%. (3.29Ghz)
After a while the system seems to become unstable.
I have however noticed that on boot up the memory settings have changed to
5:6:6:20 respectively. Should I manualy change these settings back to the
original 5:5:5:18 ?
Any advice or  other hints in respect to overclocking would be appreciated

John Hellingsworth

Re: Asus Striker Extreme - QX6850 - Overclocking options

On Sun, 03 Feb 2008 13:05:19 GMT, "John Hellingsworth"

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Overclocking is such a large topic it would be hard to cover
in a few usenet posts.  Basically, you need to find the
source and cause of the instability.  For example
overheating of CPU under load may cause it but you don't
report your temps nor do we know the rest of the computing
scenario under which it's instable, and what happens to
suggest the instablity (crash, reset, freezing, etc).

Eventually you will want to avoid the AI overclock and
manually set things, but first you need to know what is
instable.  Before running (Windows?) run memtest86+ to see
if you get memory errors.  You should take all steps
necessary to be rid of memory errors before running the OS
as anytime you have these errors and windows or you write a
file to the HDD, etc, it might corrupt it then you have more
problems differentiating between multiple problems.

If the memory isn't stable you might need to increase memory
voltage some, retest and try manually setting more relaxed
timings.  I don't know exactly what the peak speed and
timings are (expected to be on average) for that particular
memory, so through testing or reports from other users of
same memory you might get an idea.  If all else fails and
memory still holds back the FSB increases to gain CPU
clockspeed, there might be an asynchronous memory clock
setting so your memory runs at a lower divisor and thus you
can further raise FSB before things get instable.

After memtest86+ can run without errors for many hours (if
system integrity is very important, I suggest running the
test for at least 24 hours after your final changes), though
as soon as you see one error there is no point in continuing
the test instead of stopping and trying a new memory config
then retesting.

Once your memory tests stable boot windows and try Prime95's
Torture test, as with memtest86+ it should run for hours
without errors or can be stopped as soon as you see one
error, at which point you do similar to memory by increasing
CPU voltage, decreasing CPU temp if it looks too high
(generally, if it's over 60C at full load that will indicate
your peak speed may be limited by the CPU temp.  It may run
fine at 65C, even approaching 70C, but there's a heat issue
if getting into this range).  

Decreasing CPU temp may mean better case ventilation, higher
CPU  heatsink fan speed, a different heatsink, lowering
vcore voltage, or just reducing clockspeed.  Ultimately only
you can find where your stability threshold is and keep
lowering speed and voltage (manually) until you get there.
IF the AI o'c settings aren't raising the voltages to memory
and CPU, that is probably why they are  failing but as
mentioned previously, you probably want to manually
overclock for more control of the parameters, and be sure to
monitor the temps if raising voltage.

Re: Asus Striker Extreme - QX6850 - Overclocking options

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Before you start any of this, set everything to default and boot to windows
and take note of your CPU and other temperatures. There is loads of software
to do this - google for speedfan, or everest or perhaps you got some
monitoring software with your motherboard. In Celcius, your hard disks
should be 40-50 degrees. Your motherboard chipset temperature will probably
be around mid 30s and your processor should be high 40s.

Let the temperatures level out, then record them temperatures when the PC is
idle and when under load - there is plenty of 'soak test' software available
for free in the internet.

Now for the overclocking...
Get yourself back into the BIOS and find the area on memory timings and set
it to manual. Set the numbers to the 'correct' values (800, 5-5-5-18).
Depending on your motherboard BIOS, the 800 may be 200 as the memory is quad
pumped. This means it does 4 transfers per clock tick, so 800 transfers per
second on a 200MHz bus. You should also make sure that the PCI bus speed is
fixed to 'normal' (someone else can fill in the number here).

Then look at the CPU settings. leave the multiplier alone for now and
concentrate on the FSB setting - turn it up in small amounts and thoroughly
test the stability of the computer before moving it up any more. You need to
make sure you run the 'soak test' software long enough for the temperatures
to level out and make sure it can run for a good length of time without
crashing or hitting an error. Keep turning up the FSB in small increments
until you reach instability, then turn it back to 1 'unit' below the highest
stable setting.

So long as the maching is stable and your CPU and motherboard temperatures
remain in safe limits, then you have successfully overclocked your CPU. You
should be able to get near 3.5GHz. The next step is to invest in better
cooling, then start to increase the voltage of the CPU and increase the FSB
even further, but I would leave this option alone for now!

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