Help With Conroe E6600

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here is my problem
I have an e6600 on an asrock 945g-dvi mainboard witha leadtek 7600gt
graphics card. When i first got the computer i had a stick of corsair select
533mhz 1gb memory. I since have brought some corsair XMS2 667Mhz 2x 1gb to
enable dual channel. When I had the 1gig stick i couldn't raise the fsb past
300 giving me a clock speed of 2.7mhz.
Now I have the so called good quality ram and running dual channel I still
can't get the fsb past 300mhz, even though it is faster ram. My 3d marks
have not increased, so basically i have spent $430 dollars for no gain (how
pissed am I)
I have checked all my bios settings and everything seems set right.
In the bios there are no multiplier settings, only fsb is adjustable and u
can't increase the v-core cause it is locked. I am very frustrated as I
thought going from 533mhz to 667 mhz ram and enabling dual channel i would
see some improvement, but nothing, I am open to any suggestions!

Re: Help With Conroe E6600

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Did you discover what the bottleneck was?

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The obvious conclusion to draw from this is that your memory was not the
factor originally holding your system back.

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If your life really is governed by 3DMark scores, you need to get out more,
maybe find a girl. Do you happen to know what your memory bandwidth is with
the old and new RAM? There are benchmarks other than 3DMark y'know.

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You know the old saying about the fool and his money being easily parted?

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Well obviously, otherwise you wouldn't be here regaling us with your tale of
woe. It might be more helpful if you told us *exactly* how your BIOS is set
up. That way we might be able to spot something that you have done wrong but
haven't noticed.

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Par for the course with Intel CPUs, bar the Xtreme ones.

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That's a bit crap. Unusual for a modern motherboard to allow manual FSB
adjustment while not allowing at least CPU core and memory bus voltage to be
varied. Are any voltages adjustable? What about the memory, northbridge, Vtt
and so-forth? Are you sure you haven't missed a setting somewhere that
enables user voltage adjustment - or indeed a BIOS upgrade that enables it?

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Well yes, it should, it should more than double your effective memory
bandwidth, provided you put the sticks in the right slots and either your
motherboard makes the memory bus multiplier switch automatically, or you set
it manually. Did you set the memory bus multiplier for DDR667 after
installing the new RAM?

If the memory bandwidth has improved you should see some improvement in a
3DMark score, but as these benchmarks are primarily graphics, and to a
lesser extent processor-centric, you shouldn't have been expecting a major
boost. As I alluded earlier, if your life revolves around 3DMark scores, you
really should try and get out more.

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Well, first of all your entire approach to this is all wrong. Randomly
chucking new memory on in the vain hope of getting a better overclock is,
well, dumb.

Before you shelled out on the new stuff you should have experimented with
your existing setup to try and find out what was limiting you to 300MHz FSB.
Did you try dropping the memory bus speed to see if this would allow you to
overclock further? Did you try altering the memory timings? Checking that
your cooling solution is working properly? Did you try altering anything
else this board allows you to alter?

Overclocking is a fairly easy process if you approach it methodically. You
need to find the limit of your kit and the best way for you to do that is to
sit there changing BIOS settings and seeing what gets you more speed.

At end of day, provided you set it up correctly then your new memory *will*
be giving you a performance boost over what you had in before. Check your
memory bus multiplier is set appropriately and use a benchmark that directly
measures memory bandwidth (Sandra's is good as a comparative test) and you
should soon tell whether it has made a difference.

If your motherboard really doesn't allow any voltage adjustments then your
overclocking headroom is going to be limited. Maybe a new board should be
next on your upgrade list - E6600's can overclock famously in the right
circumstances and I'm surprised in some ways that you can't get past 300 at
stock voltage.

As such it'd be interesting to find out what would happen if you dropped the
memory bus multiplier down to DDR2-400 settings. If you do this and suddenly
find you can overclock further, then your bottleneck is memory bus
stability. If you do this and still find you're stuck at 300, then the limit
is most probably the CPU itself (given that you say you can't boost the core
voltage) or the inherent stability of your motherboard.

Like I said earlier tho, look at your system and see what it tells you.
Could be a flaky PSU, could be something else. Whatever the cause, you're
the guy with the computer sat in front of you. That makes you far better
qualified than any of us to sort it out.

Richard Hopkins
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
(replace nospam with pipex in reply address)

The UK's leading technology reseller

Re: Help With Conroe E6600

wheres_wally wrote:
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First of all, if you are going to overclock, you need to do some background
reading here. You might be surprised about what holds back these systems.
I'm not about to repeat all what I've read, because I might get it wrong, and
because I cannot verify any of it by reading it in Intel's datasheets. So
you'll have to read it for yourself. /

Here is a hint for you. You can overclock farther by changing the clock
to the CPU while you are in Windows. The reason for this has to do with
the "strap" used. "Strapping" is normally a hardware feature, where defaults
for hardware are applied when the systems starts (at time T=0). It is also
possible to apply straps under BIOS control, either though (secret) registers
in the Northbridge, or via GPIO signals applied to the outside of the chip.
A system is "strapped" in the BIOS, and performance range is determined by
the strap used. But the "strap" and the monkey-business associated with it,
is not made visible in the BIOS. So it has taken overclockers a while to
figure some of it out. (I.e. Why is my overclock via the BIOS, behaving
different than overclocking while in Windows? )

So one overclockers trick, is to select a clock frequency in the BIOS, which
is not an overclocking value. Purely to force the BIOS to select a particular
strap. Then, you go into Windows and use a utility to change the clock
setting to the desired overclock speed. Much greater overclocks have been
achieved by doing that, as well as better benchmark results for identical
clock settings. The strap affects how the Northbridge works, and affects
latency to the memory.

The picture at the bottom of this page, shows a guy using Gigabyte "Easytune5"
to set a higher clock while in Windows. In some cases, a program like
Clockgen from can be used.

Note that the above strangeness applies to Intel chipsets. It is possible if
some good non-Intel-chipset Conroe boards come along, that more "linear"
behavior in overclock, will be observed. Only time will tell.


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