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Some clarification about overclocking.... **Information**

Pro Member First Officer
JLangevin First Officer

We will start wtih some background..

When I first purchased Flight Simulator X, my system included the following:

Processor: Pentium 4 3.2ghz LGA775 - Watercooled
Mobo: Intel D955XBK Mother board
Memory: 1gig (2x512mb) PC2-4300 (533mhz)
Sound Card: Onboard Sound
PSU: 650w SilverStone
Video: NVidia 6600GT PCI-E

The computer performed very well for FS9, but as most have found out, FSX was another story... I was lucky to muster out 8-10fps with High Settings, and that was NOT an enjoyable experience.... and lets face it, the rig was fairly outdated. So I set out on a mission...

At first, I rebuilt the PC with an NVidia 7600GTKO, Asus P5NSLI board, another gig of 533mhz DDR2 and a Pentium D 805 2.66ghz Dual Core Procesor (overclocked to over 3.6ghz) but soon realized that the P5N lacked much in the way of overclocking options and versatility. The Pentium D did however provide some performance over the P4. I was getting 15-17fps stable in most areas, but was still below 10fps at Heathrow, LAX, etc... This upset me.

Next, I ditched the Pentium D (stuck in the garage actually) for the Core2Duo E6300 since I heard such good reviews about its overclocking. I did have the funds for an E6600, but decided to see what the E6300 could do. So, I popped it in... the ASUS board would NOT overclock with the E6300... this turned out to be a known issue for the P5NSLI board (dont confuse with P5N32SLI Deluxe), however at the factory core speed of 1.8ghz LITERALLY BLEW AWAY MY PENTIUM D @ 3.6ghz!!! This was amazing! I had to see more...I was getting an easy 25-30fps in just about all areas, and 15-20 in LAX, Heathrow, etc..

I then got the Gigabyte P965-DS3 v3.3 Board and 2 gigs of PC2-6400 (800mhz) and the rest is history!

How to overclock...

Fundimentals:
Overclocking is nothing more than altering the frequiency that your CPU will operate it. By doing this, you are changing the voltage and mhz level of the cpu AND memory... Many people forget to think about their memory when overclocking, but the two must work in conjunction in order to achieve measured results.

The frequencies are adjusted through the BIOS on just about every board on the market these days. Dips are old school. Before you begin overclocking you will want to locate your motherboards Manual and find the "Clear CMOS" Jumper. This is a protection feature on most boards and it will lock the system from booting if it detects an issue with voltage or frequency. If you do not have your manual, look at the model number of your board, and print it out online. This is a must for Overclocking!

When you overclock, you are changing 4 things:
-Core Frequency
-Mem Frequency
-Effective FSB
-Voltage

All of these changes must work in conjunction for everything to work properly.

The core frequency is comprised of a Multiplier and FSB (Front Side Bus) The CPU comes witha default setting, for instance, here is how the factory settings for the E6300 C2D break down..

1066mhz Effective FSB @ 1.86ghz (M7 x FSB 266mhz) M=Multipler FSB=Front Side Bus

So, the CPU has a locked Multipler (some CPUs are not locked) at 7 times the FSB (not effective FSB) So when you open your BIOS and look at Voltage/Frequency control you would see something like this...

Core Speed............. 266mhz
VCore..................... AUTO (core voltage)
Multiplier................. x7
FSB........................ 1066
Memory Voltage...... AUTO
Memory Freq........... 800 (depending on the speed of your memory)

The 1066mhz Effective FSB is comprised of the multiplier speed times 4. so 266x4=1064 (rounded is 1066)

This forumla must first be understood before you can overclock your system... now, when you overclock your CPU, it will automatically apply a ratio overclock to the memory, as mentioned, this is nearly impossible to avoid. The DS3 has several overclock link options for the memory. Im using 2:0 I personally do not know how this effects the rest, so I have always left it at 2:0.. my board goes through 2:0, 3:0, 4:0, 5:0 increments... the higher the ratio, the higher the overclock. Bare in mind, this is not a linear ratio, so that does not mean 2parts to 0... otherwise, they would all = 0.

Here are how the settings break down for my current setup and the E6300

Core Speed............. 490mhz
VCore..................... AUTO
Multiplier................. x7
FSB........................ 1960
Memory Voltage...... 2.2v
Memory Freq........... 1000

At the AUTO (1.8v) setting for the memory, the CPU would not boot... after bumping it up to 2.2, it worked fine.

I know this was a lot to throw out there at once, and it will take practice to perfect, but its woth it, I now get over 55fps in cities like LAX and Heathrow, and over 80fps in areas like Friday Harbor, etc...

There are things that must be understood...

Overclocking creates a bit more heat. This is do to the voltage issues. More voltage = more heat. Proper cooling is necessary. No one has every broken their PC do to overclocking, they have broken it do to overheating. There are thousands of microscopic electrical pathways inside the CPU, Memory, and Board that if overheated, will break. This is the damage due to heat, NOT overclocking. You will hear people say, I achieved _____________ Overclock and ALL ON STOCK AIR!!! WOHOO!!! This is STUPID! Sure, it may be RUNNING on stock air, but the second something goes wrong, the cooler will not be able to keep up, PLUS as the ambient temps rise in the summer, so will the CPU temps.

I do not reccomend overclocking on AIR, but thats a personal prefference. There are plenty of great air coolers out there for under $75 that can get the job done, but for $150, you can get a Gigabyte water cooling system that will guarentee your system stays cool! As long as you seal the system properly, and do a flow/leak test, there is nothing to wory about.

I know there is a ton of typos, but I do not plan on proof reading this now, I will later. Please, ask me questions, Im here to help and if someone gives me their system specs, I will look up the capabilities of your system and can give you some good starting points. Remember, when you overclock, only rais the FSB about 10-15mhz at a time, boot, enter bios and adjust again... going from 266 to 490 at once would be a BAD idea!!! So, if you want me to give you some ideas of what your system can handle... copy and paste this form, and fill in the blanks!! Happy OCing!

CPU Brand/Model: ______________
CPU Cooler Type: ______________
Motherboard: ______________
Powersupply: ______________
Memory info: ______________ (Please provide detailed information)

16 Responses

Guest

great info !

thanks for sharing.

will you be moving over to QX6800 soon ?

Wink

Pro Member First Officer
Orion (ollyau) First Officer

CPU Brand/Model: AMD Athlon 64 4000+ Socket 939
CPU Cooler Type: Stock (came w/ CPU)
Motherboard: MSI K8NGM2
Powersupply: Antec AR300
Memory info: 2GB (not sure what brands. They are 2 sets of matched 1GB(2x512), but the 2 sets are not matched. If you need to absolutely know, I could probably find out.)

Pro Member First Officer
JLangevin First Officer

I will go to the QX6800 at some point, but as long as its still as pricey as it is, probably not. The good thing is that my board is Quad Core compatible..

CPU Brand/Model: AMD Athlon 64 4000+ Socket 939
CPU Cooler Type: Stock (came w/ CPU)
Motherboard: MSI K8NGM2
Powersupply: Antec AR300
Memory info: 2GB (not sure what brands. They are 2 sets of matched 1GB(2x512), but the 2 sets are not matched. If you need to absolutely know, I could probably find out.)

Ollyau: For starters, you need a bigger power supply to overclock with stability, I would reccomend at least a 400w PSU... If you do get your hands on one, here is what I would reccomend to try... the 4000+ isnt a major overclocker, so dont expect huge numbers, 2.7ghz seems to be the max... The cooler would also need an upgrade. There is also a lack of options on your board to allow a serious overclock... the CPU can handle this below....

227.0 x 12 @ 1.73v VCore with 908mhz Effective FSB.

Getting you 2.724ghz, however you board may not allow this to happen... the most you can probably get with your board will be about 2.55ish...
Such low results are caused by the lack of a feature for raising voltage on the processor, as well as a lack of the feature for reducing the multiplier. you may also notice unstable issues with the mixed RAM.

Anyone else? This is kind of fun.

Pro Member Trainee
Craig (Sno0ze) Trainee

Hey Langevin,

I'de really like to get into overclocking but, there are 2 things that hold me back. First of all, I don't have the money to finance even the most puny of systems since I'm 16 and have no job, so if something goes wrong it's my ass that will be overheating 😀 Next reason is, I don't know a whole lot about how to effectively cool a system, let alone for overclocking. Water cooling sounds like it would work right off the bat, but I want to know the technical stuff.

Another thing I wondered is, what does the interface for overclocking on the BIOS look like? I know every mobo will more than likely have a different one but just so I have a better idea. Another question I have is (Was gonna say "Quest" there, been playing too much lotro lol) are you able to tell the difference from overclocking say.. a 2.66Ghz processor to 2.9Ghz? And one final question, this one is out of pure interest and I have no aspiration to try it in the near future atleast. How do you overclock dual and quad core processors? Since there are 2/4 cores do you overclock each core manually or is it all done in a oner?

Thanks in advance,

Sno0ze

Pro Member First Officer
JLangevin First Officer

SnoOze: You bring up some valid questions, thank you... First off, there are several types of cooling on the market. I will cover individually.

-Passive or Air Cooling - Consist of Heatsink and Fan, anywhere from $20-$99

-Liquid Cooling - Consist of your basic components, Water pump, radiator, hoses, fluid tank, and water block (the part that goes on the CPU) Liquid cooling is excellent in that water obsorbs and transfers more heat than air. This allows for the system to get the heat out faster. the downside to water cooling is that just like air cooling, its efficiency is based on ambient temperature. Its near impossible to get a water cooling system down to room temp. My system is running at 33*c right now, however it is 24*c in my office.....Water cooling is also expandable, where as there are some extreme cases out there where people are watercooling their CPU, GPU, NorthBridge, SouthBridge, Sata Controller, etc... I find that only the CPU is NECESSARY, but GPUs are fun to water cool as well... Air cooling the GPU is fine, for isntance, I was able to drop my load temps in my 7600GTKO over 20*c with the addition of a $55 Zalman Heatsink and 80mm Fan. These systems run from $99 to $300 depending on the quality of the components. The quality of the waterblock and the pump should be taken into consideration when purchasing a cooling system. My system is all metal, including all the barbs, so I am not worried about corrosion or leaks since the coolant I am using is corrosion resistant.

-Pelter system - This system is much like Liquid cooling in that it has the same components as a liquid cooler system, however the radiator is replaced with a pelter or phase change system. This send electric current through the radiator system that causes a temperature reaction and "chills" the coolant. This system is capable of near 0*c temps, but usually runs more like 15*c'ish... These run from $250-$600 depending on the phase quality. This is the kit I will go with next.

-Extreme Liquid Nitrogen Cooling - Some folks out there have developed cooling stacks for their CPUs consisting of pure liquid nitrogen. This is HIGHLY dangerous and can cause severe frostbite if not handled properly. The main reason someone would use Liquid Nitrogen is for the severe cooling it provides. Temps has gone as low as -100*c and literally frozen the metals in the heatspread for the CPU. People use this for extreme overclocking and benchmark testing, this is not a practicle everyday use solution. These are custom built and carry only the price tag you allow. Notice the frozen parts in this photo... this is from Tom's Hardware project and reached 5.25ghz on a Pentium 4, and -190*c

As for the BIOS interface, there are a few companies out there supplying Mobo BIOS for the manufactuers, including Pheonix, Award, Biostar, etc.... The DS3 uses Award, and here is a shot I found online of what it lookins like for DS3, which is what I use...

There is a noticiable difference usually in speed... you mostly see it in load times, not so much boot up, or other day to day tasks like browsing, etc. Its when you put a load on the system that you notice it...

Overclocking takes effect on all cores simultaniously, whether it be 1 or 4.

I hope that this has helped you a little bit in your journey.... i mean "Quest" Wink

Pro Member First Officer
Orion (ollyau) First Officer

I have multiple machines and I am also wondering about this machine:
CPU Brand/Model: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Socket AM2
CPU Cooler Type: Stock (came w/ CPU)
Motherboard: ASUS M2R32-MVP
Powersupply: Antec Smart Power 500
Memory info: Corsair XMS2 DDR2 2 GB (macthed pair 2x1024)

P.S. Do you know how the Nvidia GeForce 8600 preforms, because that's what I have in there. I also do not yet have FSX on this machine, I will soon though.

Pro Member Trainee
Craig (Sno0ze) Trainee

Ahh thanks very much for the info Langevin, much apperciated! 😀

Pro Member First Officer
JLangevin First Officer

ollyau wrote:

I have multiple machines and I am also wondering about this machine:
CPU Brand/Model: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Socket AM2
CPU Cooler Type: Stock (came w/ CPU)
Motherboard: ASUS M2R32-MVP
Powersupply: Antec Smart Power 500
Memory info: Corsair XMS2 DDR2 2 GB (macthed pair 2x1024)

P.S. Do you know how the Nvidia GeForce 8600 preforms, because that's what I have in there. I also do not yet have FSX on this machine, I will soon though.

I would go with M10x260FSB for 2.6ghz. Reports show that this processor can go higher (a friend of mine actually has this processor) but Im not sure of its true potential. Fortunately your board is capable of a decent overclock. You will notice about 11-12*c increas in idle temps however due to the fact that the factory HSF is made of aluminum and not copper. If you plan to overclock, get something else. Your memory should be fine, however some people with Corsair have noticed some unstable issues with timing, if you leave it on the default timings, you should be fine. If you dont know what timings are, dont mess with them.

The 8600 is really nothing more than a 7900 that is DirectX10 compatible. Performance wise, they should be fine for FSX, as stated in my other posts in other topics, FSX cares MORE about your CPU than your GPU. Yuo will notice some improvement over older graphics cards, but if you want to go directx10 for cheap, the 8600GTX would be the way to go. of you cant afford the 320mb 8800GTS... keep in mind though, its dropping in price on a regular basis!

Pro Member First Officer
anonymouse91 First Officer

CPU Brand/Model: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4GHz
CPU Cooler Type: Stock Intel
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3
Powersupply: ColorsIT 550W PSU
Memory info: 2x1GB Kingston DDR2-667 (333MHz) SDRAM
1x512MB Generic DDR2-533 (266MHz) SDRAM

(I am willing to get more (and faster) memory, water cooling and a higher wattage PSU. I also want to get a 8800)

Pro Member First Officer
JLangevin First Officer

anonymouse91 wrote:

CPU Brand/Model: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4GHz
CPU Cooler Type: Stock Intel
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3
Powersupply: ColorsIT 550W PSU
Memory info: 2x1GB Kingston DDR2-667 (333MHz) SDRAM
1x512MB Generic DDR2-533 (266MHz) SDRAM

(I am willing to get more (and faster) memory, water cooling and a higher wattage PSU. I also want to get a 8800)

Yay, finally someone with an Intel! Well, as you know I have the same board, so here is what I reccomend... Your PSU is fine, but should be upgraded to a more familiar brand if you are going to overclock AND have an 8800... remember, the 8800s use TWO SLI power connectors per card, so its using twice the power. Before we move on, I suggest that you remove the 512 of 533... this is actually hurting you in two ways. It is slowing your 667 down to 533, AND it is forcing you out of dual channel mode into single mode. Also, it is not necessary to give me the multiplier side of the memory, since we all know that DDR2 is 2 times the physical speed. Hense why its called DDR2.... Having that mismatched stick in there is hurting you compared to if you didnt have it at all.

ONCE YOU HAVE REMOVED THE 512 of 533 (ill buy it from you if that helps) Go into your Intelligent Tweaker in BIOS and adjust the Multiplier to 9x, adjust the VCore voltage to Auto (DS3 does very well with auto voltage) Adjust your PCI-E Freq from Auto to 100 (this is a small overclock of the PCI-E Bus), Change the memory multiplier to 2:0, up your FSB to 340 (only at about 20mhz at a time, do a reboot each time). This will give you...

3.06ghz with 1360fsb. and roughly 750mhz memory. You could get about 500mhz more out of your cpu, but your cooler is keeping it back. After this post, Im going to be heading out and buying another 2 gigs of DDR2-800 for $150. I reccomend Patriot Extremem memory, thats what I have, and its CHEAP! You can get 2x2gb for 4gb for about $220... thats $110 for a 2gig stick, and it EXTREMELY stable.

Pro Member Trainee
Rifro Trainee

woah, slow down there. I got the exact same results just putting in a Geforce 7600 graphics card in. well not exactly, got it to 45 FPS.

Pro Member First Officer
JLangevin First Officer

Wouldn't it be customary to at least post your specs? I mean, Ive also got a Porsche that does 190, however, unless you see it, chances are its just talk.

If you want to be of use to these forums, give some background and spec information for others to see... Otherwise, your post was completely and utterly useless.

Oh, and bub... incase you didnt notice, this thread is not entitled (How much will overclocking raise your FPS), this is a basic understanding for overclocking newbs to get some information. The increased FPS is nothing but a nice side-effect.

Guest

8800Ultra overclocks nicely with watercooling

http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=39845

Pro Member First Officer
Orion (ollyau) First Officer

Hi again, I upgraded my CPU. If you don't mind would you please look up how much I could overclock if I wanted to?

CPU Brand/Model: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Socket AM2
CPU Cooler Type: Stock (came w/ CPU)
Motherboard: ASUS M2R32-MVP
Powersupply: Antec Smart Power 500
Memory info: Corsair XMS2 DDR2 2 GB (macthed pair 2x1024)

Smailey Guest

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
PSU: OCZ Game X Stream 700
Memory: OCZ DDR2 PC-6400 System Elite XTC
Motherboard: ASUS P5N32-E SLI
Cooling: Water cooling from Danger Den

I have the 8800 GTS and wish to overclock this as well.

Pro Member First Officer
JLangevin First Officer

Any video card overclocks nice when water cooled, but why did you show a pic of watercooled memory, if you are reffering to video cards?

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