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zerobeta
05-31-07, 06:21 AM
Hi

I need to decide on what DDR II memory to buy for a gaming computer

CPU - Q6600
GPU - 8800GTX (not SLi)
MB - P35 or upcoming X38 Intel chipset

I have chosen to go with OCZ, and either 800MHZ or 1000MHZ Memory. Price difference between 667MHZ and 800MHZ is low so I decided minimum will be 800MHZ, and maby 1000MHZ.

I will get 2GB but might upgrade to another 2GB of the same memory for a total 4GB.

I do not plan to overclock any hardware.

First, will there be a difference between 800MHZ and 1000MHZ memory? Either in gaming, app usage or general OS use? If not currently, then maby I will be better for the future with a 1000MHZ as opposed to 800MHZ? Price difference is not big.

Here are the models I think are best:

800MHZ:
OCZ DDR2 PC2-6400 Titanium EPP-Ready Dual Channel (http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/memory/ocz-ddr2_pc2_6400_titanium_epp_ready_dual_channel)*

OCZ DDR2 PC2-6400 Platinum Revision 2 Dual Channel (http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/memory/ocz_ddr2_pc2_6400_platinum_revision_2_dual_channel )

1000MHZ
OCZ DDR2 PC2-8000 Titanium Alpha VX2 Dual Channel (http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/memory/ocz_ddr2_pc2_8000_titanium_alpha_vx2_dual_channel)

These are the 3 options I can choose from. which from the two 800MHZ models is better/newer, and is it worth going for the faster 1000MHZ?

I noticed that in the first 800MHZ option I listed (marked in *), there is a description in the manufactrs site saying: "Only motherboards equipped with the custom-designed BIOS, such as those designed for NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI MCPs, can detect the optimized SPD profiles and ensure the memory functions under the best possible conditions."

I am not sure what it means. Is it designed also for the MB I will be getting or will it work slower in it?
Should I get the other 800MHZ option (or the 1000MHZ option), in which there is no specification it works better on a certain chipset Motherboard?


And lastly I wish to know if any of these three models will work fine on my system? will the 800MHZ memory work at 800MHZ at its specified CL (same q for the 1000MHZ model)? or will I need to adjust BIOS settings? I am not fermiliar with such things so I hope every memory will work at its specified speeds. (Might be something related to the voltage the memory runs at maby?).

Thanks :)

CaptNKILL
05-31-07, 06:29 AM
First of all, if you're not overclocking, your RAM will be running at 533Mhz, regardless of what kind you buy. The only reason to buy any ram over 533Mhz is for overclocking.

Second, I'd recommend just getting the cheapest memory you can get as long as its a decent brand. There will be little to no noticeable performance difference between $65 ram and $250 ram, especially if you aren't overclocking.

Hope that helps. :)

Toss3
05-31-07, 06:30 AM
Get the fastest memory you can afford! Core 2 duos or quads benefit much more from higher speeds than from lower latencies. :)

EDIT: And yes you'd have to overclock, as CaptNKILL already said, but it would be worth it!

zerobeta
05-31-07, 06:33 AM
Thanks for clarifying that

So what is 800MHZ (or any memory high than n533MHZ) good for? Not limiting ocerclocking of CPU and GPU?

Is it possible I can overclock my 800MHZ or 1000MHZ, from 533MHZ, to actual 800MHZ or 1000MHZ? Can I overclock just the memory and not the CPU and GPU (or maby slight overclock which is guaranteed to not harm)?

If I get this wrong please explain how it works ;).

CaptNKILL
05-31-07, 06:51 AM
Thanks for clarifying that

So what is 800MHZ (or any memory high than n533MHZ) good for? Not limiting ocerclocking of CPU and GPU?

Is it possible I can overclock my 800MHZ or 1000MHZ, from 533MHZ, to actual 800MHZ or 1000MHZ? Can I overclock just the memory and not the CPU and GPU (or maby slight overclock which is guaranteed to not harm)?

If I get this wrong please explain how it works ;).
With higher speed ram you get more head room when overclocking your FSB (FSB x CPU multiplier = CPU speed, which is the only thing worth overclocking in most cases).

So if you'd like to try overclocking your CPU, I'd recommend getting some decent PC-800. But again, there isn't any reason to spend $50 more on one kind of ram over another as long as they are the same speed. Regardless of all of hype, it makes very little difference in the end.

There isn't any reason to have any higher than 800Mhz ram in your case either. If you maxed out your 800Mhz ram (by running your FSB at 400Mhz... up from 266Mhz stock) your CPU would be running at 3.6Ghz... which is, as far as I know, a HUGE overclock for a quad core. You aren't likely to get that much out of it, and if you did your system would probably melt without some really high end cooling.

If I were you, I'd get some cheap but decent PC6400 (800Mhz) ram and a good CPU cooler and try running the FSB at 333Mhz (which is well within the limits of your ram). That'd give you a decent 600Mhz overclock on your CPU, which would definitely be noticeable.

zerobeta
05-31-07, 07:14 AM
You say buying any higher than 533MHz memory is useless unless you wish to overclock, so with either 800MHz and 533MHz memory you will not see any benefit from gaming and any other use, in a system with no overclock? It just seems to me that higher speed memory will make a difference in games, but I understand this is true only to lower than 533MHz speeds, and higher, up until you reach 533MHz and then high than that don't make a difference? This is just a thing I want to clarify.

Now for my questions, maby I should ask them in the overclocking forums?

The hardware you can overclock are only the CPU and GPU? You can not overclock your memory?

FSB - you mean the CPU FSB or MB FSB?
If the FSB 1066MHz, you can overclock that (assuming you have high speed memory)?

Where does the figure 333MHz or 400MHz come from? If the FSB is 1066MHz, and you overclock it, should it be higher than 1066MHz? explanation :p

CaptNKILL
05-31-07, 07:21 AM
Its pretty complicated if you've never overclocked before.

Here is an overclocking guide.

http://legionhardware.com/document.php?id=625

zerobeta
05-31-07, 07:37 AM
Maby you can point me to an article which explain the 'fundementals' of overclocking for begginers? I don't understand much from that article except that higher than 800MHz memory is usually useless.

Thanks.

Toss3
05-31-07, 08:06 AM
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=57148

That one is pretty old, but goes through most of the things you need to know. :)

hirantha
05-31-07, 09:37 AM
Maximum PC Mr. Tom Halfhill said "..only inSecure users succumb to peer preasure and marketing hype by robotically upgrading their systems with the latest of everything. Real power users know when to upgrade"

just keep it in mind.

rewt
05-31-07, 10:07 AM
Look who's talking, Mr. Core 2 Duo e6700 8800GTX :p

hirantha
05-31-07, 12:52 PM
Look who's talking, Mr. Core 2 Duo e6700 8800GTX :p
lol what i got is nothing compare to what others got.. yeah peer preasure is an issue, anyway i'm saying upgrade now so you wont have to upgrade in another 6 months or 18, and thats smart upgrade.

zerobeta
05-31-07, 05:13 PM
OK reading that article I have some questions in order to verify what is true for today:

Is there a program that can show me the real Q6600 temperature, so I will check that the load temperature is not going above 60c or so after overclocking? (i heard that the temperature monitoring of this CPU is not too good).

If I will overclock my CPU (and I have 800MHz memory) about 600MHz more, than the lifespan of the CPU alone will decrease, or any other component as well? and I understand that decrease will be minimal?

Does the Q6600 send 4 instructions per clock cycle (meaning its effective 1066FSB is 266.5 real FSB)?

Any DDR II memory speed should be divided by two in order to get its real operating frequency? True for DDR III as well?
And that real operating frequency is the max FSB I can push my CPU to?

Does the amount of memory (2GB or 4GB) matter when I overclock? Or will I be able to reach to a max FSB or 400MHz (in my example) with any memory quantity? (only the memory speed matters?)

Do different Q6600 CPUs have different multipliers? (between 6x and 10x I heard)
If so, how does it work?
If FSB (always 266.5MHz) x Multiplier (6x or 10x) = CPU speed, than it changes from CPU to CPU?

I read that the Xtreme versions of C2D and C2Q have their multipliers unlocked, meaning you can raise them, but isnt this a bad thing (or has no benefit from a locked multiplier CPU)? since what you want is to always lower the multiplier in order to raise the FSB?

When I am in the BIOS and see the multiplier and FSB options, if I raise the FSB will the multiplier automatically drop? (or once I lower the multiplier will the FSB autimatically raise)?
Or can I just raise the FSB and keeping the multiplier at default setting, not change it?

Once you overclock - lower the multiplier in order to get the wanted FSB, can you go back to the BIOS any time after that and choose the default values again for default CPU speed? is it that simple and takes a few seconds? (assuming you do not have to mess with RAM ratio/overclock)

After I overclock, I exit the BIOS and go to my OS. Do I need to run some kind of tests in order to confirm the CPU is overclocked, or to check its stability? or if there are no risks running at this overclocked speed?

Do you think I will need to add voltage / vcore to the CPU (if I will overclock it only 600MHz more than default)?
And how do I know when the CPU needs more voltage? will I see greyed FSB / Multiplier values or something like that?

About speedstepping (the option which lowers CPU speed when not running games for example):
Does it work also when you OC the CPU, lowering the CPU speed and than raising it back to the max I OCed it to when gaming?

I might have more q's

mullet
06-01-07, 12:10 AM
hirantha is always pressuring me to buy more hardware, watch out for him. :D

buffbiff21
06-01-07, 04:13 AM
Is there a program that can show me the real Q6600 temperature, so I will check that the load temperature is not going above 60c or so after overclocking? (i heard that the temperature monitoring of this CPU is not too good).
Intel Thermal Analysis Tool, CoreTemp, MotherboardMonitor5

If I will overclock my CPU (and I have 800MHz memory) about 600MHz more, than the lifespan of the CPU alone will decrease, or any other component as well? and I understand that decrease will be minimal?
Lifespan will not decrease.. It is only when you up the voltage into the hardware will it decrease, because it is running hotter. That is why you invest in a good heatsink/fan CPU cooler :)


Does the Q6600 send 4 instructions per clock cycle (meaning its effective 1066FSB is 266.5 real FSB)?
Correct. Q6600 is quad data rate.

Any DDR II memory speed should be divided by two in order to get its real operating frequency? True for DDR III as well?
And that real operating frequency is the max FSB I can push my CPU to?
True to the first two statements. THe "real operating frequency" is generally what the manufacturer (corsair, g skill, crucial, ocz, etc.. ) rates the sticks at because they bin certain memory chips. The best chips for overclocking are Micron D9, and are actually quite cheap in price as of now. When you say "the max FSB I can push my CPU to," I assume you're talking about the highest overclock? THere are many factors at hand that will affect your overclock - cpu limit, ram limit (likely never the case), fsb limit...


Does the amount of memory (2GB or 4GB) matter when I overclock? Or will I be able to reach to a max FSB or 400MHz (in my example) with any memory quantity? (only the memory speed matters?)
YES! There are big problems when overclocking 4x1.. 2gb seems to be the sweet spot still, even now. If you run all your sticks at stock, then 4x1 is not a problem, nor is 2x2.

Do different Q6600 CPUs have different multipliers? (between 6x and 10x I heard)
If so, how does it work?
If FSB (always 266.5MHz) x Multiplier (6x or 10x) = CPU speed, than it changes from CPU to CPU?
Q6600 all have the same multipliers: you have the option of selecting form 6 to 9.

I read that the Xtreme versions of C2D and C2Q have their multipliers unlocked, meaning you can raise them, but isnt this a bad thing (or has no benefit from a locked multiplier CPU)? since what you want is to always lower the multiplier in order to raise the FSB?
Unlocked multipiers are almost useless unless you are heavily into overclocking. A few months ago, it was difficult for most boards to reach a high FSB with quadcore CPUs, so the unlocked multi was useful (people used 10x320 to achieve 3200 MHz) because there were problems thar arrived as the FSB approached the 1333 strap.


When I am in the BIOS and see the multiplier and FSB options, if I raise the FSB will the multiplier automatically drop? (or once I lower the multiplier will the FSB autimatically raise)?
Or can I just raise the FSB and keeping the multiplier at default setting, not change it?
The multiplier stays the same when you raise FSB. You can raise/lower either one at will, but your FSB will hit a wall depending on what chipset/motherboard you are using.They don't change themselves after you set them.

Once you overclock - lower the multiplier in order to get the wanted FSB, can you go back to the BIOS any time after that and choose the default values again for default CPU speed? is it that simple and takes a few seconds? (assuming you do not have to mess with RAM ratio/overclock)
You can always revert to stock settings, yes.

After I overclock, I exit the BIOS and go to my OS. Do I need to run some kind of tests in order to confirm the CPU is overclocked, or to check its stability? or if there are no risks running at this overclocked speed?
Yes, you need to run stability tests on all overclocked components. I recommend Memtest86+, (if RAM is Overclocked) Orthos (for CPU), and 3dmark (for GPU).

Do you think I will need to add voltage / vcore to the CPU (if I will overclock it only 600MHz more than default)?
And how do I know when the CPU needs more voltage? will I see greyed FSB / Multiplier values or something like that?
Depends on the CPU. Each CPU has a different set of circuitry and silicon. I've seen E6600 CPUs that can hit 4GHz with as low as 1.45 vcore! I recommend setting your vcore to whatever will make your CPU run full load at 60 degrees C, and then begin upping the FSB in increments of 50 or so. If the system boots up, run a quick SuperPI test. Then, run 24hr long Orthos test (small FFT) If your system passes this, it is stable.

About speedstepping (the option which lowers CPU speed when not running games for example):
Does it work also when you OC the CPU, lowering the CPU speed and than raising it back to the max I OCed it to when gaming?
Some boards have this, and some dont. Ive seen it mainly on laptops (throttling) but if you're referring to vdroop, that can hinder the amount of voltage that is fed to teh CPU.


This is obviously a lot to chew. Take your time reading through it... ask questions.. expiriment... hunt around the net for guides, and you will be overclocking with the best of them.

Also, as some others have stated, you don't need the extra memory frequency. It's just tossing away your money. If you run 1:2, 2:3, or 4:5, it will hinder your CPU overclock as you reach higher FSB speeds because the memory will just be run way too high. If you run your CPU stock however, there are still only very very slight gains to be made with purchasing higher frequency RAM. (we're talking less than 5% increase in overall system performance) Intel CPUs dont exactly take advantage of memory bandwidth as well as AMD CPUs do.. with Conroe/Kentsfield, always use 1:1 FSB:RAM sync when overclocking.

zerobeta
06-01-07, 05:22 AM
When I underclock, can I safely set the values (like FSB) down to whatever I want it to (to achieve not less than default speed), or do I need to do this incrementally?

YES! There are big problems when overclocking 4x1.. 2gb seems to be the sweet spot still, even now. If you run all your sticks at stock, then 4x1 is not a problem, nor is 2x2.

Stock meaning I do not overclock my RAM?
I want 4GB (4 sticks) and not only 2, and the memory will be the 2nd 800MHz option in my first post (good specs and not expensive), which will be fast enough to include my overclock, so will I able to overclock with 4GB the same way I will be able with 2GB, or at least overclock the Q6600 about 600MHz more with 4GB?

Someone told me that some MBs have problem running 4 sticks @ 800MHz, and dropping their speed to 667MHz, unless you use only 2 sticks @ 800MHz, any idea if this is true and on what MBs?

What programs should I use for stress/stability test each small OC?
SuperPI - 1 hour
and then Orthos for a whole day (24 hours)? can I use the computer while it tests?
Should I run Prime95 as well?

1:1 FSB:RAM sync when overclocking - can you explain how I ensure the FSB and RAM is always in 1:1 sync?

hirantha
06-01-07, 05:53 AM
hirantha is always pressuring me to buy more hardware, watch out for him. :D

Mullet i'm teaching you all to save your hard earned money.. and also we all can get married have kids and teach our kids how to save :p

ok and zerobeta
1. Underclocking doesn't have to be done incrementally, only overclocking that needs increment.
2. Stock means the factory default settings or speed of any hardware
3. buy 4GB RAM if you are planning install a 64bit OS
4. almost everyone runs Orthos to test the stability, even though i never done. i always test stability with the games i play

5. 1:1 = lets take a core 2 Duo for example the BUS speed of that chip is 266Mhz*4 so if you run the RAM at that same speed which is 1066MHZ then you are running at 1:1 ... it doesnt have to be 1:1

BUS * 4 = Total BUS speed of the Processor

zerobeta
06-01-07, 06:33 AM
Once I reach a stable overclock, can I then underclock, and then overclock to that stable overclock I reached in the past with no worries?

About the FSB RAM ratio: In a case where I have a 1066MHz CPU FSB speed, and 800MHz memory, what will the ratio be?

Having a CPU with 1066MHz FSB, how much will it matter if I have memory of 800MHz (not a 1:1 ratio) or 1000 MHz (1:1 ratio)? what will a the non 1:1 ratio option (800MHz) affect and will it be much of an effect? Also will that difference will be the same if I overclock a bit or overclock much?

Do 1000MHz memory and 1066MHz memory both run at 1:1 ratio with 1066 effective CPU FSB?

hirantha
06-01-07, 08:51 AM
Once I reach a stable overclock, can I then underclock, and then overclock to that stable overclock I reached in the past with no worries?

About the FSB RAM ratio: In a case where I have a 1066MHz CPU FSB speed, and 800MHz memory, what will the ratio be?

Having a CPU with 1066MHz FSB, how much will it matter if I have memory of 800MHz (not a 1:1 ratio) or 1000 MHz (1:1 ratio)? what will a the non 1:1 ratio option (800MHz) affect and will it be much of an effect? Also will that difference will be the same if I overclock a bit or overclock much?

Do 1000MHz memory and 1066MHz memory both run at 1:1 ratio with 1066 effective CPU FSB?

Speed matters but not that noticeable.. if you run at 1066CPU : 800RAM that’s is 4:3 ratio as long as you got memory with good timing like 4.4.4.12 you are good.

zerobeta
06-01-07, 10:28 AM
Just a few more questions...

So I shouldn't be worried about "always use 1:1 FSB:RAM sync when overclocking" saying? 4:3 is just as good?

from the article about overclocking:
"For long term stability, IE computers that are going to be running for more than 2 years or so with a load most of the time, overclocking is not a good idea"
Hmm is this true? I mean with a pretty small overclock and good cooler, is this statement still stands?

"There is the possibility that overclocking will corrupt data"
I assume this is meant for data on the Hard Disks? When should I worry about that at all? I mean I only overclock the CPU?

"chipsets (KT266/333/400(a)/600/880(the 880 may have a lock, but I think it still lacks one) and K8T800 - not to be confused with the K8T800 Pro which has one) do not have a PCI/AGP lock, so you have to be careful about raising the FSB, as running the PCI bus out of spec (33mhz is the standard speed) can corrupt hard drive data, prevent peripherals from functioning correctly (especially ATI AGP video cards), and generally cause instability"
How true is this for todays hardware (what I will buy), and how do I know if I "run the PCI bus out of spec", is this happening when raising the FSB (overclocking) or how? Should I worry about this?

And about how to check the temperatures, how do I know the real temperature for each core? check this (http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showpost.php?p=2223360&postcount=6) post for why I ask this. And does it matter which program I use, will each show me different results?

Thanks

ynnek
06-01-07, 11:33 AM
Just think of it this way.. If you stick in the standard operating specs, the chances are anything wrong happens during the expected lifetime of whatever you are using, is relatively slim. (assuming they are realistic specs that reflect your usage)

Anytime you go outside the operating specs, of anything, you may increase the chance of failure and accelerated wear.

Obviously, a lot of people in the PC enthusiasts world OC. How stable and long lasting the various setups actually are, is up for debate, on a case per case basis.

buffbiff21
06-01-07, 06:18 PM
Wow. you really have no experience with overclocking? I mean, for real? These are all way too many questions for me to answer :o but ill do my best


Check this out http://tools.corsairmemory.com/systembuild/report.aspx?report_id=12472&sid=17

although it is for AMD, it is still useful.

buffbiff21
06-01-07, 06:45 PM
When I underclock, can I safely set the values (like FSB) down to whatever I want it to (to achieve not less than default speed), or do I need to do this incrementally?
when you underclock you dont need to do it incrementally..



Stock meaning I do not overclock my RAM?
I want 4GB (4 sticks) and not only 2, and the memory will be the 2nd 800MHz option in my first post (good specs and not expensive), which will be fast enough to include my overclock, so will I able to overclock with 4GB the same way I will be able with 2GB, or at least overclock the Q6600 about 600MHz more with 4GB?
You can still overclock the CPU if you leave memory stock, 800MHz.



What programs should I use for stress/stability test each small OC?
SuperPI - 1 hour
and then Orthos for a whole day (24 hours)? can I use the computer while it tests?
Should I run Prime95 as well?
Run a 1mb PI test for a quick stability test (a matter of seconds..). THEN run 24hr Orthos. Yes you can use the comp while it tests. Don't bother with Prime95.

1:1 FSB:RAM sync when overclocking - can you explain how I ensure the FSB and RAM is always in 1:1 sync?
run RAM twice the real FSB (not the rated 1066 FSB)

buffbiff21
06-01-07, 06:47 PM
Once I reach a stable overclock, can I then underclock, and then overclock to that stable overclock I reached in the past with no worries?
Yes, no worries.. settings are easily reverted.

About the FSB RAM ratio: In a case where I have a 1066MHz CPU FSB speed, and 800MHz memory, what will the ratio be?
2:3 (266:400)

Having a CPU with 1066MHz FSB, how much will it matter if I have memory of 800MHz (not a 1:1 ratio) or 1000 MHz (1:1 ratio)? what will a the non 1:1 ratio option (800MHz) affect and will it be much of an effect? Also will that difference will be the same if I overclock a bit or overclock much?
Well, number one, having memory at 1000 MHz *while having CPU at 266FSB* would massively overclock the memory controller.. That is not 1:1, it is an async upclock.
And you won't notice a big difference if you run faster RAM... Conroes don't do too much to take advantage of the extra bandwidth if running async upclock.

Do 1000MHz memory and 1066MHz memory both run at 1:1 ratio with 1066 effective CPU FSB?
Not sure what the question is.

buffbiff21
06-01-07, 06:53 PM
Just a few more questions...

So I shouldn't be worried about "always use 1:1 FSB:RAM sync when overclocking" saying? 4:3 is just as good?
4:3 is bad, that's starving the FSB. if you mean 3:4, then it's just flooding the FSB. You have VERY very small gains in performance by running higher RAM speed than the FSB.

In fact, it will place strain on the memory controller if you are running RAM at a higher speed, because it requires buffering and this introduces latencies.

from the article about overclocking:
"For long term stability, IE computers that are going to be running for more than 2 years or so with a load most of the time, overclocking is not a good idea"
Hmm is this true? I mean with a pretty small overclock and good cooler, is this statement still stands?
Not true. If you are shooting LOADS of voltage into your CPU, then potentially it will reduce lifespan.. but essentially you won't lose much if you just increase the clock frequency.

"There is the possibility that overclocking will corrupt data"
I assume this is meant for data on the Hard Disks? When should I worry about that at all? I mean I only overclock the CPU?
Given that memory and CPU pull data from the hard disk in order to execute and process, there is a (extremely unlikely) chance that you will get a rounding error with data that will store itself on the disk; even moreso rare that will actually corrupt important data such as registry keys or anything in the Windows folder. (someone correct me if im wrong.. ive never had this happen myself so i cannot be 100% certain)


How true is this for todays hardware (what I will buy), and how do I know if I "run the PCI bus out of spec", is this happening when raising the FSB (overclocking) or how? Should I worry about this?
No need to worry. That is talking about overclocking things (PCI frequency..) that are not the CPU and RAM.

And about how to check the temperatures, how do I know the real temperature for each core? check this (http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showpost.php?p=2223360&postcount=6) post for why I ask this. And does it matter which program I use, will each show me different results?

Thanks
All the programs will show different temperatures. Just go by the median or so; that should be accurate enough. Make sure you don't exceed ~60C under full load. (Kentsfields have higher thermal limits.. so you can probably go up to 65 or so)