Corsair RAM issues on newly OC'ed Venice 3000+

Serpentor

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May 25, 2001
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I just assembled my rig last night, A64 Venice 3000+ paired with a Gigabyte K8NS Ultra (F6 bios) and 1GB of Corsair Value (2x512). I can't believe how cheap everything was, $150 for the retail chip, $59 for the OEM/refurb motherboard, and $77 for the RAM, all from Newegg (god bless those guys).

So I started the HTT test and got up to 325 fine (AGP @ 67). Anything past 325, and CPU-Z would show me going back to 202mhz in XP (I can't explain why..)

I then did the CPU test, and at 1.55v, was able to load XP fine at 2750mhz(!). A blazing 53% overclock on a $150 chip on stock air cooling, unbelievable. It was a little quirky at such speeds, so I settled back on 2709mhz (301x9) which ran Prime95 torture test with A/C off all night w/no problems (on my ancient Antec case and 300w).

The RAM is the only part that didn't work out quite well. At 301x2:3(133), the RAM would be running slightly below spec, 193.5mhz according to the script. I'm not sure how the script calculates that figure, because last time I checked, 2/3rds of 301 = 200.67mhz...

Regardless, I wasn't expecting to hit any bottlenecks running the RAM at spec or slightly below, however, the rig would freeze at POST with the 133 divider selected. I tried slowing the timings to 3cas and upping the voltage +.2V (both of which should not be necessary to run the RAM at spec I imagine..) and neither worked as well. With the CPU and HTT at stock speeds, the RAM worked fine at stock DDR400. What am I overlooking? thanks!

Note: I'm running an older Antec 300w power supply and have not disabled cool-n-quiet, if either of those may be RAM-hindering factors.

(also, sorry for the extreme newb q, but which program does everyone use to check temps in XP? I thought it was CPU-Z but I don't see temp #s, looking for a program similar to MSI's CoreCenter, or should I just use CoreCenter on my gigabyte board?)
 

Mrvile

Lifer
Oct 16, 2004
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Ok.

First, how were you able to OC your CPU when your ram doesn't even POST at those speeds? You say you had your OC at 301 x 9, which doesn't make sense because your ram apparently doesn't POST at 301?

Also, I try to not run my ram at 133...it's always 166 or 200 for me. Then again, I have those two extra multipliers plus the faster ram...
 

Serpentor

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May 25, 2001
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Sorry, I forgot to mention I followed Zebo's guide to a T, kept the RAM at 100 for all the other tests, which is how it was able to post at 301x9. I tried to bring it up last after everything PRIME'd fine, just hoping for stock DDR400 or as close as possible since I don't have much power to spare comng from the 300w.
 

11427

Senior member
May 9, 2003
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I'd suggest disabling cool&quiet, cut HTT back to 3 and probably run the ram at 166 and something like 2.5, 4, 4, 8 and 2T and see what it does.
 

Serpentor

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May 25, 2001
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Originally posted by: 11427
I'd suggest disabling cool&quiet, cut HTT back to 3 and probably run the ram at 166 and something like 2.5, 4, 4, 8 and 2T and see what it does.

You mean take HTT back to 300? At 166(5:6), my RAM would be at 249. (sorry if I'm way off, I just got caught up on 4 years of OC'ing in one night)
 

11427

Senior member
May 9, 2003
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Uh,.. no,... sorry. Different boards call it different things. I thought the Gigabyte boards called it HTT. Anyway not the CPU bus, but the Hyper Transport Multiplier, or maybe the Gigabyte is calling it the HT Frequency. In any case you should see it as 5X, 4X, 3X etc. etc.
 

Serpentor

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May 25, 2001
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Originally posted by: 11427
Uh,.. no,... sorry. Different boards call it different things. I thought the Gigabyte boards called it HTT. Anyway not the CPU bus, but the Hyper Transport Multiplier, or maybe the Gigabyte is calling it the HT Frequency. In any case you should see it as 5X, 4X, 3X etc. etc.


Yes is does have the 3x,4x,5x HT settings. Zebo's guide uses "HTT" and "FSB" interchangeably, so when you said "HTT" I assumed you meant FSB and not HT.

Ok, so I just got back and tried a few more settings. The RAM cleared memtest fine at 225mhz (DDR450). The bus is fine up to 325, and chip up to 2740 or so. So when I combine the 3 in the best manner possible (9x301x2:3) I'm running the chip at 2709 and the RAM at 193. This does not POST. I have no idea why, since I already ascertained that the CPU, FSB, and RAM can all easily achieve those speeds independently.

I checked and have no BIOS option for cool-n-quiet. Other than that, my only guess is the power supply maybe. Any thoughts?
 

Serpentor

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May 25, 2001
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Ok, I finally managed to get it load XP with 9x300x2:3 (RAM at 193). I had to set the RAM to -exactly- 2.5-4-3-8 to get it to behave. Now Prime95 small FFT torture is fine for any length of time, large FFT either halts in under 10 seconds or crashes altogether. Is this just crappy RAM or what? And why would it be fine at 225mhz when the CPU is -not- overclocked? I thought maybe it was a lack of power (300w) and tried unplugging all extraneous drives and components and still it crashes Prime95 large FFT in seconds. I'm leading towards a bad batch of Corsair Value. Any ideas??
 

Serpentor

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May 25, 2001
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I've got the chip back down to 2100 and RAM at 225mhz(DDR450), now memtesting fine. This one really has me scratching my head..:confused:

Maybe the refurb board is the culprit? Someone has to have a theory..
 

Serpentor

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May 25, 2001
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*bump*

I only have a few days left to RMA the mobo if it's the culprit. Anyone have any ideas?

To reiterate, when tested independently, the chip is fine up to 2750, the FSB is fine up to 325, the RAM is fine up to 225.

When I combine all 3, (9x300) with a 2:3(133) mem divider and HT at 3x, the system hangs at BIOS or crashes XP, even though those speeds are below each component's tested maximum (vcore 1.55 vdimm +.2v). I'm thinking the problem may lie with the refurb board, or the 133 divider. Suggestions/theories appreciated.
 

imported_wyrmrider

Senior member
Dec 6, 2004
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Have you plugged your values into the oc calculator?
(do a search)
have you looked up your board on a board enthuisast website
1T-2T?
AGP/ pci lock working?
power rails look good
temps ok?

the devil is in the details
all oc's are different as you are finding out

wyrmrider






 

Serpentor

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May 25, 2001
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I did use the script linked in Zebo's guide. RAM at 1T. AGP/PCI lock working as best as I can tell, because my KDS 19" CRT screeches like mad at me if the AGP is incorrectly clocked. Temps are fine.

I believe it has something to do with the memory bus, perhaps the divider or power consumption. The setup will work fine at 2:3(133) divider at 300FSB if I slow the RAM down below spec, like 3-4-4-8, but that shouldn't be neccesary since:

A - the RAM cleared memtest at 1:1 225mhz (stock 2.5-4-3-8) when the CPU was not overclocked

and

B - 2:3(133) at 300 is running the RAM below spec (192.85mhz), there shouldn't be a reason to -slow- the timings when running below 200mhz, if anything, the RAM should let me increase the timings.. :confused:

From the process of elimination, if the board works fine under normal clock, and can overclock the chip, FSB, and RAM fine independently, can we assume there's nothing wrong with the refurb mobo? I'd like to get that squared away first because my RMA window with newegg is only a couple days on refurbs..
 

furballi

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Apr 6, 2005
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300 MHz FSB @ 9x is usually the upper limit of the 3000. Most systems with value RAM will be stable up to 268 MHz FSB at 333 RAM. Dropping the RAM speed by one notch will cost you about 6 MHz FSB. At 133 RAM speed, you would break even at 286 MHz FSB.

Continue to increase Vcore up to about 1.650 as long as the max CPU temp does not exceed 60C. I don't see any problem with your system. Notice that you can go from 200 to 250 MHz FSB with NO increase in Vcore. However, you'll probably need 1.5Vcore to run at 260 MHz FSB. Why? Because we're pushing the CPU beyond it's "nominal" working range...much more heat for a small gain in CPU clock speed.
 

Serpentor

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May 25, 2001
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Originally posted by: furballi
300 MHz FSB @ 9x is usually the upper limit of the 3000. Most systems with value RAM will be stable up to 268 MHz FSB at 333 RAM.

You mean using the 166 divider and maxing out the FSB at 268? That will only give me a CPU speed of 2412mhz. I thought CPU speed was king of all, and mine Prime's nicely at 2750. Thus, I'm willing to kill my RAM speed in order to achieve a 300FSB (or greater). Please let me know if my line of thinking is totally off base.

Right now I'm trying to lower my RAM timings enough to allow the 300FSB with the 133 divider, so far I've tried 3-6-6-8 at 2T, and yet still XP crashes..

Please let me know if I'm going completely down the wrong path. Should I just accept a far lower CPU speed, lower FSB speed, and just work on tweaking the RAM timings? I know the RAM can hit 230mhz at 1:1 bus.
 

Serpentor

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May 25, 2001
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Prime torturing fine at 293FSB, 9x, 2645mhz cpu, RAM 2.5-3-3-8, 133 divider, only mem speed 189mhz.. I think maybe we have found our happy medium (as I was just typing that, Prime torture fataled, lol..)
 

furballi

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Apr 6, 2005
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268 MHz FSB with 5:6 memory divider (333 MHz). If you drop the RAM speed one notch down to 266 MHz, then you will need to bump up the FSB by about 6 MHz to compensate for the slower RAM.

For example, 268 MHz FSB with 333 MHz RAM will be equivalent to 274 MHz FSB with 266 MHz RAM. This would apply to a 9x CPU multiplier. In addition, if you have to bump up the RAM's latency to run at higher FSB, then you will see more speed drop...2.5-3-3-8-1T to 3-4-4-8-2T.

A good way to test for improvement is to run SUPER PI up to about 1M digits. My Winchester 3000 with 268 FSB, 9x multiplier, 333 MHz RAM speed, and 2.5-3-3-8-1T can finish this calculation in 35 seconds. If I drop to 266 MHz RAM speed, then the time will increase to 37 seconds.

If you're lucky, then the Corsair Value RAM is good up to about 215 MHz at 1:1 memory divider (400 MHz).

 

Serpentor

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May 25, 2001
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Ok, right now I'm running stable at 9x, cpu 2636mhz, 292FSB, 133mem divider, RAM timings at 2.5-3-3-8 1T. Should I settle for this? I know the bus & chip can go much higher. I know the RAM can push 230 1:1 (which is quite good for value RAM from what I hear). Is there any setup I can do to push a little more performance out of the system?

 

furballi

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Apr 6, 2005
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It will cost you some speed any time you have to drop down to a lower memory divider. If you cannot increase the FSB by at least 7 MHz, then it's best to stay at the current memory divider (for AMD 64 3000).

The sweet spot for most 3000 is around 2.4 to 2.5 GHz. Higher speed will result in more heat and less stability. The life of the CPU will also drop with higher core temp. It's best not to exceed 55C core CPU temp.
 

Serpentor

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May 25, 2001
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Brief update

I brought my case home this weekend to try on my brother's 350W PS (not a giant leap from my 300W I know..). Upon arrival and installation, the system would no longer post, the BIOS would briefly flash, but before it even detected the RAM, it would restart in an endless loop. Flashed the CMOS, no help. No problem I thought, just reinstall in my Antec case, but same issue.. So I figured the ride up (120miles) right after running Prime95 straight for 36 hours might've been a bad idea (overheated transistors somewhere in the mobo/chip not too happy with bumpy roads) and that I might be dealing with a dead mobo or chip.

I got back home last night and tried it again for the heck of it (after it had a long rest) and low and behold it works again.. Except to add even more variables to this quirky OC'ing 'adventure', the system no longer loads XP in 305x9x1:2 as it long had (and Primed for 36 hours on). Loading XP at that level now causes a hard reset. 300x9x1:2 works fine..

Putting all the variables together, I can only assume it's either an under-powered and dying power supply and/or a flakey refurb motherboard issue. I ordered this case last night, generic 480-watt PS I know, but should be enough to get the job done, and I dig the case design and LCD thermal sensors. Hopefully it should be here by week's end and we can safely take power out of the equation. My RMA on the giga board has 10 days left, so if it flakes out on the new case, then I'm sending it back to refurb hell and going brand-new, probably NF4 Ultra/PCIe as my Gi4200 won't quite cut Battlefield 2 from what I hear..

(some of my previous updates were in a threadjack, so I went back to my original thread)
 

Gloryfieldzi

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Mar 22, 2003
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excuse me, but you know that the " 480 w "ps is worse than a 250-300 w ps from sparkle/fortron ? I mean bbq, 15A on 12V is just, WOW
 

Serpentor

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May 25, 2001
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Originally posted by: gloryfieldzi
excuse me, but you know that the " 480 w "ps is worse than a 250-300 w ps from sparkle/fortron ? I mean bbq, 15A on 12V is just, WOW


True it might be a bit overkill, but I'm not going to split hairs over brandname vs generic. I've checked around, there is no shortage of A64 systems running fine on these types of cases/PS's, they suffice.
 

Serpentor

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May 25, 2001
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So I'm up and running on the new 480w beauty, however the problems still persist. The good news is that my chip now Prime's fine at 2800mhz (311x9x1:2), 1000mhz OC isn't bad for a $147 chip. :) The RAM on a 1:1 divider is happy at 230mhz, but if I even try to combine the two at 300x9 w/DDR333, no stability whatsoever still..

I'm really at a loss for what could be holding me back other than the refurbed K8NS (which probably needs the vdimm voltmod), so I'm sending it back to newegg this week and picking up the MSI K8N Neo4 (non platinum, I don't need all the extra bells & whistles). What's making this upgrade easier to stomach is the fact that Battlefield 2 won't work with my Ti4200, and while I'm upgrading both the motherboard and video card, I might as well go PCIe (which I probably should've done in the first place instead of cheapily trying to get by for a while on my 2 year old $99 Ti4200). Plus I'll need the extra horsepower at 1280x1024 when I finally ditch my KDS Avitron CRT and opt for the 8ms Samsung 930b.

For the video card, I'm leaning towards the ATI X800 XL for $249 (newegg sells a refurb X800 vanilla for $192, but I think the extra $60 for the XL is money well spent). I've been with nvidia since the TNT days, but I have a feeling nvidia played a card in this Battlefield 2 screwover (yes that's right, screwover, runs on an ATI 8500 and not a Ti4600, give me a break..). Therefore I'm giving beat-down ATI a chance for once, also the X800 XL is nearly on par with the 6800GT, which runs $100 more in the PCIe 256MB flavor ($250 vs $350).

Any comments pro or con on the motherboard and video card choices? thx
 

WhoKnowsWho

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Jul 2, 2005
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If you ever find a fix for the "combine it all, and it doesn't work" let me know, I'm getting the same thing! Venice 3000+, stable at 300x9 at 1.60V, HT stable up to 350, Corsair XMS mem stable at 1T-2-3-3-7 at only 215mHz and 2.9 V.

So I tried to do 326x8, would be 2565 and the memory at 213mHz, it will not post. Seperately, everything is fine, but together, no go. So I had to settle for 280x9 for 2520 but the memory is running on at 180mHz but with 1T-2-2-2-6 timings still.
 

Serpentor

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May 25, 2001
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Originally posted by: WhoKnowsWho
If you ever find a fix for the "combine it all, and it doesn't work" let me know, I'm getting the same thing! Venice 3000+, stable at 300x9 at 1.60V, HT stable up to 350, Corsair XMS mem stable at 1T-2-3-3-7 at only 215mHz and 2.9 V.

So I tried to do 326x8, would be 2565 and the memory at 213mHz, it will not post. Seperately, everything is fine, but together, no go. So I had to settle for 280x9 for 2520 but the memory is running on at 180mHz but with 1T-2-2-2-6 timings still.

I just got everything today and will hopefully be up and running tonight, I'll keep you posted if the MSI K8N is the saving grace..
 

WhoKnowsWho

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Jul 2, 2005
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I just got everything today and will hopefully be up and running tonight, I'll keep you posted if the MSI K8N is the saving grace..

I sure hope it isn't my motherboard, I have the Epox 9NPA Ultra, seemed to have some good reviews around the net. Good luck!