My own bad run-in with Soltek
Just thought I'd post about this, finally, to get it off my chest.
A couple of weeks ago, I had saved up some cash from side jobs to buy a new NForce2 mobo and some nice rounded PATA cabling. I decided to wait till the latest NCIX newsletter landed in my Inbox on a Sunday, and then ordered a Soltek 75FRN2-L for 89.95 CDN. My whole order, taxes and shipping in, for that board and 2 nice 18" rounded black PATA cables came to 133 CDN. Not bad at all, I say.
I got the board home and after backing up my **** to the G/F's comp... got to ripping out the venerable (3 month old at that!) Asus A7V8X-X board. I love that board, but I wanted 2.4GHz really bad, and being held up @ 2.25GHz (12.5x180) was starting to annoy me. WAY too many people had my class of 2500+s @ 2.4 on air and 1.85-1.9 Vcore (week 33, AQXEA), and I was bound and determined to get there. Note: a week after I threw in the towel, a good friend of mine in Toronto got his nice new week 38 Barton 2500+ to 2.4 GHz on air (11x215) @ stock Vcore. How stable it is, I don't know. Yet. I will make a point of finding out. He has a latest-run Abit NF7-S (2.0).
I got the Soltek in, got the Barton 2500+ to stock settings, and installed Windows. All good. Memory settings on the nice generic Samsung DDR400 were relaxed for max compatibility, and the memory was being run downclocked @ 333 for installation purposes.
Once I got Windows installed, the first thing I did was to install SpeedFan. I allowed a few hours of burn-in for the thermal grease to settle (OCZ Ultra 2, and regardless of the fiasco currently, it works), and checked my idle temps. Everything was reporting 5-6C higher than the Asus. Wrote it off to a new setup. What was really disturbing at first was the fact my 12V rail was reporting anywhere from 11.25V to 11.65V. On the Asus, I was ALWAYS from 12.10V to 12.35V. No exceptions. All other voltages were fine.
The next day, after idling the system all night to see about major glaring instabilities (there were none), I proceeded to begin OCing the system.
The first thing I did was exactly what NCIX always does with one of their pre-fab kits: raised the FSB to 200 and synched the RAM with the system (rather, left it synched). The system booted into windows @ stock Vcore, but was unstable for any real processing duties. Fine. Rebooted, cranked the Vcore to 1.75 and rebooted again. Got into Windows, and it was stable. Now, I'm much better off for memory bandwidth on the Soltek, but technically slower for what matters to me. So, I begin to crank the FSB. 11x205 for 2255 MHz was totally unstable, even @ 1.85 Vcore for any processing duties other than "sit there and stare at your desktop".
I became slightly upset at this point and proceeded to crank the multi to 11.5 and dropped the FSB to 200, while lowering the Vcore to 1.80, fearing picky RAM. More of the same. Failed prime95, PiFast, Cinebench 2003, etc.
Dropped the CPU speed back down to 2200 and nothing would stabilize. NOTHING. Failed Prime95 @ 166 MHz on the memory. Went to my old stomping grounds of 12.5 x 180 and benched. Everything crashed or errored out with messages, including Prime95. Fun, eh?
I finally bit the bullet and re-installed the Asus board, wiped clean and started again, and now I've been running for 2 weeks @ 12.5x180, 1.80 Vcore (with indications I can go to 1.75 and save 2-3C max temp), with no failures anywhere.
This didn't disrupt my love of overclocking. Rather, it illuminated the following two points:
1) - I'm waiting to build a socket 754 AMD64 box.
2) - That box, no matter the chipset, will have an Asus board.
Comments, suggestions, similar experiences?
My equipment for the rig at all times was the following:
NCI SL-9030KL 17" case, modded as detailed below
AMD XP 2500+ Barton, week 33, AQXEA
Thermaltake Volcano 9+ HSF, OCZ Ultra 2 thermal grease
Thermaltake Silent PurePower 420W PSU, dual auto-speed fans
ATI Raedon 8500LE 128Mb DDR video card
Maxtor 40GB ATA133 7200RPM HD, 2MB cache
LG 52x32x52 CD-RW
Pioneer 16x DVD-ROM
1 x 105mm Compaq SilentCool (not really silent, trust me!) intake fan custom mounted on the left side panel
2 x 80mm Sunon exhaust fans mounted in provided rear ports
Sound and LAN were provided by each board.
I've decided to add an URL to the final Asus-run product, as it runs now, both with and without case. Kinda messy, but better than it was before the re-org for sure.
Without side panel: http://home.cogeco.ca/~aweichel/pics...rov35small.jpg
All put together:
I got pie!!!
why can't you go above 180 on the asus? I'm running my barton at 190x12.5 on 1.72 volts. temps at 37c. sure your memory is pc3200?
Life is a bowl of cherries
Ammok, are you using an a7n8x? Logan is using an a7v8x which will only officially do 333fsb on the cpu.
On both boards, I could NEVER get the Barton stable @ 2.3GHz.
When I was using the Soltek board, I was using Samsung DDR400 RAM. It should have run @ 11.5x200 easily, at around 1.75 or 1.8 core, but it wouldn't. Not one bit.
It might just be my processor, but if I'm limited to 2250Mhz, so be it. A 420MHz OC is still decent.
However, my main issue is that I ran at least 4C hotter, and that it said my 12V rail is ****. Damewaring home right now, I can see that my 12V rail is currently @ 12.29V.
I don't see why the Ultra 400 chipset can drop a 420W PSU down to 11.5 and lower on the 12V rail when an OCed KT400a sits @ 12.15-12.35V. It doesn't make sense. Plus, with all that cooling, why the constant reboots?
It doesn't matter in the end. My last 32-bit system was this one. My next one will be an Athlon64 system.
I got pie!!!
Don't know about the voltage drop, but at least the chip reached its heights and a 2250 not a bad overclock at all. might have summit to do with the via chip set, but i wouldn't have thought so.
Mine has a great whopping slk800 on it with a papst fan keeping it cool, but it does overheat when gaming sometimes.
Life is a bowl of cherries