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Overclocks fine, but there are some problems. Ideas?

Discussion in 'Overclocking' started by Frank Weston, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. Frank Weston

    Frank Weston Guest

    ASUS P4P Deluxe
    P4 2.8 at 240 FSB
    2 sticks, 512K OCZ PC 3700 memory, 1:1 divider, 2.5,4,4,7
    Radeon 9800 Pro
    Samsung 172T LCD monitor

    In this configuration, the system runs fine, except for random vertical
    lines in some games and in some parts of 3DMk2003. Some examples: Video is
    good in BF1942 and Counter-Strike(Open GL and DirectX), but poor in Ghost
    Recon, and America's Army.

    I have tried all sorts of adjustments to the video card, Direct-X, and every
    other setting I can think of and still the vertical lines persist.

    When I change the memory divider to 4:5, the video problems go away.
    Everything looks fine and runs smoothly. Why should slowing the memory down
    have an affect on video quality in some applications? Is the problem with
    the games or with my system? Is it the LCD monitor (tried different refresh
    rates, vsync on and off)?

    Any ideas? I'd really like to run the memory at 1:1, and I'm hoping there's
    something I've overlooked or a setting I can tweak.

    Frank Weston, Sep 8, 2003
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  2. 3700 / 16 = 231MHz thus your memory is slightly overclocked on an already
    fast rating - have you tried backing off your timings a little to see if the
    problem goes away..? Say 3-4-4-8...

    Also try running Memtest86 'all tests' set - if it gets through a few passes
    without any errors then neither the chipset memory controllers nor the
    memory itself are the cause of your problem IMO. A single pass of the full
    11 test suite will take quite a while to run with 1GB of memory, around 3~4
    hours anyways. (Memtest86 / 'C' / '2' / 'All' / [Enter] for the full 11
    test suite.)


    Nick M V Salmon, Sep 8, 2003
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  3. Frank Weston

    Frank Weston Guest

    Interestingly, I've tried the memory 1:1 at FSB 231, and I still get the
    video problems.

    At 240 FSB and 1:1, the system tests fine, runs Prime95 forever, but just
    has video problems in certain games.


    Frank Weston, Sep 8, 2003
  4. Maybe the Northbridge runs hotter with the memory at 1:1 than with the
    memory at 4:5 and the first overheating errors that show up are AGP port
    related..? Just guessing really but it does seem most likely to be a
    Northbridge problem IMO - how good is the Northbridge cooler..? How do
    Northbridge temps compare with memory at 1:1 & 4:5 whilst gaming..?

    Do you have 'fast writes' disabled in BIOS..? That one's a common factor
    with any instability & it doesn't reduce performance by any much disabling

    Driver problems with certain games..? (Seems unlikely but.......)



    Nick M V Salmon, Sep 9, 2003
  5. Frank Weston

    Frank Weston Guest

    The Northbridge is not the problem. I've got a fan on it, but it's pretty
    cool anyway. I've run it with and without the fan and the results are the

    Fast write is off, and I've used both the Catalyst and the Omega drivers
    with the same result.

    Even running at a little over PC3700 spec, everything runs fine, it's just
    the video in some games and in some parts of 3DMk2003 that's bad. All games
    run and 3DMk2003 completes and gives results at 1:1 and FSB 240.

    It appears that when memory operates at anything more than about PC3500
    spec, there's a problem with the CPU contribution to video processing. In
    3DMK2003, at 240 and 1:1, all the CPU intensive tests are poor, and most of
    the other tests look OK. At 240 and 4:5, everything is OK.

    I'm out of ideas.

    Frank Weston, Sep 9, 2003
  6. Frank Weston

    Joe Guest

    That could be an indication that the heatsink is not adhered properly.
    Joe, Sep 9, 2003
  7. When doing AGP graphics you've got the AGP port accessing memory along with the
    CPU and it sounds like the memory is on the hairy edge and can't handle the
    double load.
    David Maynard, Sep 9, 2003
  8. Frank Weston

    Frank Weston Guest

    Been there, done that.....

    The Northbridge heatsink and thermal pad were removed, cleaned, honed, and
    the pad replaced with a good thermal paste. Fan was added. Believe me,
    it's on there right.
    Frank Weston, Sep 9, 2003
  9. Frank Weston

    Frank Weston Guest

    Even with the memory backed off to way below the "hairy edge", there are
    still problems. I'm going to swap monitors and see if the problem is with
    the LCD.
    Frank Weston, Sep 9, 2003
  10. Frank Weston

    RayM Guest

    Looks like I'm not alone. I am facing exactly the same problem with the same
    motherboard but running MSI GeForce MX440 AGP 8X graphics card. The problem
    started to surface when P4 2.4G (800MHz FSB) overclocked to above 2.64G. All
    setting were at defaults, CPU core voltage, DDR at 400MHz, AGP 66.66MHz etc.

    I don't think there is any problem with the monitor.
    RayM, Sep 9, 2003
  11. Frank Weston

    Frank Weston Guest

    Hmmm? Looks like it's definitely not the video card and probably something
    to do with the way the motherboard handles memory running faster than about
    PC3500. Your setup and mine both start to have problems when we hit that
    speed. What's the link between memory buss speed and video processing?

    OK, here's another clue.

    When I fiddle with the display settings in America's Army, I can turn off
    "projectors". When I do this, the display is fine. So, here's the list of
    NO problem applications:

    Half-Life - both Open GL and 3D3
    America's Army with "projectors" turned off
    3DMK2003 in all tests not CPU driven

    Here's the list of problems:

    Ghost Recon
    America's Army with "projectors" turned on
    3DMK2003 in CPU tests
    Frank Weston, Sep 9, 2003
  12. 3D apps are rarely stopped dead by a few artifacts in my experience. The
    VIA KT333 chipset produced video artifacts (even in BIOS) at anything much
    above 200MHz FSB (I do know that one didn't lock at 66MHz) but you could
    still run various benchmarks at up to about 225MHz if your memory could
    handle it...

    If the CPU is solid in Prime95 (FPU) & one of the longer SuperPi (Integer)
    tests (eg. 16M) then it shouldn't be a problem for anything else - those two
    work almost all, if not 100%, of the CPU very hard...

    Me too I guess, good luck...


    Nick M V Salmon, Sep 9, 2003
  13. Can you test with the memory running faster than FSB & push only the memory
    to 240MHz..? That way it would narrow the fault down to the memory
    subsystem if you still get video artifacts...

    Nick M V Salmon, Sep 9, 2003
  14. Frank Weston

    Frank Weston Guest

    No, but I can and have found the CPU limits by running the memory at a 2:3
    divider and slowly upping the FSB. The CPU limit is about 3.4 Ghz, or about
    243 FSB, which is typical for my setup.

    Next, with the divider at 1:1, I slowly increase FSB from 200 (stock) until
    I get video problems, which occur at 220FSB. That pretty much tells me that
    the problem is memory bus speed related, but not necessarily the memory
    itself (since the memory itself tests fine at much higher speeds). Others
    have reported similar problems at about this same speed, so I'm now
    guessing it's somehow a limitation of the motherboard.
    Frank Weston, Sep 9, 2003
  15. Do you lose much bandwidth running that chipset asynchronous 2:3..? (Aren't
    there any better dividers than that, like 5:6 or something..?) You're
    losing a lot of raw CPU speed running at only 220 (3.08GHz) instead of the
    max 243 FSB. (3.4GHz)

    Hmmnn - just re-read your first post and you have a 5:4 divider - does that
    cause much of a loss in 'real world' performance..?

    Anyways, it does sound like a motherboard problem if a lot of other folks
    are reporting the same thing. Strange though - lots of folks running Intel
    865 chipset mobos faster than that with lower end CPUs - maybe there's some
    oddity in Asus' construction or BIOS...


    Nick M V Salmon, Sep 10, 2003
  16. Frank Weston

    Frank Weston Guest

    I've been running at a 4:5 divider with FSB 243, and everything works fine.
    Actually, I'm not losing a lot of memory bandwidth with this setup, but I'd
    just like to get the last ounce of performance I can, and the only thing
    that seems to prevent running 1:1 is the video artifacts in some games. The
    only dividers available are 1:1, 4:5 and 2:3. There is also an "auto" mode,
    but who knows what that does?

    Yes, I've got a few questions submitted to Asus, but no responses yet. If I
    ever figure out an answer, I'll post it here.
    Frank Weston, Sep 10, 2003
  17. Sounds good, P4 is pretty well fed with DC-DDR at anything near 200MHz from
    what I have read. NForce2 also loses a little bandwidth using 'memory
    slowdown' dividers. (Although it ought not to lose anything with the excess
    memory bandwidth available from DC-DDR compared to the SC-DDR Athlon bus.)

    Heh, that last 2% always seems to be more valuable than the 'freebie' 22%
    you've already got from overclocking the CPU. ;-) I often 'tweak' one or
    another of my SETI farm machines & lose so much work during stability
    testing that it would take a full year to gain the lost work back from any
    small speed gain I made - tweaking that last little dribble of extra
    performance is part of the fun for me though.

    'Be happy with what you've got', to paraphrase another poster, is a sane
    viewpoint but who ever accused me of being sane..? :eek:)

    Probably the same as 'By SPD' on the Abit NF7-S. Eg. if you're running a
    200FSB CPU with PC2700 (166MHz) it would automaticaly set the divider at
    4:5 - that's a weird divider though, 5:6 would be more appropriate...

    I'll be interested to hear if you do find a fix - I never found anything to
    help any of my five KT333 boards run at much over 200MHz FSB with stable
    graphics though, so I just live with it. Anyways, I've run almost
    exlusively AMD these last three years but the SETI work throughput of an
    800FSB hyperthreading P4 is so phenomenal I may be tempted back 'across the
    fence' again for my next box - especially with Opteron and Athlon64 prices
    so high...


    Nick M V Salmon, Sep 10, 2003
  18. Frank Weston

    Frank Weston Guest

    I was a dedicated AMD fan and had been for years up until a few months ago
    when I decided to give Intel a try. I haven't regretted my decision for a
    minute. My 2.8 P4 has been a very steady performer and at 3.4 Ghz, it's
    Frank Weston, Sep 10, 2003
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