Posts Tagged ‘Asus’
More Overclocking, New RAM and 3DMark
I’ve bumped the system up to 400mHz FSB so I’m able to clock in at 3.2 at this point. I’m going to do some attempts at 420 after running at 400 for a few days and until I get my new RAM. I wanted to upgrade to 4GB of RAM and was looking at adding 2 more sticks of the Ballistix but rather than dropping $80 with a rebate for $25-30 I picked up 2x2GB of G-Skill for $80 shipped (no rebates) that seemed to be doing well with overclocking. So I am able to keep it to 2 sticks and only pay about $25-30 more and sell off the 2x1GB 1066’s or sell them with the E6600/P5W system. We’ll see how it does with the Maximus Formula but I as I said I’d rather run 2 sticks than 4 and it runs at a lower voltage than the Crucial.
The only thing I am concerned with at the moment is the north bridge temperatures which stays over 50c even at 333FSB but doesn’t go above 60c even at full load (4 Prime95’s running on each affinity). With it set at 400fsb and idle it’s 55c and still only goes up to around 60c on load. My other concern is that the DRAM voltage (even set to 2.22v in BIOS) is showing 2.27v in Asus Probe II and the DRAM Ref is at 1.14v. I’m hoping the new RAM will correct this but I need to do some posting on the NB temps.
At the present my 3DMark scores are up from 13,803 with the E6600/P5W to 17,552 (~22% increase) with the Q9450/Maximus Formula so I’m happy with the upgrade at this point. I can tell a difference in some apps like Photoshop on load times.
I ran 3DMark @1920×1200 and got the UPS beeping again, so it looks like I’m going to move the monitor to a normal surge for now and just pick up a second UPS for the monitor, residential gateway, switch and speakers since most of it’s just on a normal surge now.
The other thing that was kind of wild is watching 3DMark06 and seeing the speeds and remembering my original test that netted me a whopping 1,579 on my AMD 3500+ (non-64) with the x800 Pro! Still not bought Advantage that just released and not sure if I will in the foreseeable future. I’ll probably look at upgrading next year when the new Intel sockets are released and I do a full system overhaul…then again this upgrade felt that way on my wallet with the board/memory/proc weighing in at about $670 and video cards around $500 earlier this year.
Edit: UPS probable fix. I think I found what has been causing the beeping and I assume it’s the load on the battery. I had the normal surge protector on one of the battery plugs. What I assume is causing the issue is the Residential Gateway since (I’m guessing) the beeping started occurring after I got AT&T UVerse and probably about the time I got the 3870s (which is what baffled me before)…so it must have put an additional load (over the previously installed cable modem) on the UPS that it’s overloading the battery. I haven’t had an issue but then again power has been fine so far this year but summer is coming when I enjoy occasional outages. So my original idea of moving everything to a new one will still be the final plan.
I gave 410FSB a try as well and it didn’t go well. 3DMark06 bails out on the 2nd CPU test. I tried dropping the RAM to 985 since I had tried at 1093 (and reading that the Crucial is 800 with speed ratings of 1066, so it makes me wonder what it can do above 1066). It still crashed at 985 though so I’ll be content with the 400 until I can try the G-Skill to see if that assists even though it’s on the CPU test.
Initial Overclocking of the Q9450
I’m not that experienced with overclocking and with the P5W and my E6600 I just used one of the default settings that got me over 3gHz and I was happy. With the Q9450 and the Maximus Formula I tried some settings for 445FSB and had some failures but I’m still in the learning process of all of the voltage settings. I was able to successfully get it up to 3.04gHz using 380 (as opposed to the default of 2.66gHz @ 333FSB) and keeping the auto settings for the voltage. I did testing with Prime95 on all 4 cores for about 20 minutes with no issues.
It looks like it should be able to reach around 445FSB with voltage adjustments and I’ll go for that this weekend. I’m going to give the 380FSB / auto a test run in some games!
The Upgrade: Intel Q9450 & Asus Maximus Formula, Complete
I was happy that Intel hasn’t changed anything in their architecture for reading the RAID and the ICH7 built RAID was recognized on the new motherboard using ICH9. I also gave it a try of just booting into Windows but the drivers weren’t compatible so I did a “dirty” refresh of XP. I grabbed the ICH9 drivers and did an XP refresh install with the drivers, added the motherboard drivers and brought it up. So far it’s running very well without a complete rebuild. I’ve not oc’d it yet but Crossfire is working great and I ran a few rounds of flawless UT3. I’ve also had it running Folding@Home without issue the past 2 days.
I typically rebuild with new hardware but this one went so smooth (and I really don’t have the time to rebuilt right now and the build is about 2 months old) that I think I’m going to keep it for now. When I do a rebuild, I’ll probably (and I hate saying it) go to Vista 64 to fully utilize the 4gb of RAM among other things.
I do have to say that this was one of my easiest and most flawless upgrades. Typically there’s always some small stupid thing I miss, forget or there’s something hardware related causing issues. I dropped the chip on the board, added the ram, attached the Zalman 9700 (a dream to attach compared to the Tuniq Tower), plugged in connectors and it powered on. I finished up with the cards and was booted in no time.That’s not to say it didn’t come without irritation or scars. The biggest irritation is fitting video cards and cabling inside of cases these days and avoiding fans. Part of it could be my Apevia PSU, a part the Antec Nine Hundred’s layout and a final part how they are making motherboards these days. The motherboard is nice but I hate having the SATA connectors on the side of the board rather than on the surface. This is, for the most part, an enthusiast board but Asus makes some of the pieces more difficult for that same crowd that swaps hardware more often. Having a CMOS reset switch on the back is also nice. At least you can keep the case closed while doing OC testing.
I’ll toss some pictures up of the upgrade, more information and some analysis of performance and overclocking differences between this and the Intel E6600 and Asus P5W Deluxe tonight.
I also added the Intel NIC but not installed the other card in my server or started using the 3Com switch as of yet. I needed more than a 4 port switch (I don’t need my wireless router/switch with the Uverse RG) and I wanted gigabit so I went with the 3COM 3CGSU08. I’ll get those up tonight as well.
The Upgrade: Intel Q9450 & Asus Maximus Formula, Delay
I got the Zalman today but other things got in the way of doing the upgrade damn it! 😉 I hope to be up and running on the new system tomorrow night. I’m going to do some benchmarks and hopefully for the first time get something uploaded on here with the results. I had initially picked up the ZeroTherm based on the cooling and OC abilities but after seeing the fine print of how loud the fan was and that it also left metal fragments when screwing it in, I went with the Zalman 9700. While the reviews put it at the Zalman at the center of the pack, I’ve seen too many happy reviews about it and since the 9450 is 45nm it should do fine and it’s a bonus that it doesn’t throw metal fragments on the motherboard when installing.
We’ll see how the Q9450 and Formula compares to the E6600 & P5W later today. Until then….
The Upgrade: Intel Q9450 & Asus Maximus Formula
I picked up a Q9450 a while back when Micro Center had them for $300 and I finally added the Maximus Formula for the motherboard this week from NewEgg along with 2GB of Crucial Balistic 1066 RAM and a Zalman 9700 cooler. I’m going to replace the Tuniq Tower 120 that’s currently on my E6600 with the Zalman. While reviews put it center of the pack, I like it for a combination of cool and quiet. I had picked up a Therm cooler that I will send back after seeing the abismal reviews of how loud it is. It was placed at the top for overclocking but I also don’t want a buzz saw running constantly. The Tuniq is loud enough and I’m hoping the 45nm chip can do well with the $62 Zalman and I can add a side fan to my Antec 900 case to help but I think the case is incredibly cool even with the 2 3870’s.
The build shall begin this weekend… Stay tuned…