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Mistake in getting 3700 for 3.2C?


darrylr

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I am a newbie at OC'ing and the latest RAM tech so bear with me. I recently upgraded to a P4 3.2C in an Asus P4C-800DX-E MB. I was planning to get 1GB of the TWINX 3200LL RAM. The day I got my parts they didn't have that RAM in stock but had the TWINX 3700. Not knowing any better I thought that it would be just as good or better and I got it instead of waiting to get the 3200LL ordered in. After reading some more the last few days it seems the 3700 is probably slower than the 3200LL would be since I not OC'ing at all and running standard 200 FSB on my 3.2C. I may be able to take advantage of the 3700 better if I up the FSB. I have tried some different combinations in the BIOS including both the simple +XX% OC'ing options and some manual FSB settings. I have been able to get my system to boot and Windows (XP) to run ok by choosing +10% OC or setting the FSB to 220 (I think these 2 settings are pretty much the same). I am able though to get my system to hang while running 220 by doing intensive filters in Photoshop. I am running just stock cooling including a single chassis fan. How fast is the 3.2C capable of running? I understand that the 3700 RAM is capable of running at 466 Mhz (233 FSB I believe). I cannot get the system to boot at anything over 220. Are there other things I should be trying? Should I just give up and live with the fact that I bought the wrong RAM for my system? How much of a difference am I going to having running the 3700 at 200 FSB compared to if I had the 3200LL? Is it huge? I am happy with the performance of the system but I feel now a little disappointed that I didn't get the best I could get for the $$'s since the 3700 was the same price as the 3200LL would have been. My system is used about 50/50 for 3D gaming and Photoshop/Digital Video editing. Thanks for any advice. -Darryl
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Mistake? Sort of but not really :confused: The LL RAM is awesome RAM but the PC3700 has its strong points too. You would benefit more from the LL advantages with an AMD based rig than you will on an equivalent Intel based rig. But, the PC3700 will OC very well so just run it as fast as you can with the system stable. The 3.2c is not an awesome OCer CPU (as you noticed) but, you should be able to get it to 220mhz or so stable with a bit of tweaking. And, most likely you would not have gotten the PC3200LL at or above 220mhz so the PC3700 is good there. The RAM bandwidth and the overall CPU speed will help greatly with the video intensive tasks like the encoding and compression. Good luck, Mike.
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Thanks for the information. I am starting to understand this all a little better now but I am still confused on a few things. One is CPU temperature. I have using the Asus Probe utility that came with my board. I am getting a little concerned with what I am reading compared to what I was seeing in the Asus utility. From my reading today it seems that the CPU temp going over 50 or 60 C is very high and not a good idea. I am sure I was seeing this last night even when using standard settings (400 FSB and everything default). In the Asus probe tool I usually see the CPU temp around 44 C when the system is completely idle. When running intensive tasks it seems to top out at 66 C. When I had the FSB at 410 or 420 I was seeing an idel temp around 48 C. Is something very wrong here or was I misreading today? The other confusion is around the voltage settings. I think I am right in assuming that Vdim is the same thing as DDR Reference voltage in the Asus BIOS. I have read the recommendations and tried changing that to 2.75V. It didn't seem to help with my OC problems. My real problem is with Vcore. I have read that I can increase this but not go above 1.6V or so. It is strange but I am sure the Vcore setting options in my BIOS are all above that. I think the lowest one is 1.6V or more. This sounds so wrong - I am confused. Any ideas? I am running the 1015 BIOS on the MB btw. Thanks, -Darryl
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The temps do look a tiny bit high compared to the 2.4c and 2.6c that I have but, that's not apples and oranges. The temps you have listed are actually fine so don't sweat them. And, they should go down just a tiny bit with usage as the system gets broken in. If you are not satisfied with the temps after another 30 days of usage, look into some aftermarket cooling. Your CPU will protect itself if it goes to 70c so just watch your temps and hopefully they will go down. Your voltage settings on the Asus will fluctuate a bit as the board seems to have a tendency to overvolt at idle and then drop a bit to the actual setting under load. As long as you have not manually set the Vcore to more than about 1.6v-1.675v you should be OK. However, I would not go with any higher than 1.6v with the stock cooling. And, NEVER over 1.7v. Your Vdimm is also DDRv, it is just worded a bit different in the AMI/Asus bios. The 2.75v is fine for the DDR although I have heard that it does not help the PC3700 as the PC3700 is made with ICs that have voltage regulation. Mike.
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Thanks a lot for your help specmike!! I feel MUCH better now. I came home from work and starting checking stuff out in my case. I removed the heatsink/fan and put it back on again. Maybe it wasn't snapped down 100% tight or aligned correctly before. This time I actually flipped it around 180 degrees and put it on the opposite direction. I then rebooted and went into the BIOS. I set it at 220 FSB with Vcore at 1.5875V and Vdim at 2.75V. I have the RAM at 3-4-4-8. I load up XP and voila my idle CPU temp is around 36-38C. Everything works great. I did some testing with Photoshop and other digital photo processing and it runs very fast without problems. I also have run the prime95 stress test for almost 2 hours now without problems. The MB temp seems to top out at 52 or 53C with prime95 running. My core voltage stays in the 1.52-1.62V range (usually around 1.52V). I seem to get a 25% increase in processing power on my digital photo processing compared to running at 200 FSB 3.2Ghz. What used to take 89 seconds at 200 takes about 69 seconds at 220 FSB. I was suprised that it was that much but I am happy. I tried running at 233 FSB and 230 FSB but it wouldn't boot or if it did it wouldn't last long in XP. I guess if I was going to get that work I would have to raise my Vcore up more and add some more cooling? For now I am quite happy with a 25% improvement over 200 FSB. Considering my previous PC was a P3 667 I am very impressed. BTW - I figured out my problem with finding the Vcore settings. The values in my BIOS are in 2 pages and the bottom of the first page is 1.60 or 1.70. Once I realized it was 2 pages I scrolled it down I saw the other lower values. -Darryl ( A Happy camper)
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