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  1. #1
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    Talking EX38-DS4, X3350 and 2x2GB overclocking problems

    Hello folks!
    It's been a while since i visited pcper.com but i finally got my new system together and started overclocking it yesterday and today.

    However i'm running into problems at just a very small overclock. Even 2.66Ghz -> 2.75Ghz (333Mhz FSB -> 344Mhz FSB) is unstable.

    I've tried a lower memory multiplier and a lower CPU multiplier and nothing changed so i would assume the chipset/mainboard is holding me back. I've tried increasing all voltages a little, but since you dont see what voltage you select in the BIOS, just how much voltage you add to the stock voltage (and i dont know the stock voltages) i have only tried small increases.

    So far i haven't found anything that has influence in the stability and i have a feeling i'm missing something, either some 'special' setting or tweak to get me going. If somebody could suggest some good BIOS settings i would really appreciate it.

    Thanks!
    Overclocking system:
    ASUS Rampage Formula (BIOS 0403)
    Xeon x3350 SLAX2 @ 8x475=3.8Ghz 1.29Vcore
    Dual Radiator (modded) Koolance EXOS with Zalman WB5 CPU block
    2 x 2GB OCZ Platinum PC8000 @ 950Mhz 5-5-5-18 1.8v
    Enermax NoiseTaker 600W
    ASUS GeForce 8800GTX @ 645/1645/1000

  2. #2
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    Re: EX38-DS4, X3350 and 2x2GB overclocking problems

    Disable CPU EIST and C1E in the bios (Enhanced Intel SpeedStep). These boards don't OC well if they are enabled.

    Disable Legacy USB support if you don't use it.

    Use the Control + F1 key combo to enable the extra bios options. Make sure to lock the PCI-E buss at 100.

    Leave mem set to auto but lower the mem multiplier to the lowest setting.

    You can find what the VID vcore for your specific cpu is by using CPU-Z. But I never have a problem seeing what the bios is setting the vcore at in any of the bios screens I've seen of these boards.
    R.I.P Brad (BWM). You will be missed.

  3. #3
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    Re: EX38-DS4, X3350 and 2x2GB overclocking problems

    Thanks for the reply!

    I have EIST and C1E disabled, i'll try the legacy USB support.

    I've tried the ctrl + F1 and the screen does 'refresh', but i dont see any different options. A friend of mine has an EP35 board and when you press ctrl + F1 on that board you also see UNDERvolt settings in the BIOS, i dont see those with my BIOS.

    I know my VCore, that's the only voltage where you do set the acctual voltage instead of how much voltage you add to the stock voltage. It's the other voltages i can't find out. (except DDR2 since i know that's 1.8v by default so i need to set it to +0.3v to get the 2.1v my memory sticks need)

    Overclocking system:
    ASUS Rampage Formula (BIOS 0403)
    Xeon x3350 SLAX2 @ 8x475=3.8Ghz 1.29Vcore
    Dual Radiator (modded) Koolance EXOS with Zalman WB5 CPU block
    2 x 2GB OCZ Platinum PC8000 @ 950Mhz 5-5-5-18 1.8v
    Enermax NoiseTaker 600W
    ASUS GeForce 8800GTX @ 645/1645/1000

  4. #4
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    Re: EX38-DS4, X3350 and 2x2GB overclocking problems

    When you first open the bios do the ctrl + f1. Then go to MIT section of the bios. If you do it while you are in the MIT section it doesn't unlock the additional options.

    I found this review of the EX38-DS4 that shows some of the bios screens that they did overclock.
    R.I.P Brad (BWM). You will be missed.

  5. #5
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    Re: EX38-DS4, X3350 and 2x2GB overclocking problems

    Quote Originally Posted by MrNovi View Post
    Disable CPU EIST and C1E in the bios (Enhanced Intel SpeedStep). These boards don't OC well if they are enabled.

    Disable Legacy USB support if you don't use it.

    Use the Control + F1 key combo to enable the extra bios options. Make sure to lock the PCI-E buss at 100.

    Leave mem set to auto but lower the mem multiplier to the lowest setting.

    You can find what the VID vcore for your specific cpu is by using CPU-Z. But I never have a problem seeing what the bios is setting the vcore at in any of the bios screens I've seen of these boards.
    I have been told that leaving memory on Auto is no good because board will change those settings on Auto to whatever it chooses. True or false?

    The board comes with Turbo as default setting, but for someone not wanting to overclock, should I change that to Standard or leave on Turbo?

    The board detected my memory settings accurately on Auto by default, also my FSB, but I am concerned about this Auto situation because of what I was told. Can I safely leave all my memory settings on Auto and board will not arbitrarily change them?

    Also, the manual states PCI-Express Frequency is 100 at default setting, so is there a need to manually change it?
    Last edited by JVM; 05-16-2008 at 07:06 PM. Reason: adding information

  6. #6
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    Re: EX38-DS4, X3350 and 2x2GB overclocking problems

    With the memory set to auto it will adjust the timings as needed to run at the specified speed. It won't change them unless it feels it needs to. When you start overclocking this will in fact make it easier as it takes the ram out of the equation to some extent. Once you max out the CPU and FSB you can see what timings it has selected for the ram and fine tune them, but at least you have some sort of baseline to start from. This has been the accepted practice on Gigabyte S775 boards for the past couple of years, at least as far back as the 965P chipset boards.

    Turbo is something you want to turn off when you start overclocking. Once you find out what other settings work you can try it to see if it gives you any additional performance boost or not.

    The PCI-E is indeed set to 100 by default, but if you don't manually set it to 100 it will go up as you raise the FSB. Setting it to 100 LOCKS it at that speed. Some people have had better luck setting it to 101 instead of 100, but it basically amounts to the same thing.

    Don
    R.I.P Brad (BWM). You will be missed.

  7. #7
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    Re: EX38-DS4, X3350 and 2x2GB overclocking problems

    Quote Originally Posted by MrNovi View Post
    With the memory set to auto it will adjust the timings as needed to run at the specified speed. It won't change them unless it feels it needs to. When you start overclocking this will in fact make it easier as it takes the ram out of the equation to some extent. Once you max out the CPU and FSB you can see what timings it has selected for the ram and fine tune them, but at least you have some sort of baseline to start from. This has been the accepted practice on Gigabyte S775 boards for the past couple of years, at least as far back as the 965P chipset boards.

    Turbo is something you want to turn off when you start overclocking. Once you find out what other settings work you can try it to see if it gives you any additional performance boost or not.

    The PCI-E is indeed set to 100 by default, but if you don't manually set it to 100 it will go up as you raise the FSB. Setting it to 100 LOCKS it at that speed. Some people have had better luck setting it to 101 instead of 100, but it basically amounts to the same thing.

    Don
    Don, but I don't want to overclock. Please refresh your answer knowing I do not want to overclock.

  8. #8
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    Re: EX38-DS4, X3350 and 2x2GB overclocking problems

    Sorry JVM, but you asked in a thread about Overclocking this board which was what I was addressing. I had no idea that you were running yours at stock speeds. Your question should have been asked in a separate thread to avoid confusion. But what I stated still holds true overall. The board will select the best ram timings that it thinks it can post at based on the spd of the ram. You can always tweak them to your hearts content, but it still is a good idea to start with Auto to get an idea what your specific hardware configuration can actually handle. Unless it can't post at the SPD rated timings it will use them if at all possible. The only exception is if you have high performance ram that requires more than the default vdimm when it will default back to 5-5-5-18 @ 1.8vdimm and you would need to manually raise the vdimm to 2.1 to 2.3 before setting the timings to 4-4-4-12 (or whatever your specific ram is rated for). That is by design so that the system will post and allow you to actually get into the bios since the SPD can only set the timings, not the vdimm.

    I also prefer locking the PCI-E manually rather than leaving it at Auto. I have fewer problems that way even on stock systems.

    As for Turbo, you need to try it with and without to see what gives you the best performance. I've seen a few occasions where Standard or Normal is actually better than Turbo although that has been the exception rather than the rule.
    R.I.P Brad (BWM). You will be missed.

  9. #9
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    Re: EX38-DS4, X3350 and 2x2GB overclocking problems

    Thanks, Don, I really do appreciate your answer providing me with important knowledge. Since my RAM is rated at 5-5-5-15 @ 1.8-1.9 volts and is detected on Auto at 5-5-5-15, I don't see any reason to increase the voltage, which is 1.8 at default.

  10. #10
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    Re: EX38-DS4, X3350 and 2x2GB overclocking problems

    JVM, I would say as long as it's running stable I wouldn't change anything. If it starts acting up then would be the time to do so.

    Don
    R.I.P Brad (BWM). You will be missed.

  11. #11
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    Re: EX38-DS4, X3350 and 2x2GB overclocking problems

    The ctrl + F1 does 'take' but i only get two extra settings, both of which i dont know what they do. Right now the system is running at a minimal overclock from 2666Mhz (333Mhz FSB) to 2760Mhz (345Mhz FSB).
    When i started prime95 (v25) the first time one core failed right away (sometimes two cores fail, sometimes just one, but not always the same core(s)) I stopped the other threads and started it back up again and now it's been running for over 2 hours without problems?!?!
    Also sometimes when one or two cores fail and i stop the other threads i'll get a bluescreen and the system will reboot. So it doesn't crash during prime95, but when i stop prime95?!?!

    I'm thinking it's some sort of memory compatability problem right now (even though it's rock stable at stock speeds) so i'm going to try different memory timings and settings, but since there are soo many different settings trial and error will take a LONG time. Any suggestions are welcome of course.
    Overclocking system:
    ASUS Rampage Formula (BIOS 0403)
    Xeon x3350 SLAX2 @ 8x475=3.8Ghz 1.29Vcore
    Dual Radiator (modded) Koolance EXOS with Zalman WB5 CPU block
    2 x 2GB OCZ Platinum PC8000 @ 950Mhz 5-5-5-18 1.8v
    Enermax NoiseTaker 600W
    ASUS GeForce 8800GTX @ 645/1645/1000

  12. #12
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    Re: EX38-DS4, X3350 and 2x2GB overclocking problems

    I would check out that review that I referenced earlier as they were able to overclock quite well with that board. Check their bios screenshots to see what they did. I don't have one of those specific boards so it's difficult for me to be specific as to what changes are available.

    In every other Gigabyte bios that I've used the Ctrl + F1 enables close to a dozen extra options.

    Also, are you using the stock CPU cooler or an aftermarket unit?

    Don
    Last edited by MrNovi; 05-17-2008 at 07:05 PM.
    R.I.P Brad (BWM). You will be missed.

  13. #13
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    Re: EX38-DS4, X3350 and 2x2GB overclocking problems

    They used a 65nm quad in that review and these 45nm quads are knows to be a bi4tch to overclock, however most people still get 3.4Ghz - 3.8Ghz with some tweaking. Right now the F3 BIOS is the only BIOS that supports these 45nm quads and in the review they used a different BIOS version too. (with for instance DDR reference voltage which i dont have, with or without ctrl+F1) I also have a gigabyte mainboard in my server and without the ctrl - F1 i dont even see the overclocking menu. But with this board most features are already visible. I only get two extra settings in the MIT called CPU GTLREF1 Voltage Ratio and CPU GTLREF2 Voltage Ratio.

    EDIT: ow and im still using the stock cooler, but since i'm still down at 1.12Vcore and increasing it to 1.3v doesn't do anything at all i'm pretty sure it's not a cooling problem at the moment. Also because it doesn't matter if i use smartfan and let the CPU get to 67c (realtemp tjmax 95c) or just disable smartfan and let the fan run at full speed. The CPU max temp is 60c in that case. I will be using dual radiator watercooling soon, just need to get a S775 waterblock.
    Last edited by Abducted; 05-18-2008 at 02:54 AM.
    Overclocking system:
    ASUS Rampage Formula (BIOS 0403)
    Xeon x3350 SLAX2 @ 8x475=3.8Ghz 1.29Vcore
    Dual Radiator (modded) Koolance EXOS with Zalman WB5 CPU block
    2 x 2GB OCZ Platinum PC8000 @ 950Mhz 5-5-5-18 1.8v
    Enermax NoiseTaker 600W
    ASUS GeForce 8800GTX @ 645/1645/1000

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