RAM timing settings questions

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Rock Smasher, May 28, 2009.

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  1. Rock Smasher

    Rock Smasher Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Posts:
    41
    Location:
    Earth.
    First some background info.

    I just built this machine about a Month ago and it's generally
    running O.K. But I like to tweak things for Greater efficiency
    but I also don't want to burn anything up in the process. :doubt:

    The Machine:

    Motherboard - Gigabyte M61PME-S2P
    CPU - AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400 Black Edition
    RAM - Wintec DDR2 3AXT6400C5 Dual channel 2GB
    GPU - ASUS, (Nvidia,) EN8400GS
    Hard drive - Seagate ST3250410AS 250GB
    Optical drive - ASUS DRW-2014L1T
    Misc. - Sony floppy drive, 120mm intake fan, Dual 80mm
    exhaust fans, (Fans are Rosewill with speed controlers,)
    Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro 64 CPU cooler,
    PC Power and Cooling Silencer 500W PSU.

    All stuffed neat and tidy into a Hyper modified 1994
    Compaq Prolinea MT 4/66 case. I painted the front bezel
    silver and flat black and covered the sheet metal with wood
    grain contact paper so it has a 1970s stereo equipment look.;)

    I'm currently running WINXP PRO OEM W/SP3.


    Now to my questions.

    When I first started this thing up it ran ridiculously slow and after
    going into the BIOS I noticed that the motherboard hadn't recognized
    the RAM properly. It had it set to 6-6-6-18 meanwhile according to
    Wintec it should be 5-5-5-15 so I set it there and WOW what a difference.

    Is it safe to play around with other RAM timing settings?
    At worst will it only cause the machine to run less than desirable
    or could it make things burst into flames?:blink:

    Or should I just leave well enough alone?

    I currently have the CPU overclocked to 3.0Ghz and it actually runs
    5 to 10 degrees F cooler than it did at the stock speed of 2.8Ghz
    under the same conditions and it's perfectly stable.

    Go figure.o_O
     
  2. axial

    axial Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Posts:
    477
    If you haven't yet checked them out, there are a couple of really good Gigabyte forums here:
    TweakTown

    and here:
    PCPerspective

    The forum regulars on the TweakTown forums are particularly knowledgeable and helpful.
     
  3. Rock Smasher

    Rock Smasher Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Posts:
    41
    Location:
    Earth.
    Thanks for the links Axial. "Tweaktown" has exactly what I'm
    looking for right at the top of the main page as a "Sticky".:thumb:

    I'll be doing much reading at both those sites before I do
    any serious tweaking so I don't blow anything up.;)

    Standard search procedures, (Google, Yahoo Etc.,)
    weren't coming up with anything useful.


    Thanks again.
     
  4. Keyboard_Commando

    Keyboard_Commando Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Posts:
    690
    Messing around with Ram latencies gives you the impression you are affecting the destiny of your computers speedy output, but in likeliness you are adding such miniscule alterations you cant even notice it. If you buy decent ram in the first place thats really all you need. I tend to go with the idea OC'ing is greater as a sum than the latencies themself.
     
  5. Rock Smasher

    Rock Smasher Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Posts:
    41
    Location:
    Earth.

    I thought I was clear enough in my original post. Perhaps not.

    When I first fired this machine up the BIOS had the RAM timings set at:
    6-6-6-18-24 and it ran like a slug, Almost five minutes to load WINXP.

    Needless to say I was VERY disappointed with my new toys.:(

    After I manually set the RAM timings to: 5-5-5-15-20 where they should
    be according to Wintec it made a DRAMATIC difference in performance.
    WINXP loaded to usable desktop in about 30 seconds from end of POST.

    So I was merrily curious if it was worth playing around with further
    to see if any more performance was to be had without destruction.
    "CPU-Z" showed: 4-4-4-12-16 as available so I tried setting it there
    with "MEMSET" and as soon as I hit "apply" it was just like hitting the
    re-set button because my machine immediately re-started back at
    5-5-5-15-20. No damage just No Go at 4-4-4-12-16. Oh well.

    I've been using Wintec RAM for many years without a problem but
    this is the first time I've tried "Tweaking" it any.

    Anyway... I guess I'll leave that alone and go ahead and bump my
    CPU up a bit. 3.2+Ghz is supposedly quite doable without headache
    with the 5400 Black Edition.

    What I really need is a better graphics card. I'll ask Santa to bring me one.;)
     
  6. Keyboard_Commando

    Keyboard_Commando Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Posts:
    690
    My gigabyte board gave me way off timings when I first booted it, also. Its some kinda lame safety feature. From what I can remember the only settings that at default were wrong on mine were CL, tRCD, tRP, tRAS, tRC = 5 5 5 15 20, but its probably worth checking to see how far out any of the others are. I noticed you have reduced tRC from standard 20 to 16, I personally wouldnt touch it. That is far too much to come down on.

    The main settings to concentrate on are CL, tRCD, tRP, tRAS = 5 5 5 15 tRC id try to leave as close to standard as possible. So like try 4 4 5 15 20, then 4 4 4 15 20, 4 4 4 14 20, etc, you are coming down too quickly. Its a whole bunch of fiddling around to find what youre looking for.

    Have you tried increasing (G)MCH voltage +1 in bios?. This can add some stability to stretched RAM latencies and greater bandwidth clocking. I wouldnt go any higher than +1, though.

    Take a look over at Overclock.net if you havent already. Its probably the best place to find out what settings you can get with your components.
     
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