System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

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System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:48 pm

As per the title, I am a little confused guys... Crysis 2 and Test Drive Unlimited 2 were behaving poorly - Pretty choppy and stuttery every few secconds, and it gets worse with Crossfire enabled in these 2 games (Only way to explain what was happenening is that it felt like one card could not quite keep up with the other - so it waited).

Now, my system's in the sig, and for almost a year it's been running a pretty high overclock right across the board:
Athlon II 640 - Clocked to 3.75Ghz
Memory - Clocked to 1866
Crossfire Radeon HD 5770's - Clocked to 930 Mhz (Core), 1350 Mhz (Memory) on both

I ran thru a few scenes in both games 3 times the best I could consistently, and used Radeon Pro to capture the frame rates - It was then averaged. All games were run at 1920 X 1200, Detail setting in Crysis 2 was simply set to "Extreme", and in Test Drive 2 I moved every detail slider to "Very High", Set AA to 4x, and Aniso to 16x. Here's the scores:
Crysis 2: 27 FPS
Test Drive 2: 18 FPS :o

I clock everything back to stock speeds (nothing was overheating btw) - CPU at 3Ghz, Memory to 1333Mhz and GPU's to 850 Core, 1200 Memory:
Crysis 2: 39 FPS
Test Drive 2: 34 FPS

Other games like Batman AA, AvP or anything Source Engine based see FPS increases with the overclock still, but the 2 games above break with tradition and run worse if the system is overclocked. Colour me confused - Anyone seen this before?
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:58 pm

Thermal throttling, maybe OS corrected errors. You have to have good hardware to begin OCing, most of it isn't nowadays.
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:08 pm

Madman wrote:Thermal throttling, maybe OS corrected errors. You have to have good hardware to begin OCing, most of it isn't nowadays.

I'm going to say that heat probably isnt an issue. The hottest the GPU core has got with that overclock is 53c and 49c (One card always runs slightly cooler for some reason!), I have no idea on the memory temps but they do get pretty warm, and the CPU barely breaks 48 under load due to the godzilla-sized Zalman cooler on top of it.

How do I find out of the OS is correcting errors? I'm also sure the hardware's ripe for overclocking - It's been stable for a year now. There's custom coolers on both GPU's and on the CPU, and the case is well vented (Zalman Z7 Pro) - It may not be top end, but it doesnt need to be these days.

Afterall, my CPU's a Phenom II missing it's L3 cache, and has a pretty decent headway for overclocking...
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:26 pm

Madman wrote:maybe OS corrected errors.

Umm... what? :o
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:33 pm

i would check framerates on those 2 games with just one component overclocked at a time. that way you can get a larger data set to see what is going on a little better. for instance leave the gpus stock and overclock your cpu and ram. rinse and repeat for each component or group of components. i like to bust out a spreadsheet and compare results...
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:34 pm

Hard to tell, look into event log. ECC errors show up there, but you probably don't have an ECC RAM.

Also, check for memory dumps in C:\Windows\Minidump\ if there are a lot of them in unrelated places the system is not really stable. Each BSOD leaves minidump.

But I'm not an overclocker anymore, last CPU I tortured was Athlon XP Mobile, and generally, I was always running into issues. P2-350@434 ran fine, Athlon XP had some issues on prime after 23+ hours, but the system didn't worked stable with two different mobos because of incompatible HDD/mobo combo even at stock speeds. The current PC doesn't like OCing even a single little bit, although I have a screamer CPU from what I gather. And all VCards I overclocked, artifact-ed sooner or later, even with safe levels from drivers standpoint. Also, I too noticed slowdowns on some configs, and also, I remember Morrowind 3 crashing on a OCd system that was perfectly stable in Prime for 24+ hours.

It's enough that you can't just plug freshly brought memory stick into system without it going silent, beeping randomly, BSODing. Or the best part, I can't put the side cover on my PC because then the wires press on videocard and the system doesn't boot. And to bother with OC issues? No, thanks, I don't do OCing anymore. The quality of hardware, or the very limits of silicon are probably bad enough that there is enough problems at stock speeds, and OCing brings a lot of tweaking and headaches on top of that.
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:45 pm

rcs2k4 wrote:I'm going to say that heat probably isnt an issue. The hottest the GPU core has got with that overclock is 53c and 49c (One card always runs slightly cooler for some reason!),


They really that cool, even mid-game?
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:46 pm

Madman wrote:Hard to tell, look into event log. ECC errors show up there, but you probably don't have an ECC RAM.

AFAIK Gigabyte desktop mobos don't support ECC RAM anyway.

Also, check for memory dumps in C:\Windows\Minidump\ if there are a lot of them in unrelated places the system is not really stable. Each BSOD leaves minidump.

If he was getting these types of errors it would not manifest as reduced framerates. It would result in crashes.
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:11 pm

ryko wrote:i would check framerates on those 2 games with just one component overclocked at a time. that way you can get a larger data set to see what is going on a little better. for instance leave the gpus stock and overclock your cpu and ram. rinse and repeat for each component or group of components. i like to bust out a spreadsheet and compare results...

What a good idea... :
Image

All I can draw from that is maybe it's the RAM? Everything was ok on it's own - The RAM could not be overclocked on it's own easilly so I didnt bother..?
The CPU also didn't quite reach 3.75Ghz on it's own without wanting to overclocking the RAM, no matter what divider I put on the HT link and Memory Multiplyer.

cheesyking wrote:
rcs2k4 wrote:I'm going to say that heat probably isnt an issue. The hottest the GPU core has got with that overclock is 53c and 49c (One card always runs slightly cooler for some reason!),


They really that cool, even mid-game?

That was mid-game. I checked the temps a few days ago after hitting TF:2 for a 3 hour session. It was about 21c ambient room temperature too... Like I said, I doubt it's the cooling I am using :) and I never said it was silent neither - Far from it... There's 5 120mm fans on the case chassis, 2 120mm fans on the CPU cooler and 2 x 4 80mm fans on the graphics card heatsinks. My case isn't far off being able to hover... :wink:
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:03 pm

You have a non-unlocked CPU so you are going to have to OC the RAM no matter what you do. It does appear that the RAM is holding you back though, or at-least through what you have posted. It is quite strange that the ram is going to be giving you so many issues.

That in mind, I do notice you are using DDR2. Going to 1866 on DDR2 is a huge jump. Hell, getting 1066 back when DDR2 was selling was considered big pimpin. I think if you really are using DDR2 and your signature is not wrong, than you might be pushing the RAM just a tad too hard. My system doesn't really like anything over 1066, and it hardfauts like a B when you go above it, as well as causing occasional lockups.

In that note, if you have the holy god of all DDR2 and you really can run at 1800mhz, make sure you are giving them enough juice. 1066 use to take 2.1v, goodluck!

EDIT: If you are putting that much money into the PC at all (via fans alone), you could consider a mobo/memory swap to get you the performance you are looking for. Along with that, you could get a board with 2 x 16x PCI-E ports rather than 2 x 8x PCI-E Ports. This should also bag you about another 10% worth of performance (from what I've read).
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:14 pm

Just shooting in the dark here, but are 100% sure your PSU is up to the task?
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:23 pm

I wonder if maybe the RAM is actually running slower than configured... what does Memtest86+ say your memory speed is?
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:44 pm

just brew it! wrote:I wonder if maybe the RAM is actually running slower than configured... what does Memtest86+ say your memory speed is?


This or PSU. While I'm fairly certain the DDR2 in his signature is a typo (it would incinerate at those speeds), he's pushing it for DDR3 on an AMD IMC.
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:26 am

What about the condition of the north bridge? I'd check my temperatures there if it were me.
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:23 am

Airmantharp wrote:This or PSU. While I'm fairly certain the DDR2 in his signature is a typo (it would incinerate at those speeds), he's pushing it for DDR3 on an AMD IMC.

Considering his board doesn't support DDR3 that would be impressive if he were running it. :P

I would bet on the memory divider dropping memory speeds WAY low and perhaps the BIOS is clunky and reports it badly. My old DFI board had dividers based off of the stock speeds so you'd have to calculate the ratios yourself if you were going to change the FSB from what was listed (it had options like 266:667, 266:800, 333:667, etc)...though AMD boards don't link RAM speeds quite the same do they?

Certainly if it were a power or stability problem he'd at least be seeing *some* crashes, glitches, etc.

With his FSB at 250 (and if the dividers work like I think they do, I haven't overclocked a non Black Edition AMD CPU since the s939 days) he could be running running as slow as DDR2-500...though even then I'd be surprised to see that kind of performance loss.
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:34 am

Well, either he's got a typo on the board (missing 'T' for DDR3 in Gigabyte speak) and the '2' instead of a '3' in his memory, or his BIOS is lying to him- DDR2 isn't running at 1866MHz.

OP, have you considered updating the BIOS? It sounds like it isn't really telling you the truth- also, please to check your settings with CPU-Z, it may be the only way to find out just exactly what your board is doing.
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:01 am

TheWacoKid wrote:With his FSB at 250 (and if the dividers work like I think they do, I haven't overclocked a non Black Edition AMD CPU since the s939 days) he could be running running as slow as DDR2-500...though even then I'd be surprised to see that kind of performance loss.

It might explain the variability from game to game though, since different games are going to have different levels of sensitivity to memory bandwidth.
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:04 am

just brew it! wrote:
TheWacoKid wrote:With his FSB at 250 (and if the dividers work like I think they do, I haven't overclocked a non Black Edition AMD CPU since the s939 days) he could be running running as slow as DDR2-500...though even then I'd be surprised to see that kind of performance loss.

It might explain the variability from game to game though, since different games are going to have different levels of sensitivity to memory bandwidth.


Yep. We really need the OP to investigate what his board is actually doing with memory and CPU when everything is overclocked. Right now I support the ideas that the northbridge could be causing the issues or that the PSU simply cannot handle the combined draw for whatever reason- and I'm leaning on the PSU still.
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:24 am

Airmantharp wrote:...or that the PSU simply cannot handle the combined draw for whatever reason- and I'm leaning on the PSU still.

I don't think I've ever seen anything except instability with inadequate PSUs...never reduced performance.
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:31 am

TheWacoKid wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:...or that the PSU simply cannot handle the combined draw for whatever reason- and I'm leaning on the PSU still.

I don't think I've ever seen anything except instability with inadequate PSUs...never reduced performance.


Mostly the same here over time, but I usually overbuild and don't run into the issue at all. But the logic follows through- at one power level, everything is fine, and once a certain threshold is crossed, it all goes to crap. If the PSU is supplying enough power for the first three alternatives on his graph, and almost but not quite enough for the fourth, I could see this happening. 'Renting' a decent PSU from a local retailer would help him figure this out, if indeed he finds his motherboard acting properly in CPU-Z, which I think it is not.
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:44 am

Airmantharp wrote: If the PSU is supplying enough power for the first three alternatives on his graph, and almost but not quite enough for the fourth, I could see this happening.

Why do you think it would just slow down without enough power supplied? Generally feeding component inadequate voltage, amperage, or both just leads to errors, crashes, or at worst, parts failure. It's not like they will cycle more slowly with less voltage...

I mean, I'm not saying it's not possible, but based on experience and the way circuits work I just wouldn't expect it. I certainly wouldn't advocate "renting" a PSU to test it out (sure, I'm on a high horse, screw you peasants). :D
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:09 am

I'm just considering unknown variables. Any component not receiving enough power, or stable power, might throttle itself instead of throwing errors; in any case, the main pointer for this issue is that after he crests a power threshold, stuff slows down.

By renting, I guess I mean 'rent to own'. If it's the power supply, he can keep what he bought and be happy- if not, he has reason to return it as 'not needed', which retailers in general understand.
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:51 am

True.

I'm going to stick with the memory being the issue. I'd be curious to see the output of the CPU-Z memory tab at all settings.
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:59 am

Yup, I am *really* leaning towards the issue being that his RAM is actually downclocking to some ridiculously low speed, like DDR2-533. I don't think AMD's memory controller can reliably run DDR2 at the speeds he thinks he's running at.
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:50 am

I've seen this happen in one of my old builds due to... *drumroll* the southbridge overheating. You might want to check that. Point a desk fan at it or something. My tactic was to plug in a 120mm fan and rest it on the graphics card, pointed at the chipset.
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:16 pm

Yep my moneys on chipset. I think ram running at 500 wouldn't produce that cut back, but the chipset being overloaded is impeding the performance of everything.
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:51 pm

Thanks for the reply's guys - Here's where i'm at so far after LOADS of testing:
- RAM is not running at that rated speed. BIOS said it was, CPU-Z said it was 527 Mhz.
- Southbridge chip has a thermal sensor on-die. It's 28 idle, 39 load. I think thats a little hot compared to other parts in the system?
- Crossfire also drops out under load with a small overclock CPU side. I can't get it stable anymore.

Now, to correct the RAM issue, I flashed the BIOS but it didnt do anything to report the memory speed correctly. I've either damaged the DIMM's or the CPU's memory controller? Note: the speed shows it's default 1066 Mhz speed on the RAM when nothing's overclocked.

Advice on the SB temps would be apreciated :)

And for the Crossfire issue - Power supply related? I've got a Seasonic 500w Modular affair. I realise I may be sailing pretty close to the wind with that.

The system's running ok with the CPU at stock clock, RAM at stock clock, and the GPU's overclocked to the speeds posted earlier. The FPS averages are now:
Crysis 2: 45.7 FPS
TDU:2 34.3 FPS

Temps still are low across the board, but it's still not as fast as it used to be, so something's changed. This motherboard's old, and I dunno why i'm clinging onto it (It's had 3 CPU's in it already for AM2, 2+ and AM3). Should I just drop it for a shiny new one - I think it's going bad (Some USB ports no longer work as per an older thread of mine)..?
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:11 pm

rcs2k4 wrote:Now, to correct the RAM issue, I flashed the BIOS but it didnt do anything to report the memory speed correctly. I've either damaged the DIMM's or the CPU's memory controller? Note: the speed shows it's default 1066 Mhz speed on the RAM when nothing's overclocked.

Doesn't sound like damage to me; more likely you're just asking it to do something it isn't capable of.
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:23 pm

If your crossfires failing, i once again believe this is chipset related. My first advice would be to overvolt the chipsets and see if you get improved performance. I think the likely hood of that fixing anything is low considering this hasn't always been a problem for you, but what else do you have to try?
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Re: System SLOWER When Overclocked [Confused]...

Postposted on Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:22 pm

rcs2k4 wrote:Temps still are low across the board, but it's still not as fast as it used to be, so something's changed. This motherboard's old, and I dunno why i'm clinging onto it (It's had 3 CPU's in it already for AM2, 2+ and AM3). Should I just drop it for a shiny new one - I think it's going bad (Some USB ports no longer work as per an older thread of mine)..?

Can you pass the OCCT PSU test with Crossfire enabled?
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