Saturday, August 29, 2009

ASUS P6T and KVR1333 @ 210 BCLK @ DDR3 1678

After some working days, finally get some free time, time to tweak my PC system.

System Components:
Intel Core i7 920 C0/C1 stepping
6gb Kingston DDR3 1333 Value Ram
ASUS 4890
Western Digital 80GB HDD. (WD80JD)
OS = Windows 7 RTM version.

Cooling system:
D-Tek Fuzion v2, Swiftech MCR320QP, Danger Den CPX-Pro, Bitspower drive bay reservoir.

The main objective of this run is to try out higher BCLK + RAM frequency at around 4ghz clock for CPU frequency. Here is the screenshot after LinX run and Memtest run to make sure everything is stable.

Photobucket Although its nothing special for this tweak since I think most people who into overclocking shall reach it. This is my first time success of pushing my system past 200 BCLK stably and to my suprise my value ram which rated at 1333 able to reach DDR3 1678. So I am quite satisfied with the outcome, and I will tweak my system again in future when I got the free time.

Friday, August 21, 2009

DDR3 1333 Kingston Value Ram

PhotobucketBought 3 stick of 2gb DDR3 1333 Kingston Value RAM last week just in time before the price hike in the memory market hit Malaysia. Bought it with the price before price hike, so glad that I was able to made it just in time for the cheaper ram.

The ram modules I got no longer were the hynix chips, which previous batch of KVR module were using, instead they are replaced by qimonda chips. The hynix according to some forumer over at lowyat forum, is quite OC'able, at least it does ddr3 1600++ CL8/CL7.


So, after getting the KVR 1333 2gb stick with qimonda chip, I tryout how fast these qimonda batch KVR can do. Surprisingly, it does DDR3 1520 CL9 stable, not bad although its not as good as the hynix chip.

With Vista x64 Ultimate, the size of memory does impact performance of a PC. I opted to upgrade to 6gb kit as it benefits more using Vista x64 compare to 3gb Kit. This time I save cost by getting the value ram over performance ram as stated in my previous article, the difference is not much, and I managed to push it to DDR3 1520 just like my previous 3gb Team Xtreem Kit could do. I have not pushed the chip to the max as I do not want to mess up with current settings I got which is 190 BCLK * 21 @ 3990MHZ with DDR3 1520. But I believe these Qimonda batch KVR able to push to higher speed as DDR3 1520 definitely not maxing out them yet.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Intel Core i7 In-Depth Performance Scaling Analysis from Madshrimps

I came across this useful article Intel Core i7 In-Depth Performance Scaling Analysis, while surfing over at MADSHRIMPS. The article is quite useful for i7 user that interested to overclock their PC as it has lot of analysis data for different overclocks and performance gain from them.

The article analyze the overclocks of QPI Links, Uncore frequency, CPU frequency, BCLK frequency and memory frequency. Other than that, it also covers memory latency and channels performance scaling.

The results show that overclocking CPU frequency yields the best performance gain followed by uncore frequency. But then, the overclocking uncore frequency is the only way to get higher memory clock since the 1:2 Memory frequency to Uncore frequency in Core i7.

In short: the third memory channel increases the bandwidth SO much that even a 4GHz uncore can't really keep up with the enormous amount of data coming from the memory. Overclocking helps to reduce this problem.

What surprises me from the article is the performance gain with memory frequency overclocking, overclocking memory frequencies does not seems much difference, it only show difference in Everest memory benchmark and does not help much in gaming. And when it comes to latency CL6 is not that much faster than CL8 or even CL9, 1T and 2T difference are not even 1%. And also the minimal gain from third channel of ram, dual channel seems the are the optimum channels.

So in conclusion, I think that for regular user there are no point to go for mid or high end kit performance ram which cost double or triple the price of the value ram. Unless you are really a benchmark enthusiast that want maximum performance form your PC. We can usually overclock ram frequency of value ram to some decent speed depends on luck and chip that the value ram used. On some X58 motherboards it's actually quite easy to tune your low-clocking memory kit to have the performance of a highly overclocked memory kit by changing the Back-to-back Cas Delay memory timing.

For PC and benchmark enthusiast that want maximum performance only, not for Gamers that just want smooth frame rates. Indeed spent the amount of money saved on purchasing a value ram and invest it on a high performance graphic card yield more performance gain. But if you got the cash, why not...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Energy Efficient Atom Based File Station and Net surfing PC

PhotobucketWith the recent increase in electricity billing charges, I decided to built a new machine to serve the purpose of 24/7 downloading, internet surfing, file sharing, web based application hosting energy efficient PC. Talking about energy efficient with processing power that capable enough for full time downloading and internet surfing, I immediately think of the Intel Atom processor.


What is Intel Atom? Intel Atom is Intel's smallest chip. It is built with the world's smallest transistors. As Intel's smallest and lowest power processor, the Intel® Atom™ processor enables the latest Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs), and another new category of devices for the internet called netbooks and nettops. Intel® Atom™ processors were newly designed from the ground up, 45nm Intel® Atom™ processors pack an astounding 47 million transistors on a single chip measuring less than 26mm², making them Intel's smallest and lowest power processors. All this while delivering the power and performance you need for full Internet capabilities.

There are numerous of Intel Atom motherboard and processor combo available around the market, after some survey and budget tinkering, I decided to opt for the Intel D945GCLF2D, Intel Atom processor 330 Dual Core set. The main reason I opted for the this was due to the cheaper price tag compared to other same solutions and also I do not need HDMI and the better 9300GS VGA from the Nvidia ION platform.

To further emphasizing the power saving capabilities of the Intel Atom 330 platform, I come across some articles over the Internet with experiment done to calculate the exact power consumption comparing Atom 330 and E8500.

According to the article, they compare a E8500 @ 3.16GHz on Asus P5E3 Premium system with Atom 330 @ 1.6GHz on Intel D945GCLF2, listed below are the data of the experiment,

The main advantage the Atom 330 has is low power consumption - supposedly it has a maximum total power draw of 8W.

Here is some experimental data:
· E8500 @ 3.16GHz on Asus P5E3 Premium: 92W idle, 118W loaded
· Atom 330 @ 1.6GHz on Intel D945GCLF2: 41W idle, 45W loaded
It looks like going to full load from idling at the desktop the Atom 330 only used 4W more - so the 8W TDP figure is quite believable.

Let's say it is being deployed as File Server/Download Server for 24h/day, it would idling most of the time. So let's calculate how much power would be used in a year.
24h/day * 365 days = 8760 hours

Atom 330 @ 41W * 8760 hours = 359,160 W/hr = 359.16kWhr
E8500 @ 92W * 8760 hours = 805,920 W/hr = 805.92kWhr

Now let's say we pay $0.10/kWhr
Atom 330 would use $35.91 in electricity running for a year
E8500 would use $80.59 in electricity running for a year.

Now let's say we are in a place that charges $0.25/kWhr
Atom 330: $89.79 for a year
E8500: $201.48 for a year

Where electricity is expensive, a small Atom 330 based home server would save the cost of the motherboard in less than a year!

The file-station will be installed with Windows XP Professional SP3 O/S with IIS hosting capabilities. The downloading and file sharing task will be supported by suitable software. The system spec is as following:

- Intel BOXD945GCLF2D Intel Atom processor 330
- 2GB Team Elite DDR2 800
- Intel GMA950 Onboard Display
- Built in Audio
- Western Digital 200GB SATA HDD
- Cooler Master 350W PSU
- Lian Li PC-A6010 casing (a bit weird with ITX mobo on an ATX casing)

With this system setup, I can enjoy 24/7 downloading, file sharing in a fairly low running cost with processing power that capable enough to take the job.

Reference: Neoseeker Intel D945GCLF2 & Atom 330 Review

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Corsair H50 Compact Liquid Cooling Kit


The Corsair H50, I came across this cooler few days ago while surfing the web. The Corsair H50 liquid cooling kit is a compact pre-filled liquid cooling kit, it is very user friendly, easy to install and least maintenance required. I was messed around with mid high end DIY liquid cooling kits. It is true that they are hard to install, require some modding on the casing itself for big radiator installation, and they are lot of work during the maintenance job. It is regularly takes up few hours or even almost half a day just to get the water cooling loop properly setup, it would take almost a whole day inclusive leak test and hardware installation. Most people stay away from high end DIY liquid coolers due to reasons above.

Many thought that compact liquid cooling kit always lose to high end air cooling heat sink such as TRUE120, IFX14, etc, this in fact were true on those crappy thermaltake kit. However, with the Corsair H50, most reviews show that it can beat the high end air cooler.

I come across this video while surfing at Ianho's ( famous PC modder in Malaysia ) blog.

Its a funny video that Corsair name the air cooler Brand X, and it shows that the H50 do beat the high end TRUE air cooler.

Other than that, here are some reviews about the H50:

Corsair Hydro Series H50 CPU Cooler Review from Bit tech.
Corsair Hydro Series H50 CPU Cooler Review from Madshrimps.

In my opinion, a good compact liquid cooling kit such as the Corsair H50 or the CoolIt Domino ALC has the capabilities to beat high end air coolers if the radiator are properly located to intake fresh air instead of hot air inside the case. Take the Corsair's review in Bit Tech as example, setting up the fan at the radiator as intake yields better result than acting as system's exhaust. Besides that, the water block that are small in size provide empty spaces around the CPU area allowing user able to use ram cooler or Mosfet cooler around that area. Unlike high end coolers which is huge in size that restrict user to use other cooler around CPU area.

The Corsair H50 liquid cooling kit are now in retail market in Malaysia, you can get them at Moderno PC or CEX Computer or any retail shop that carry the product.