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Hard Drive/Memory Tweak Guide (Page 4/4)

Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan
Posted: February 29, 2000

Hard Drives, RAM, and Overclocking

If you aren't overclocking your system, you can ignore the following section.

A great deal of the overclocking problems that many people run into aren't caused by the processor, but rather by the system's RAM and/or hard drive. RAM doesn't take kindly to being overclocked, and once you hit a specific bus speed, it is likely to fail. On top of that, it may not be able to handle other factors within the system, including 'noise' (electromagnetic noise, that is) and heat.

Another major cause of overclocking failure has to do with your hard drive and how it takes to the overclock. The following diagram should help explain the relationship:

All of the busses on the system are derived from either the system bus or the frequency crystal within the chipset. The IDE channel's frequency is at least in part dictated by the system and the PCI frequencies. When these two frequencies don't match up properly (a 33 MHz PCI bus cannot be derived from the system bus), it effects how the IDE channels transmit data - and the further away from 33 MHz the system goes, the greater the likelihood that any IDE drives connected to a system would fail as well.

Bus SpeedPCI Speed
66 MHz33 MHz
75 MHz37 MHz
83 MHz41 MHz
100 MHz33 MHz
112 MHz37 MHz
124 MHz41 MHz
133 MHz*44 or 33 MHz*

*Depends on whether or not your motherboard supports the 1/4th PCI bus divider.

However, there is a way to lessen the impact that the non-standard bus speed has on your hard drive. Here are a few things to try:

- Cool your Hard Drive
- Disable UDMA and lower the PIO Mode settings from within your bios (4 is standard - it can go as low as 0)
- Disable DMA from within Windows


See how well these topics fit together? It's amazing, isn't it? I hope you get some use out of the guide revision - particularly the DMA fix; it really sped up my system. As always, feel free to email me with your comments and questions.

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