Archive Page 2

Corsair XMS2 6400 800mhz DDR2

If you own a stick or more of this ram you’re in luck, you’ve well spet your money. These babys are very affordable and can be pushed to perform better than some more expensive competitors. However if you don’t pay attention, you might be mission out on the good stuff. My motherboard automatically set the ram at 5-5-5-18, which is not really where you optimally want to be since these sticks handle faster timings. 4-4-4-12 is where I’ve had mine for a long time at 2.1V (default 1.9V), but now I’m trying 4-4-4-10. With my cpu at 3.6ghz and my memory multiplier at 2.0D the system runs pretty nicely. Note that I’m not pushing the mhz higher than the original 800mhz. Give the timings a shot if you haven’t already 😉

Rig Update (2)

A lot has happened since I last wrote about my pc. For starters, I screwed up my bios while flashing it… I was using a nifty Gigabyte utility called QFlash to upload a newer bios from a USB stick. I’m still a little confused at what went wrong, but in the end my computer could not boot. It couldn’t revert to the bios backups, so it just kept restarting while cycling them through. Finally, after trying different components on the mobo without luck, I took it to the shop. They sent it to Gigabyte, and after a little over a month, I got the same board back. Now it worked. To clarify things a little, I’m sure that this problem was not related to my incompetence, just bad luck.

Everything has been working fine now, and I’ve been able to change a few things in my everyday setup. Before I had the Intel e8400 overclocked to 3.8ghz, but now I decided that 3.6ghz was good enough, since I changed my ram timings to 4-4-4-12. I’m sure I could easily push the cpu more, but I’d have to start compromising ram speed.
Now I’ve also got 2 SATA HDDs working in a RAID0 setup, something I had never tried before. All in all everything is working perfectly, and I’m glad to have a fast system again 😀

8800 GT Overlocking

I’ve been looking for the highest working overclock for the Zotac 8800 GT Amp and now I’ve got some results. Originally the card was 700mhz core,1700mhz shader and 1000mhz clock. I pushed the card to perform well with 728/1812/1061.

To increase the fan speed to 100% and set clock frequencies I’ve used RivaTuner. I use Atitool to scan for artifacts, and play some UT3 to test stability. I should use Crysis, but I’m too lazy to install it. Anyhow this testing method works rather well, and I’m surprised at how far the Zotac can be pushed.

I need to do more teting, since the memory can most likely be clocked more. I’m using my older pc to run the tests, since my new motherboard is screwed (messed up bios), but when I get it replaced I’ll have more detailed info. The ga-ex38-dq6 gives me a more stable overclock aswell since I can increase voltage for stability etc… It’ll be interesting to compare the 8800gt to the 9600gt once I have more results.

Root, the source of all good and evil…

Just like a hero, being root requires great responsability… this should never be forgotten. Today I made a big mistake. I was about to remove a directory from /usr/share/, so I typed in rm -r /usr/ – and then accidently smacked enter. Initially I got petrified thinking that I had only typed rm -r /… but then I realized that my important unreplaceable files could be rescued… annoying nevertheless. The incident got me pondering about how carelessly I proceed with my root actions after typing su, something similar is bound to happen someday if I’m not careful, possibly having a worse outcome. Have to watch out more.

EDIT: I now have added a remove y/n promt through .bashrc

Conky configuration for XFCE4+Compiz

Lately I’ve been very interested in monitoring my system, mainly temperatures. When I use Windows I like to monitor temperatures with realtemp and to monitor my linux temps I use lm_sensors.

Constantly typing in “sensors” in terminal to view the cpu temperature got me a bit annoyed. So I installed Conky, a fancy configurable monitoring program that sits on your desktop and displays system information. However, even though Conky was easy to install and configure to display what I needed, making it work properly in the XFCE4, Compiz and Avant Window Navigator scenario turned out to be very difficult.

When I looked for solutions I found many, but none of them worked with my setup. The problem was that with any ‘default’ .conkyrc from the Conky website, Conky would dissapear when I opened any window and minimized it. I tried some own_window variables but there was always a new problem when the old one was fixed. Finally I though I had found a working config, but no, Conky would flash from beneath windows every now and then, making, for example, Firefox browsing very irritating. Finally I figured out the culprit, it was own_window_type. The workaround was to completely forget own_window_type and only use and arsenal of own_window_hints. Here’s what worked for me and I have a feeling that it could work for others having the same problem:

double_buffer yes
own_window yes
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_hints undecorated,sticky,below,skip_taskbar,skip_pager

See there’s no own_window_type. Amazing when all the possible solutions that I ran into had something to do with own_window_type, e.g. own_window_type desktop or own_window_type override. Now Conky works fine and I can move to calibrating the sensors output. Please comment if this helped, or if you need help 😀

Bye Bye Debian, Hello Arch Linux

Debian has always been there for me. There were times when I tried out Ubuntu, but to me thats Debian with a lot of stuff I don’t need. Anyway I tried out Arch linux and fell in love. First of all it’s very different from Debian… well instead of apt you get pacman 😀 Anyhow it’s easy to install, easy to customize to the needs of your computer, very fast and last but not least the online documentation is very good. Using Arch has also taught me a lot that Debian didn’t. My servers will probably be running Debian, but otherswise I think Arch’s here to stay… sorry Deb.

Rig update

Here’s a little update on the rig that I built some months ago. First of all everything is running fine, which I am very happy about since it’s my first build. I’ve bought an 120 extra fan with an adjustment nob panel (SilverStone FM121), which replaced the Antec exhaust that came with the case (Sonata III).

I had to play around with the arrangement of the 3 fans before I found the optimal cooling combination. The problem was the great rpm and cfm difference of all the fans. 3 120mm fans: one front, one on the cpu heatsink, and one as rear exhaust. I had to put the new SilverStone as the rear even though I though I’d use it at the front because at full 2400rpm and 110.03cfm it just got all my airflow mixed up (Sonata 3 is quite tight) and reving it up actually increased temperatures slightly.

The Scythe fan that came with the Ninja didn’t have as much punch so I put the Antec on the heatsink and the Scythe up front. I’m still not sure if this is the best setup, but I’ll let it be for now. Temperatures are around 37-38 on idle and 55-60 during Orthos (cpu stress stability test), forgot to say that the e8400 is clocked to 3.8ghz atm… I just couldn’t resist 😉

I also bought a new Samsung hard-drive and moved the old one to my old pc, that I have great server related plans for. Found out something weird about the Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400 ram, their official reported timings are 5-5-5-18 but somewhere else I read that 5-5-5-12 should be fine, and that’s where I’am at now… Maybe I’ll do some proper overclock on them later.