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"The most common cause of instability is heat."

Solutions to Instability

The most common cause of instability is heat. If you find that a lot of aspects of your system are unstable, more cooling for your case would be the first step to take. A new heatsink, case fan, or video card cooler can prevent heat-related crashes, and even allow higher overclocking.

Getting a highly overclocked processor stable can be an art. A high performance heatsink can prevent many errors, but sometimes that's not enough. One widely used technique is to raise the voltage of the CPU slightly. Raising the voltage is obtainable through the bios, or motherboard jumpers. How ever, it is not recommended that you raise the voltage of the CPU more than +0.3v of its specified rating. If that does not help, your CPU might have reached its limit and the only option is to bump down the clock speed until it is stable.

Instability in ram can be tricky. The very first option is to raise the cas latency from 2, to 3 (often found in the bios). This may hinder overall performance, but in many cases allows lower rated ram to run at higher speeds. Much like raising the voltage for a CPU, raising the I/O voltage can also cause borderline ram to become stable. This is also done through the system bios, or motherboard jumpers. How ever, be warned that the I/O voltage can affect other aspects of your system, including the video card. Another, less tested option is to shield the ram-sinks. In most cases ram does not create much heat, the sinks often shield the ram from any electric interference.

An unstable video card can be the result of many things. Like the processor, heat is often the culprit. This can only be reduced with alternative cooling methods. Ramsinks are relatively cheap, and can prevent texture corruption, and system crashes. Alternatively, there are products which blow air all over the card, cooling not only the ram but the heatsink and chipset as well. While they don't work quite as well as ramsinks, and a larger chipset heatsink, they are much easier to install and work with. If the video card is unstable due to an overclocked AGP port there are other options that can reduce the risk of crashes. Since the AGP port is a fraction of the front side bus, often times overclockers find the AGP bus running higher than specified speed. While newer motherboard chipsets have the option of the AGP port running at the fsb (front side bus), the popular 440BX chipset is stuck with 2/3. Thus when running at anything higher than 100mhz FSB, the AGP port is out of spec.

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