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Thread: To overclock or not?

  1. #1
    Platinum+ Member bhxtyrant's Avatar
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    To overclock or not?

    For a long time now i have been thinking about OCing my system a bit.I was recommended by Fastgame to gather my PC specs and post here to get more insight and info on the possible capabilities of my hardware so here we go.

    CPU-AMD Athlon XP 2400+
    Code name-Thoroughbred
    Voltage- 1.648v
    Stepping- 1
    Core speed- 1.997.0 mhz
    Multiplier- x15.0
    FSB- 133.1 mhz
    BUS speed- 266.3 mhz
    L1 data- 64 kbytes
    L1 code- 64 kbytes
    Level2- 256 kbytes

    Cache-
    L1 data cache/L1 instructions cache
    Size-64 kbytes
    assosiativity- 2 way
    Line size- 64 bytes

    L2 cache-
    Location- on chip
    size- 256 kbytes
    assosiativity- 16 way
    Line size- 64 bytes
    Ratio- full
    Frequency- 1997.0 mhz
    bus width- 64 bits
    Prefetch logic- yes

    Motherboard-ASUSTeK
    Model- A7N8X20 REV2.xx
    Chipset- Nvidia Nforce2 Ultra 400 REV-C1
    Southbridge- Nvidia Nforce2 MCP
    Sensor- ASUS ASB100

    BIOS-
    brand- Phoenix Tech
    version- ASUS A7N8X20 ACPI BIOS rev 1007

    General RAM-PC3200
    Type DDR SDRAM
    size- 512MB
    Channel- single

    Timings-
    Frequency- 133.1 mhz
    FSB Dram- 1:1
    CAS# latency- 2.5 clocks
    RAS# to CAS# delay- 3 clocks
    RAS# precharge- 3 clocks
    cycle time- 6 clocks

    As for cooling i dont have anything fancy.I did buy a new heatsink and fan that supports up to AMD Athlon XP 3200+ processors instead of using the default one that comes with the processor.

    The case itself is cooled by 2 80MM fans one front and one rear.

    Thats about it i think.If any more info is needed let me know and thanks in advance.
    Last edited by bhxtyrant; January 31st, 2005 at 12:47 PM.

  2. #2
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    That was fast

    Hey you have a good board and PC 3200 ram, thats a great start

    First we need to find out the most important thing, is your CPU locked or unlocked ?

    Reboot your PC and when it starts to reboot hold down the Delete key so you can get into the bios.

    When your in the bios navigate to "Advanced Chipset Features" then go to "CPU Frequency Multiple Setting" and hit Enter, change to "User Defined" and exit.

    Now go to "CPU Frequency Multiple" hit Enter and see if you have lower X settings, try to change it to 10 and exit.

    Now hit ESC and go over to Save & Exit, hit enter and your PC will boot up if the CPU is unlocked.

    If for some reason your PC doesn't boot after this turn the power off and unplug the PC. Hit your start button so it'll discharge the MB capacitors, open case and remove the MB battery. You'll see some jumper pins right next to the battery, move the jumper block over to the next pin for a minute then move it back where it was. Replace the battery and your bios should be reset back to "Default"

    This is easy and in your Manual so read it

    Ok report back and let us know if your CPU is unlocked or not and we'll go from there.

    If its unlocked we'll wait for phishhead to come by and lets us know about the latest/safest bios before going further. There's one danger.....that board has been known to kill bios anyway phishhead is OC'n that board so he knows the ins & outs on the bios thing

  3. #3
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    The only time I would OC my system is if I had water cooling in place. When your heatsink/fan says it will handle a 3200+, it means just that. It won't handle a 2400+ OCed to those speeds. (I'm sure that isn't what you are thinking, but just to make sure and not assume anything...) The gains you get by OCing with stock cooling would not be worth the risks, imho, anyway. I'm not sure the exact numbers, these are just guesses, but you probably wouldn't be able to get more than 100 MHz more out of your processor, and then you'd have to be watching the core temp more carefully. I would recommend a water cooling system if you plan on OCing. Some water cooling systems even come with ways of cooling your video, and RAM too.

  4. #4
    Platinum+ Member bhxtyrant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mousesk
    The only time I would OC my system is if I had water cooling in place. When your heatsink/fan says it will handle a 3200+, it means just that. It won't handle a 2400+ OCed to those speeds. (I'm sure that isn't what you are thinking, but just to make sure and not assume anything...) The gains you get by OCing with stock cooling would not be worth the risks, imho, anyway. I'm not sure the exact numbers, these are just guesses, but you probably wouldn't be able to get more than 100 MHz more out of your processor, and then you'd have to be watching the core temp more carefully. I would recommend a water cooling system if you plan on OCing. Some water cooling systems even come with ways of cooling your video, and RAM too.
    Oh no not by a long shot lol i would never attempt to OC that high.I just want to try and get a little extra boost in performance because some programs lately have been loading very slow for a 2GHZ PC I know the Nforce2 board can handle up to 3GB of ram so i think i will jump it up to 1GB soon as well.I may decide to upgrade the processor in the near future as well.probally to a 3200+ (i think thats the highest this board can take if im not mistaken.) or i may end up going to the AMD 64's and the Nforce 4 board.Havent really made a final choice yet on any of it.Im weighing my options basically.

    @ FastGame-

    I will try what you said and post the results hopefully later this afternoon.Lucky i kept all my manuals to all the hardware i put into this PC or i would be in big trouble

    Oh also while we are on the subject of water cooling.Is it safe?I have never really tried to OC a PC before but i have read a little bit about it at another forum i used to visit sort of like this place.Know any good site i could go to find some detailed info and maybe even some images?I assume installing any type of water cooling would require heavy case modding correct?
    Last edited by bhxtyrant; January 31st, 2005 at 13:14 PM.

  5. #5
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    There's lots of great heatsinks out there that are very good at handling loads of overclocking. Water cooling is only for crazy overclocking experts that overclock by around 1 Ghz or more!

    Yes water cooling poses a risk at shorting your electricals if things go wrong.

  6. #6
    Platinum+ Member bhxtyrant's Avatar
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    I was actually looking at this Heatsink/blower earlier today it looks fancy but does it work is the question?



    Air Flow: 22.1 cfm
    Cooling Fan Technology: Dual Ball Bearing
    CPU Type: AMD® AthlonXP™ 3200+ or higher
    Mounting: CPU Mounted
    Noise Level: 41 dBa
    Number of Fans: 1
    Device Type: CPU Cooling
    Voltage: VAC
    Width: 80 mm
    Depth: 80 mm

  7. #7
    Friendly Neighborhood Super Moderator phishhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mousesk
    I'm not sure the exact numbers, these are just guesses, but you probably wouldn't be able to get more than 100 MHz more out of your processor, and then you'd have to be watching the core temp more carefully.
    Mousesk, I have the same board but the 1.04 older version, that Fastgame gave me and bought a 1700xp (1.47ghz)cpu from Newegg. I have it currently OC'ed to 2gigs. and running my crucial pc2100 @ 333 air cooled. My idle temp says 36 cpu and 40 under load but I know this is wrong by atleast 5-10 degrees. This is still well under the kill temp. And has been running rock solid for what would you say Fastgame atleast 18months to 2yrs.



  8. #8
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    @Mousesk, as explained in another thread http://www.techzonez.com/forums/show...3&postcount=15 its not so much the CPU mhz we're looking for as opposed to raising the CPU FSB to run in sync with the ram, that can be done quite safely on air without water cooling. Whether or not someone running AMD can get 100 or 400 extra CPU mhz by OC'n isn't the point, OC'n the CPU FSB to run in sync with the ram is where the greatest improvement comes. Running CPU & Ram @400fsb opposed to 266fsb is a huge improvement, more so than an extra 100mhz in the CPU.

    Water cooling myth- you can OC higher than air cooling.

    Well that may or may not be the case....With water cooling the water is still going to be the ambient temperature of the air around it.

    If the air inside the PC is 100 F and a fan is blowing that air on the heat sink and the CPU stays at hmmm lets say 160 F, how much cooler will the CPU run if the same 100 F air is keeping the water at 100 F ?

    Sure you could move the water radiator outside the case and get cooler air than inside the case, but how much cooler will that air be than the PC air if someone has the correct inside air flow ?

    Chilled water cooling system is a different story, you can OC much higher with chilled water than you can on air.

    Non Chilled water cooling fact- Its quieter than air cooling

    I'm not going to tell anyone they should OC, its up to the individual to decide that. If someone is interested and asks then I'm going to tell them the correct way to the best of my ability.

    phishhead is the man with that board ! he's got that XP 1700 & 2100 ram screaming beans !

    Conan's the Intel man ! and his knowledge applies to AMD just the same

    None of us will tell you how to blow your PC up.......

    @bhxtyrant, that HSF looks good & should work fine....but have Conan show you his, thats the one to get.

    Before all this is that CPU unlocked ??????
    Last edited by FastGame; January 31st, 2005 at 14:02 PM.

  9. #9
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhxtyrant
    I was actually looking at this Heatsink/blower earlier today it looks fancy but does it work is the question?



    Air Flow: 22.1 cfm
    Cooling Fan Technology: Dual Ball Bearing
    CPU Type: AMD® AthlonXP™ 3200+ or higher
    Mounting: CPU Mounted
    Noise Level: 41 dBa
    Number of Fans: 1
    Device Type: CPU Cooling
    Voltage: VAC
    Width: 80 mm
    Depth: 80 mm

    Get a heatsink with heatpipes. Go with brands like Thermaltake, Thermalright and Zalman.

    This is what I use, it's compact and has great cooling abilities, you just need to choose the fan to pair it up with:

    http://www.thermaltake.com/coolers/c...01/pipe101.htm
    Last edited by Conan; January 31st, 2005 at 14:06 PM.

  10. #10
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conan
    Get a heatsink with heatpipes. Go with brands like Thermaltake, Thermalright and Zalman.
    I edited my post so he'd get the HSF you have

  11. #11
    Platinum+ Member bhxtyrant's Avatar
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    Ok so let me do a little run down here.Before i try to do any more advanced OCing i should get a new HSF preferribly something like this one?



    I would assume since it would be best to monitor my CPU temperature i should get a "Temperature and Speed Controller" so i can easily see everything needed?

    :EDIT: just saw you guys edited your posts as well lol as ou can see by my choice i always like to go for the overkill so to speak.
    Last edited by bhxtyrant; January 31st, 2005 at 14:11 PM.

  12. #12
    Friendly Neighborhood Super Moderator phishhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastGame
    If its unlocked we'll wait for phishhead to come by and lets us know about the latest/safest bios before going further. There's one danger.....that board has been known to kill bios anyway phishhead is OC'n that board so he knows the ins & outs on the bios thing
    I am currently using the Uber1008d but I wouldnt recommend the uber bios, since these are not OEM. And yes like FG said I corrupted 1 bios chip already.

    I've attached the latest BIOS for ya. Let us know if you need help flashing because you can make a nice paper weight quickly with a bad flash.



  13. #13
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhxtyrant
    Ok so let me do a little run down here.Before i try to do any more advanced OCing i should get a new HSF preferribly something like this one?
    No, before you get too excited you should see if your CPU is unlocked

  14. #14
    Platinum+ Member bhxtyrant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastGame
    No, before you get too excited you should see if your CPU is unlocked
    of course

  15. #15
    British Stud Muffin TZ Veteran GimieGimieGimie's Avatar
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    How do you know when your CPU is locked?

    I've managed to O/C my Athlon Barton 3000 by only 150mhz, anything higher, changing either the multiple clock, or FSB caused the pc is become unstable.

    150mhz isn't much, does this mean my CPU is locked?

    Or are the Athlon Bartons just not good overclockers?

    I'm assuming the later theory.

    It's not a matter of heat, the CPU temp is 40o idle, so it isn't a matter of heat.
    Last edited by GimieGimieGimie; January 31st, 2005 at 15:03 PM.

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