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Old 05-19-2006, 09:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Should I attempt Overclocking my cpu?

I have a amd athlon 64 3700+ processor that i would like to overclock. Right now it is set at 2.2 ghz by default. (Is that correct? When i perused the overclocking tutorial it illustrated that 3200+ run at this setting) My idle temperature is 36 degrees while load under CS:S is about 45. Should i perhaps buy a better heatsink than what came with the cpu to overclock with? (please give newegg links.) What are your experiences with overclocking? Is it worth it? Is it easy to damage your hardware while doing so? What should I be able to safely overclock to with my processor? Also, where do i check to see what multiplyer it is governed by?

So far all i know about overclocking is that you increase the fsb by amounts dictated by what multiplyers govern the processor and then increase voltage by .5-1 if things seem to be unstable, which i don't know how i'll be able to indicate.

Oh yea, and here's a link to my MOBO:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131530

Should i overclock with this?

Also, do you think it would work well with this heatsink i am looking at?:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835118115
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Old 05-19-2006, 11:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Ok, first off, I STRONGLY advise you leave the voltage ALONE until you get very comfortable with overclocking.. for one, a .5 - 1 volt increase will almost certainly fry any chip.

Anyways, damaging components isn't real easy to do while overclocking, depending on what you are doing. If you're just bumping up the FSB, you ALMOST have little to worry about. Things to consider are PCI bus speed, and video card speed..I had to turn down my AGP bus speed because after OC'ing I had major graphical errors in games.

Always remember to go slow. Go maybe 3 - 5 MHz at a time, boot up, and check temps/take a benchmark test and make sure it won't die on you. When you find a clock speed you want to stay with, or after you've gone like 15 - 20MHz, you might want to run Prime95 for about 10 hours, and make sure it's stable there. If so, keep going..if not, back down a little.

Another thing you have to consider is your RAM speed. I dunno what you have for RAM, but I'm going to take a guess and say DDR400? DDR400 is only rated to run at a real clock of 200MHz (effective clock of 400MHz), so therefore you'll need to a) buy faster RAM (DDR500/PC4000 or more) or, b), setup a FSB:RAM ratio.

I won't really get into the FSB:RAM ratio thing because I don't really know much about it. In my BIOS, I don't have it..I just have DRAM clock where I can change the RAM speeds to slower settings, so I put it at DDR333 speeds to give me about 30MHz (.3GHz) to play with.

As for your temps - raising the FSB doesn't really raise the temps very far. At 2.0GHz, I run about 23*C, and at 2.25GHz I'm at 27 (both at idle, stock cooling). So it doesn't really raise it that much..but after you mess with voltage or really high clocks it will get hot.

Your temps are probally right around average, nothing to worry about. Most chips/mobo's/BIOS these days have alarms and shut-down temps anyways, so you won't hurt anything.

Oh and one last piece of info - say you raise the FSB too high for either the RAM or the CPU.. you don't have anything to worry about! If it doesn't boot/POST, try to get into BIOS but if you can't then just reset CMOS via the battery or the jumpers on the motherboard...just a little re-assurance for you.

I hope I helped, have fun.

EDIT: By the way, it is definitly worth it. I shaved ~11 seconds off a SuperPI test just by going from 2.0GHz to 2.2GHz, and I know my chip has a lot more potential.
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Old 05-19-2006, 11:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I didn't even think about ram conflicts. I think that i will want to set up a FSB:RAM ratio, but overclocking the ram sounds ideal. Do most newer bioses offer these features? Is overclocking the ram to meet the needs of the FSB recommended, and if so, how much should i overclock it in order to make up for any overclocking i will be doing to the cpu? Also, if everything gets too confusing or i change something that i cannot recall later is it possible to just put all clock settings back to normal without hardware retaliation?

One problem I have is that my heatsink is extremely loud. I think i'll invest in another one. Can anyone give their input on the heatsink i linked to above?
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Old 05-19-2006, 12:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That's a pretty good heatsink. Another to look at is the Bigtyphoon.

Yeah, you could OC your RAM to meet FSB standerds..but I'd imagine you won't get far before the FSB is running too fast for DDR400. Basically you just either up the voltage or loosen the timings to overclock RAM, but too much voltage and you could fry it. Try to stay at or under 2.8V. Of course different RAM modules overclock better/worse.

Hardware has nothing to do with the BIOS. All of the BIOS information is stored in a little chip on the motherboard, and saved via the battery on the motherboard. So, yes, you can just reset the BIOS to default by clearing CMOS by either using the jumpers, or by removing the battery for about a minute. Refer to your motherboard manual on how to clear CMOS if you are confused.

And yes, almost all boards you can buy today will have options to overclock RAM, unless you buy a POS. The one in your sig will do fine.

Remember to buy some Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound with that heatsink.
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Old 05-19-2006, 02:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Alrighty, thanks a bunch! Hopefully i can at least get to 2.5 ghz...
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Old 05-19-2006, 03:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I just overclocked to 2.409 ghz without changing the ram settings. It seems to be working fine so far. I'll try to bump it up to 2.5 ghz for keep when i get my zalman cooler. I would have overclocked the ram, but all i saw was an overall clock frequency controller, and when i increased the clock to 433 (the next available clock) the setting didn't stay when i booted the pc up.
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Old 05-19-2006, 04:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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are you doing stability testing or just saying it's fine? you need to run prime 95.. your going to be playing a game and it's going to give you BSOD
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Old 05-19-2006, 06:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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"Ok, first off, I STRONGLY advise you leave the voltage ALONE until you get very comfortable with overclocking.. for one, a .5 - 1 volt increase will almost certainly fry any chip."

Haha, Are you serious? The only way you are litterally going to "fry" a chip is if you run like 2.0 volts through it for a week.
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Old 05-19-2006, 07:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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No... 2.0 Volts on a lot of newer AMD chips will fry either the memory controller or the cpu, or both.... don't forget there both built into the chip. Also your probably at 200x11 at stock, 11 being the multi which you can't change and 200 being the FSB (Or 400, some motherboards just double the value) But you'r ram will overclock along with the CPU as long as it can keep up with the FSB your trying to bumb it to with the timings and voltages.
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Old 05-19-2006, 07:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My mobo lets me change the multiplier to many different settings. I went onto irc and was convinced by many not to overclock my processor any more. The people on there urged that doing so would greatly diminish the lifespan of the unit and would be an overall waste. What are your opinions on the matter? Is it worth paying 55 bucks for a heatsink and thermal past just for a 300 mhz increase? I heard that with a 3700+ the processor would never be the bottleneck in any current gen or even upcoming next gen games so what is the point?
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