Overclocking CPU & GFX Card, READ CAREFULLY 3 replies

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-SpArKs-

E = mc 2

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1st December 2005

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#1 12 years ago

Not many people would appeal to this kind of thing. Those who are interested, please read carefully...

Here are the requirements:

1. At least one fan blowing into the case, and one blowing out. 2. Good cooling method. I would recommend not OCing unless you have a quality cooler. 3. Good temperatures. I would say around 40-50C load on Barton AMDs, and 50-55C on P4 "C". 4. A decent ambient temp(room temperature) 5. A STABLE motherboard. Abit and Asus are recommended.

Now, lets get going.

Pentium 4 "C" Overclocking

First, get very familiarized with your BIOS, your going to be in there a lot, and i mean that. Before you start, make sure you have all newest mobo drivers available, and check what the newest BIOS fixes. If it fixes something you should be concerned with, you need to do a BIOS flash (instructions will be on manufacturers website) Go into BIOS and set all options to "user defined" this way you now have full control of the OC

***ALSO SET THE RAM:FSB RATIO LOWER BEFORE YOU START, KEEPING IT AT 1:1 CAN RESULT IN THE BEEP OF DEATH ***

Next, download a CPU stress test such as prime95. This will raise your CPU temps to the max while testing system stability. The slightest fault found will shut down the test. Run prime95, and monitor your temps. They shouldn't go above 55C, unless you have an Abit IS7 or IC7 series, they display 10C higher then they really are.

Get into BIOS again. Set the AGP/PCI to fixed, on 66/33mhz. Now start the OC. P4 multipliers are locked, so you can only OC by changing the FSB. I would say go up at about 20-50mhz intervals, ONLY if you have a P4C. If not i recommend lower increments. OK, so you up it 30mhz or whatever. Now you exit BIOS and do a simple run in prime95, for about 15-30 min. while monitoring temps. If it doesn't find an error, proceed to OC more, if it does, then you MAY need to up the voltage core on the CPU. OK so as you get higher in your OC, each time, run prime95 for a longer and longer time. Eventually you will start getting instability problems. Now its time to up the voltage.

***NOTE*** CHANGING THE VCORE RESULTS IN TEMPERATURES SEVERAL DEGREES HIGHER THEN BEFORE, IF YOUR TEMPS WERE BAD BEFORE, DONT EVEN THINK ABOUT DOING THIS.

Go into BIOS, and under the soft menu, look for the Vcore. Up it to the next one available. Run prime95 for about an hour *closely* monitor your temps. If they stay under 55C, move on to OC some more. Its pretty much rinse and repeat from here. Once you get to your final destination, its time to do a serious stress test, like 12-24 hours to ensure complete stability. Now, lets start tweaking everything else out to match the OC.

Go into soft menu, were going to start tweaking the RAM. Start to set it to a tighter ratio, getting closer in sync to the FSB. Keep doing this until you cant anymore.*5:4 divider is recommended for new OCers*

Check stability. Go into BIOS again, this time go to "advanced chip-set features" Set the RAM timings to user defined. The higher the number, means looser. Looser= less memory bandwidth, lower=tighter= more bandwidth. Pay attention, timings are key to getting performance out of an OC. First find out your CAS timing, it should be on the manufacturers website. If its not at that rated timing, put it there. Now separately tighten each timing and test stability.

Those are the basics for the P4.

AMD AthlonXP/Sempron Overclocking

NOTE:Most AthlonXP's and all Semprons have locked multipliers now. AMD is very similar, but a little different. The biggest thing you'll notice is the layout of softmenu in BIOS. You dont have to only up the FSB to OC, AMDs multipliers are unlocked so you may change them. Just in case your wondering, you get the CPU speed from multiplierxFSB. To use the OCed CPU, you need to select "enabled" for one of the options in BIOS(cant remember name, just look to the right, it'll show an explanation of each setting) Don't forget to chose a good FSB:RAM ratio that wont screw your RAM up.

OK, so choose what you want to do. Up the multiplier and keep the FSB the same, or up the FSB, which will also up the clock speed without touching the multiplier. Basically, just OC with the FSB unless you want to keep the FSB at stock.

Same thing, slowly apply the OC, instead of 20-50mhz increments, i would do 20mhz increments, or less, on an AMD. Blah, do the stress testing and monitor temps, etc etc. Once it gets unstable try upping the vcore to the next level.

Once at destination, perform a 12-24 hour stress test with no faults. If all goes well, move on to tweak the RAM(read P4 sec. for details) if it doesn't under-clock in 5mhz increments till its OK.

AND, there you have it! Wasn't too complicated was it? Those are just the basics, as you get more experienced you'll learn more and better techniques.

AMD Athlon 64 Overclocking

Athlon 64's have their multiplier locked while the FX's have their multiplier unlocked. Technically Athlon 64's don't have a FSB. They have a base clock which controls the CPU speed and a hypertranport (HT) link which is the path from the System to the CPU. The base clock on all Athlon 64's is 200Mhz.

The BIOS will either list the HT speed as a multiplier (1x,2x,3x,4x,5x) based off of the CPU's base clock or it will say the full speed (600MHz, 800MHz, 1GHz). If your BIOS lists it as a multiplier, it would be a good idea to lower it one notch so that it does not interfere with your OCing. Lowering the HT speed a bit will not hurt performance, unlike lowering the FSB speed on other CPUs.

The base clock controls the CPU speed just like the FSB does on other CPUs. It can be listed as Base Clock, CPU Speed or FSB in the BIOS. Increase it in increments of about 20Mhz before booting into Windows to see if it is stable.

Higher memory speeds will have a big impact on performance because of the Athlon 64's on-board memory controller. Memory speed is determined by a ratio (in 6ths) of the CPU's base clock. So an example of some of the ratios would be: 4/6 (133MHz), 5/6 (166MHz), and 6/6 (200MHz).

If it become unstable and crashes then increase the voltage slightly. Temperature will rise more with higher voltages of course. If you have an Athlon 64 FX CPU and you have hit a wall then you can try to increase the multiplier to see if you have any more room.

ATI/Nvidia Overclocking

Much easier then OCing the CPU, but it can be more dangerous. Make sure at LEAST one fan intake and one exhaust. You'll need special applications to OC a gfx card.

For nvidia, you'll need either coolbits: http://www.overclockers.com.au/techstuff/a_coolbits/ OR Rivatuner: http://www.guru3d.com/rivatuner/

For ATI, you'll need Rage3d tweak:

http://www.rage3d.com/r3dtweak/ OK, so lets start. OC in 1-5mhz increments, DO NOT take a big step, you screw it up big time and it'll fry. You screw up a CPU OC and just reset CMOS on motherboard, a bit different, especially on expensive cards. After each OC, run a game that is gfx dependant, or a benchmark like 3dmark03. If you get artifacts, like messed up gfx, then the card is unstable and overheating, and you'll start underclocking, if its fine, move on. So instead of monitoring temps like on a CPU, your going to look for artifacts in a game. Do the same until you find instability, then under-clock 1mhz at a time till its stable.


the internet is skynet



C38368

...burning angel wings to dust

50 XP

14th February 2004

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#2 12 years ago

This needs help...

-SpArKs-Not many people would appeal to this kind of thing. Those who are interested, please read carefully...

Here are the requirements:

1. At least one fan blowing into the case, and one blowing out. 2. Good cooling method. I would recommend not OCing unless you have a quality cooler. 3. Good temperatures. I would say around 40-50C load on Barton AMDs, and 50-55C on P4 "C".

K7 AMD cores are renowned for running hotter than your average Northwood.

4. A decent ambient temp(room temperature) 5. A STABLE motherboard. Abit and Asus are recommended.

Now, lets get going.

Pentium 4 "C" Overclocking

First, get very familiarized with your BIOS, your going to be in there a lot, and i mean that. Before you start, make sure you have all newest mobo drivers available, and check what the newest BIOS fixes. If it fixes something you should be concerned with, you need to do a BIOS flash (instructions will be on manufacturers website) Go into BIOS and set all options to "user defined" this way you now have full control of the OC

***ALSO SET THE RAM:FSB RATIO LOWER BEFORE YOU START, KEEPING IT AT 1:1 CAN RESULT IN THE BEEP OF DEATH ***

Actually, it's better to leave the ratio at 1:1 when you start, and then use memtest to check for errors. More often than not, you'll hit a wall with memory before CPU. Additionally, memtest will typically throw errors before you reach the point of POST failure. IIRC, failures in tests 1-4 indicate CPU problems, and 5-8 suggest RAM issues.

Next, download a CPU stress test such as prime95. This will raise your CPU temps to the max while testing system stability. The slightest fault found will shut down the test. Run prime95, and monitor your temps. They shouldn't go above 55C, unless you have an Abit IS7 or IC7 series, they display 10C higher then they really are.

ASUS motherboards are well known for underrreporting temps. Moral: you can't trust everything your motherboard tells you.

Get into BIOS again. Set the AGP/PCI to fixed, on 66/33mhz. Now start the OC. P4 multipliers are locked, so you can only OC by changing the FSB. I would say go up at about 20-50mhz intervals, ONLY if you have a P4C.

20-50MHz on the FSB is grossly excessive. 5-10MHz on the FSB is much more in line. For a 2.4C, that's a 60-120MHz increase in effective speed.

If not i recommend lower increments. OK, so you up it 30mhz or whatever. Now you exit BIOS and do a simple run in prime95, for about 15-30 min.

Run memtest once through at least one time, first.

while monitoring temps. If it doesn't find an error, proceed to OC more, if it does, then you MAY need to up the voltage core on the CPU. OK so as you get higher in your OC, each time, run prime95 for a longer and longer time. Eventually you will start getting instability problems. Now its time to up the voltage.

Be careful. There is a very real condition out there with Northwood cores known as SNDS (Sudden Northwood Death Syndrome). Empirical evidence suggests that it's a literal sudden death of these (and oddly, only these) Intel cores as a result of too much voltage. IIRC, the point of no return is somewhere around 1.7V. So watch your Vcore!

***NOTE*** CHANGING THE VCORE RESULTS IN TEMPERATURES SEVERAL DEGREES HIGHER THEN BEFORE, IF YOUR TEMPS WERE BAD BEFORE, DONT EVEN THINK ABOUT DOING THIS.

Go into BIOS, and under the soft menu, look for the Vcore. Up it to the next one available. Run prime95 for about an hour *closely* monitor your temps. If they stay under 55C, move on to OC some more. Its pretty much rinse and repeat from here. Once you get to your final destination, its time to do a serious stress test, like 12-24 hours to ensure complete stability. Now, lets start tweaking everything else out to match the OC.

Go into soft menu, were going to start tweaking the RAM. Start to set it to a tighter ratio, getting closer in sync to the FSB. Keep doing this until you cant anymore.*5:4 divider is recommended for new OCers*

If you were following along earlier, I recommended starting the RAM in a 1:1 ratio. When memtest starts erroring out, that's when you'd want to kick it down, first to 5:4, then 3:2 if necessary, until you hit the wall with your CPU. Because of the way Intel is still designing their memory bus, an asynchronous memory ratio has a sigificant adverse impact on measureable performance. Try to avoid it if possible (why do you think that highly-clockable TCCD/TCC5 memory is so in demand?).

Check stability. Go into BIOS again, this time go to "advanced chip-set features" Set the RAM timings to user defined. The higher the number, means looser. Looser= less memory bandwidth, lower=tighter= more bandwidth. Pay attention, timings are key to getting performance out of an OC. First find out your CAS timing, it should be on the manufacturers website. If its not at that rated timing, put it there. Now separately tighten each timing and test stability.

Those are the basics for the P4.

AMD AthlonXP/Sempron Overclocking

NOTE:Most AthlonXP's and all Semprons have locked multipliers now.

Actually, they all do now, and have for about two years.

AMD is very similar, but a little different. The biggest thing you'll notice is the layout of softmenu in BIOS. You dont have to only up the FSB to OC, AMDs multipliers are unlocked so you may change them. Just in case your wondering, you get the CPU speed from multiplierxFSB. To use the OCed CPU, you need to select "enabled" for one of the options in BIOS(cant remember name, just look to the right, it'll show an explanation of each setting) Don't forget to chose a good FSB:RAM ratio that wont screw your RAM up.

OK, so choose what you want to do. Up the multiplier and keep the FSB the same, or up the FSB, which will also up the clock speed without touching the multiplier. Basically, just OC with the FSB unless you want to keep the FSB at stock.

Same thing, slowly apply the OC, instead of 20-50mhz increments, i would do 20mhz increments, or less, on an AMD. Blah, do the stress testing and monitor temps, etc etc. Once it gets unstable try upping the vcore to the next level.

Once at destination, perform a 12-24 hour stress test with no faults. If all goes well, move on to tweak the RAM(read P4 sec. for details) if it doesn't under-clock in 5mhz increments till its OK.

AND, there you have it! Wasn't too complicated was it? Those are just the basics, as you get more experienced you'll learn more and better techniques.

With K7 chips, overclocking is essentially the same as for any Intel chip. However, they run hotter and often have memory controllers that are far more flaky. They also didn't get DDR400-capable memory controllers until late in the game, along with dual channel memory support.

AMD Athlon 64 Overclocking

Athlon 64's have their multiplier locked while the FX's have their multiplier unlocked.

No, Athlon 64s have their multiplier locked upwards and unlocked downwards. FXs have it unlocked both ways. The ability to lower the multiplier is of great boon to those with memory that can achieve high speeds, and part of AMD's darling status with overclockers.

Technically Athlon 64's don't have a FSB. They have a base clock which controls the CPU speed and a hypertranport (HT) link which is the path from the System to the CPU. The base clock on all Athlon 64's is 200Mhz.

The BIOS will either list the HT speed as a multiplier (1x,2x,3x,4x,5x) based off of the CPU's base clock or it will say the full speed (600MHz, 800MHz, 1GHz). If your BIOS lists it as a multiplier, it would be a good idea to lower it one notch so that it does not interfere with your OCing. Lowering the HT speed a bit will not hurt performance, unlike lowering the FSB speed on other CPUs.

That 1x-5x multi is properly known as the LDT multiplier and determines the clock of the HTT. Most, but not all motherboards exhibit extreme instability when the HTT exceeds 1000MHz. HTT speed is equal to the core clock (200MHz by default) times the LDT multi (5 by default on nF4 boards). As such, if you plan to overclock an A64/FX, you're well-advised to keep the HTT below 1GHz. So the first thing you do in the BIOS should be to lower the LDT multi to 4x.

The base clock controls the CPU speed just like the FSB does on other CPUs. It can be listed as Base Clock, CPU Speed or FSB in the BIOS. Increase it in increments of about 20Mhz before booting into Windows to see if it is stable.

Again, 20MHz is excessive. 5-10MHz is wiser.

Higher memory speeds will have a big impact on performance because of the Athlon 64's on-board memory controller. Memory speed is determined by a ratio (in 6ths) of the CPU's base clock. So an example of some of the ratios would be: 4/6 (133MHz), 5/6 (166MHz), and 6/6 (200MHz).

It's more complicated than that. The general equation looks like: DRAM Clock = CPU Clock / (ceil(CPU Clock Multi/Memory Divider)) I'm not sure offhand just what the entire roll of dividers available is, but they are not all in sixths.

If it become unstable and crashes then increase the voltage slightly. Temperature will rise more with higher voltages of course. If you have an Athlon 64 FX CPU and you have hit a wall then you can try to increase the multiplier to see if you have any more room.

ATI/Nvidia Overclocking

Much easier then OCing the CPU, but it can be more dangerous. Make sure at LEAST one fan intake and one exhaust. You'll need special applications to OC a gfx card.

For nvidia, you'll need either coolbits: http://www.overclockers.com.au/techstuff/a_coolbits/ OR Rivatuner: http://www.guru3d.com/rivatuner/

For ATI, you'll need Rage3d tweak:

http://www.rage3d.com/r3dtweak/ OK, so lets start. OC in 1-5mhz increments, DO NOT take a big step, you screw it up big time and it'll fry. You screw up a CPU OC and just reset CMOS on motherboard, a bit different, especially on expensive cards. After each OC, run a game that is gfx dependant, or a benchmark like 3dmark03. If you get artifacts, like messed up gfx, then the card is unstable and overheating, and you'll start underclocking, if its fine, move on. So instead of monitoring temps like on a CPU, your going to look for artifacts in a game. Do the same until you find instability, then under-clock 1mhz at a time till its stable.




-SpArKs-

E = mc 2

50 XP

1st December 2005

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#3 12 years ago

^^ Some details I missed. Thanks C38368, I did wright this a while ago so it was in need of an update.

Thanks again...


the internet is skynet



C38368

...burning angel wings to dust

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14th February 2004

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#4 12 years ago

No problem. For an unprompted guide, that was pretty comprehensive.