A newbie's guide to Overclocking a Athlon XP CPU

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by TheMask, Dec 3, 2003.

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  1. TheMask

    TheMask @ TechEnclave

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    CAUTION!!!
    DARE TO OVERCLOCK AT YOUR OWN RISK!
    YOUR PROCESSOR, MOTHERBOARD AND MEMORY STICKS MAY VOID WARRANTY WHEN RUN AT SPECS ABOVE OF WHAT THEY ARE INTENDED TO RUN AT



    Pre-requisites:
    1. AMD Athlon XP Processor 266/333FSB
    2. A very good motherboard such as the nForce2 which allows changing the Multiplier, FSB, Vcore, Vdimm etc in the BIOS
    3. Very good memory sticks such as DDR333 for 266FSB CPU and DDR400 for 333FSB CPU
    4. A stable Power Supply Unit
    5. Patience, tons of it

    Overclocking ? an inexpensive way to achieve higher performance by spending as little money.

    First things first, read thru the instruction manual for the motherboard and CPU and familiarize yourself with placing the CPU into the socket in the ?right? way, securing the HEAT SINK in the ?right? way, putting in the RAM sticks in the ?right? way.

    Some background:

    The speed at which a processor runs is the product of the FSB (Front Side Bus) and the Multiplier.
    For a 1700+ running at 1466MHZ, it is FSB 133 x Multiplier 11 = 1466MHz. If u still remember 2nd grade math u will know that u cud increase the speed of the CPU by either increasing the FSB or the multiplier. For a thousand reasons known and unknown, CPU manufacturers, suffice to say INTEL & AMD, lock the multipliers on CPUs. AMD until a short time ago did ship out tons of Multiplier Unlocked CPUs making it the most loved CPU among Overclocking enthusiasts. But for the past month or so, even AMD has started to lock their range of CPUs.

    The Athlon XP range of CPUs are of two types ? Thoroughbred and Barton, depending on the core-design and the amount of L2 cache each CPU carries. Typically, Thoroughbreds have 256kB of L2 cache and most of them run at 266FSB (core clock of 133 = 266DDR), except a few high end ones such as the 2600+ running at 333FSB (core clock of 166MHz = 333 DDR). The Barton on the other hand carries a L2 cache of 512kB and all Bartons run at FSB 333 and the high end Bartons such as 3200+ run at 400FSB.

    If you look at the AMD CPU box packing, you will not find a thing about it being a Barton or a Thoroughbred. d**n AMD doesn?t even mention how much L2 cache the CPU is carrying. The best way to find out if the CPU u r looking at is a Barton or a Thoroughbred is by comparing the length of the core on the CPU. Typically, take a 1800+ in one hand and a 2500+ in another. Look at the core (the small rectangular metal piece at the center of the CPU). Compare. Longer rectangular core is essentially a Barton. The other, shorter one, is the Thoroughbred.

    Enough of all that intro. Here?s pure OCing stuff.

    Once you are up and running with your system, it is always better to run the components at their default speed to see if everything works. When you are satisfied with ur system and ready to get more juice out of it, here?s what you cud do.

    1. With in the BIOS, increase the FSB in steps of Four.

    2. Boot into Windows and check for stability. Download programs such as Prime95, SiSoft Sandra 2004, 3D Mark 2001SE to run some benchmarks and stress the components.

    3. When u find it satisfactory, go into BIOS and increase the FSB by four more and repeat the steps 1 & 2.

    4. You may do this till your system doesn?t boot. Once your system fails to boot in, you may have to reset the jumper on the mother board to clear the CMOS. (check the manual as to how it is done)

    5. Then go back into BIOS and increment the FSB in steps of One from the previous value at which the system booted fine.

    6. Run the programs, check for stability.

    Now you?ll reach a point where anymore increase in FSB even by 1MHz, will fail your system to boot. This is the max speed ur CPU will run at at this Vcore value. Vcore is the voltage that is supplied to the CPU by the motherboard. U may increase this value by a mere 0.25V and then repeat thru the stpes1 to 6. Once u have hit the limit at this value of Vcore, try increasing Vcore by another 0.25V and repeat the steps. Whatever you do, DO NOT INCREASE the Vcore beyond 1.8V for AMD processors.

    More speed naturally means more heat. It is always best to install some Monitoring software such as Mother Board Monitor 5 (could be found on the last Digit issue I believe). Check for CPU and mother board temps. CPU temps should never go beyond 60C for an overclocked CPU to last for a long time. More heat means lesser life for the component. Hence investing in a good heat sink is worth the money. But as of now no good heat sink is available in the Indian market. So if u stick with the stock HSF (Heat Sink Fan), then watch your temperature.

    Here are a few links from where you may download some programs that I mentioned!

    Prime95 ? http://mersenne.org/freesoft.htm
    SiSoft Sandra 2004 ? http://www.sisoftware.net/sandra
    Memtest86 ? http://www.memtest86.com
    3DMark 2001 SE - http://www.futuremark.com/download/

    Say your prayers and GOOD LUCK with ur overclocking! Do let us know how u have done!

    Suggestions and Criticisms are most Welcome!

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    Darklord
    Anyone else who adds stuff or comments[/b]
     
  2. GunshotSilence

    GunshotSilence New Member

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    hey maan
    a very good guide for a hardware(cpu, mobo) newbie like me
    who cant keep track of all new cpus
    now i know what is a barton and,etc.

    but i wont overclock until i will have used my new(agar naya upgrade kiya to) for atleast one year
    but still very good guide

    can u explain about various mobo s -do they reallyhave a geforce card onboard and thus is an additional card needed?
    and can u explain about latest pentium too?

    i have a 933 mghz sine last 2 yrs i would like to overclock it
     
  3. darklord

    darklord New Member

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    Well Nvidia offers chipsets for AMD CPUs only for now.THe first chipset was Nvidia Nforce,it had a Geforce 2 GPU integrated.THe onboard grafix utilises system memory which is very slow than video ram[ram on grafix cards.].THerefore Integrated Geforce 2 will never perform as good as a card would.Actually it is use is intended to be conservative.

    Later Nvidia launched Nvidia Nforce 2 chipset,a real masterpiece.THis one had Geforce 4 MX integrated.Same holds true here as stated above regarding performance.

    I would like to mention here that the performance of these integrated solutions is way better than offered by Intel & VIA.

    Also the boards based on these chipsets have an additional AGP slot,if you plan to use a proper grafix card.
    Nvidia Nforce = AGP 4X slot
    Nvidia Nforce 2 = AGP 8X slot.

    You say,you want to know something about the new Pentium CPUs,can you please specify what exactly are you looking for?

    Also looking at you current setup,it depends on the motherboard you are having right now.If the board is good then,YES you can overclock your current CPU a little by the way of DIP switch.Intel 810 chipset boards had DIP switches for changing the FSB unlike current boards which are jumperless.

    Intel CPUs are multiplier locked,so only way you can overclock is through increasing the FSB.

    :wink:
     
  4. OP
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    TheMask

    TheMask @ TechEnclave

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    Gr8 Post Darklord!
     
  5. darklord

    darklord New Member

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    Thanx for the compliment.Actually you have written the above guide,i have just replied to the questions asked. :wink:
     
  6. OP
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    TheMask

    TheMask @ TechEnclave

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    I hope u have seen the Acknowledgement in my guide (at the bottom of the post). The guide cudnt have been that without ur help.
     
  7. shadowdm

    shadowdm New Member

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    Well done

    hi
    Hey thatz a lot of info. Good work. Keep on posting such emcouraging stuff. Now I can almost double my clock speed. (Warrenty time is over so I am really enjoing it(tough my teeth are clenched))
    rgds
     
  8. OP
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    TheMask

    TheMask @ TechEnclave

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    Keep us posted about ur OC experience
     
  9. saurabh

    saurabh New Member

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    The forum at www.nforcershq.com is also quite good for AMD overclockers. You can get experienced troubleshooting help there on AMD overclocking.
     
  10. cyanide3d

    cyanide3d New Member

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    well, heres my pc config:
    AMD Athlon 1800 XP+
    Gigabyte GA 7VKML
    256MB PC2100 DDR RAM and the rest...
    the stock 1800+ runs at 1.53 Ghz.
    ive overclocked it to 2.1 Ghz. i think thats the max to which XP 1800+ can go.
    my internal clock runs at abt 186mhz.
    i have abt 8 cooling fans in the cabinet and i have fitted an a/c next to the cpu which cools this monster. i'm thinking abt upgrading the cpu to an XP2400.
    i wanted to ask 1 question:
    can dry ice or solid CO2 be used to cool my cpu or has anyone tried it???
     
  11. OP
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    TheMask

    TheMask @ TechEnclave

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    Is that KM400 chipset based mobo?

    i dont know. But if u find out anything about it, do let me know too. :D
     
  12. cyanide3d

    cyanide3d New Member

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    nope, its the VIA KM266 chipset
     
  13. OP
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    TheMask

    TheMask @ TechEnclave

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    with VIA KM266 and DDR266, thats a vey good overclock going from 1533MHz to 2.1GHz. Congratulations!

    Could you give us more details about the FSB and multiplier?
     
  14. darklord

    darklord New Member

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    Heartiest congratulations on your succesful overclock. :wink:

    Anyways i would not suggest you going for extreme cooling measures.

    First of all they need a lot of skill to get everything in place and on top of that it is too risky.

    Chances of failure are high.

    I would suggest you try out water cooling first & then try these things.

    As Masked mentioned above,please specify the FSB & Multiplier settings.

    COnsidering that you have a KM266 chipset,that overclock is really very good.
     
  15. cyanide3d

    cyanide3d New Member

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    well, the multiplier is at the stock value i.e. 11.5 and the fsb is running at about 186mhz.i know that the cooling is extreme but me and my friend had a bet going and i had to prove him wrong. :lol:
     
  16. OP
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    TheMask

    TheMask @ TechEnclave

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    Nice man! so 186 is best u cud go to? or u havent tried beyond that?
     
  17. cyanide3d

    cyanide3d New Member

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    well, i havent tried beyond that but the problem is that even with all that cooling, the temperature of the mobo is abt 53 C. i dont wanna go beyond that since i had fried one cpu abt 4 months back
     
  18. OP
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    TheMask

    TheMask @ TechEnclave

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    u sure the temp of the mobo is 53C and not that of the CPU? :O Thats very high if it really the mobo temp, but for a CPU temp, its pretty cool :wink:
     
  19. darklord

    darklord New Member

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    Well are you sure that's the mobo temp????? :shock:

    It just can't be so much & if it really is then it is too risky to run at that temps.

    Also,have you removed the crappy thermal pad from the northbridge heatsink?

    Remove it and apply some silicon based thermal paste to improve heat transfer. :wink:
     
  20. Apollyon

    Apollyon New Member

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    dude,ur ram n mobo r holding u back...i can oc my dlt3c 1800 to 2.35 with ease with temps being 50c at load...n ppl have oced the 1800 to 2.8-3 ghz with prommy,peltier kits...
     
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