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Overclocking -> mobo and/or procesor

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by Cobra427, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. Cobra427 New Member

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    Ok well I have no idea how to do any of this stuff...overclocking a gpu is easy is overclocking your mobo and/or processor as easy? IF it is how would I go about doing it? :)

    My mobo = Asus P4S800
    My Processor = P4 3.06
    I have 800FSB is that matters, a gig of ram and a 300watt PSU (soon to be replaced with an Ultra X-Connect).
     
  2. Cobra427 New Member

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    Oh, and I am asuming that if I OC my processor that I will have to replace the factory heatsink and fan?
     
  3. Millennium

    Millennium New Member

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    Yes, but an LGA (pinless) P4 runs really hot at stock speeds. Try for a 10% overclock but watch those temps those chips use enough watts already :p

    might not be worth the cost of the new sink unless you dont care abou running costs. Also dont use plain white goop use something high end.... good luck.
     
  4. djbbenn

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    If your going to change your thermal paste, get Artic Silver 5. Its like the best stuff out there. And for a heatsink, zalmans are good but if your really want good go like XP-90. :D

    Millennium - And he doesn't have a LGA cpu. Its socket 478, if thats what you ment.

    -Dan
     
  5. Cobra427 New Member

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    I dont know how to overclock any of it, except the video card, thats the thing. Are there programs that I can download and use or something? I am clueless.
     
  6. djbbenn

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    You can get programs but they aren't the best for overclocking, overclock though your bios. Just google for overclocking and you'll get all the info you need. ;)

    -Dan
     
  7. Snipe0876 New Member

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    got this on a overclocking site this explains all tbh

    As the title states you can find all the basic info on A64's in here, as its quite a long posts I've also made a small index for ya'll


    Contents:
    - CHAPTER 1: A64's
    - Part 1: The available CPU's
    - Part 2: The technicalities
    - Part 2.1: Interpreting codes
    - Part 2.2: Core specifics
    - Part 3: Overclocking
    - Part 3.1: Knowledge you need
    - Part 3.2: Basic overclocking
    - Part 3.3: Tweaking on
    - Part 4: FAQ for newbs

    - CHAPTER 2: AXP's
    - Part 1: Troubleshooting an overclocked system (skeensp)

    - CHAPTER 3: Useful utils (Always under construction)
    - Part 1: CPU
    - Part 2: Memory
    - Part 3: General

    - ROADMAPS

    CHAPTER 1: A64's

    Part 1: The available CPU's

    Only CPU's that are somewhat modern are in this list, otherwise it would just become uselessly large.

    As the title states you can find all the basic info on A64's in here, as its quite a long posts I've also made a small index for ya'll


    Contents:
    - CHAPTER 1: A64's
    - Part 1: The available CPU's
    - Part 2: The technicalities
    - Part 2.1: Interpreting codes
    - Part 2.2: Core specifics
    - Part 3: Overclocking
    - Part 3.1: Knowledge you need
    - Part 3.2: Basic overclocking
    - Part 3.3: Tweaking on
    - Part 4: FAQ for newbs

    - CHAPTER 2: AXP's
    - Part 1: Troubleshooting an overclocked system (skeensp)

    - CHAPTER 3: Useful utils (Always under construction)
    - Part 1: CPU
    - Part 2: Memory
    - Part 3: General

    - ROADMAPS

    CHAPTER 1: A64's

    Part 1: The available CPU's

    Only CPU's that are somewhat modern are in this list, otherwise it would just become uselessly large.



    Prices are from NewEgg, OEM when possible. $---.-- means its no longer available at NewEgg, but you may be more lucky elsewhere. When CPU's have been unavailable at NewEgg for 3 price updates, they are removed from the list. I update the prices about once every two months, or after a major price update by AMD itself. Do not hold me responsible for any differences as I can't possibly check all prices every day.

    LEGEND:

    Terms:
    Socket: No, you may not mix these numbers up...
    - 754 = Home of: Sempron, Athlon64. Single Channel
    - 939 = Home of: Sempron, Athlon64, AthlonFX. Dual Channel SC = Single Channel ram controller
    DC = Dual Channel ram controller
    Ram controllers are integrated in the 64 chips, the mobo manufacturers have no influence on it anymore...

    Red:
    FX-Line, better than the best. Multi's fully unlocked.

    Blue:
    Venice-Line, the new 90nm CPU's featuring SSE3 and a new Memory controller. Also known as Rev.E. Have proven to OC a bit better than the Winchesters and are more stable.

    Green:
    Winchester, also very fast but on some chips the memory controllers screw up for no reason at all. Don't get it if you can get a Venice in stead.

    Orange:
    FX-Line CORED CPU's, they are FX's, except that their multi's are locked upwards.

    Yellow (<- That says Yellow :
    Dual-Core CPU's, called X2 (cool name eh? Looks like mine... hehe). They won't help for gaming but baby they'll multitask like the mothafukkas...


    Part 2: The Technicalities

    Part 2.1: Interpreting codes

    At the end of the CPU number there will be a code, first a number and then two letters, they can be translated like this:

    The OPN-suffix will tell you the type/revision of the core, you can find it at the VERY end of the first line in the CPU code:

    AP - Clawhammer, rev. C0 (avoid this!)
    AR - Clawhammer, rev. CG
    AX - Newcastle, rev. CG (ALL Newcastles are rev CG)
    AW - Newcastle 939
    BI - Winchester
    BP - Venice
    BN - San Diego
    BV - Dual core 512KB cache
    CD - Dual core 1MB cache
    BOX - The CPU is a boxed version, this means you get the heatsink as well.

    When this code starts with an A it is a 130nm CPU, if it starts with a B, it is a 90nm CPU.

    The number before this code represents the amount of cache:

    2 - 128KB (Sempron)
    3 - 256KB (Semrpon)
    4 - 512KB (Newcastle, Winchester, Clawhammer may have it when its turned down for a Clawhammer, it's then clocked at the NewCastle speeds...)
    5 - 1MB (Clawhammer, San Diego)

    For the dual cores count is different, as in -1, for whatever reason. That means that 5 means 512KB cache, and 6 are the 1MB versions.

    Examples:

    ADA3000DAA4BP - The Athlon64 90nm Venice 3000+, 512KB Cache.
    ADA3700BNBOX - The Athlon64 90nm San Diego 3700+, Boxed.
    ADA4800AA6CD - The dual core 90nm 1MB 4800+.
    ADA3000AEP4AP - The souped down 130nm Clawhammer 3000+ with 512KB, which I told you to avoid

    Part 2.2: Core specifics

    Here's where I'm gonna list the specifications per core, and their OCability.

    Socket 754:

    Clawhammer:
    Specs: 1MB Lvl2 Cache, multiplier is one lower than the Newcastle variety of the same rating.
    Ups and Downs:
    + 1MB Cache
    + Overclocks nicely if you get a CG revision
    - Lower multiplier
    - You're gonna wish you'd gotten a NewCastle when you get C0, they have horrific memory controllers to our standards.
    - It may be a bad Clawhammer, in that case you've gotten one with only 512KB cache and the NewCaslte multiplier. Don't think it'll OC like a Newcastle however, because it won't. If you get one like this, you have the worst of both sides.
    - Single Channel memory controller

    NewCastle:
    Specs: 512KB Lvl2 Cache, multiplier is one higher than the Clawhammer variety of the same rating
    Ups and Downs:
    + Guarantueed of a CG revision, meaning they all OC pretty nicely
    + Less cache = less Vcore required = less heat = even better OC
    + The multiplier, get yourself a 3200+ and you've got plenty of multi to play with, so that you don't need uber ram or a major HTT divide to get high clockspeeds
    - Only 512KB Lvl2 Cache
    - Single Channel memory controller

    Socket 939:

    Newcastle 939
    Specs: 512KB Lvl2 Cache, multi equal to Sct 754 version.
    Ups and Downs:
    + Guarantueed of a CG revision, meaning they all OC pretty nicely
    + Less cache = less Vcore required = less heat = even better OC
    + Dual Channel memory controller
    + The multiplier
    - Only 512KB Lvl2 Cache

    Clawhammer 939
    Specs: 1MB Lvl2 Cache, multiplier is UNLOCKED!!*
    Ups and Downs:
    + Unlocked multiplier*
    + 1MB Lvl2 Cache
    + Dual Channel memory controller
    - The price
    *) Only for the FX's, not for the 4000+, which is the only locked Clawhammer 939, at a 12x multi.

    Winchester
    Specs: 512KB Lvl2 Cache, Multiplier is 1 lower than the newcaslte variety (3200 Winchester = 3000 newcastle 754)
    Ups and Downs:
    + 90nm
    + OCes like mad
    + Dual Channel memory controller
    + The price (lower than expected)
    - Only 512KB cache
    - There's a chance you get a bad one

    Venice
    Specs: 512KB Lvl2 Cache, Multiplier is equal to Winchester version.
    Ups and Downs:
    + 90nm
    + Strained Silicon
    + New and improved E.rev/Mem controller
    + Dual Channel memory controller
    + OC's insanely
    - Only 512KB cache

    San Diego
    Specs: 1MB Lvl2 Cache, multiplier is UNLOCKED!!!**
    Ups and downs:
    + 90nm
    + Unlocked multiplier*
    + 1MB Lvl2 Cache
    + Dual Channel memory controller
    - Price
    **) Only for the FUTURE FX-57 (release date somewher in Q3), the 3700+ and the 4000+ will have locked multi's at 11x and 12x.

    [?]

    Manila:
    + Dual Core
    + 90nm
    + Cheap
    + 2 x 256 = decent 512kb Cache
    + DDRII 667Mhz bus***
    - DDRII 667Mhz bus***
    - Q206...

    Windsor:
    + Dual Core
    + 90nm
    + 1MB cache
    + Security Virtualization
    + DDRII 667Mhz bus***
    - DDRII 667Mhz bus***
    - Q106...

    Toledo:
    + Dual Core
    + 90nm
    + 2MB cache
    + Security Virtualization
    + DDRII 667Mhz bus***
    - DDRII 667Mhz bus***
    - Q106...
    - One FX is expensive, now how about two...

    ***) Neither confirmed nor denied, and I'm not sure whether we should be happy with this just yet.

    [/?]


    Part 3: Overclocking

    Part 3.1: Knowledge you need

    CPU
    The center of any computer, this in the chip that makes it all possible. The Central Processing Unit gets all the commands in the entire computer, tells the other parts when they need to know so they can perform their task. Of course this is an extremely heavy task which takes a huge potential. What makes it possible is a frequency generated by a crystal on the Motherboard (MoBo), which is then turned into a very high clockpulse, which runs through the CPU at a set voltage. You can adjust all these values at the risk of overloading your CPU, in human language: “blowing it up”. Modern CPU’s are so fast that some people say they need no adaption to make them handle tasks better. Us overclockers disagree.

    Overclocking itself
    Simply said, upping the frequency that runs through the CPU. This involves more than meets the eye, as you will find out reading this guide. There are many variables you have to take in to account, make certain parts even run slower than they can, only so you can allow another part to run significantly faster than stock, resulting in a higher end speed nonetheless. Please remember, and don’t say that I didn’t warn you (don’t have the nerve to contact me and ask ME for a refund for your CPU), overclocking WILL destroy your parst in the long term, and it WILL void your warranty. Die hards usually don’t care, “it’ll die sooner or later anyway”. This is entirely true. But if you don’t have money to burn you might not want to just destroy a CPU. Personally I don’t care if a CPU blows, it’s a good excuse for an upgrade. Generally CPU’s under my control are happy to reach their first anniversary because the voltages I use are crazy, even though my parts are water cooled. I also warn you beforehand that if you try to RMA your CPU to AMD because your blew it up while overclocking, the chances of a refund are MINIMAL.

    The memory controller
    As most people know by now the Athlon 64’s have an integrated memory controller. This means that RAM latencies are drastically reduced. While an Athlon XP and a Pentium 4 (P4) have an external memory controller, which is located in the so called “Northbridge” (NB) of the motherboards, with the Athlon 64 it is so called “on die”. That means it is literally on the CPU, as a part of it. This rules out the delays the XP and P4 have, which have to communicate with the NB. The P4 and XP get a memory latency of approximately 130-140ns, while the 64 only has to wait for about 60-70ns. Both may sound like they can be forgotten about, but the advantage of having half the memory latency is very significant, IF you know how to use it properly. If you read this guide well you will be able to do just that.

    The HTT
    The HTT (Hyper Transport Technology) is the technology the A64 uses to communicate with the RAM, and the Chipset(s). It’s very hard to explain, but I’ll try anyway. When people are talking about the HTT they can mean two things.

    1. The actual HTT. This is the link between the CPU and the Chipset/RAM. Depending on the socket this will run at either 600 (nForce3 150), 800 (nForce3 250/GB, VIA K8T800) or 1000 (nForce3 Ultra, nForce4 Pro/Ultra/SLI, VIA K8T800 pro) Mhz. Of course, the faster, the better (not entirely, but we will get to that later).

    2. The “base frequency” HTT. Stock this is 200Mhz on every 64, so far. In the near future we will see 267Mhz as well. This is the frequency you are actually changing when you want to overclock. This is also the value we will be talking about when overclocking. When someone says he has a 64 at 230 x 11, he means he has set the “base frequency” to 230Mhz, and is running an 11x multiplier. Obviously that means he is running his CPU at 2530Mhz. The base frequency x the HTT Multiplier = the actual HTT.

    When overclocking this value you’ll run into all kinds of problems, which we’ll discuss later.

    Ram dividing
    Unlike in Athlon XP and Pentium 4 systems, Athlon 64 take absolutely NO performance hit when using a memory divider, so don’t be afraid to divide that memory when you hit a wall with your ram.

    [ The real speed of an A64 speed is the clock of the CPU, every other value is derived from this. So if your CPU runs at 2200Mhz (11x multiplier) the bios devides the CPU clock by the multi (2200/11) and you have the ram speed. This means that the ram on an A64 is ALWAYS divided. So placing it under (for example) a 200:166 divider means you “slow down” the ram a bit more. But now if you speed up the HTT so that your ram is running at 200Mhz again, your CPU will be overclocked. And pretty much the only thing you did was change your multiplier up. To about 13.2 to be exact, if you’re a fanatic you can try to recalculate that ]

    RAM Timings
    These are the delays your ram takes, measured in clock pulses. The lower these numbers are, the better. We usually use 5 values in the following order: Cas-RasCasDelay-RowPrecharge-RAS-CommandPerClock, you’ll find them in your BIOS. If the fifth number is missing that’s not a big deal, but in your own rig ALWAYS keep this set to “1T”. This results in to about 20Mhz more memory performance as opposed to 2T. High timings are lethal for any A64’s performance. Because of the integrated memory controller they’ve got a RAM advantage, and this would even it out. Not so nice.

    RAM voltage (Vdimm)
    The voltage you are giving your ram, typically anywhere from 2.5 to 3.0V. People that go over that are either insane or know what they’re doing, which comes down to the same thing.

    SPD
    Serial Presence Detect, these are the factory recommended settings you put your RAM at so that it runs fine at a certain amount of Mhz. My advice: Ignore it. Manually giving in the timings usually results in a faster system in the end.

    Vcore
    The voltage you are feeding your CPU. For the Athlon64 this can (for stock values) vary from 1.35 to 1.55V. When overclocking you will meet instability, and this is a value you might then want to increase. You always have to be very aware of the temperatures though, because Vcore is the main reason your chip even warms up in the first place. Without it it won’t work, compromises, compromises. When do you need to up your Vcore? When you get something like this:

    1. BSOD: Blue Screen Of Death. Ask any overclocker, he’s seen it. And some people that don’t OC get it too. This is typically what you get when you overclock too far on too little Vcore, its Windows’s way of telling you you screwed up. It is literally a blue screen, with white text explaining what’s gone wrong. Don’t mind the bottom bit, that code is useless to us though the information on the top can be useful.

    2. No Boot: Your CPU turns on, but it craps out (jams, or automatically reboots) during the boot up. Your Vcore is again too low.

    3. No Post: You screwed up bad. Now you have to reset CMOS, no matter how you do it, by holding insert or delete during boot up (only some mobo’s support this) or by using the mobo’s jumper/removing the battery, you have to do it. This resets ALL you settings, so it sucks if you’ve forgotten what and whatnot your changed in there.
    The solution to all of these problems is to up the Vcore. But if temperatures do not allow for this (max for 130nm: 55, 90nm: 50ºc) it’s the end of the line and you’ll have to easy back on your overclock.

    CMOS
    This is the chip the BIOS uses to store its settings, if you have to reset it all settings will be back at stock.

    BIOS
    Basic Input Output System, this is the system that monitors ALL of your hardware, and if the BIOS doesn’t see it, neither will windows. It is also in control of clockspeeds and you can enable/disable devices in it too. Every overclockers SHOULD know how to use the BIOS to the detail and SHOULD be in complete control of it. If you don’t have a clue as to what you’re doing, you had better do nothing at all.

    Overcharge
    The settings you would be running for a benchmark, you can’t run this stable 24/7 and its merely bragging rights you attain by getting that higher benchmark score.

    Ehm… Yeah that’s about it, you should know the terms I’m going to use in the OCing guide now, good luck!


    Part 3.2: Basic overclocking

    Everything you do after this guide is at your own risk! I will not take responsibility for any of your escapades.

    Rig: DFI NF4 Ultra-D / Athlon64 Venice 3000+ / PC3200 ram

    You need to know what your CPU and ram will do independent of each other. Depending on which chipset you have (see “HTT” under the things you have to know) it has a maximum HTT link speed, the idea is the same but I’ll explain this with the described system. The maximum speed you will ever let this run at is 1Ghz. There are two settings in your bios that are interesting in your bios for now. The “HT”, and the “Multiplier”. Both settings may be on auto, shift them a bit to verify you have the right setting, the HT should be 200, and the multi everywhere from 8 to 13, depending on which CPU you have. This 3000+ has a 9 multi. To see only the maximum of your CPU, you will have to rule out your Ram and motherboard. Therefore you must divide your ram to 200:100, you do this in a separate screen in your bios which can be called anything, name will most likely be “memory ratio” or similar. This means your ram is running half the speed of whatever you put your HT to. Now you have to rule out your HTTlink, because when this succeeds 1Ghz it can become unstable. As I told you it is based out of the HT, and a multiplier. As we are going to up the HT, we will simply drop the multiplier to make sure the link doesn’t succeed 1Ghz, use “3”, just to be foolproof. Stock it would be set to “5”. Now you have slowed down the rest of your system enough to start finding the maximum of your CPU. Assuming you are using the stock cooler, immediately set your Vcore from 1.40 to 1.45 (this is perfectly safe, as long as your temperatures stay below 50C you can even go to 1.50, but no more on the stock cooler). Leave you CPU multiplier (or CPU ratio) at “9”, the maximum. Now you start upping the HT (the 200Mhz setting) by 5Mhz at a time. Everytime you have done so, boot to windows and run a program like Prime95 (free, for download see bottom, or google it) for 15 minutes. If the system is still stable then, you can up the HT another 5Mhz. If prime95 crashes in the 15 minutes you are running it, lower the HT by 5Mhz again and run Prime95 for an hour. If this is stable you can continue with the rest of the overclocking guide. Now you have a nice overclock on your CPU, but the rest of the system is totally screwed right now. So, the first thing we need to know is exactly how far we got. Lets say we achieve 275x9, which is the same as 2475Mhz. The 275Mhz on the HT gives a problem or two with the HTTlink, as you can’t possibly run 275x5, that would crash big time. 4x275 is also more than 1Ghz, 1100Mhz to be exact. So we have to use the 3x multi, which results in 275x3=825Mhz. So we lost 175Mhz on this link, sad, but no problem. 825Mhz is more than enough to carry all the data and getting this higher doesn’t give much advantage at all. Now for the ram. It is PC 3200 and we can’t expect it to run 275Mhz at decent timings. So we’ll have to devide it, as its fairly complicated, don’t worry about the timings. Enable SPD in bios and divide the ram to 200:150, this will result in it running 220Mhz, SPD will take care of the timings. Now you are done OCing your system! This is what you got: CPU: From 1.8Ghz to 2.48Ghz, Ram from 200Mhz to 220Mhz/slacked timings, HTT to suit. The CPU’s overclock is 675Mhz, nothing to spit at.


    Part 3.3: Tweaking on...

    Now you probably noticed that I wasn’t telling you to push everything very hard. That’s because it takes up much more time to get every last bit out of the computer. I’m not going to give you entire stories again, you just take the basic guide I told you to follow, and I’ll tell you what to add. Finding the CPU’s max:

    Go on until you find the approximate maximum. Now lower the HT by 5Mhz and continuously keep upping by 1Mhz, checking for stability every time. Whenever there is unstability up your Vcore by the tiniest step possible, and beware of your temps not exceeding the maximum. Continue this until you hit a solid wall, because your temps are getting out of boundaries. This is your CPU’s real maximum.

    The max HTT:

    Unless you have the chipset watercooled, or very well aircooled, you shouldn’t touch the Vdd, the chipsets voltage. But if you have it that well cooled, you can up this voltage and actually run your chipset at up to 1100Mhz, it is just a chip that can be OCed. There is little advantage to this though so it isn’t very advisable.

    Tweaking the Ram:

    This is slightly more difficult. Be advised you can up your Vdimm to create more stability. Now you have to rule out your CPU and chipset, and run the ram 1:1 at different timings every time (prime timings: 2-2-2-5, 2-3-2-6, 2.5-3-3-8) and find the max on each combination of timings. Lets say your ram will do 225Mhz on 2-2-2-5 (lowest possible), but when you use the 200:166Mhz divider your ram would end up at 230Mhz, and with the 200:150 divider it runs at 220Mhz. Right in between, damn it. So now you have to play around. Upping the Vdimm slightly may enable the ram to run 230Mhz at 2-2-2-5, that would be nice. But what if you were already at the max Vdimm? Then you might want to see if there is an advantage to sacrificing a bit of timing and gaining that 10Mhz, try running 2-2-2-6 or 2-3-2-5 for example. If that doesn’t work either, and you have to sacrifice too much, you should just use the 2-2-2-5 timings and the 200:150 divider, sad to loose that 5Mhz but sometimes you don’t have much of a choice.

    Of course this was a test system and the results were just thought of, but it is a perfectly attainable result. When I type it like this and you follow the exact actions I described, OCing looks like a laugh to you is my guess. But try doing it without this guide, and completely on your own. Getting the maximum possible out of that rig is harder than you think, especially finding the overcharge is hard because you don’t stresstest the CPU, you just see if it can run a specific benchmark before jamming up and that can take a lot of time to figure out. Usually the overcharge lies about 100Mhz higher than than the max stable speed.

    Well, now that that's out... I could understand if newbies didn't quite get all this, I'm typing it through a knowledgeble mind. Those who still have to learn may indeed not quite get it, but as long as you got the basics, you're cool.

    Part 4: FAQ for newbs
    Thnx to the people that thought of questions too simple to think of myself

    Q - How can I test whether my overclock is stable?

    A - Download Prime95 and run that. This tests your CPU to the max, which folding does aswell. To test your memory's stability download Memtest86 and run that. If you have the DFI Lanparty UT you can download the Memtest86 bios update and use that. Links for downloads can be found at the bottom of this post.

    Q - How long do I run Prime95 to be sure my CPU is stable?
    A - For at least 6 hours, 24 is seen as superstable.

    Q - Is using the 1T memory setting the best option?

    A - YES, 2T will slow you down a lot. About 20Mhz in ram speed is generally estimated.

    Q - What is the maximum Vcore I should give my CPU?

    A - As long as your CPU stays below the maximum temperature, 1.7Vcore is generally accepted to be the max to give your CPU on Xtreme air, meaning at least using a Tornado. If you're not an extreme case like a lot of us 1.60-1.65Vcore will get you fairly far.

    Q - What is the maximum load temperature before I should get worried?

    A - 55º is commonly seen as the max, for benching (max ~15 minutes load) 60-65 is acceptable.

    Q - Is better timings better than lots of bandwidth?

    A - In the A64's case, mostly yes. Meaning running 240HTT with your ram 1:1 at 3-4-4-8 will be slower than 240HTT ram 200:166 at 2-2-2-5. Dividing itself doesn't hurt much because the ram on an A64 is permanently divided, no matter what you do.

    Q - Which multi should I use when overclocking?

    That's a simple calculation, after finding out what your MAX CPU clock is (steps discribed above), fiind you max HTT while lowering the multi well beyond the limit, to something like 7 or 8. When you find your max HTT re-up the multi untill it gets the CPU as close to the max as possible. You may have to lower HTT a bit so you can maximize your multi, that may be better for performance. Just play around a bit.

    Q - How do I use Dual Channel?

    A DC MoBo has 4 memory slots, Slot 1 and 2 are channel 1, slot 3 and 4 are channel two. Slot 1 is the one closest to the CPU. If you fill slot 1 and 2 you will be running Single channel, if you fill slot 3 and 4 the same. If you want to run dual channel you need to use 1 and 3 or 2 and 4 or whatever, one slot from channel 1 and 1 slot from channel 2. If you feel the need to stash full all four slots (which is highly unneccesary and limits OCability) you will be automatically running Dual Channel.

    Notes:
    The Ram should be the same, different speeds or size mean the slowest ram is used, and 512 and 256MB sticks can't run Dual Channel, unless you use 1 512MB stick, and two 256MB sticks in the other channel. All the ram uses the same timings so if you have one bad stick, don't use it. It'll slow down your entire system, but that's the same as with Single Channel. A64's memory controller don't really like more than 2-3 sticks of ram, so its really not advisable to use more. Also, more than 2GB is just overkill...


    CHAPTER 2: AXP's

    Part 1: Troubleshooting an overclocked system (skeensp)

    Now some general rules of thumb before you start overclocking your system:

    1) Make sure you have a good bios. Try flashing to another one and see if its any better than the one you have. The latest is not always the greatest, and a good bios may not be good on your system.
    2) Make sure you are running the latest chipset drivers for your motherboard.
    3) Make sure you have sufficient temperatures to overclock with. If your running temps at 50C or over idle, dont bother with overclocking until you get better cooling.
    4) Make sure you have a GOOD quality Power supply and watch your voltage rails. If they flunctuate too much replace it because it will limit you stability and overclocking ability.
    5) Make sure your memory can handle the overclock that you want to achieve.
    6) For overclocking start your Vdimm voltage at 2.8v (if your mobo maxes out at 2.7 then set it there)

    Now thats the basic things to look for if you cant get very good overclocking out of your system.

    Example: Your system locks up and/or reboots all the time
    answer: This means your system is not stable. Could be several reasons. First try to raise your vcore by a small amount if you have enough temperature headroom. If you raise the vcore and it still happens, try loosening the ram timings and try again. If you cannot get your system stable than reduce your overclock by a small margin and try again. Many times a 3-5 Mhz FSB decrease will make it stable. Check for stability with a program like Prime95 and let it run for a minimum of an hour. (most people test for 12-24hrs) If it runs without freezing or locking up, your good to go.

    Also a major reason for this problem is the lact of Rail voltages. Check your rails using MBM5 or similiar and compare them with the BIOS reading. If they are okay when system is Idle that dont mean your PSU is okay. Run prime95 and check your voltages with a voltmeter. Now run a graphic intensive application (3dmark03 or similiar), and check them again. The voltages should be in the limits below.

    Rail: +5V: ~4% (+4,8V ~ +5,2V)
    Rail: -5V: ~10% (-4,5V ~ -5,5V)
    Rail: +12V: ~5% (+11,4V ~ +12,6V)
    Rail: -12V: ~10% (-10,8V ~ -13,2V)
    Rail: +3,3V: ~4% (+3,15V ~ +3,45V)

    The following are the most common arrangements of ATX mobo connectors. Not all manufacturers follow the coloring below but most do. The number is the respective pin # on the connector.
    1. Power Good * - Orange
    2. +5Vdc - Red
    3. +12Vdc - Yellow
    4. -12Vdc - Blue
    5. Ground - Black
    6. Ground - Black

    7. Ground - Black
    8. Ground - Black
    9. -5Vdc - White
    10. +5Vdc - Red
    11. +5Vdc - Red
    12. +5Vdc - Red


    Example: Your games or benchmarks crash to desktop
    Answer: Most notably the cause of this is your overclock is too high. Most of the time its the overall speed and not just a multi or FSB issue. Reduce the overall clock speed by reducing the FSB by 5Mhz and try again. keep going until your games run smooth without crashing.

    Example: Your temperatures are too high
    Answer: Simple your cooling is not doing its job. There are several possible fixes.
    1) remove your heatsink and reseat it using AS5 (arctic Silver 5 preferred) or similiar thermal Grease. Following all directions for applying the Thermal Grease evenly and smoothly. Application instructions
    2) You might just have more wattage than your HS/Fan (or waterblock) can keep cool. If this is the case after reseating you still cannot bring temperatures down, than reduce the vcore voltage. You will probably have to reduce the overclock as well when dropping voltage.

    Example: Your system will not boot up
    If your system will not boot up after adjusting your bios, then turn the power off, unplug the system, and (a) use the clear CMOS jumper (b) remove the CMOS battery for about 1 minute. if you use the jumper put it back to normal operation or put the battery back in, plug the PSU in and start the computer. Go into your bios and set it up again. This is a common practice when overclocking, so get used to where your CMOS jumper is for when you need it.

    Example: your system will not boot up after clearing CMOS
    If you clear CMOS and system still will not boot up then you have to narrow down what the problem is. This is where having extra parts or a good friend will help out:
    1) confirm that you have power coming from your PSU is the first thing. If your fans come on and optical/hard drives spin than most likely your PSU is not the problem (Sometimes it still can be at this point)
    2) remove the memory one stick at a time and retry. If you only have one stick remove it and see if the mobo beeps when trying to boot. If it dont beep than its not the memory most likely so put it back in.
    3) remove any PCI expansion cards that you have installed. Try to boot the machine. If nothing still leave the PCI cards out anyway.
    4) unhook your hdrive and optical drives from the motherboard and try again. It will still boot up without harddrive being attached so dont worry about that.
    5) Remove your video card and try another one. If you dont have another one try booting up. If it beeps than it could be your video card, you need to get another one and try it. If you dont have a friend that has one to borrow or an extra one laying around then go to your local department store and buy one try it and if it still dont work take it back.
    6) Now if you still have trouble you have eliminated everything except motherboard and CPU. Most of the time (not always) it will be the motherboard IF you havent ran your CPU with excessive temperatures. If you have another CPU replace it and see if it boots up. If you dont have another one, your gonna have to buy one or put yours in another system to test out. If it works in another system you know your motherboard has bit the bullet. buy a new one.

    Example: Your system just beeps when turning it on
    There are several things that could cause this. Most of them are listed above but the first thing to do is try to reset the CMOS. High FSB will cause this sometimes when the memory will not run at the set speed. If you reset the CMOS and still nothing happens make sure all your cables are connected properly and all Memory and PCI/AGP cards are intalled into their sockets all the way. The easiest way is to remove them and put them back in.

    Grounding problems can cause temendous hair loss when you pull it all out because you have tried everything and nothing works. lol If your motherboard is grounded to your case at any point, most of the time it will not boot up. Make sure that you motherboard is not touching any part of the inside of the case. A secure thing to do is use the felt or cardboard washers when installing your mobo in your case. This will help eliminate some of these problems.

    Example: System dont boot up after adjusting FSB
    Simple solution, Clear you CMOS and restart again. Go into the bios and set everything again. Its a good idea to write down things when you change them so if this happens you know where you were and can set the settings accordingly.

    Example: System dont boot after flashing bios
    This is a common pain and sometimes happens for no reason. (Speaking from experience) If you have this problem you better have another bios chip for your motherboard. You can hot swap the bios chip and flash your corrupted chip only if you have another chip for your motherboard. Its a good idea to keep a spare.
    1) Download this (hot swap bios chip (thanks Madramper for this link)) and prepare you floppy disk with these files.
    2) Now reboot your machine and put the floppy disk that you made in the floppy drive (Hopefully you have one, If not prepare a bootable CD-ROM and add these files to it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it dont) and boot up.
    3) the program will tell you when to swap bios chips follow directions and your bios chip is now programmed, hopefully if all goes well.

    Example: System freezes or shuts down and will not start back up
    Most of the time the cause of this is a failed Power Supply. The first thing to try is check your power supply with a volt meter to see if its putting out any current. Even if it is though, that dont mean that you have a good power supply. Try another power supply first to fix your problem. If a new power supply does not fix your problem than refer to the steps above in the : Example: your system will not boot up after clearing CMOS

    Example: You finish assembling your new system and it wont start
    1. Verify that you have the power supply plugged into a wall outlet, PSU turned on, and connected to the Motherboard.
    2. Check the Clear CMOS jumper to verify that it is in normal mode and not Clear. (Check Motherboard manual for location)
    3. Verify that fans are running and drives spinning. If neither of these occure you Power supply is not supplying voltage to the components.
    4. If fans are running and drives spinning, a notable cause of this problem with a newly built system is shorting. Remove your motherboard from its case and lay it on a non-conductive piece of material. Attach your video card and power cables, memory. you will have to have the mobo close enough to your case to use the Front panel headers from your case. Connect these headers to their proper location on the Motherboard. Connect your power supply and turn it on. If your system starts now (*see footnote), you had a short somewhere. Reinstall the mobo in your case making sure that its not touching the case anywhere, and hook everything up. It should work now, if not you still have a short.

    Big thnx to WiCKeD for the suggestions and to skeensp for the troubleshooting guide!!


    CHAPTER 3: Useful Utils (thank WiCKeD for the idea and most of the links)

    Part 1: CPU's

    Central Brain Identifier, CPU-Z and WCPUID:They do the same thing, monitor your CPU status and specs. This is the best guideline to telling the more knowledgeble people what you are facing or what you've managed. CBI and CPU-Z are most helpful, WCPUID a tad less...
    Clockgen: A real time adjuster of HTT, resulting in a new CPU speed, HTT and memory speed, but sadly, if you don't have a PCI/AGP lock, this program wont help you further.
    Prime95: A tester of whether your all new overclock is stable, of course we at EOCF encourage you to start folding in stead!!

    Part 2: Memory

    A64 Tweaker: A nice real time adjuster of memory settings in windows, for A64's of course. Its quite advanced and not very newb recommended.
    Memtest86: Put on a boot disk and run it when NOT BOOTED into windows, it tests your memory to the max with a result of it being stable or not. Doens't do anything else by the way.


    Part 3: General

    Motherboard Monitor 5: THE program for monitoring your temperatures and PSU rails, but its not always entirely accurate and not compatible with all motherboards, sadly.


    Prices are from NewEgg, OEM when possible. $---.-- means its no longer available at NewEgg, but you may be more lucky elsewhere. When CPU's have been unavailable at NewEgg for 3 price updates, they are removed from the list. I update the prices about once every two months, or after a major price update by AMD itself. Do not hold me responsible for any differences as I can't possibly check all prices every day.

    LEGEND:

    Terms:
    Socket: No, you may not mix these numbers up...
    - 754 = Home of: Sempron, Athlon64. Single Channel
    - 939 = Home of: Sempron, Athlon64, AthlonFX. Dual Channel SC = Single Channel ram controller
    DC = Dual Channel ram controller
    Ram controllers are integrated in the 64 chips, the mobo manufacturers have no influence on it anymore...

    Red:
    FX-Line, better than the best. Multi's fully unlocked.

    Blue:
    Venice-Line, the new 90nm CPU's featuring SSE3 and a new Memory controller. Also known as Rev.E. Have proven to OC a bit better than the Winchesters and are more stable.

    Green:
    Winchester, also very fast but on some chips the memory controllers screw up for no reason at all. Don't get it if you can get a Venice in stead.

    Orange:
    FX-Line CORED CPU's, they are FX's, except that their multi's are locked upwards.

    Yellow (<- That says Yellow :
    Dual-Core CPU's, called X2 (cool name eh? Looks like mine... hehe). They won't help for gaming but baby they'll multitask like the mothafukkas...


    Part 2: The Technicalities

    Part 2.1: Interpreting codes

    At the end of the CPU number there will be a code, first a number and then two letters, they can be translated like this:

    The OPN-suffix will tell you the type/revision of the core, you can find it at the VERY end of the first line in the CPU code:

    AP - Clawhammer, rev. C0 (avoid this!)
    AR - Clawhammer, rev. CG
    AX - Newcastle, rev. CG (ALL Newcastles are rev CG)
    AW - Newcastle 939
    BI - Winchester
    BP - Venice
    BN - San Diego
    BV - Dual core 512KB cache
    CD - Dual core 1MB cache
    BOX - The CPU is a boxed version, this means you get the heatsink as well.

    When this code starts with an A it is a 130nm CPU, if it starts with a B, it is a 90nm CPU.

    The number before this code represents the amount of cache:

    2 - 128KB (Sempron)
    3 - 256KB (Semrpon)
    4 - 512KB (Newcastle, Winchester, Clawhammer may have it when its turned down for a Clawhammer, it's then clocked at the NewCastle speeds...)
    5 - 1MB (Clawhammer, San Diego)

    For the dual cores count is different, as in -1, for whatever reason. That means that 5 means 512KB cache, and 6 are the 1MB versions.

    Examples:

    ADA3000DAA4BP - The Athlon64 90nm Venice 3000+, 512KB Cache.
    ADA3700BNBOX - The Athlon64 90nm San Diego 3700+, Boxed.
    ADA4800AA6CD - The dual core 90nm 1MB 4800+.
    ADA3000AEP4AP - The souped down 130nm Clawhammer 3000+ with 512KB, which I told you to avoid

    Part 2.2: Core specifics

    Here's where I'm gonna list the specifications per core, and their OCability.

    Socket 754:

    Clawhammer:
    Specs: 1MB Lvl2 Cache, multiplier is one lower than the Newcastle variety of the same rating.
    Ups and Downs:
    + 1MB Cache
    + Overclocks nicely if you get a CG revision
    - Lower multiplier
    - You're gonna wish you'd gotten a NewCastle when you get C0, they have horrific memory controllers to our standards.
    - It may be a bad Clawhammer, in that case you've gotten one with only 512KB cache and the NewCaslte multiplier. Don't think it'll OC like a Newcastle however, because it won't. If you get one like this, you have the worst of both sides.
    - Single Channel memory controller

    NewCastle:
    Specs: 512KB Lvl2 Cache, multiplier is one higher than the Clawhammer variety of the same rating
    Ups and Downs:
    + Guarantueed of a CG revision, meaning they all OC pretty nicely
    + Less cache = less Vcore required = less heat = even better OC
    + The multiplier, get yourself a 3200+ and you've got plenty of multi to play with, so that you don't need uber ram or a major HTT divide to get high clockspeeds
    - Only 512KB Lvl2 Cache
    - Single Channel memory controller

    Socket 939:

    Newcastle 939
    Specs: 512KB Lvl2 Cache, multi equal to Sct 754 version.
    Ups and Downs:
    + Guarantueed of a CG revision, meaning they all OC pretty nicely
    + Less cache = less Vcore required = less heat = even better OC
    + Dual Channel memory controller
    + The multiplier
    - Only 512KB Lvl2 Cache

    Clawhammer 939
    Specs: 1MB Lvl2 Cache, multiplier is UNLOCKED!!*
    Ups and Downs:
    + Unlocked multiplier*
    + 1MB Lvl2 Cache
    + Dual Channel memory controller
    - The price
    *) Only for the FX's, not for the 4000+, which is the only locked Clawhammer 939, at a 12x multi.

    Winchester
    Specs: 512KB Lvl2 Cache, Multiplier is 1 lower than the newcaslte variety (3200 Winchester = 3000 newcastle 754)
    Ups and Downs:
    + 90nm
    + OCes like mad
    + Dual Channel memory controller
    + The price (lower than expected)
    - Only 512KB cache
    - There's a chance you get a bad one

    Venice
    Specs: 512KB Lvl2 Cache, Multiplier is equal to Winchester version.
    Ups and Downs:
    + 90nm
    + Strained Silicon
    + New and improved E.rev/Mem controller
    + Dual Channel memory controller
    + OC's insanely
    - Only 512KB cache

    San Diego
    Specs: 1MB Lvl2 Cache, multiplier is UNLOCKED!!!**
    Ups and downs:
    + 90nm
    + Unlocked multiplier*
    + 1MB Lvl2 Cache
    + Dual Channel memory controller
    - Price
    **) Only for the FUTURE FX-57 (release date somewher in Q3), the 3700+ and the 4000+ will have locked multi's at 11x and 12x.

    [?]

    Manila:
    + Dual Core
    + 90nm
    + Cheap
    + 2 x 256 = decent 512kb Cache
    + DDRII 667Mhz bus***
    - DDRII 667Mhz bus***
    - Q206...

    Windsor:
    + Dual Core
    + 90nm
    + 1MB cache
    + Security Virtualization
    + DDRII 667Mhz bus***
    - DDRII 667Mhz bus***
    - Q106...

    Toledo:
    + Dual Core
    + 90nm
    + 2MB cache
    + Security Virtualization
    + DDRII 667Mhz bus***
    - DDRII 667Mhz bus***
    - Q106...
    - One FX is expensive, now how about two...

    ***) Neither confirmed nor denied, and I'm not sure whether we should be happy with this just yet.

    [/?]


    Part 3: Overclocking

    Part 3.1: Knowledge you need

    CPU
    The center of any computer, this in the chip that makes it all possible. The Central Processing Unit gets all the commands in the entire computer, tells the other parts when they need to know so they can perform their task. Of course this is an extremely heavy task which takes a huge potential. What makes it possible is a frequency generated by a crystal on the Motherboard (MoBo), which is then turned into a very high clockpulse, which runs through the CPU at a set voltage. You can adjust all these values at the risk of overloading your CPU, in human language: “blowing it up”. Modern CPU’s are so fast that some people say they need no adaption to make them handle tasks better. Us overclockers disagree.

    Overclocking itself
    Simply said, upping the frequency that runs through the CPU. This involves more than meets the eye, as you will find out reading this guide. There are many variables you have to take in to account, make certain parts even run slower than they can, only so you can allow another part to run significantly faster than stock, resulting in a higher end speed nonetheless. Please remember, and don’t say that I didn’t warn you (don’t have the nerve to contact me and ask ME for a refund for your CPU), overclocking WILL destroy your parst in the long term, and it WILL void your warranty. Die hards usually don’t care, “it’ll die sooner or later anyway”. This is entirely true. But if you don’t have money to burn you might not want to just destroy a CPU. Personally I don’t care if a CPU blows, it’s a good excuse for an upgrade. Generally CPU’s under my control are happy to reach their first anniversary because the voltages I use are crazy, even though my parts are water cooled. I also warn you beforehand that if you try to RMA your CPU to AMD because your blew it up while overclocking, the chances of a refund are MINIMAL.

    The memory controller
    As most people know by now the Athlon 64’s have an integrated memory controller. This means that RAM latencies are drastically reduced. While an Athlon XP and a Pentium 4 (P4) have an external memory controller, which is located in the so called “Northbridge” (NB) of the motherboards, with the Athlon 64 it is so called “on die”. That means it is literally on the CPU, as a part of it. This rules out the delays the XP and P4 have, which have to communicate with the NB. The P4 and XP get a memory latency of approximately 130-140ns, while the 64 only has to wait for about 60-70ns. Both may sound like they can be forgotten about, but the advantage of having half the memory latency is very significant, IF you know how to use it properly. If you read this guide well you will be able to do just that.

    The HTT
    The HTT (Hyper Transport Technology) is the technology the A64 uses to communicate with the RAM, and the Chipset(s). It’s very hard to explain, but I’ll try anyway. When people are talking about the HTT they can mean two things.

    1. The actual HTT. This is the link between the CPU and the Chipset/RAM. Depending on the socket this will run at either 600 (nForce3 150), 800 (nForce3 250/GB, VIA K8T800) or 1000 (nForce3 Ultra, nForce4 Pro/Ultra/SLI, VIA K8T800 pro) Mhz. Of course, the faster, the better (not entirely, but we will get to that later).

    2. The “base frequency” HTT. Stock this is 200Mhz on every 64, so far. In the near future we will see 267Mhz as well. This is the frequency you are actually changing when you want to overclock. This is also the value we will be talking about when overclocking. When someone says he has a 64 at 230 x 11, he means he has set the “base frequency” to 230Mhz, and is running an 11x multiplier. Obviously that means he is running his CPU at 2530Mhz. The base frequency x the HTT Multiplier = the actual HTT.

    When overclocking this value you’ll run into all kinds of problems, which we’ll discuss later.

    Ram dividing
    Unlike in Athlon XP and Pentium 4 systems, Athlon 64 take absolutely NO performance hit when using a memory divider, so don’t be afraid to divide that memory when you hit a wall with your ram.

    [ The real speed of an A64 speed is the clock of the CPU, every other value is derived from this. So if your CPU runs at 2200Mhz (11x multiplier) the bios devides the CPU clock by the multi (2200/11) and you have the ram speed. This means that the ram on an A64 is ALWAYS divided. So placing it under (for example) a 200:166 divider means you “slow down” the ram a bit more. But now if you speed up the HTT so that your ram is running at 200Mhz again, your CPU will be overclocked. And pretty much the only thing you did was change your multiplier up. To about 13.2 to be exact, if you’re a fanatic you can try to recalculate that ]

    RAM Timings
    These are the delays your ram takes, measured in clock pulses. The lower these numbers are, the better. We usually use 5 values in the following order: Cas-RasCasDelay-RowPrecharge-RAS-CommandPerClock, you’ll find them in your BIOS. If the fifth number is missing that’s not a big deal, but in your own rig ALWAYS keep this set to “1T”. This results in to about 20Mhz more memory performance as opposed to 2T. High timings are lethal for any A64’s performance. Because of the integrated memory controller they’ve got a RAM advantage, and this would even it out. Not so nice.

    RAM voltage (Vdimm)
    The voltage you are giving your ram, typically anywhere from 2.5 to 3.0V. People that go over that are either insane or know what they’re doing, which comes down to the same thing.

    SPD
    Serial Presence Detect, these are the factory recommended settings you put your RAM at so that it runs fine at a certain amount of Mhz. My advice: Ignore it. Manually giving in the timings usually results in a faster system in the end.

    Vcore
    The voltage you are feeding your CPU. For the Athlon64 this can (for stock values) vary from 1.35 to 1.55V. When overclocking you will meet instability, and this is a value you might then want to increase. You always have to be very aware of the temperatures though, because Vcore is the main reason your chip even warms up in the first place. Without it it won’t work, compromises, compromises. When do you need to up your Vcore? When you get something like this:

    1. BSOD: Blue Screen Of Death. Ask any overclocker, he’s seen it. And some people that don’t OC get it too. This is typically what you get when you overclock too far on too little Vcore, its Windows’s way of telling you you screwed up. It is literally a blue screen, with white text explaining what’s gone wrong. Don’t mind the bottom bit, that code is useless to us though the information on the top can be useful.

    2. No Boot: Your CPU turns on, but it craps out (jams, or automatically reboots) during the boot up. Your Vcore is again too low.

    3. No Post: You screwed up bad. Now you have to reset CMOS, no matter how you do it, by holding insert or delete during boot up (only some mobo’s support this) or by using the mobo’s jumper/removing the battery, you have to do it. This resets ALL you settings, so it sucks if you’ve forgotten what and whatnot your changed in there.
    The solution to all of these problems is to up the Vcore. But if temperatures do not allow for this (max for 130nm: 55, 90nm: 50ºc) it’s the end of the line and you’ll have to easy back on your overclock.

    CMOS
    This is the chip the BIOS uses to store its settings, if you have to reset it all settings will be back at stock.

    BIOS
    Basic Input Output System, this is the system that monitors ALL of your hardware, and if the BIOS doesn’t see it, neither will windows. It is also in control of clockspeeds and you can enable/disable devices in it too. Every overclockers SHOULD know how to use the BIOS to the detail and SHOULD be in complete control of it. If you don’t have a clue as to what you’re doing, you had better do nothing at all.

    Overcharge
    The settings you would be running for a benchmark, you can’t run this stable 24/7 and its merely bragging rights you attain by getting that higher benchmark score.

    Ehm… Yeah that’s about it, you should know the terms I’m going to use in the OCing guide now, good luck!


    Part 3.2: Basic overclocking

    Everything you do after this guide is at your own risk! I will not take responsibility for any of your escapades.

    Rig: DFI NF4 Ultra-D / Athlon64 Venice 3000+ / PC3200 ram

    You need to know what your CPU and ram will do independent of each other. Depending on which chipset you have (see “HTT” under the things you have to know) it has a maximum HTT link speed, the idea is the same but I’ll explain this with the described system. The maximum speed you will ever let this run at is 1Ghz. There are two settings in your bios that are interesting in your bios for now. The “HT”, and the “Multiplier”. Both settings may be on auto, shift them a bit to verify you have the right setting, the HT should be 200, and the multi everywhere from 8 to 13, depending on which CPU you have. This 3000+ has a 9 multi. To see only the maximum of your CPU, you will have to rule out your Ram and motherboard. Therefore you must divide your ram to 200:100, you do this in a separate screen in your bios which can be called anything, name will most likely be “memory ratio” or similar. This means your ram is running half the speed of whatever you put your HT to. Now you have to rule out your HTTlink, because when this succeeds 1Ghz it can become unstable. As I told you it is based out of the HT, and a multiplier. As we are going to up the HT, we will simply drop the multiplier to make sure the link doesn’t succeed 1Ghz, use “3”, just to be foolproof. Stock it would be set to “5”. Now you have slowed down the rest of your system enough to start finding the maximum of your CPU. Assuming you are using the stock cooler, immediately set your Vcore from 1.40 to 1.45 (this is perfectly safe, as long as your temperatures stay below 50C you can even go to 1.50, but no more on the stock cooler). Leave you CPU multiplier (or CPU ratio) at “9”, the maximum. Now you start upping the HT (the 200Mhz setting) by 5Mhz at a time. Everytime you have done so, boot to windows and run a program like Prime95 (free, for download see bottom, or google it) for 15 minutes. If the system is still stable then, you can up the HT another 5Mhz. If prime95 crashes in the 15 minutes you are running it, lower the HT by 5Mhz again and run Prime95 for an hour. If this is stable you can continue with the rest of the overclocking guide. Now you have a nice overclock on your CPU, but the rest of the system is totally screwed right now. So, the first thing we need to know is exactly how far we got. Lets say we achieve 275x9, which is the same as 2475Mhz. The 275Mhz on the HT gives a problem or two with the HTTlink, as you can’t possibly run 275x5, that would crash big time. 4x275 is also more than 1Ghz, 1100Mhz to be exact. So we have to use the 3x multi, which results in 275x3=825Mhz. So we lost 175Mhz on this link, sad, but no problem. 825Mhz is more than enough to carry all the data and getting this higher doesn’t give much advantage at all. Now for the ram. It is PC 3200 and we can’t expect it to run 275Mhz at decent timings. So we’ll have to devide it, as its fairly complicated, don’t worry about the timings. Enable SPD in bios and divide the ram to 200:150, this will result in it running 220Mhz, SPD will take care of the timings. Now you are done OCing your system! This is what you got: CPU: From 1.8Ghz to 2.48Ghz, Ram from 200Mhz to 220Mhz/slacked timings, HTT to suit. The CPU’s overclock is 675Mhz, nothing to spit at.


    Part 3.3: Tweaking on...

    Now you probably noticed that I wasn’t telling you to push everything very hard. That’s because it takes up much more time to get every last bit out of the computer. I’m not going to give you entire stories again, you just take the basic guide I told you to follow, and I’ll tell you what to add. Finding the CPU’s max:

    Go on until you find the approximate maximum. Now lower the HT by 5Mhz and continuously keep upping by 1Mhz, checking for stability every time. Whenever there is unstability up your Vcore by the tiniest step possible, and beware of your temps not exceeding the maximum. Continue this until you hit a solid wall, because your temps are getting out of boundaries. This is your CPU’s real maximum.

    The max HTT:

    Unless you have the chipset watercooled, or very well aircooled, you shouldn’t touch the Vdd, the chipsets voltage. But if you have it that well cooled, you can up this voltage and actually run your chipset at up to 1100Mhz, it is just a chip that can be OCed. There is little advantage to this though so it isn’t very advisable.

    Tweaking the Ram:

    This is slightly more difficult. Be advised you can up your Vdimm to create more stability. Now you have to rule out your CPU and chipset, and run the ram 1:1 at different timings every time (prime timings: 2-2-2-5, 2-3-2-6, 2.5-3-3-8) and find the max on each combination of timings. Lets say your ram will do 225Mhz on 2-2-2-5 (lowest possible), but when you use the 200:166Mhz divider your ram would end up at 230Mhz, and with the 200:150 divider it runs at 220Mhz. Right in between, damn it. So now you have to play around. Upping the Vdimm slightly may enable the ram to run 230Mhz at 2-2-2-5, that would be nice. But what if you were already at the max Vdimm? Then you might want to see if there is an advantage to sacrificing a bit of timing and gaining that 10Mhz, try running 2-2-2-6 or 2-3-2-5 for example. If that doesn’t work either, and you have to sacrifice too much, you should just use the 2-2-2-5 timings and the 200:150 divider, sad to loose that 5Mhz but sometimes you don’t have much of a choice.

    Of course this was a test system and the results were just thought of, but it is a perfectly attainable result. When I type it like this and you follow the exact actions I described, OCing looks like a laugh to you is my guess. But try doing it without this guide, and completely on your own. Getting the maximum possible out of that rig is harder than you think, especially finding the overcharge is hard because you don’t stresstest the CPU, you just see if it can run a specific benchmark before jamming up and that can take a lot of time to figure out. Usually the overcharge lies about 100Mhz higher than than the max stable speed.

    Well, now that that's out... I could understand if newbies didn't quite get all this, I'm typing it through a knowledgeble mind. Those who still have to learn may indeed not quite get it, but as long as you got the basics, you're cool.

    Part 4: FAQ for newbs
    Thnx to the people that thought of questions too simple to think of myself

    Q - How can I test whether my overclock is stable?

    A - Download Prime95 and run that. This tests your CPU to the max, which folding does aswell. To test your memory's stability download Memtest86 and run that. If you have the DFI Lanparty UT you can download the Memtest86 bios update and use that. Links for downloads can be found at the bottom of this post.

    Q - How long do I run Prime95 to be sure my CPU is stable?
    A - For at least 6 hours, 24 is seen as superstable.

    Q - Is using the 1T memory setting the best option?

    A - YES, 2T will slow you down a lot. About 20Mhz in ram speed is generally estimated.

    Q - What is the maximum Vcore I should give my CPU?

    A - As long as your CPU stays below the maximum temperature, 1.7Vcore is generally accepted to be the max to give your CPU on Xtreme air, meaning at least using a Tornado. If you're not an extreme case like a lot of us 1.60-1.65Vcore will get you fairly far.

    Q - What is the maximum load temperature before I should get worried?

    A - 55º is commonly seen as the max, for benching (max ~15 minutes load) 60-65 is acceptable.

    Q - Is better timings better than lots of bandwidth?

    A - In the A64's case, mostly yes. Meaning running 240HTT with your ram 1:1 at 3-4-4-8 will be slower than 240HTT ram 200:166 at 2-2-2-5. Dividing itself doesn't hurt much because the ram on an A64 is permanently divided, no matter what you do.

    Q - Which multi should I use when overclocking?

    That's a simple calculation, after finding out what your MAX CPU clock is (steps discribed above), fiind you max HTT while lowering the multi well beyond the limit, to something like 7 or 8. When you find your max HTT re-up the multi untill it gets the CPU as close to the max as possible. You may have to lower HTT a bit so you can maximize your multi, that may be better for performance. Just play around a bit.

    Q - How do I use Dual Channel?

    A DC MoBo has 4 memory slots, Slot 1 and 2 are channel 1, slot 3 and 4 are channel two. Slot 1 is the one closest to the CPU. If you fill slot 1 and 2 you will be running Single channel, if you fill slot 3 and 4 the same. If you want to run dual channel you need to use 1 and 3 or 2 and 4 or whatever, one slot from channel 1 and 1 slot from channel 2. If you feel the need to stash full all four slots (which is highly unneccesary and limits OCability) you will be automatically running Dual Channel.

    Notes:
    The Ram should be the same, different speeds or size mean the slowest ram is used, and 512 and 256MB sticks can't run Dual Channel, unless you use 1 512MB stick, and two 256MB sticks in the other channel. All the ram uses the same timings so if you have one bad stick, don't use it. It'll slow down your entire system, but that's the same as with Single Channel. A64's memory controller don't really like more than 2-3 sticks of ram, so its really not advisable to use more. Also, more than 2GB is just overkill...


    CHAPTER 2: AXP's

    Part 1: Troubleshooting an overclocked system (skeensp)

    Now some general rules of thumb before you start overclocking your system:

    1) Make sure you have a good bios. Try flashing to another one and see if its any better than the one you have. The latest is not always the greatest, and a good bios may not be good on your system.
    2) Make sure you are running the latest chipset drivers for your motherboard.
    3) Make sure you have sufficient temperatures to overclock with. If your running temps at 50C or over idle, dont bother with overclocking until you get better cooling.
    4) Make sure you have a GOOD quality Power supply and watch your voltage rails. If they flunctuate too much replace it because it will limit you stability and overclocking ability.
    5) Make sure your memory can handle the overclock that you want to achieve.
    6) For overclocking start your Vdimm voltage at 2.8v (if your mobo maxes out at 2.7 then set it there)

    Now thats the basic things to look for if you cant get very good overclocking out of your system.

    Example: Your system locks up and/or reboots all the time
    answer: This means your system is not stable. Could be several reasons. First try to raise your vcore by a small amount if you have enough temperature headroom. If you raise the vcore and it still happens, try loosening the ram timings and try again. If you cannot get your system stable than reduce your overclock by a small margin and try again. Many times a 3-5 Mhz FSB decrease will make it stable. Check for stability with a program like Prime95 and let it run for a minimum of an hour. (most people test for 12-24hrs) If it runs without freezing or locking up, your good to go.

    Also a major reason for this problem is the lact of Rail voltages. Check your rails using MBM5 or similiar and compare them with the BIOS reading. If they are okay when system is Idle that dont mean your PSU is okay. Run prime95 and check your voltages with a voltmeter. Now run a graphic intensive application (3dmark03 or similiar), and check them again. The voltages should be in the limits below.

    Rail: +5V: ~4% (+4,8V ~ +5,2V)
    Rail: -5V: ~10% (-4,5V ~ -5,5V)
    Rail: +12V: ~5% (+11,4V ~ +12,6V)
    Rail: -12V: ~10% (-10,8V ~ -13,2V)
    Rail: +3,3V: ~4% (+3,15V ~ +3,45V)

    The following are the most common arrangements of ATX mobo connectors. Not all manufacturers follow the coloring below but most do. The number is the respective pin # on the connector.
    1. Power Good * - Orange
    2. +5Vdc - Red
    3. +12Vdc - Yellow
    4. -12Vdc - Blue
    5. Ground - Black
    6. Ground - Black

    7. Ground - Black
    8. Ground - Black
    9. -5Vdc - White
    10. +5Vdc - Red
    11. +5Vdc - Red
    12. +5Vdc - Red


    Example: Your games or benchmarks crash to desktop
    Answer: Most notably the cause of this is your overclock is too high. Most of the time its the overall speed and not just a multi or FSB issue. Reduce the overall clock speed by reducing the FSB by 5Mhz and try again. keep going until your games run smooth without crashing.

    Example: Your temperatures are too high
    Answer: Simple your cooling is not doing its job. There are several possible fixes.
    1) remove your heatsink and reseat it using AS5 (arctic Silver 5 preferred) or similiar thermal Grease. Following all directions for applying the Thermal Grease evenly and smoothly. Application instructions
    2) You might just have more wattage than your HS/Fan (or waterblock) can keep cool. If this is the case after reseating you still cannot bring temperatures down, than reduce the vcore voltage. You will probably have to reduce the overclock as well when dropping voltage.

    Example: Your system will not boot up
    If your system will not boot up after adjusting your bios, then turn the power off, unplug the system, and (a) use the clear CMOS jumper (b) remove the CMOS battery for about 1 minute. if you use the jumper put it back to normal operation or put the battery back in, plug the PSU in and start the computer. Go into your bios and set it up again. This is a common practice when overclocking, so get used to where your CMOS jumper is for when you need it.

    Example: your system will not boot up after clearing CMOS
    If you clear CMOS and system still will not boot up then you have to narrow down what the problem is. This is where having extra parts or a good friend will help out:
    1) confirm that you have power coming from your PSU is the first thing. If your fans come on and optical/hard drives spin than most likely your PSU is not the problem (Sometimes it still can be at this point)
    2) remove the memory one stick at a time and retry. If you only have one stick remove it and see if the mobo beeps when trying to boot. If it dont beep than its not the memory most likely so put it back in.
    3) remove any PCI expansion cards that you have installed. Try to boot the machine. If nothing still leave the PCI cards out anyway.
    4) unhook your hdrive and optical drives from the motherboard and try again. It will still boot up without harddrive being attached so dont worry about that.
    5) Remove your video card and try another one. If you dont have another one try booting up. If it beeps than it could be your video card, you need to get another one and try it. If you dont have a friend that has one to borrow or an extra one laying around then go to your local department store and buy one try it and if it still dont work take it back.
    6) Now if you still have trouble you have eliminated everything except motherboard and CPU. Most of the time (not always) it will be the motherboard IF you havent ran your CPU with excessive temperatures. If you have another CPU replace it and see if it boots up. If you dont have another one, your gonna have to buy one or put yours in another system to test out. If it works in another system you know your motherboard has bit the bullet. buy a new one.

    Example: Your system just beeps when turning it on
    There are several things that could cause this. Most of them are listed above but the first thing to do is try to reset the CMOS. High FSB will cause this sometimes when the memory will not run at the set speed. If you reset the CMOS and still nothing happens make sure all your cables are connected properly and all Memory and PCI/AGP cards are intalled into their sockets all the way. The easiest way is to remove them and put them back in.

    Grounding problems can cause temendous hair loss when you pull it all out because you have tried everything and nothing works. lol If your motherboard is grounded to your case at any point, most of the time it will not boot up. Make sure that you motherboard is not touching any part of the inside of the case. A secure thing to do is use the felt or cardboard washers when installing your mobo in your case. This will help eliminate some of these problems.

    Example: System dont boot up after adjusting FSB
    Simple solution, Clear you CMOS and restart again. Go into the bios and set everything again. Its a good idea to write down things when you change them so if this happens you know where you were and can set the settings accordingly.

    Example: System dont boot after flashing bios
    This is a common pain and sometimes happens for no reason. (Speaking from experience) If you have this problem you better have another bios chip for your motherboard. You can hot swap the bios chip and flash your corrupted chip only if you have another chip for your motherboard. Its a good idea to keep a spare.
    1) Download this (hot swap bios chip (thanks Madramper for this link)) and prepare you floppy disk with these files.
    2) Now reboot your machine and put the floppy disk that you made in the floppy drive (Hopefully you have one, If not prepare a bootable CD-ROM and add these files to it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it dont) and boot up.
    3) the program will tell you when to swap bios chips follow directions and your bios chip is now programmed, hopefully if all goes well.

    Example: System freezes or shuts down and will not start back up
    Most of the time the cause of this is a failed Power Supply. The first thing to try is check your power supply with a volt meter to see if its putting out any current. Even if it is though, that dont mean that you have a good power supply. Try another power supply first to fix your problem. If a new power supply does not fix your problem than refer to the steps above in the : Example: your system will not boot up after clearing CMOS

    Example: You finish assembling your new system and it wont start
    1. Verify that you have the power supply plugged into a wall outlet, PSU turned on, and connected to the Motherboard.
    2. Check the Clear CMOS jumper to verify that it is in normal mode and not Clear. (Check Motherboard manual for location)
    3. Verify that fans are running and drives spinning. If neither of these occure you Power supply is not supplying voltage to the components.
    4. If fans are running and drives spinning, a notable cause of this problem with a newly built system is shorting. Remove your motherboard from its case and lay it on a non-conductive piece of material. Attach your video card and power cables, memory. you will have to have the mobo close enough to your case to use the Front panel headers from your case. Connect these headers to their proper location on the Motherboard. Connect your power supply and turn it on. If your system starts now (*see footnote), you had a short somewhere. Reinstall the mobo in your case making sure that its not touching the case anywhere, and hook everything up. It should work now, if not you still have a short.

    Big thnx to WiCKeD for the suggestions and to skeensp for the troubleshooting guide!!


    CHAPTER 3: Useful Utils (thank WiCKeD for the idea and most of the links)

    Part 1: CPU's

    Central Brain Identifier, CPU-Z and WCPUID:They do the same thing, monitor your CPU status and specs. This is the best guideline to telling the more knowledgeble people what you are facing or what you've managed. CBI and CPU-Z are most helpful, WCPUID a tad less...
    Clockgen: A real time adjuster of HTT, resulting in a new CPU speed, HTT and memory speed, but sadly, if you don't have a PCI/AGP lock, this program wont help you further.
    Prime95: A tester of whether your all new overclock is stable, of course we at EOCF encourage you to start folding in stead!!

    Part 2: Memory

    A64 Tweaker: A nice real time adjuster of memory settings in windows, for A64's of course. Its quite advanced and not very newb recommended.
    Memtest86: Put on a boot disk and run it when NOT BOOTED into windows, it tests your memory to the max with a result of it being stable or not. Doens't do anything else by the way.


    Part 3: General

    Motherboard Monitor 5: THE program for monitoring your temperatures and PSU rails, but its not always entirely accurate and not compatible with all motherboards, sadly.
     

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  8. nightelf84 Guest

    do provide a link for something like this as 'reference' please..
     
  9. Snipe0876 New Member

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  10. MCMOPAR New Member

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    While the Athlon 64 3700+ Socket 754 may be "old news" it is still quite a viable piece of equipment. I bought a 3400+ system last July and recently upgraded to the 3700+ and I've been getting pretty good results with it.
    System specs:
    Asus K8V mobo
    Athlon 64 3700+ s754
    Gigabyte 360 Degree Cooler Ultra heat sink/fan
    1 gb Ultra Overclocking PC3200 (DDR400) ram (2-512 mb sticks)
    2 - Maxtor ATA Ultra 133 250gb hard drives
    CD/DVD drive
    ATI X800PRO 256 mb AGP 8X video card
    Raidmax Storm case w/420w power supply and 5 case fans

    I have been playing with the bios to achieve my overclocking and have come up with the following results according to CPU-Z:
    Specifications:
    Voltage 1 .696 v
    Stepping: A
    AMD Athlon 64 3700+ ClawHammer
    Socket 754
    Technology: 0.13 nm
    Brand ID: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3700+
    F Model 4 Stepping
    F Ext. Model Revision
    MMX (+), 3DNow! (+), SSE, SSE2, x86-64
    Core Speed: 2639.8 MHz (2.6398 ghz)
    Bus Speed
    Multiplier: x 12.0
    HTT: 220.0 MHz
    -Cache
    LI Data 64 KBytes
    LI Code 64 KBytes
    Level 2 1024 KBytes

    Normally it runs at 200 x 12 = 2400 MHz (2.4 ghz) so I'm getting a clean 10% oc - and it runs HL2 as stable as can be. Normal operating range is from 46 deg. celcius at idle/typical use and 62 deg. celcius after a session of HL Deathmatch or HL2 single player - all on air cooling, too. Not too shabby for a "value" processor!
    With my video card overclocked to 572 mhz core/572 mhz memory (from stock 475/450) I achieved a 3DMark03 score of 12,320 winmarks.
     
  11. gR3iF

    gR3iF New Member

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    the x2 have an manchester or toledo core with 2048 or 1024 kb l2 chache
    and it isn said that they are ocing well
     
  12. MCMOPAR New Member

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