I have recently decided to go about overclocking my AMD 4170. I have installed AMD Overdrive and fiddled around with it but I have a few questions.
- Is the heat limit of 62C a firm value or is it more of a guideline? ( I overclocked about 5% and it went over but it seemed to be ok)
- What is a reasonable amount to overclock with a stock heatsink (default being 4200 MHz)
-What does it mean when I change the voltage?
-What is the Turbo Core Control option in AMD overdrive?
-How much could I overclock if I bought an aftermarket cooling system?
-Any recommendations on a cheap/ high value cooling option?
Roight, so 62C *is* more of a guideline, but running over that for prolonged periods of time will most likely lead to rapid degradation of your CPU. It is best not to surpass that value.
That stock heatsink takes the processor about as far as it can go. Your processor already is an overclocked FX-4100, and you have the bigger, bulkier cooling solution that they were nice enough to actually give you a copper base and heatpipes. If you expect to see any significant gains, you will need to invest in an aftermarket solution, such as the popular Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO.
General, basic overclocking depends on your CPU multiplier and voltage. Voltages fuel the CPU to allow it to reach high speeds via the multiplier. I would try to avoid going over a Vcore of 1.5 volts. Without too much tinkering, you should readily be able to hit at least 4.5ghz, with 4.6ghz being fairly obtainable. More voltage means more heat, however, which is why you will require a better cooling solution. A basic cooling solution, such as the before-mentioned EVO, or the Xigmatek Gaia, will probably allow you to reach that.
There are a couple other factors that play into your overclocking ability: your motherboard (particularly its Voltage Regulator Module, VRM) and your ambient/case temperature. Temperature values stack, so if your room is hot, your processor is going to be that much hotter, and the same for your case - which is why it is important to have a good airflow. As for your motherboard, you want to make sure you have a decent quality one before making too intrepid of an attempt.
I feel like I am forgetting to mention something, but I think all of this is a good place to start. I guess as some afternotes I will say that AMD Overdrive is a decent program to fiddle-diddle with settings, but ultimately, I would switch to the BIOS and make the changes final. AMD Overdrive is an excellent monitoring tool, in my experience. Also, I, personally, have an Enermax ETS-T40-TB strapped to my FX-4170. The Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO may be a better buy in terms of absolute performance, but I wanted something that I knew would have a solid mounting system. I have not messed with my voltages a whole lot (I am currently writing a research paper so I do not need to deal with instability) but 4.6ghz was easy to hit, and I think I topped off at 60C.