New at overclocking - Need advice


I want to start over clocking my CPU. I raised the CPU clock from 133 to 135 in BIOS and gained 23,6 MHz. My CPU normally runs at 41 degrees C idle and 44 degrees C max load.

1. How much can I overclock?
2. I haven’t unlocked my CPU, why can I overclock anyway?
3. Am I only overclocking my CPU right now or am I overclocking the whole system?
4. What can happen if I overclock to much? Will the CPU fry or will my system just be unstable?
5. I think my CPU normally runs pretty cool, does this mean I can overclock more?
6. Can I overclock my memory somehow?

My hardware.
Athlon XP 1800+ CPU
Soltek 75DRV-4 motherboard
256 Mb PC2100 Samsund DDR Memory CL 2,5
Radeon 8500 64 Mb GPU
And some other things

Thanks guys!

Athlon XP 1800+
ATI Radeon 8500 Retail
SB Live! Player 5.1
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More about overclocking advice
  1. 1 - Overclocking is limited by lots of things...the memory, the cpu itself and the other components in your pc. When you overclock your fsb, generally (if you can't lock the PCI) you will also overclock your PCI and AGP busses. The best way to overclock a locked cpu is to slowly increase your cpu until it starts running a little unstable, then you back it up a few mhz.

    2- The reason why you can still overclock is because unlocking a cpu only gives you the ability to change the frequency multiplier in your case 11 I think. You can overclock any locked cpu by increase the FSB (Front side bus) speed. In your case, it is 133 mhz.

    3-Like in (1) overclocking often makes your other components, memory, PCI, AGP run faster than they should. Normally, PCI is at 33 mhz, AGP at 66 mhz. Your system might give you the option of changing the dividers though...for example, you have a 133mhz fsb...then your pci bus has a 133/4 divider or a divider of 4...133/4 = 33mhz.
    and your AGP is 133/2 = 66 mhz. If your motherboard allows it, you can change these dividers...Lets say you overclock your system to a 166mhz fsb (normally can't be done without unlocking your cpu and lowering the multiplier)
    Running your fsb at 166mhz would make your PCI and AGP run too fast... 166/4 = 41.5 mhz...166/2 = 83mhz...but you can change the divider from 4 to 5 for pci and from 2 to 3 (or 2.5 maybe, not sure on this one) This would then make your PCI and AGP run at the right speed.

    4-In very rare cases, overclocking can damage your components...but usually when inadequate cooling is involved. Usually, your system will run unstable, or not at all when you overclock too much...

    5-For AMD, if your running under or around 50C you still have a bit of headroom for overclocking...usually, simply overclocking your fsb will not change the temperature too much...but if you increase the Vcore (core voltage) this is sometimes needed to help overclock your FSB (higher frequency needs higher voltage...simple electricity rules), if you don't increase the Vcore, your system shouldn't run too hot. Make sure you have an adequate CPU HSF, don't use stock if you oc...

    6- It is possible to make your memory run at more aggressive timings (DDRAM) You can usually control your CAS Latency, RAS, Active to Precharge, Precharge to Active and Bank interleave settings....running at the lowest possible setting for each of them will usually yield better performance...setting of 2-2-2-5 or 2-2-2-6 are usually the most aggressive you can get...but high quality ram is needed for that...Corsair, Geil, OCZ, Crucial...depends, each stick is different....

    Hope this helps a little...good luck with your overclocking!

    "Hey!! Who's that hiding behind the bush??!...Well Wingding of course!"
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