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Opteron 165/170/175 OCing [noob]

Last response: in Overclocking
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April 18, 2006 12:00:20 AM

Im completly new to overclocking, and i am getting one of those three CPU's.
I am thinking of the zalman CNPS9500 LED which is rather expensive and large. Can i get an opinion on this (ive read reviews already)
Will this fit the MSI SLI-F?
Also, i need to know for sure if overclocking will in any way damage any part of my processor or put it under uneeded stress (i need to justify OCing with someone)
Will update this post when i get the processor for sure, but for now this will do.

Specs for reference:
Opteron 165/170/175
1gb ddr unbranded ram (dont really wanna buy new stuff)
MSI SLI-F Motherboard
MSI NX7900GT 256mb GFX
500W Acbel gold PSU
standard ATX case (dont really wanna buy a new one)
Seagate Barricuda 7900.9 (SATA II) 160GB hard drive
April 18, 2006 12:51:22 AM

MSI NX7900GT 256mb GFX <- ~Bad idea
" " " " " " " " " 512 " " " " " <- good idea.
Games are getting rather large texture packs nowadays, especially ID games and with Prey :D rool: on the way you should get more video ram.
April 18, 2006 2:43:30 AM

i already have it all except the processor, a 256mb card is expensive enough as it is even when bought in the US, let alone a 512mb.
Its around $800NZD to buy the card we got for $650NZ when bought in the US. This isnt cheap.

Its just the processor im looking at overclocking, not the vid card.
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April 22, 2006 12:16:56 PM

Quote:
Im completly new to overclocking, and i am getting one of those three CPU's.
I am thinking of the zalman CNPS9500 LED which is rather expensive and large. Can i get an opinion on this (ive read reviews already)
Will this fit the MSI SLI-F?

I have the same hsf, and looking at the motherboard you have selected, there should be no problems fitting it (I'm offering no guarantees here :p  ). The only thing I would check is how close the top edge of the motherboard is to the psu cage on your case. It is possible that the hsf will slightly overhang the edge of the motherboard (this wasn't an issue on my motherboard).

Quote:
Also, i need to know for sure if overclocking will in any way damage any part of my processor or put it under uneeded stress (i need to justify OCing with someone)

Any overclocking has it's risks, but in most cases, these risks are minimal. If you avoid increasing any voltages, then you reduce the risks somewhat, but you can never totally eliminate them.

As long as you are careful when overclocking, and do not try to push beyond the limitations of your hardware, then overclocking can provide significant performance improvements, and at little risk of damage to components. Once you start to increase voltages (used as a method of improving stability at higher overclocks), then the lifetime of the components is affected.

As this is your 1st time overclocking, do some research first. I found the followng articles very useful (my current pc was my 1st overclock):
Short-media - excellent guide, extremely detailed
Madshrimps - another very good guide
THG Forum - yet another very good guide right here on our own forums

So, to summarise, there are risks, but they are minimal if you are careful.
April 23, 2006 12:10:31 AM

Im probably not getting that fan anymore, due to the fact i may get one in the retail box. if its OEM i may buy it though.
So its probably a 165/170, most likely a 165. what can you OC this to without a voltage change and with a stock fan?
Also i dont want it too hot either....
April 23, 2006 8:33:49 AM

Firstly, the stock hsf supplied with boxed Opterons is very good, and you should be able to get good overclocking results with it.

However, I'm not so sure about the motherboard. I've read a couple of reviews where they state that, whilst the bios has many options for overclocking, the board itself does not provide good results. Saying that, the reviews do state that future bios revisions may resolve this problem, and it's quite possible that these new bios revisions are available now.

Unfortunately, I have no personal experience with this board. Maybe someone else can advise better on this.

I would say that, with a 165 Opteron, you should be able to achieve somewhere in the region of 2.4-2.6GHz. This would require a HTT of 267-289 (9x multiplier). However, this is very much dependent on the CPU you get (every CPU overclocks differently) and the capabilities of the motherboard to reach these high HTT frequencies (which is/was a concern with the MSI motherboard).

The 170 Opteron should be able to hit 2.5-2.6GHz, requiring a HTT of 250-260 (10x multiplier). I managed to get my 170 to 2.65GHz with a small increase in vCore, and my temps remain under 50C with the Zalman CNPS9500 hsf (I haven't tested this in Summer though, when ambient temps will be somewhat higher). I was stable at 2.6GHz without increasing the vCore.

The above figures are just an estimation, and should be used as a guideline only. They are also based on using stock hsf and no voltage mods.

I would expect cpu temps to be in the mid 30's idle - low/mid 40's under load at stock speeds (depending on case ventilation, ambient temps, etc.), and to keep the temp below 55C under full load (both cores) once overclocked.
April 23, 2006 9:58:33 AM

Just a thought you should get some form of branded ram. Corsair/ocz/kingmax valueram is ok but noname ram can cause problems especially if you are gonna overclock which is why i recommend you get good ram.
April 23, 2006 11:07:51 AM

Value Ram is for stock settings/small overclocks, nothing that exceeds 10% OC. For decent overclocks, you will need performance Ram, something which can handle the increase in FSB and the tight timings. And since you want to get an Opteron, I can only stress to you so much on the importance of good performance RAM. May be pricey, but in the end of the day, you'll be able to maintain decent timings and command rate whilst you OC the cpu.
April 23, 2006 12:19:41 PM

Do not buy an OEM CPU. The warranty is only 1 year as opposed to the retail of 3 years.
April 23, 2006 11:50:40 PM

I dont mind on warrenty, after reading a site i found that OCing will void it immediately, so i either dont OC, or have a 1 year warrenty. I may get retail, it depends on what they shops have in stock. I am getting a 165 if not a 170. These processors are rather strong on performance without an OC anyway aren't they? Can someone give me benchmarks of a non OC'ed 165?
!