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Does the risk of overclocking justify the gain

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April 20, 2006 10:55:55 PM

I just had a couple of questions
Currently i have:
a8n-sli
amd64 3500+
Raptor 74gb
wd caviar se 160gb
leadtek 6600gt
4X512 RAm sticks corsair valueselect:S
and a wireless card

My cpu fan is a zalman Cnps7000b-cu

Would it be relatevly safe to overclock my system, and if so, to what level should i do it?
I have never overclocked before but i'm ambitious and would like to try
any help appreciated, thanks
Alex
April 20, 2006 11:34:03 PM

What apps are you using that would benefit from the extra processing power? When should you stop overclocking? When you get a BSOD, when you can't boot past the BIOS, when it's not Prime95 stable, or when you're happy with the speed that you've reached. Just keep an eye on temps, and you're good to go.
April 20, 2006 11:36:56 PM

I don't know if Asus has a utility that will let you over clock from within windows but if you are willing you can over clock the system from the bios. You want to over clock the system by raising the FSB speed a little at a time, each time you do run something that really strains the system. Folding at Home, Prime95 etc. If it runs stably and the temp of the processor settles somewhere below 55 degrees celcius then go ahead and bump it up a little more.

I'm guessing that you have a lot more over clocking room for the CPU then the memory since you have value ram. If you can it may be a good idea to adjust the Memory to FSB ratio so that you can keep the memory as close to stock speed as possible. When you do hit instability in the system then your first suspect should be the memory if it is more than about 5% above spec.

Once you find a speed that wont run stably you should back down to a speed that did. It may be a good idea to sped down a little below the highest speed that ran welll so that when you have the system under load for long periods you don't have a problem.

As far as the risk I have the same cooler on a Athlon 64 3000+ and had the CPU over clocked to about 2.3 GHz (from 1.8 GHz stock) that is over 25% and it was a very noticable increase. I have since moved that chip and heatsink to a cheaper board and given to to my Mother so it is no longer overclocked. I have upgraded to a Opteron 165 wich is running at 2.4 GHz (from 1.8 stock).
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April 20, 2006 11:39:32 PM

considering people who overclock should all definitely know what they're doing, then there is as little risk as possible and it is greatly worth it.
April 20, 2006 11:44:57 PM

i overclocked my amd 3500+ to 2600 Mhz and it's very stable. If you want to overclock for gaming I suggest you overclock your graphics card also. As was said before, i don't expect your memory to overclock very much, but you can allways try. I had to lock my pci bus, I guess you'll have to lock your pci-express bus, otherwise you might encounter corrupted files,


greetz
April 20, 2006 11:45:54 PM

i'm a big gamer. My raptor just happened to fail, i think due to a heat problem and me being stupid and practically stacking the drives. as soon as it comes back, i was planning to overclock it a bit. i realize my ram is a disadvantage, but my main motif is getting some of the eye candy in some of the later games.

just on a sidenot, my crap PSU is 420 watts, but the 12v line is only 13 amps.
this is a problem, rite?
April 20, 2006 11:47:36 PM

Your RAM configuration (4 sticks) is not ideal for overclocking, and it's best to start out with PC4000, or faster if you don't want asynchronous clocks - which can really hurt your memory latency.

However, it's almost impossible to damage hardware by overclocking, unless you do something really stupid, like increase clocks speeds by hundreds of Megahertz at a time, rather than slow and steady.

The long term damage done by heavy overclocking is a fact. My old athlon 1.0 (Which ran at 1.6 for 3+ years!) benched 25% slower after 3 years than when I first overclocked it. My estimate is that more than 2-3 million transistors were destroyed by Ion Migration during the preceding 3 years.

However, that core was VERY VERY hot, and it was over-volted substantially (and it's the volts which do most damage.)

The heat thing isn't so important, as it's not heat which kills CPUs (well, not unless you cook them!) but "thermal cycles" which is the number of times a core will suffer going from cold to hot and back to cold again. Most CPUs are rated for 15,000 heat cycles or more. With overclocking, you are likely to shorten that to half, or a third (say 5000 cycles).

These numbers really don;t matter though, because you are highly unlikely to be running this same CPU in 3 years from now.

So go for it!
April 20, 2006 11:52:21 PM

Quote:

These numbers really don;t matter though, because you are highly unlikely to be running this same CPU in 3 years from now.

So go for it!


I only hope cpu manufacturers don't take advantage of this and slack on their chips' lifetimes.
April 21, 2006 12:12:43 AM

I overclocked my X2 4800+ the day I got it; can't say that it was needed, but I wanted to tell my friend with an FX55 that I basically have two of his cores.

All you need to watch is CPU temperatures and be careful with the voltage.
April 21, 2006 12:18:48 AM

Quote:
i'm a big gamer. My raptor just happened to fail, i think due to a heat problem and me being stupid and practically stacking the drives. as soon as it comes back, i was planning to overclock it a bit. i realize my ram is a disadvantage, but my main motif is getting some of the eye candy in some of the later games.

just on a sidenot, my crap PSU is 420 watts, but the 12v line is only 13 amps.
this is a problem, rite?


That very well could become a problem because overclocked components use more power than ones that are not. It's not so much the wattage as it is the amps on the 12v rail. Even in the $40 Thermaltake PSU, there are 19 amps on the 12v. The power supply should be the first thing that you upgrade.
April 21, 2006 1:55:21 AM

thanks. i'm going to be building a new computer this christmas so i was just wondering, is it worth buying a say 50 US dollar psu and overclocking for the extra performance? or just waiting until i get a new computer
the extra performance is not urgent, but i'm finding my computer is struggling on some higher end games and also home recordings
thanks
April 21, 2006 2:00:38 AM

I think it does, when I have an opteron 165 smokeing an FX-60
April 21, 2006 2:54:03 AM

Quote:
thanks. i'm going to be building a new computer this christmas so i was just wondering, is it worth buying a say 50 US dollar psu and overclocking for the extra performance? or just waiting until i get a new computer
the extra performance is not urgent, but i'm finding my computer is struggling on some higher end games and also home recordings
thanks


Your CPU isn't bad at all; it's your graphics card that's preventing you from playing games at max detail/resolution, etc. You have a nice CPU, a nice motherboard, and a lot of RAM. Get a new graphics card and power supply, overclock everything, and enjoy.
April 21, 2006 2:58:21 AM

thanks for all the replies
i'll definitly look into a graphics card to improve my performance, possibly a 7600gt, would this be a good option?
i don't want to go all out since i am building a new rig towards christmas
Alex
PS: I'm an Nvidia fan, but i'll admit, that i've never ever used an ATI graphics card before. if there's a better deal going with ATI than Nvidia then by all means, let me know:p 
April 21, 2006 3:54:15 AM

Quote:
Your CPU isn't bad at all; it's your graphics card that's preventing you from playing games at max detail/resolution, etc. You have a nice CPU, a nice motherboard, and a lot of RAM. Get a new graphics card and power supply, overclock everything, and enjoy.


I'am not right up on the new games out now, but I thought that a 6600GT is quite a powerful G/C to run games with a AMD 3500+ CPU as long as you don't have all the games settings at max and resolutions not too high.
April 21, 2006 5:07:17 AM

Quote:
thanks for all the replies
i'll definitly look into a graphics card to improve my performance, possibly a 7600gt, would this be a good option?
i don't want to go all out since i am building a new rig towards christmas
Alex
PS: I'm an Nvidia fan, but i'll admit, that i've never ever used an ATI graphics card before. if there's a better deal going with ATI than Nvidia then by all means, let me know:p 


No no don't get the 7600 it's really not very much better than a 6600GT, just in the same way that a 7200 isn't going to give much more performance than a 6200. What you want is a 7800GT. They are cheap at only around $275
April 21, 2006 6:10:29 AM

I don't think you know what are u talking about. 7600 GT it's much better than the 6600gt. 7600 GT is a very good card. it beats the 6800 GT and GS by quite a large margin. it's less expensive (200$) than a 6800 gt, gs or a 7800 gt. it doesn't need additional power, consumes less power and generates less heat. check out some benchmarks on the web to see how it performs. and if he wants a better card than the he shoud get the 7900 GT which is less expensive than the 7800 gt and beats even a 7800gtx.
April 21, 2006 6:22:23 AM

alright :oops:  yes i am a dumbass. hows it at running multiple high-res screens for videos and simultaneous text rendering? wanting to know if 7800 is overkill or not.
April 21, 2006 6:46:54 AM

7600 GT it's much better than the 6600gt.
and if he wants a better card than the he shoud get the 7900 GT which is less expensive than the 7800 gt and beats even a 7800gtx.

i didn't said that 7600GT is better than 7800 GT. i said that instead of 7800
GT how you said he should get 7900GT. it's cheaper and better at everything
April 23, 2006 12:07:27 AM

Sometimes, I'm not sure whether overclocking actually saves money. You have to have luck with the processor. You must have a good PSU, some RAM that actually works well, a mobo with good overclocking features, invest in cooling, etc. Then you are always facing the risk of losing some components. I suppose that this isn't really worth it for most people.

I think that the most important thing about overclocking is the gambling aspect ;) .
!