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Barton hits the wall at 2.1Ghz

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July 3, 2006 10:07:12 PM

Sorry to bring this up yet one more time but I have just aquired some old "quality" hardware from ebay to start my ocing experiments. I'm quite new at this but I've already covered a lot of material on how to cool, tweak and test an oc'd rig. So I consider myself to be on the right track for now I guess. So to the point... let me present you the hardware:

-Abit NF7 v2.0 (nForce2 Ultra 400)
-AMD Barton 2600+ (11.5x166)
-Corsair PC3200 (2 matched value dimms)
-Arctic Copper Silent 2 (+included paste)
-Seasonic 350W PSU (max 400W)

I've heard lot's of good thing about the NF7 so I thought it would be a good choice for this particular project. Unfortunately I couldn't get my hands on a barton 2500+ so I had to extract this other one from one of my dad's old computer. Albeit the multiplier is low, it appears to be one locked so no chance of tweaking there. The memory modules are actually new, but were fairly cheap although from a good brand so it will do nicely I think.

OK, now to the question. If you guys were to OC on this hardware, where would you start and how high would you dare to go? Currently all I have been able to push out is a rather low and unstable FSB @ 190 on a 1.875 Vcore. Neither 3DMark nor Prime will run through completly at any point. Any suggestions? :( 

More about : barton hits wall 1ghz

July 3, 2006 11:39:58 PM

Can't speak for the ABIT boards, but on the Asus A7N8X boards I have ( I have a bunch of them) the corsair memory doesn't work well.

With that said, you have a good chance of being able to reach 2300 without much effort by just setting the fsb to 200, and perhaps higher, but overclocking is not a sure thing so your mileage may vary.

You might need to raise the core voltage up a bit, perhaps to 1.75 or 1.8, from [assuming] the default of 1.65 or 1.7.

Like I said, I've got a bunch of these platform boards, and every single time I hit a wall below where I wanted to reach, it was due to memory, not anything else. After I finally started changing memory, running a 200 fsb was as simple as setting it and forgetting it. And, it wasn't like I spend money on some high dollar memory, I just used something other than corsair and it worked.
July 4, 2006 12:29:59 AM

I've got my Barton 2500+ up to 2.2GHz no problem. With ample cooling, and better memory, I have hit 2.5GHz with it (though it ran too hot for me to feel comfortable leaving it there for an extended period of time).

I currently run at 200MHz FSB, 11x Multiplier, and 1.725v V-Core.

I'm thinking of trying the mod posted above to get the Multiplier unlocked... That could be fun :D 
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July 4, 2006 12:34:31 AM

Bump up the voltage to the memory by .1 or .2 volts and see if that helps your stability. Also what sort of temps are you getting?
July 4, 2006 12:31:19 PM

Wow, thanks for the input guys!

I have a lot left to learn regarding this matter I'm sure. Now to address some of your suggstions, I explained to you earlier that bumping up the voltage won't make my rig more stable in applications such as Prime or 3DMark. Actually, the only time I could manage to complete a benchmark was in Aquamark3, which is kinda strange because I know it's very sensitive when it comes to oc'ing. But however, I'm starting from scratch today again... maybe I could manage to get a hold of better memory aswell. :wink:

Oh btw, highest OC was at 2.17Ghz (11.5x189) and temps didn't seem to reach any higher than 47-48 C during load. The highest I could push it was at 1.9 Vcore, then it reached 53 C. It should be noted that this particular barton once upon a time ran at temps over 60 C (when living in a mATX with bad cooling 8O ). Think this could be causing an issue?
July 4, 2006 1:46:07 PM

I use an Abit KV7-V for the (uber) OC'd rig in my sig.

If our boards are at all similar, you may have a 'Ratio' control somewhere in the BIOS. I hit an overclocking wall in the same way you have - it all went totally unstable or just plain refused to boot. However, I found the reason for that is because my FSB was overclocking (and overcooking) the PCI and AGP busses, causing instability - rather than lack of VCore/temp.
July 4, 2006 2:54:21 PM

Well, the only thing bios lets me adjust is the AGP frequency, but I've left that unchanged during this whole time. I read somewhere that Nvidia left the PCI bus locked on their nForce2 boards in order to eliminate some of the quirks that came with overclocking in (ie. data corruption and such).

However, during the last hour I have been making some observations which have lead me to believe that my power supply isn't cutting it. General protection faults and random restarts seems to be the no.1 issue when hitting speeds of ~2.1 and above (11.5x180+). Upping the vcore seems to improve the situation a bit, but I still get unstable results in my benchmarks.

The northbridge temperature has reached 35 degrees at times when Prime is running the blend-test. CPU never exceeds 50 C except when crunching heavy numbers on SuperPI or similar stress tests. Is there a possibility that my rig may not like to be stressed beyond such levels at all? :( 
July 4, 2006 3:03:09 PM

I use a dodgy generic 300w, so I don't think it could be the PSU (I also run 2x7200rpm disks and one 10000rpm disk, and a DVD burner off of it!)

Mine only gave me those strange Windows lockups at 2200mhz (200x11) with an extra 15% voltage increase.
July 4, 2006 3:36:19 PM

I don't think it's the PS either.
July 4, 2006 3:38:57 PM

I have had problems with my OC when my PS was going out (basically it was just old and abused). I switched to a nice, new, dual-12v PSU and I am now able to overclock beyond my ability to cool the sucker.

So if your PSU is old and/or cheap, I would suggest replacing it with something new and decent.
July 4, 2006 5:20:52 PM

It's a Seasonic 350W (max 400W) with one 20-pin connector and one 4-pin. Supposedly it delivers 17A on the 12V rail. Voltages are within a 10% margin although I've seen the Vcore fluctuate a bit when stressed out. Do you think it has to do with it not being able to supply enough juice to the system?
July 4, 2006 5:51:01 PM

There is no problem with your setup,the only problem is with the CPU I'v got a amd athlon 2600+ Barton it it too hits the wall at 2,1Ghz if you are lucky to get it there ,i have tried every thing and it didn't want to go any any more,but try to relaxe the momory timings and then give it a try .
July 4, 2006 5:55:12 PM

You may just have a chip thats not too great for an OC. I still have a machine with an unlocked 2500+ Barton and it rides fine @ 208 * 12,...and some variations depending on what I have it doing.
July 4, 2006 5:58:27 PM

I reckon the L5 bridges are the logical step forward.

I watched the THG video after doing the procedure myself - I can report that I bridged the....err....bridges......with nothing but a sharp pencil and have had no problems at all.

You should also update your BIOS to the latest revision - it didn't recognise my Sempron as an Athlon XP-M until I did so.

You may want to do the whole 'conductive paint and tape' thing, but people have been doing it for ages with just a pencil and I can't see any reason why not to.
July 4, 2006 6:08:06 PM

My mobile barton hit 2.4-2.5 at 1.75 or 1.7 (I forget which) without any trouble. I suspect luck of the draw is part of it.

One thing you might try is unplugging everything unnecessary from the computer. If the PSU is having trouble it may not really be supplying that voltage, or it may be unsteady. You may be able to check that with software, or in the bios.
July 4, 2006 6:15:08 PM

Mobile chips are cherry-picked to run at lower voltages, so that makes them exceptional overclockers. With that said, you're right in that it's luck of the draw if a chip will or won't OC well.
July 4, 2006 6:31:08 PM

To be honest, at this stage I'm a bit reluctant to try out such procedure when I've seen so many others get to where I want by just tweaking with their bios. Nothing against hard modding really, but I just want to make sure that I really can't get any further through software tweaking.

In reply to the rest: I do believe this chip lends well for overclocking. It has a low multiplier, good stepping and also, it's a barton core (and most bartons clock well if you are to believe the gurus :wink: ). So I do hope this is not the end of my journey here... at this point I'm too optimistic to believe I've reached the end of the road.

**UPDATE**
Ok, so far I'm getting through Prime at 2075 Mhz (11.5x180). Hasn't crached in Aquamark neither so I hope increasing the Vdimm to 2.75 has helped a bit. Vcore is still dangling between 1.675-1.7 max. Seems to run stable... We'll see in a couple of more hours I guess.
July 5, 2006 7:48:57 PM

you cant mod any bridges with a barton, so dont even try... i used trats d27619r2 as a bios, it worked better then any other one ive tried (about 25 or so) go into softmenu, and set cpu speed to say 200x11.. set cpu/dram ratio to 6/6, and disable cpu interface, i had better luck with it enabled. do be afraid to juice that barton, 1.85 is the most id give it comfortable, and 2.9vdimm is closer to 3v, becareful, my current ram is rated at cas2.5, but feeding it all that juice, it will only run cas2 now. my mobile and nf7 were good for 240x10 with 1.75v. i maxed it at 2700mhz a few times with 2.1v. in the winter it was 238x11 with 1.95v. hope that helps.

Edit:

set tras to 11
edit again

pinmod wont help you, they are for 133 bus cpus only.
July 6, 2006 1:39:19 PM

Quote:
... i used trats d27619r2 as a bios, it worked better then any other one ive tried (about 25 or so)

I have virtually no experience in flashing to custom bios versions... wouldn't even know how to look for one to begin with. Are you saying it got substantially better after flashing to that bios mod? If so where can I get it?

Quote:
do be afraid to juice that barton, 1.85 is the most id give it comfortable

Do you mean that I should keep the voltage within 1.85 or perhaps lower? As of now, I'm keeping the volts to a minimum (1.75 is the highest atm) but that is to be sure I don't loose any volts beyond 1.7

Quote:
and 2.9vdimm is closer to 3v, becareful, my current ram is rated at cas2.5, but feeding it all that juice, it will only run cas2 now.

Well, I'm running my timings on "optimal" mode right now, though they are the same as set by SPD. It's Corsair Value memory so I doubt I will be able to juice it that much. Besides CL2 gave me worse performance than 2.5 last time I ran the synthetic benches.

And since I don't really know what a pinmod is I guess I don't have to worry about that... :p 
July 6, 2006 2:35:44 PM

yep, you just use flashmenu and flash with that, you should try mantarays xt bios. 1.9v is the most id give, id try to keep it at 1.85 or under. have a look at This thread, you may find it extremely beneficial :) 
July 7, 2006 1:35:54 AM

Wow, thanks man. That link really led to a goldmine of bios mods! :) 

Since you've been telling me alot about your oc experiences I thought it would be nice if you maybe could tell me what kind of potential this project of mine really has? So far I haven't felt very lucky but then again, you have to consider the challenge, am I right? :roll:

Anyway, I'm currently pushing 183 without any major hickups (enduring an hour of blend-testing in Prime plus a round of Aquamark but not sure) and as it turns out, the memory timings needed some adjustment, 3-3-11 and 2T seems to be a go, but CAS is best left unghanged. I also managed to rise the chipset voltage to 1.7, it became much more stable but to the cost of increased temps (NB now hitting a whopping 42C during full load!) 8O

So, I guess it won't get any better until I take my time to invest in proper chipset cooling and maybe a pair of extra heatsinks for the MOSfets. Not sure if it's necessary but it won't hurt either I guess...
July 7, 2006 2:31:38 AM

tbh, the only mod i did to my board was just to the bios.. other then that it was bone stock. but yeah, once your running in the 1.85v area, those fets get hot. the best thing cooling wise i can suggest, outside of beefing up your cpu cooler, is just to make sure you have good air flow in your case. positive case pressure is a good thing :)  i sealed up all the openings, ie vents, cracks etc, and had 4 fans in, and 2 out. flow was from front to rear. is your multi locked?
July 11, 2006 1:02:28 PM

If by "multi locked" you mean superlocked then yes, I suppose the multiplier cannot be lowered at this point. However, I think i've probably got a bad chip as it turns pretty hot whenever I run farcry (60 C) and to be very honest with you I don't have the slighest intention to continue pushing this rig unless I find a very good socket A cooler that doesn't cost me a fortune!

Btw, I replaced the sucky chipset fan with one of those tall Zalman sinks for the northbridge and now I'm experiencing much more pleasant temps that do not exceed 40 C even under hours of heavy load. Even so, a fan dedicated to suck some hot air from it would be nice. As far as cooling the inside of the case - I have a Silentum T3 from AC which is supposed to be optimized for good airflow (see homepage) but it may require some light modification. :p 

Edit*: Did I mention I hate noise?
July 11, 2006 2:06:57 PM

I have the exact same chip, but I am running on an ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe. With water cooling I can hit 2.5GHz stable. On stock hs with a 80mm case fan instead of the stock fan I hit 2.3 stable. If you're ram is set to spd, go into user defined in the bios, set it to auto, and then go back to optimal settings. I found that when it was pulling its settings from spd it didn't play nice. Another thing I would recommend is setting ram divider at 83% or whatever your bios offers just below 100%, this setting is in the same place for setting ram to spd or auto. Should be able to run 2.2/2.3 on stock depending on room and case temp. I've also found my chip gets picky above 50C, so watch temps.
July 20, 2006 11:46:36 PM

You'll get a slight higher clock if you set the divider to 83%, however i found i got a higher performance set at 1:1.
I run my 2800 @ 210 x 10.

Just my findings
!