I have put together all of my computers, but never cared to overclock any of them. I have read your fantastic article here. Mind you I have only a basic understanding of some of this stuff, but my main question is about my RAM working or not with the processor speed I want to run. Forgive me for being long winded, but I want to be sure everything is going to work before I attempt it.
So here is the hardware I am working with(don't make fun):
-Asus M2N-MX SE Plus
-AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Black Edition
-Crucial 2GB PC2-5300 667-DDR2 (2 of them)
Probably doesn't matter but:
-Nvidia GeForce 9500 GT PCI-e 512MB-DDR2
-Rocketfish Universal CPU fan/heatsink
-Rocketfish 550watt power supply
-Maxtor SATA 500GB HDD
-Western Digital ATA 320GB HDD (Windows XP 64-bit Pro installed here)
I would really appreciate a watered down list of settings to change in the BIOS to achieve the 3.2GHz that I want to run. I was reading the article and it says "At 3.30 GHz, the memory speed drops to DDR2-733 due to the memory divider. This can be an advantage, though, as it allows you to use cheaper DDR2-667 memory that can be overclocked to this speed, saving you additional money." So maybe I don't know enough about this, but I wanted to "keep it safe" and just run 3.2GHz. But since my RAM is DDR2-667 and the RAM would then running at DDR2-800, will this work? Am I just being a big baby? Should I run 3.3GHz since apparently my RAM will work just fine at that speed?
Lastly, what EXACTLY do I need to change in the BIOS? Obviously the multiplier to the achieve the desired speed. Then the CPU voltage. Will my setup require a different voltage than what is listed in the article? What are the variables involved that could be different in my exact setup? This CPU fan/heatsink is pretty looking(click link above), but will I have to worry about overheating at 3.2 or 3.3GHz?
Sorry again for typing an essay. Thanks in advance for your help!
I set the multiplier to 15.5x=3.11GHz last night and right before I went to sleep I started some downloads...then a couple minutes later I got the blue screen of death. I restarted and set the multiplier back down to 15x=3.01 GHz and have been running so far without issue. Is it safe to assume I just needed a bit more voltage? Using CPUID(CPU-Z) my voltage seems to run anywhere between 1.4 and 1.5v...still on stock settings. What is the best way to check temperature? Everest?
I realize I could buy some other parts to make this setup better, but I already have all this stuff and on my college student budget I can't really afford to replace any of it at the moment, I'm just trying to squeeze the last drop out of what I have.
Is this too late of a reply?
This processor is really easy to overclock, I've had it before my Phenom II 940. To answer your concerns: 1. Your cooler is rated for 95W power dissipation, your processor is only a 65W proc, even under higher voltage it should be enough, but watch your temps with SpeedFan, or using AMD Overdrive. Your PSU is more than enough, my phenom II system is not exceeding 300W power load at the outlet, yours should be drawing about 150-200W, so your 550W PSU is overkill!
From here: http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/K8/AMD-Athlon%2064%20X2%2...(ADO5000DSWOF).html
you can see that your processor is rated for 55-72C temperatures, depending on processor revision. So, try to keep your temps under 55C under full load.
I've hit 3GHz on that proc on stock voltage (1.35V) and at 1.5V I hit 3.2GHz - it wouldn't go any higher.
Basically: up the multiplier, you seemed to have figure that. THe problem you were having (BSOD) is indeed due to lack of voltage. Set the voltage manually in the BIOS to 1.375V and boot, stress test for a couple of hours, watch your temps constantly, if it approaches 50C, stop, reverse settings because you've reached your limit. If it BSODs, then go back to BIOS, add voltage on the VCore (processor voltage) and stress test again, till it's stable. Don't need to adjust anything else! This is the easiest way to overclock your proc.
Ohh, and if you hit the critical temperature, don't worry, AMD processors immediately cut the power and reset the system, even without BSOD. You won't fry your proc that way. I wouldn't recommend any higher than 1.5V for you, especially with that heatsink.
Hope it's not too late and helpful!
In order to get "it all" in that system, you should start by moving up to at least DDR2-800 (PC2-6400) memory, preferably CAS4, not the typical CAS5.
My 5000+ BE hits 3.2GHz (16 x 200 @ 1.43V) easily. I can go higher (3.48GHz - 16 x 218 @ 1.43V - stable) but running at the absolute limit all the time doesn't exactly help component longevity. Plus, boosting the FSB always affects other components, sometimes adversely, so I typically play the FSB side safely and go with between 200-210MHz, which firmly places my CPU between 3.2 and 3.36GHz, or 23-29% overclock.
The real key to overclocking is taking baby steps with the multiplier, then baby steps with the FSB, then baby steps with the voltage. After each step in the voltage, you can then start over with the multiplier and FSB stepping. Just remember to track your which setting you just increased so you can back it down a notch when you end up with an unstable setting. It really is trial and error as each Mobo/CPU/RAM/PSU/HS-Fan combination can yield different results.