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3500+ can't get over 2464mhz overclock

  • AMD
  • Overclocking
Last response: in Overclocking
October 13, 2009 9:15:57 AM

Hi everyone,

I can't get my Athlon 3500+ over 2464mhz at 1.625 vcore voltage without getting an unrepairable system error and having to reinstall Windows. The temperature doesn't seem to be going over 52 degrees celcius (and it used to run at 56 degrees on stock hsf all the time).

I'm trying to hold on to my processor for another year or so until I find one of the best socket 939 cpus cheap second-hand. I want a cpu that will be a good match for my video card and memory, so one that will not bottleneck my other components, without being unneccesarily fast, if that's even possible in this case. So, I've gone with overclocking, for the first time.

This post is going to be long, because I am thorough, and I do formally appologize to your eyeballs and other parts for that, and thank you in advance for any expertise you can lend me. I am going to describe all of my issues and concerns with case cooling and overclocking here.

My system:
Windows XP x64 SP2 (pirated, of course)
Antec Sonata 3,
Seagate Barracuda 160gb x 2 (without a 120mm fan on the front of the case, but I'm thinking of adding one to help out*)
Asus A8V Deluxe - Bios 1018 Rev.001 (BETA**)
Athlon64 3500+ (and I just installed a Zalman cnps9500-led, and then I tried overclocking, and now am having trouble***)
Sapphire AGP 3850hd 512mb (and I just installed a VF700-AlCu, and had a problem with the memory heatsinks****, and then tried overclocking and am now having trouble as I already noted)
OCZ Platinum Pc-3200, 4x1gb matched pairs in dual channel

What happened:
I installed Zalman fans on the CPU and GPU, and then tried overclocking. Instead of typical results I expected from overclocking guides I read, I got unrepairable bootsector problems. I have had to reinstall every time, even after manually replacing files from system restore backups.

Firstly, I used to have this stuff with stock hsfs, an x800 instead of a 3850hd and it was all kept cool and insanely noisy inside a Tsunami Dream case. Then I changed the case, and then I changed the gpu, and then I upgraded my memory.

I have also overclocked before, I've been using Asus Adaptive Overclock at 8% for the past year. I recently found out people consider Adaptive Overclock bollucks because they've found it raising the vcore voltage in spikes up to 1.75 volts. Although I never confirmed it to be as such with me, I can only hope that that is not that which is now resulting in this instability, (it's 4 in the morning as I type that).

The default FSB is 200mhz. After installing the Zalman fans and re-organizing the case's guts for better air circulation, I was able to manually set the FSB to 217, and even then to about 220, and run a stable system with Cool n Quiet active, which I believe was limiting the vcore to it's default 1.5 volts. After disabling CnQ, I raised the vcore voltage to 1.6v, and although, foolishly, I did not take notes here, I think eventually raised the FSB to 224, and the vcore voltage to 1.625. Here the memory is running at 2.7v, CAS=2. Somewhere between FSB 220 and FSB 224, I manage to run Enemy Territory Quake Wars smoothly and just how I always dreamt about. Then, refering to an overclocking guide online, which stated that at 1.65v they achieved FSB 233, I conservatevely raised the vcore to 1.65 and the FSB to 230, and raised my AGP voltage from 1.5 to 1.6v just for good measure, since I read that some people had problems with running agp 3850s at 1.5v. This is when I wasn't able to load Windows. The error was System32/config/system file missing or corrupt. For some reason, my copy of the install disk does not give an option to hit 'r' to attempt a repair, nor does it run chkdsk when something like that happens, which is too bad because chkdsk has fixed an error just like that in the recent past when I connected the hd to a friend's pc, so I had to reinstall.

On the next install I had trouble installing drivers for my sound card and network card inside Windows, I reorganized the sound card and some other internal components inside my case to improve air circulation and the problems didn't happen again. This might be a good time to mention that I think the Zalman fans are not circulating air as well as the stock fans did in my particular case and yielded only a 1-2 degree improvement in the motherboard temperature and a minor improvement in CPU temperature compared to my expectations, and I never figured out Riva Tuner and don't know what is going on with my video card.

**** Regarding the Sapphire 3850 and Zalman upgrade: The memory modules located directly above the gpu, not to the side, and specifically the third one counting from the right side, which is closest to the heatsink fins. On a Sapphire AGP 3850, it is so close to the gpu that installing the memory heatsinks with the fins pointing in the direction upwards and downwards, the fins will come in direct contact with the fins on the gpu heatsink, in fact, the memory heatsink can not fit when oriented this way (and in my case, got pushed away from it's center position on the memory as I installed the gpu heatsink, and now sits just about 1mm off-center. I am concerned about the now exposed surface area of that memory chip overheating. So this is a problem, and it indicates the heatsinks should be installed with the fins pointed always perpendicular to the gpu heatsink fins, so that they will run parallel with the gpu heatsink fins, and with- not against, the direction of the airflow. I am just hoping that this won't lead to problems without overclocking the videocard, which shouldn't ever be nessecary because of the limitations of socket 939 cpus and my motherboard memory.

* The hard disks are not cooled by a 120mm fan on the front bracket of the case. I plan to install one now, because after running Hard Disk Sentinal, I saw they are running too hot- the master 35-37 degrees and above with use, and the slave from 42-44 all the time, which is in yellow, 47 being red-malfunction level. I have re-organized them with the master on the bottom bracket and the slave on the top bracket to help keep temperatures down. The slave drive is older, and I guess the older they get the hotter they will run.

*** So after several re-installations of Windows, and rising the memory voltage to 2.8v for good measure, and keeping the AGP voltage at 1.5v because I've never had a problem with my videocard anyway, the best overclock I've acheived was 224mhz with a vcore voltage of 1.625. I just set the vcore to 1.625 this time instead of 1.6, and don't know if it was nessecary, but since 225 caused another unrepairable error, I didn't have an opportunity to try 224mhz at 1.6v. I was able to run Toast for one minute on this configuration before stopping to try 225mhz. So in brief, my concern is this, I've seen people saying that a 3500+ should do 2700mhz on stock cooling, but I haven't gotten past 2464mhz without screwing up my Windows bootsector.

* Finally, I think it's worth mentioning that sometime last year, I used Asus' bios flash utility to download and flash to the latest beta bios, 1018 rev 001. Obviously doing it was unnessecary and could be contributing to my system's instability now that I'm trying to overclock. I wrote an email to Asus today asking about it and should get a response in a few days.

Any advice you can give me on what settings might be stable while giving me that extra speed to make my ETQW performance dreams come true again until I can get a good cpu upgrade would be appretiated. :sweat: 

More about : 3500 2464mhz overclock

October 13, 2009 8:37:52 PM

oh, 1.625v is too much for an Athlon64 3500+?! No wonder I was having trouble.... I had no idea.. why are all these people saying they use 1.65v then...
October 13, 2009 9:13:59 PM

Well, I was relying mostly on numbers from one guide which wasn't teaching me what I needed to know... guess I'll be starting from scratch again.. reading some forums on overclocking a 3500 now.. any help for my setup would be appretiated
Related resources
October 13, 2009 11:08:08 PM

Well I found a guide to overclocking using Cool n Quiet ... which I think I will do because although one of my goals is overclocking for gaming performance, my main goal is still to have a very quiet computer. I heard that having a lower multiplier and a higher FSB is better for gaming, but since that appears to be impossible while using CnQ, I will probably settle for the best OC I can get using CnQ, which should be enough for the games I like.
Here are the guides I'll be using:
I'll leave this thread online incase anybody else searches for a starting point to OC their Athlon64 3500, Asus A8V Deluxe, OCZ Plat, AGP 3850 system for the first time, which I think is likely to happen since the components are common and the timing is right. Can't wait for SC2 beta. Wil update with my results later. Cheers.
a b K Overclocking
October 14, 2009 1:17:54 AM

We don't need your life story well any way no two chips are the same trust me on that one or any one else for that matter. You might as well build another rig on the cheap and then sell of the one you got as parts then use that to upgrade. In short scrap an sell.
October 14, 2009 2:21:07 AM

nforce4max said:
We don't need your life story well any way no two chips are the same trust me on that one or any one else for that matter. You might as well build another rig on the cheap and then sell of the one you got as parts then use that to upgrade. In short scrap an sell.

Hey, great thinking! Come to think of it, there is an old lady that lives down the road from me who I could trick into buying this stuff for way more than it's worth! Then I can take her money and swoop in on an ebay auction in the last 5 seconds and get something way faster than what I have now! Thanks nforce4max, enjoy the day!