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AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Windsor Overclock

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December 2, 2009 1:51:38 AM

First time overclocker trying to breathe more life into a processor.

System contains

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Windsor 2.2GHz
GIGABYTE GA-M55SLI-S4 AM2 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI
Kingston DDR2 800MHz RAM 4GB
nVidia 8600GT (additional 8600GT to be added)

I'm hoping to achieve an overclock of 2.5 to 2.6GHz. Currently the CPU seems to be the weakest part of the build so getting a small improvement would probably be of some benefit.

I've run into troubles with regards to the BIOS of the motherboard. Despite being a Gigabyte board it's not what I'd call OC friendly and it's much harder to OC the CPU as it's not like it's an unlocked multiplier. I'm not going for record clocks here, just a small increase. I'm not really keen on adjusting the voltage either.

Any ideas, I can take pictures of the BIOS settings if that helps.
December 3, 2009 1:46:29 PM

Anyone have a similar set up to what I've got now?
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a b K Overclocking
December 4, 2009 12:18:05 PM

Your problem will be your RAM, it is not going to react to any raise of FSB very well, so start by choosing the next divider up and underclock your RAM first.
Download CPUZ so you can see what everything is running at when you get booted into Windows. Main thing for you though, is you have to keep your memory running under 400mhz when you raise the bus speed, your memory is going to cause you big problems, it will be your main reason for no-POST and having to reset your BIOS. Once you go above 2.8....then you will start running into CPU, Hypertransport bus speed, and other issues.

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a b K Overclocking
December 4, 2009 8:46:42 PM

jitpublisher said:
Your problem will be your RAM, it is not going to react to any raise of FSB very well, so start by choosing the next divider up and underclock your RAM first.
Download CPUZ so you can see what everything is running at when you get booted into Windows. Main thing for you though, is you have to keep your memory running under 400mhz when you raise the bus speed, your memory is going to cause you big problems, it will be your main reason for no-POST and having to reset your BIOS. Once you go above 2.8....then you will start running into CPU, Hypertransport bus speed, and other issues.


Why would his ram be a problem? He should be able to raise the FSB without changing any RAM values whatsoever. 2.8Ghz is kinda pushin it but 2.5Ghz should not be a problem....


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a b K Overclocking
December 4, 2009 9:56:36 PM

First, lower the setting of your RAM in order to Raise the memory divider. If your RAM is set to DDR2 800, then select 667 in the BIOS. Likely, your gigabyte board will try to be "helpfull" and tighten your RAM timings. Make sure to manually loosen your RAM timings and do not tighten them until you have reached your desired CPU overclock. Also, lower your HT multiplier one step from 1GHz (5x200) to 800MHz (4x 200).

From there you just increase your base clock a few MHz at a time and test for stability after each reboot. If you need to increase your CPU voltage only do so in small increments and make sure to monitor your temps afterward. If you want more information just Google "AMD Athlon 64 Overclocking"
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a b K Overclocking
December 5, 2009 12:50:56 AM

OvrClkr said:
Why would his ram be a problem? He should be able to raise the FSB without changing any RAM values whatsoever. 2.8Ghz is kinda pushin it but 2.5Ghz should not be a problem....


I cannot believe you just asked that question, and with a name like OvrClkr too. :pfff: 
It is now quite apparent you are not so well informed when it comes to overclocking?
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a b K Overclocking
December 5, 2009 12:59:05 AM

Dude I have been able to get an extra 500MHz out of a an old am2 mobo paired with a x2 5000+ by just raising the FSB in increments of 5 till crash and then I back off a tad (this is normal procedure BTW) , why would he have to touch the ram? Both CPU's are 90nm Windsors and use more or less the same voltage. Did I miss something here?
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December 5, 2009 1:35:46 AM

Not sure if you still need the info, but I run a 4200 Windsor at 2.81 GHz. Stable for 7 months now. Its at 330x8, and the voltage is 1.4750. I is kind of high, so make sure you have the cooling for it. Idles at 42C, and maxes at 53C. Just make sure your RAM is up to the task, because I left mine at 800MHz, and when I clocked the FSB, it ended up at like 1100MHz.
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a b K Overclocking
December 5, 2009 11:05:34 AM

OvrClkr said:
Dude I have been able to get an extra 500MHz out of a an old am2 mobo paired with a x2 5000+ by just raising the FSB in increments of 5 till crash and then I back off a tad (this is normal procedure BTW) , why would he have to touch the ram? Both CPU's are 90nm Windsors and use more or less the same voltage. Did I miss something here?


Yes, you did miss something, raising the FSB is exactly the way you overclock any processor that has a locked mulitiplier, but there is a little more to it than that. When you raise the FSB, you also raise the speed your memory is running at. Remember, everything on your board runs off the FSB, including your memory. Memory does not generally tolerate much overclocking, especially budget modules like Kingston. When you start raising the bus speed, the very first component that will start causing lockups, no post, etc. is your memory. Budget memory may not even be able to tolerate a 10mhz on the bus. It might, but it is more likely it won't. So the very first thing you do, especially on an AMD platform, is lower your memory speed by raising the divider, so your overclock won't hang due memory running too far over spec. This will get you a long ways on an AMD X2 processor. The next wall you generally hit is voltage requirements and heat, and then for the people who want to really turn things up, the hypertransport speed begins to cause problems, and dropping the multiplier on it by 1 will get you even further, providing you have good enough cooling.

He should easily be able to gain 400-600mhz with his processor. If you set the memory divider so the memory is running at 180mhz, then start upping the FSB, at around a 400mhz overclock at the processor, about 215 or so on the FSB, the overclock will also at the same time bring the memory up so it is again running close to it's standard 200mhz. If you want to to go further, bump the memory down again with a bigger divider, and start bumping the FSB more.

This is all basic overclocking 101 stuff.
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December 5, 2009 3:14:27 PM

Reading through all of this trying to use all the information to help achieve a stable clock. I'm keen to keep stock voltage though. Keep all hints and tips coming :) 
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December 8, 2009 6:34:11 AM

i have an athlon x2 4000+ am2 brisbane, its stock is 2.1ghz o/clocked to 2.6ghz perfectly stable. this is a 65nm cpu.
multiplier is 10.5 (locked) with fsb at 250mhz, divider set to x4 so my ht bus is 1000mhz, im using ddr2 667@750mhz. left ram set to 667 in bios as if i lower it the memory bandwidth sucks as its under 667 then. with athlons they get big boosts the faster your ram is. this was with STOCK VOLTAGE.
with this ovclock it gave my cpu enough speed to keep up with a 6000+ in everest cpu queen test. in games the speed was highly noticable.
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a b K Overclocking
December 8, 2009 1:47:45 PM

jitpublisher said:
Yes, you did miss something, raising the FSB is exactly the way you overclock any processor that has a locked mulitiplier, but there is a little more to it than that. When you raise the FSB, you also raise the speed your memory is running at. Remember, everything on your board runs off the FSB, including your memory. Memory does not generally tolerate much overclocking, especially budget modules like Kingston. When you start raising the bus speed, the very first component that will start causing lockups, no post, etc. is your memory. Budget memory may not even be able to tolerate a 10mhz on the bus. It might, but it is more likely it won't. So the very first thing you do, especially on an AMD platform, is lower your memory speed by raising the divider, so your overclock won't hang due memory running too far over spec. This will get you a long ways on an AMD X2 processor. The next wall you generally hit is voltage requirements and heat, and then for the people who want to really turn things up, the hypertransport speed begins to cause problems, and dropping the multiplier on it by 1 will get you even further, providing you have good enough cooling.

He should easily be able to gain 400-600mhz with his processor. If you set the memory divider so the memory is running at 180mhz, then start upping the FSB, at around a 400mhz overclock at the processor, about 215 or so on the FSB, the overclock will also at the same time bring the memory up so it is again running close to it's standard 200mhz. If you want to to go further, bump the memory down again with a bigger divider, and start bumping the FSB more.

This is all basic overclocking 101 stuff.


Ok, agreed but how can you asume that he is using Kingston budget modules? Anyways I have never hit a wall due to high ram frequency's, I guess it's time to play with old hardware again....


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December 8, 2009 1:49:18 PM

Can I also just rephrase that despite being a Gigabyte board, this isn't very overclocker friendly, even with the additional BIOS menu CTRL + F1.
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