CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 620
Cooler: Zalman CNPS9500A
RAM: Kingston 2 x 2.0GB DDR2 PC2-6400
MB: ASUS M3N78-VM (AM2)
Video: 1GB GeForce 9800GT (BFG)
HDD: 500GB WD Black
PSU: Antec Earthwatts 650W
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
So just a couple questions. I can use the manual OC option in the bios where I just adjust the FSB (200-300 with a 13 multiplier) and it auto adjusts everything else. Doing this I can get 2.6GHz (25Cish idle) to 3.2Ghz(45-50ish idle) with no issues, after that the system isn't stable.
Now I understand that this isn't the best way to do it, and I didn't see any walk-through guides for AMD processors. So what's the proper procedure for overclocking here? I'd be content if someone just gave me a link to a proper guide.
I have experience with adjusting the voltage, CPU, and multiplier; but I've never done anything with RAM or anything else.
Personally, I haven't done any AMD overclocking before (my 754 K8N motherboard doesn't support it ), but I can tell you that the maximum temperature that the Athlon II X4 600 series can handle is 71C. Use Prime 95 to load your processor to 100%, and after 10 minutes or so, check what the temperature is. It shouldn't be around 65C at maximum, any higher than 68C means you should lower your o/c a bit. The voltages shouldn't exceed 1.425V, IIRC.
68c is way to high, especially when the OP has no clue as to what needs to be done to attain stability.
Test your CPU with prime95 (blend test) at 3.2Ghz for at least a few hours, if temps are within 45/55c then I would suggest you do not push more than 3.4Ghz. You want to keep your CPU below 62c at all times in order to preserve it's life-span.
Set the Memory divider down, the HT multiplier down, and the CPU_NB multipliers down, then test the top speed of the cpu/fsb out. Once you find a comfortable level for the cpu (the cpu itself should def be able to do 3.2ghz either @default vcore, or with a slight bump). My guess is that either your CPU_NB speed, memory speed, or HT speed is too high and its causing errors. Run CpuZ and check your HT speed (bottom of main screen) or CPU_NB speed (on the memory tab, top right).
Test your CPU @ 3.2ghz, just lower the other multis. Keep your CPU_NB and HT speeds at or really close to 2Ghz (2000Mhz), this will ensure stability through the whole process.