Well I had been toying around, overclocking my processor with the stock fan, when I faintly smelled plastic burning... So I turned it off, and reset everything to normal (I was around 3.6-3.7 GHz, I kept a log on the HDD that I can't access) and I played 30 minutes of Just Cause 2 (just a normal PC game, DX10 nothing special) the system suddenly powered off. apparently my power supply failed. I verified with a green to black pin check... gone.
So now as I am shopping around for a new power supply (turns out the old one for a 3400+ build wasn't enough for my current build), and I am wondering which cooler I should get. The stock cooler sounds like a quiet computer riding on a B15 bomber taking off a flaming aircraft carrier (loud). Noise isn't that much of a problem when choosing a cooler. I am deciding between 1. a Corsair CWCH50-1 2. a Zalman CNPS10x Performa 3. a Zalman CNPS10x quiet. I am leaning towards the quiet, but am open for other suggestions or opinions.
Also, I am wondering what some of the best tweaks for overclocking are. The log I kept is sitting in a drive that is SATA interface, and SATA power. the intel atom board I am using now only has SATA interface, and molex power, but I digress. The best performance I ever got was from either bumping the base frequency to 235 MHz or the multiplier to 19.5x. combinations such as 215 MHz and 17x are unstable, and can lead to lower benchmarks than stock settings. Also, it seems to me that bumping the vcore (VDD) didn't really make anything more stable, and lead to a slight performance loss. I got up to about 1.4250 before backing down to stock (this was in addition to frequency and multiplier changes).
Any thoughts on any of the above questions/observations are welcome, and I thank you for your time in advance
I am partial to the CM 212+, just don't pay more than 30 for it, some vendors jacked up the price recently, but it has always been a $30 HSF that punches far above its pricepoint.
When you use the multi only, you are isolating the CPU speed as the only increase. When you use the reference clock to OC, even when in combination with CPU multi increases, you are also overclocking the Memory NB, and HT Link, as their frequencies are determined by their own multi x reference clock.
Try dropping the Memory multiplier, NB and HT link down a mutli or two, keeping them as close to stock as you can, while OCing the CPU. Your instability may not have been because of the CPU, but because of another part of your system is unstable.
I ended up getting the arctic freezer pro 64. It was in my old computer of around 5 years. I find it amazing that after that much time, it is still rated one of the best on newegg.
After installing it and a replacement power supply I stopped overclocking for a week or two. Last night I started up again, and got it to about 4 Ghz. I was running some stability tests, and it failed at around 3 minutes. So I bumped up the VDD to 1.4750, and reran it. at about 5 minutes the system just shut down. I waited like 5 seconds and pushed the power button. there was a pop and a blue flash around the power supply, and then nothing.
The power supply functions (I am writing this from an atom board being powered by it). I tried using a different PSU, and the motherboard didn't power up. So now I plan on trying to return the motherboard (none of the voltages or clock rates in any category were near the limit).
Once again I am stuck without a good computer, but thanks for the advice everyone!