Overclocking Problems with an Old Mobo

So I have a relatively ancient setup here and I'm trying to squeeze a safe and stable level of performance out of but I'm running into some problems with some BIOS settings.

FYI: this PC was a complete hand-me-down freebie to me first, and I gave it to my brother later. Parts have been swapped in and out of this thing over the years and some things just aren't that logical... i.e. the RAM. Also, making this more difficult, my brother has this system in another state so I'm not actually seeing the BIOS screen although I have the manual downloaded from MSI with screenshots of most of the menus.


CPU: AMD Athlon™ X2 4200+ Stock Cooling

RAM: OCZ DDR2 PC2-8500

So what we are trying to do is get the FSB to match up with the Memory freq of 400. Or actually 800 as it's DDR2. The RAM is capable of 1066 but the board specs say it only supports up to 800. So we tried the FSB at 400 and the CPU multiplier at 6 for a CPU overclock of 2.40. But changing that FSB to anything over 210 causes a failed boot and optimized defaults to load. I've read that this is due to the HT multiplier and/or freq. and that dropping the HT multiplier to x4 will allow higher FSB speeds. Problem is we can't find the HT multiplier on this board. Only an option to change the HT Freq from 200Mhz - 1000Mhz. We tried 200Mhz, 800, and 1000 and changing the FSB to 400 and it always failed to boot. Leaving the FSB at the default of 200 and the HT at 1000 and it will boot.

So any ideas how we can up this FSB or if it's even possible?
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  1. It is not possible to up your FSB to 400 MHZ on any board with any CPU. You should be able to get up to 220 without too much a problem, but beyond that would require a miracle.

    My suggestion, spend the $200-$250 for a cheap llano cpu board and ram, or retire this system and get a new llano for $500. If you have more to spend then buy all means upgrade, but you cannot beat the Llano systems in the price/performance race.
  2. Maybe I' using the wrong terminology or something, but the option in my BIOS is CPU Host Clock Control (Mhz) . I have it set to 400. In fact it has a range of 100-700. I'm taking this to be the FSB setting?
  3. Just because the speedometer sais 350kph, doesn't mean you can go that fast.

    Yes that will raise the FSB of your CPU, but getting more than a 10% overclock on those systems is incredible. Why they would list up to 700 just seems like nonsense.
  4. well, to clarify I'm talking about my setup at home not my brother's pc with the k9n4 board. His allows a maximum of 600 I think? It's probably obvious by now im an OC newb but from what I've read so far you want to have your RAM and FSB running at a 1:1 ratio. So on my machine I have the FSB to 400 and the RAM running at 400 (so cpu-z reports) and if it's DDR2 its really running at 800. I could set the RAM to run at its rated speed of 1066 but then I lose the 1:1. I'm not sure that running the RAM at the higher speed would be that much of a performance upgrade honestly.

    But with my brothers setup the board specs say that it supports RAM speeds up to 800 so we have been trying to set that up with the BIOS settings. We can set it to 800 in BIOS but cpu-z then states it's actually running at an odd number like 366 or something similar. I'm not looking to get an incredible overclock just get it setup to its best and stable efficiency. So you're saying I should just leave it at stock (FSB 200Mhz, with a CPU mult of 11? Or will bumping it to 210 or 220 really be much of an improvement?

    And also I read this: "The Athlon system bus is the first 200MHz system bus for x86 platforms. Based on the Digital’s Alpha EV6 bus protocol, the frontside bus (FSB) is potentially scaleable to 400MHz and beyond."

    From http://www.pctechguide.com/amd-technology/amd-athlon
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