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Beginner overclocking for mid range rig...

Last response: in Overclocking
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December 10, 2011 2:59:04 AM

system specs

1.8ghz 1210 amd opteron
4 sticks 1 gig kingston value ram pc 6400
asus m2a-vm mobo
250 gig samgung hdd
1tb wd caviar green hdd
nvidia 8600gt
win 7 ultimate 64 bit

I recently brought this little beast out of the closet, and ended up buying win 7 for it becaus exp had gotten old and was curious of its productivity score... It actually has good scores (5.6) being the next lowest from the cpu and its at 4.6, i thought about it and have done some research and saw that some people were pushing 3200+ mhz from this little opteron it being a server processor and all, i updated my bios to the newest version that wasnt a beta 2301 i think.

what i'm asking is can anyone help me sort of step by step, or maybe has a good configuration in thier bios with a similar setup that could help me over clock this little guy? I'm not absent of knowledge but its limited, so go easy one me

thanks!!

i'm sitting with my laptop with the rig on my desk in bios setup if the answers come quickly, and feed back will be quick also
December 10, 2011 3:05:38 AM

oh yeah 600 watt atomic juice power supply
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December 10, 2011 5:14:33 AM

-basically you make small increments with your core speed and you core voltage.
-start with everything at stock and increase your core speed in like 100 or 50MHz increments.
-if it fails to boot, then you're not stable. Increase the voltage in 0.01v increments (10mV) or something close depending on the increments your bios allows
-after a successful boot, run a bench mark or something like prime95 for a couple minutes and monitor the temperatures. If it does not get too hot (for 24/7 OC try to stay below like 55C), then keep going higher. If it does get too hot, then you've found your max 24/7 oc. If it crashes then you're not stable and will have to increase the voltage more.

I don't know what you BIOS looks like but you should be able to find things that say "Core Voltage" or "CPU Voltage" and "Core Multiplier" or "CPU Multiplier" to make those adjustments.
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December 10, 2011 7:34:49 PM

ok, thanx for that info and it will be important to know in later times, currently i have my bios open and

under advanced settings it says
jumperfree configuration, thats where i find the settings you spoke of here

as follows here is the menus and thier current settings

+1.2vnbsb [auto]
ddr2 voltage control [auto]
cpu voltage control [auto]
cpu multiplier [auto]
cpu voltage [auto]
cpu frequency [200mhz]

this is after i made a failed boot attempt and reset everything to default, under cpu frequency it'll allow up to 400mhz, as far as the others i havent messed with because of my lack of confidence and knowledge, but i plan to shortly lol, could i ask your recommendations before i try though?
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December 10, 2011 7:41:41 PM

also i'm using open hardware monitor to see temperatures and clocks and such, and running the windows experience index as it probably pushes my comp harder than i do, and heats everything up nicely, lol
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December 10, 2011 7:54:49 PM

using those things spoken of before running stock configuration my temps were as follows

cpu core #1 max temp 38c
cpu core #2 max temp 34c

gpu core max temp 59c

i'm not going after this half cocked either, last night before making first post i installed two more fans, so i currently have 6 fans, two 120 mm one pulling out the back, one pulling into the power supply, one pushing over the cpu cooler (i'd rather it pull since its more efficent, but thats the only option its engineered for) one that came on the graphics card, and the two installed that are pulling into the side of the case one over the general area of the cpu fan since its pushing over the cooler anyways should keep the flow in line, and one over the general area of the gpu, which is running 3 degrees cooler than yesterdays normal temp
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December 10, 2011 8:12:59 PM

So the "cpu voltage control" and the "cpu voltage" seem ambiguous to me without looking at the possible choices. But one of them is to adjust your core voltage. The stock voltage will be around 1.3V so the one that fits that as the default will be the core voltage.

The "cpu multiplier" and "cpu frequency" will both be used to adjust the the cpu frequency. Your cpu's speed = (cpu frequency)*(cpu multiplier). The (cpu frequency) is also tied to your mem speed. Mem speed = (cpu frequency)*(mem ratio). For simplicity you will want to keep the cpu frequency at or below default so that you are not overclocking your ram at the same time.

To make things easy put the (cpu freqency) at 100MHz and keep increasing the (cpu multiplier) by 1. I don't know how high your multiplier can go so you may reach the limit quickly. If you can't set the multiplier any higher, then you will need to adjust both the (cpu frequency) get to higher speeds.

Once you a good speed for your cpu, you will want to find an appropriate combination of (cpu frequency) and (cpu multiplier) to get that frequency while also keeping your RAM at default speed rather than underclocked.

For example: if you find that 3GHz is what you want and you did it with CPU freq = 100 and CPUmultiplier = 30
(100MHz*30 = 3000Mhz = 3Ghz).

The go to CPUfreq = 200 and CPUmulti = 15
(200Mhz*15 = 3GHz).

You also may want to invest in an aftermarket cooler. You shouldn't have much problem finding an AM2 cooler.
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December 10, 2011 8:15:53 PM

wow i actually kinda understood that, thank you so much, i'm gonna play with it now and i'll post results in a few minutes
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December 10, 2011 8:36:19 PM

ok, i stepped up the frequency to 250mhz, and the multiplier to 8, the minimum frequency was 200mhz and the multipliers max was 9 =1800, so i stepped it up to 250 mhz and 8 x multi, = 2000 which i thought was a safe first run, but it stepped up to 2249? not a mathematician but that was unexpected i did take the voltage up from 1.2 to 1.3, is that my miscalculation?

however my results were happy, it booted just fine and under load didnt get over 41c, i'm fixing to step the multiplier up to 9 and see what happens
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December 10, 2011 8:41:14 PM

ok, it stayed at 2249... should i up my voltage to 1.4? this is after i set it to 9x, its max
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December 10, 2011 8:58:18 PM

well, thats kinda strange but 250*9 does equal 2250 so at least it was correct that time. you dont need to increase the voltage until you fail to boot.
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December 10, 2011 9:11:14 PM

You don't need to increase the VOLTAGE until you fail to boot. *i'll edit the above comment
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December 10, 2011 9:14:48 PM

i tried 300 and stepping 8x, the bios went through just fine but i had some problem with windows and had to do a start up repair, even after i set bios to the 250 stepping 9 still had to do the start up repair, i think maybe the multiple restarts and running the asessment may have had something to do with it, so i downloaded the prime95 you suggested and i think thats a better way, i dont have to keep putting my gfx card through all that... but right now with those settings its up to 42c which i think is good considering its under the 55c limit you suggested

i'm looking to get just a little more out of this i thinks its capable, where do you think i should play with it?
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December 10, 2011 9:17:38 PM

also one dumb question lol, do you think the bios changes could have affected the windows start up? i think its highly unlikely but i'm open to be wrong....
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December 10, 2011 9:18:34 PM

If you fail to boot once, then Windows will keep wanting to go into startup repair until you successfully boot. Just ignore it and tell it to start normally cuz its obviously not a Win7 problem but your OCing that caused the failed boot.

Since your not OCing your GPU you don't need to test that. Just your CPU.
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December 10, 2011 9:22:56 PM

To directly answer your question. Yes, there are other BIOS features that could keep it from starting up. If you were to change the "Integrated Peripherals" you may not be able to boot. But those have nothing to do with OCing. Nothing you do in the BIOS will do anything to your Windows installation. If you go back to the original, everything will work as before.
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December 10, 2011 9:24:02 PM

well i think i've hit my ceiling with 250 stepping 9x.... everything else seems to not boot i just got blue screen again... i tried 280 stepping 8x this time and got blue screen again... any suggestions?
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December 10, 2011 9:25:31 PM

oh and by the way YOU'RE AWESOME!!! thanx for sticking with me
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December 10, 2011 9:27:01 PM

What's your voltage? And what's your MEM running at? Since your are increasing the "CPU Frequency" that is probably tied to the MEM speed.

Does your BIOS tell you things like "Target CPU speed" or "Target MEM speed"?
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December 10, 2011 9:34:19 PM

wow your smart i didnt think of that, its still set at auto

current settings are as follows

+1.2vnbsb [+1.30v]
ddr2 voltage control [auto]
cpu voltage control [auto]
cpu multiplier [9x]
cpu voltage [auto]
cpu frequency [250mhz]

think i should step the cpu voltage to 1.3 also?
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December 10, 2011 9:41:23 PM

also under advanced menu is this

cpu configuration

settings are as follows


(in grey)
cpu type---dual core amd opteron processor 1210
cpu speed 2250 mhz
cache RAM(L2) 1024k x2

and in blue and changable

amd virtualization [enabled]
amd live! [disabled]
amd cool'n' quiet function [auto]
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December 10, 2011 9:46:52 PM

The "cpu voltage" it what to adjust if you are failing to boot. Move it up in .025V increments

Since you are OCing you can turn of cool'n' quiet
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December 10, 2011 9:53:20 PM

ok, so i dont have to keep asking step by step instructions... whats the relationship between voltage and frequency? the multiplier was pretty simple to get... but the correlation between voltage and frequency is bringing a bit of confusion...
btw the options for cpu voltage were 1.4 to 1.55 in .025 increments... what do you think is a good starting point?
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December 10, 2011 9:55:49 PM

if i decide on a target of 300 mhz and stepping 8x, should i just keep changing the voltage until it boots normally? i'm not in danger of bricking something am i?
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December 10, 2011 10:01:57 PM

Its how a transistors works. You need to input a voltage to get a response. The higher the voltage the quicker it will respond and thus allow you to achieve a higher frequency. If the voltage is to low you will have false negatives (technically false 0's). You want to keep the voltage as low as possible to be stable to keep the temperatures low (both higher voltages and higher speeds lead to higher temps). At some point the voltage will simply be too high cause responses that aren't called for (false positives). But that is usually not a problem on computers.

General rules
Temps: If you are often running above 60C you be shortening the life of your processor. Above 80C electronics become unreliable.

Voltages: If you go above 1.6V you will start to slowly damage your processor.
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December 10, 2011 10:10:06 PM

lol we don't wanna create any paradoxes... i've always been pretty good at electronics with absolutely no training except stuff breaking and me (i'm assuming with luck) fixing them...

i'm noticing that as i increase voltage the mhz is going down as in i was at 1.400 volts 300mhz stepping 8x, and when i checked the configuration said i was at 2700 mhz, it failed boot so i bumped the voltage twice and tried boot twice, both failing, only achieving blue screen, the last was at 1.45 and the configuration said i was at 2400
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December 10, 2011 10:24:07 PM

well crud... i think that i've found my answer... this setup might now allow for more than 2249mhz... it seems that is the ceiling, however it seems pretty stable at that and i can say i successfully overclocked something lol, and i learned ALOT from this and i really appreciate that knowledge. unless theres another idea because i stopped trying at 1.500 volts and ended up back to default because i dont wanna kill it just yet, maybe 2249mhz is my ceiling, i might mess with it later and try for more with smaller increments in mhz, but for now the wifey is giving me dirty looks as shes hungry... but thank you soooo much for this!!!!! if there's some way i can get you a badge or something let me know, and i'm sure down the road this tread will become a way for people to learn these important things about overclocking
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December 10, 2011 10:42:52 PM

Well it doesnt sound like you have a high end mb and an opteron certainly isnt made for overclocking so i wouldnt expect great ocing potential. Goid luck with it.
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