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Can you explain to me CPU overclocking? (I'm not a complete newbie)

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  • CPUs
  • Overclocking
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January 24, 2013 9:33:19 PM

Hello, so I am not new to the concept of overclocking, as I have managed to gain quite a bit of performance from my GPU, as you can see on my profile. Also, I am studying to be a computer technician, so I know some basic stuff like what is the FSB or North Bridge.

But now, I've been thinking about overclocking my AMD Phenom II X3 710 processor which is currently at the stock speed of 2600 MHz.

I thought that it would be as simple as overclocking a GPU, where I just increased core and memory speeds by 10 MHz and shader by 25 MHz (to keep the 1:2,5 ratio of core:shader) until a stress test program (MSI Kombustor) showed artifacts, or a driver crashed, while also monitoring my GPU temperature.

But, I found out that it is not the same. After reading about reference clocks, CPU multipliers, HT Buses etc, I got confused.

What I do understand is that the reference clock is something as a base for everything else. And CPU multiplier is a value which multiplied by the reference clock gives you the clock speed of your CPU (In my case it is 200 MHz x 13 = 2600 MHz). Also as far as I understand the HT Bus is something of a FSB which is integrated into the CPU itself (If my motherboard has the socket to support that kind of a processor does my MB even have an FSB?).

But what confuses me is that the NVIDIA Control Panel (which I used to OC my GPU) shows the HT Bus as 200 MHz under both CPU and Motherboard. So, is my reference clock actually the HT Bus? Because if I move the slider of the HT Bus, it changes the value of both CPU Frequency under CPU and HT Bus Frequency under Motherboard. Please explain.

So, when I understand all of that (which I hope I will by reading your answers) what are the correct steps to overclock my CPU? What software should I use to overclock and monitor my CPU temperature (NVIDIA Control Panel, NVIDIA System Monitor and MSI Kombustor)? Which values should I change? The reference clock (or HT Bus or whatever it is called), the multiplier or something else? Also, is there any link between the speeds of my components? For example if I OC my processor by 200 MHz, is there something else which I should OC in a certain ratio?

Explain in as much detail as possible.

Also here are link to my CPU and MB:
CPU: http://products.amd.com/pages/desktopcpudetail.aspx?id=...
Motherboard: http://www.asus.com/Motherboard/M3N78_SE/#specification...

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January 26, 2013 6:23:09 PM

not too familiar with amd but if your multiplier is unlocked then it should be as easy as changing the multiplier which is at 13x and the 200mhz is the front side bus (FSB).

Start by moving the multiplier up one at a time and boot into windows, if it boots, restart go into bios and up it one more and repeat this process until it wont boot into windows or it bsod, probably somewhere between 14x and 18x, i have no clue about that processor. If it wont boot, move the multiplier down one and go into windows and use a stress testing program like prime95 or intel burn test or whatever. if it bsod's, move the multiplier down one again and repeat stress testing.

I wouldn't mess with the FSB or the Vcore or any voltages until you find a stable multiplier. Also for now you should leave your ram at stock settings, like 1333mhz, it is probably stable to at least 1600 but dont mess with this right now.

also download cpu-z so you can see your speeds and voltages, also HWmonitor gives you temps and is very handy because you dont want your processor going past 80c or so, if it is then your getting near the thermal limit and you need a stronger cpu cooler to go higher.

once you find the stable multiplier and can start moving your FSB from 200 to 205 and booting into windows, restart at change to 210, boot into windows, etc, until it refuses to boot, then move the FSB down some until it will boot, then start stress testing again. Sounds like you should be able to get to the fsb to somewhere above 240 but probably no higher than 270

you should know that chaning the FSB will also cause your ram to run at higher clocks too, so thats why you want your ram running at whatever its rated and not overclocked.

You should search for some guides because i have no experience with amd overclocking.

Remember baby steps with both multiplier and fsb, also your multiplier might be locked and if thats the case, all you can do is the FSB.
January 26, 2013 8:55:10 PM

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