I'm new to the forums here and although an IT guy I'm new to the overclocking buisness as well.
I've just finished building a new system and have a couple of questions some may be keen to answer.
CPU > AMD Athlon xp3200+
MoBo > MSI K7N2 Delta
RAM > 2 sticks of 512MB DDR400 PC3200
PSU > 400 Watt (came with the case)
3D Card > Powercolor Radeon 9600 Pro 256MB Video Card
Case with 2 large fans, Fan speed controlls and 3 temp sensors etc.
Ok, I got it all setup and it seems pretty stable now.
I have it going at 200 x 11 and it's working at 2.2 gig as
it's supposed to.
The RAM is set up for 128 bit duel channel in the 1st and 3rd bank and as far as i know this is working (any way to check?).
I'm useing a TITAN CPU Cooler AMD XP3200 and the cpu temp seems to sit around 51deg under a load, thats with the case fans at 1/3 power.
My overclocking questions are:
To overclock this puppy should I just increase the multiplier to 12 for a faster cpu? Should I mess about with the Vcore setting or leave it on auto? What if any adjustments should I make to the memory timings?
Stupid AGP Question > AGP aperture size, Wack this up to 512? or 256? I have a gig to play with and 512 seems obvious maybe.
Opperating system, AMD claims these XP chips are 'tailor made' for windows XP. What if any are the advantages in using XP? I'm running WIN2k atm but have no problem chucking XP on there if it'll work better.
CPU sensor placement, Does it matter that this is touching metal parts on the plate surounding the chip?
And as for the other two sensors im pretty sure ill freehang one to get the case temp but where should i put the third. The vidio card would seem obvious, slap it under the heat sink?
Finally, I'm thinking of putting in a SATA HDD in her. Anyone know what sort of performance gains this is likely to give?
Thanks very much in advance to anyone with advice
You should probably have asked this stuff <i>before</i> buying really, as if you were intending to overclock there would have been a few better components to pick.
To overclock this puppy should I just increase the multiplier to 12 for a faster cpu?
You can <i>try</i>, but I suspect your XP has the mulitplier locked if you've only recently bought it, which means it may well just ignore whatever multiplier you've picked. you may be lucky, as the 3200+ was not in such demand so yours might have been sat in stock for a few months, so might be an older, unlocked barton (I think they started locking multipliers around Nov '03 - not too sure though) The quickest way to tell is to boost your multi to 11.5 and see if it tries to boot at 2.3Ghz. if it does, you've got an unlocked CPU.
Should I mess about with the Vcore setting or leave it on auto?
if your PC is unstable with a faster CPU, boosting Vcore will help (<i>if</i> it's the CPU which is causing a problem). Be aware that increasing Vcore has a much larger effect on the temperature of the CPU than simply increasing Mhz does.
What if any adjustments should I make to the memory timings?
If You're just overclocking with the multiplier, you don't need to make any changes to the RAM timings because you're not running the RAM any differently.
If your Multiplier is locked, your only real option is to increase the FSB. The problem you have here is that good performance is attained by keeping the memory running at the same speed as the FSB, but your RAM is PC3200 which is rated for 200Mhz (which is your current bus speed anyway), so you'll be pushing the memory out of spec if you do increase the FSB. However By relaxing the memory timings and possibly increasing the memory Voltage, you should be able to get it quite happy at higher speeds. don't know how high, this can only be found by experimenting.
I read something about AGP Apeture should be roughly 2x the amount of RAM on your Gfx card, but I'm not too sure about that.
SATA will give no performance difference in itself, but I like the thinner, more flexible cables.
Oh yes - I'd definitely put the other sensor on the gfx card. You shouldn't really need an outside CPU sensor, as most boards have a thermal diode for the cpu built-in. They also have a system temp diode somewhere, but I don't know where that sits.
And Just as a FYI, if you'd asked before ordering your parts, you would have probably bought a XP-M (mobile)2500+ or 2600+, because they have unlocked multipliers <i>and</i> tend to overclock extremely well, and used the saving on CPU to buy PC3500 or better RAM instead. That's what I meant by better picks for overclocking.
OK Thanks a lot ChipDeath, I'll try changing the multiplier to 11.5 and chuck the sensor on the vidio card. Ill set the aperture to 512 and as I need a new HD I may as well get the SATA.
Any Ideas about the XP thing?
Great advice, cheers legend.
The 'Tailor-made for XP' BS is just marketing speak. W2K will probably run slightly faster for some tasks, especially if you don't disable all the extra junk that comes with XP.
If you <i>can</i> adjust the multiplier on your chip, I would suggest that you first adjust it <i>downwards</i>, to 10x or 9x, and then try to get the highest stable FSB/RAM speed you can, and when you can find that then start increasing the multiplier. The reason I suggest this is that at the same processor speed, a faster bus/memory means more performance. e.g. 210FSB x 10 = 2100Mhz would be slightly faster than 200FSB x 10.5 = 2100Mhz.
It's just a case of finding the right balance really.