Overclocking a computer?

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Xican
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Overclocking a computer?

Post by Xican » Mon Oct 24, 2005 2:43 pm

So, I've got a second computer that had been more or less sitting around uselessly for a while now. I realized a few weeks ago that it was actually worth fixing up a little the other day. So, I went and picked up a graphics card (ATI 9550 GE) put in a stick of 512 DDR-RAM, and picked up a few disc drives for the ol' girl.

Then it occured to me, that despite having a good motherboard (ASUS P4P800 Deluxe), decent graphics card and enough RAM to run most games -- It was only running a 1.34 gig AMD Athlon CPU. Which, essentially isn't even strong enough to run the graphics card to its full potential.

So, I figured I'd give overclocking it a shot. Then it occured to me, "Well, shit. Y'know, I haven't got a god damn idea how to overclock a computer!" So I'm coming to you folks, as I usually do with computer troubles. How (I realize it has something to do with BIOS settings, or some shit?) do I overclock the CPU, and what is a safe (even consevative) amount to overclock? Keeping in mind, I really can't afford to replace anything that esplodes.

Thanks.
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Post by Ddrak » Mon Oct 24, 2005 2:47 pm

If you can't afford to replace the CPU, and you're using an Athlon without thermal protection then I'd really not try.

Having said that, you go into the BIOS and ramp up the clock frequency in there until things stop working, then back it off a bit. Make sure you have temperature monitoring turned on. Because all modern CPUs are multiplier locked you have to raise the bus speed instead, which will stress most of the components in the system, but you should be able to get a 5-10% improvement if you're lucky.

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Eh.

Post by Xican » Mon Oct 24, 2005 2:55 pm

Can ya dumb down that bit about ramping shit up in the bios for me?

And what's Thermal Protection? If that's the internal temperature thinger that will shut down the computer if it gets too hot, then yeah -- I got that.
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Post by Ddrak » Mon Oct 24, 2005 3:26 pm

Prowl around in the BIOS until you find something that is in MHz (probably 133 or 266 or something like that) which says something like FSB (front side bus) frequency. You may have to switch it from Auto to Manual. That's the number you want to play with. If I remember correctly, ASUS boards let you tweak it in 1MHz steps.

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Post by Ickhor » Mon Oct 24, 2005 5:07 pm

The clock speed is a function of two settings: The front side bus (also called the north bridge by ubernerds), and the clock multiplier. As you can probably guess, the FSB speed multiplied by the multiplier will give you your core speed. Some AMD chips don't allow you to change the multiplier, so you're stuck with just multiplying your FSB, in which case your ram will crap out before you hit a ceiling on your processor speed.

I think by thermal protection he means heatsinks and fans and conductivity (artic silver, shims, etc).

This is really safe, it isnt like the old days where you could start a fire. Your machine will just crash or become unstable if you go too high. Just take it in steps.

Also, I lolled when you said "only running a 1.34 gig CPU." I consider myself quite the computer nerd and my fastest computer is a 700 mhz, and it works great for me.

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Post by Minute » Mon Oct 24, 2005 6:59 pm

Ehh... I'll agree that it's more safe than it used to be, but every machine I've ever overclocked didn't last nearly as long as if I didn't.

That being said, depending on how much denero you wanna spend you can go to some crazy lengths to control cooling in your machine.
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Post by Ickhor » Mon Oct 24, 2005 7:47 pm

Of course minute is correct about running a processor above spec will reduce the life of it.

In the early days of overclocking, though, people would physically destroy their processors or memory or even motherboards by overclocking them too high, that just doesnt happen anymore.

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Post by Lunarstorm » Mon Oct 24, 2005 7:48 pm

I recommend doing your research before you ever overlock (OC) anything. Find out how friendly the specific hardware you're using is to the process. Read forums and try to learn about both sides of the issue: pros and cons before you start tweaking things. Granted, in general things are much easier to modify and adjust, but anytime you're running hardware beyond a manufacturer's warranty specs you're running a risk and very possibly jeopardizing the lifespan of the component.

If you're not hardware savvy enough to understand the technical specifics of the necessary adjustments, I would recommend against OCing. You say you only want to help "run the graphics card to its full potential". My advice: don't overclock. Instead, spent a small amount of money and just upgrade the processor to something more potent.

Hrm - I just did some research on your motherboard... It's VERY friendly towards overclocking. However, I'm still spooked by your ignorance (you said it yourself - you want us to "dumb things down" and you don't know anything about OCing). Thus unless you want to spend more time learning about the technologies and make an educated decision regarding your options and risks, my advice holds: don't do it if you care about the hardware.

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Eh.

Post by Xican » Mon Oct 24, 2005 8:00 pm

Yeah, Loon... You're completely justified in calling my ignorance. I really don't know shit about computers. Especially when it comes to the BIOS. I'm definately going to need to think about this. I surely don't have the money to spend on a new CPU right now, but I don't particularly need this machine to fly right now. For the most part, I think on a 1.3 gig you can keep up with a lot of the current games out there (right?) so I should be okay.

I did know the motherboard is very forgiving for this sort of thing, and I've been told that Athlon is one of the better processors for it, as well. Which is what kinda brought the whole question up in my mind. Though, if there're that many serious long-term risks for it, I'm not planning to jump right in.

Especially because my 'cooling devices' right now are the CPU fan, the graphics card fan, oh and the open case next to my pedestal fan... I've burnt the power supply on it like a dozen times as it is already.
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Post by Embar Angylwrath » Mon Oct 24, 2005 11:35 pm

Minute wrote:Ehh... I'll agree that it's more safe than it used to be, but every machine I've ever overclocked didn't last nearly as long as if I didn't.

That being said, depending on how much denero you wanna spend you can go to some crazy lengths to control cooling in your machine.
Or you can use that dinero to buy a new mobo and processor.. which is cheaper anyway.
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Post by Ddrak » Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:58 am

Umm... not wanting to spoil your party but you need to look inside your case again. The P4P800 Deluxe is a Socket 478 motherboard, which only supports a P4 and not an Athlon. Either you have the mobo number wrong or the CPU wrong because those two just don't go together.

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Eh.

Post by Xican » Tue Oct 25, 2005 6:12 am

Nah, Dd -- I'm sure of both. I've quite literally got the box sitting in my lap for the mobo. The CPU comes up as AMD Athlon 1.34ghz in the system menu, as well.

Actually, now that I'm looking at the box for the motherboard, I see there's apparently an overclocking feature built right into it. Allows up to 30% it says. Which gives me more confidence than should be allowed right now.

There's really no doubt at all about the mobo. You may be getting confused the type of P4P800 -- There's about 11 different variants, and about 4 or 5 'deluxe' versions.
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Re: Eh.

Post by Syeni Soulslasher MK6 » Tue Oct 25, 2005 6:29 am

Xican wrote:Nah, Dd -- I'm sure of both. I've quite literally got the box sitting in my lap for the mobo. The CPU comes up as AMD Athlon 1.34ghz in the system menu, as well.

Actually, now that I'm looking at the box for the motherboard, I see there's apparently an overclocking feature built right into it. Allows up to 30% it says. Which gives me more confidence than should be allowed right now.

There's really no doubt at all about the mobo. You may be getting confused the type of P4P800 -- There's about 11 different variants, and about 4 or 5 'deluxe' versions.
I don't know I am fairly sure that the P4P800 are all socet 478 I own 2 P4P800 SE's

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Post by Syeni Soulslasher MK6 » Tue Oct 25, 2005 6:34 am


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Post by Klast Brell » Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:21 am


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Post by Ddrak » Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:40 am

Trust me - the mobo was in the wrong box. Look on the board itself, it should have the model number stencilled on it somewhere and if it's ASUS then it will start with K7 or A7 for an Athlon board. Syeni's right - every P4P800 variant is a P4 board.

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Eh.

Post by Xican » Tue Oct 25, 2005 1:02 pm

I'm at a loss for words -- The mobo in there is most definately a P4P800. This time I'm actually reading it off of board itself.

I don't know if that means my CPU is registered incorrectly, or something to that effect, but it would probably warrant a healthy 'do not fucking touch' for the time being.
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Post by Ddrak » Tue Oct 25, 2005 2:37 pm

/shrug. Weirdness. Won't affect the ability to overclock though.

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Post by Stormaye » Tue Oct 25, 2005 10:46 pm

I happened to use that mobo at work. Not sure about the AMD chip bit, but there was an unstable rev on the BIOS. Read up before you mess with it.

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Post by Grygonos Thunderwulf » Wed Oct 26, 2005 11:20 am

run sisoft sandra and see if it tells you anything different about the CPU.. I'm not sure it will, but it's worth a shot.

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