General tips on overclocking

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by Big B, Mar 28, 2002.

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  1. Big B

    Big B HWF Godfather

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    Here's a few things to remember when you overclock.

    1)Intel CPU's are multiplier locked and cannot be unlocked, so don't ask. Your only hope is to get a rare "Engineering Sample", and that's it.

    2)AMD CPU's don't always come unlocked, but currently can be unlocked by connecting the L1 bridges as follows:

    | | | |

    The Athlon XP's need to have the trench between the bridges filled before you can connect them. The older Athlons (Thunderbird core) can be unlocked without having to fill a trench. This also applies to all Duron's (Spitfire and Morgan cores). The easiest way is to use a #2 pencil and have a thick, heavy graphite line connecting the points as illustrated above.

    3)Not all motherboards come with overclocking options, so check before you make your purchase. Companies that make good overclocking boards include Asus, Abit, Epox, Iwill, Soyo, Shuttle, and Soltek. Gigabyte is now starting to include impressive overclocking options on their boards, and DFI has stated that they are making the move to more enthusiast-oriented motherboards.
    Companies that do not make overclocking motherboards are Intel, Tyan, and SuperMicro. They are good motherboard companies, but not for overclocking, as they are designed for workstation and/or servers.

    4)Make sure to buy a good heatsink before overclocking. I prefer Vantec, but GlobalWin, Thermalright, Swiftech, Alpha, and ThermalTake make pretty good coolers for overclocking that are fairly easy to get a hold of on-line.

    5)Do not assume that you will get the same overclock as some other guy does. Maybe you will, but don't count on it, even if it's the same CPU and stepping. You may even have the exact same system and not OC as high. NT OS's may be less overclocking friendly, so keep that in mind if you are used to Windows 98/ME.

    6)For video card overclocking, hit the Guru of 3D for different overclocking programs. Power Strip, RivaTuner and NVMax are all good utilites to overclock with. I personally use RivaTuner, but the other 2 I mentioned are also good and there are others available.

    7)Don't rely on one benchmark to test stability. For CPU overclocks, games based on the Unreal engine are very good as they are more CPU dependent than graphics card. Prime 95 is another CPU killer test. 3DMark2000 is also a more total system benchmark which I recommend. 3DMark2001 is much more graphics card oriented and a major staple in benchmarking.

    8)If the system crashes, up the voltage and/or cut the speed back a little bit. Go in steps, don't just crank it up there or you may be unable to boot, which may require clearing CMOS.

    9)Lastly, be patient! Overclocking requires testing to make sure it's stable. What use is the extra speed if you are crashing all the time.
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