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Old 8th October, 2004, 04:28 AM
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A64 Overclocking- Results so far and some questions

Hey everyone. After a ton of frustration with a DOA motherboard, I've finally gotten my system up and running. Works beautifully and puts all the other computers I've ever used to shame, but now I want to push it even further. Over the course of the past two days, I've been overclocking it steadily. First, before I list the results, here's my system:

Epox EP-8KDA3J
Athlon 64 3000+
GeForce 6800 GT
(1GB) OCZ Enhanced Bandwidth PC-3700
1x WD Raptor, 1x 160GB Seagate Barracuda

Water cooled.

Along with all the other peripherals etc. So far I've got it to run Prime95 stable at 2450MHz, and now I'm trying to break the 2500MHz mark. At the moment it's running Prime95 at 2500MHz and has been stable for the past 25 minutes or so, but I'm going to let it run for another hour or two before trying to push it any further. Originally I tried jumping from 2450 to 2550MHz, but it wouldn't even pass the first minute of Prime.

Right now I have the RAM running 1:1 with 2.8V and the FSB is at 250 with a 10x multiplier. I've got 1.65V running to the CPU, although that might be a bit overkill at this speed, and the board seems to actually be overvolting to around 1.7V since I switched BIOSes. The RAM timings are 3-3-2-8 1T so far, but if it's stable and I can't push any farther I'll probably try running at CAS2.5.

My temps right now idle at around 35C and peak at about 50C after running Prime95 for a while. I think if I lowered the voltage it would probably help these temps out, but they aren't so high as to be worried yet. This is also according to the USDM, so for all I know it could be reporting the temperatures a bit high. They seem to be pretty accurate, though.

So is there anything you guys would recommend to help me break the 2500MHz barrier? I was hoping to hit around 2.6-2.65GHz eventually, but I'm seeing now that this might not be possible. What do you think is holding me back? Is it the RAM? I kind of doubt it because I couldn't run Prime95 for over a minute at 2550MHz or 2600MHz even if I lowered the RAM to 2T, but lowering the FSB by 5 and moving to 1T seems to be working so far, which makes me believe that it's not the RAM holding me back. Think I've just hit the CPU's limits? If so, I'd still be satisfied, I guess. A 2.5GHz A64 will be plenty of power for a while to come But if there's anything you guys could suggest to help push it a little farther, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks for any advice,
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Old 8th October, 2004, 04:37 AM
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2.5ghz is about right for an a64, this is as high as most get, a few get to 2.6ghz (my 3400+ newcastle for instance) but not much higher
a64's pump out some serious heat though, mines at 64oC at the moment running f@h but thats with my fans on quiet mode, it's about 59oC on normal but they can take it
I'd say at those speeds it will be the cpu reaching it's limits, you could try setting the ram to a slower speed and seing if it manages any more though
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Old 8th October, 2004, 04:49 AM
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Yeah, I kinda figured that. I've got some leeway with the temps, though, so I might try to up the voltage a little more and see if I can push it a little bit. I really doubt it's the RAM, since I'm pretty sure that this 3700 EB stuff can push the 270-280FSB range at 1:1. It's at 51C under load right now, so I think I can pump some more juice into it and see what happens.

Thanks for your reply,
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Old 8th October, 2004, 05:49 AM
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mine was stable during summer running at 2.6ghz and 72oC so these things can take a fair bit of heat
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Old 8th October, 2004, 06:18 AM
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Hi Ariste,

I noticed you said you have finally got your system running after your initial problems, could you please tell me what solved your problems as I too seem to have similar problems to what you had. A new motherboard, PSU, bios, memory...??

Thanks
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Old 8th October, 2004, 10:03 PM
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GrahamGarside,

Yeah, heat is not my problem. I think I've just reached the CPU's limit. The motherboard wouldn't feed anymore than about 1.72V to the core no matter what I set the voltage at, but I doubt that adding anymore would help anyway. 1.72V should be plenty to get past 2500MHz. Anyway, it's fine, I'm not really disappointed with the results. It's still a blazingly fast computer. Hopefully over the next few days I'll tweak it some more and see if I can get some more out of it.

Thanks for your comment.


Pka,

Yeah, unfortunately it seems that these problems are fairly common with this model. It ended up just being a bad mobo. I RMA'd it and received a new one which has worked flawlessly from the onset. Very pleased with the product now that it is finally working.

If you're wondering which BIOS I'm using to fix the undervolting problems, it is a modded version of the 9/14 BIOS I believe. I'll find a link and post it here later when I have some more time. Basically what you do is flash using the boot disk method from a bootable floppy with all of the necessary files on it (they all come in the bundle that you download) and type update at the prompt. Then, after the flash is complete, turn off the computer and unplug the power supply for about 20 seconds without resetting the CMOS. After doing that, my voltages have been pretty stable, and it's actually been overvolting by anywhere from .02-.05 volts on average.

Good luck with your problems,
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Last edited by Ariste; 8th October, 2004 at 10:12 PM.
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