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AMD Motherboards & CPUs Questions or comments on AMD products?


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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11th January, 2006, 05:25 AM
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Overclocking the Athlon XP 2600+ Barton?

First, I want to say, I'm fairly new to overclocking.

I've recently overclocked my XFX geforce 128mb 6600GT video card to 550/1100 with good results, using RivaTuner and Omega Drivers.

Right now, though, I'm feeling that my somewhat older CPU is bottlenecking my games. I'm getting about 20-25 FPS minimum on Far Cry with max settings at 1024x768 with no AA or AF.

I only have a 420w PSU, and I'm going to try to isolate my 6600GT to it's own power cord tomorrow, to see if it is underpowered. Must I upgrade my PSU?

Also, because I still would like to OC my CPU anyway, just to get some more performance, could you recommend programs, techniques, etc?

Bonus: Weird thing. The 2600+ with barton is supposed to have a clock frequency of 1.9 ghz I believe. Well, it says in System that it's 2.29ghz. Never touched any of those settings in BIOS, never used a program to modify it.
Proof:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y38...kfrequency.jpg

My computer rig is this:
Athlon XP 2600+ "Barton" core
2x 512mb Corsair Value Select PC3200 RAM on dual-channel
MSI K7N2 Delta Mainboard
XFX nVidia Geforce 6600GT 128mb OCed
420w Thermaltake PSU
Hercules Fortissimo III Sound Card

Also, I would like to know what kind of performance boost I could expect, that is if my BIOS hasn't gone insane and auto-overclocked my CPU. By the way I get 2.3ghz in BIOS viewing. It's been that way since I reformatted around 6 months ago after OS corruption, and I have had zero problems with reboots or overheating.
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Old 11th January, 2006, 06:23 AM
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Oh, yeah. It's an AGP 6600GT.
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Old 11th January, 2006, 07:48 AM
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Should be about 1.9hz ish, 2.3ghz is 100mhz more than the xp3200, 550/1100 is about what to expect from the 6600gt, you might get a bit higher on the core but I reckon the memory is about at its tops.

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Old 11th January, 2006, 11:20 AM
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You or the motherboard defaults have set your FSB to 200MHz instead of 166MHz.

XP2600 Barton = 1916MHz (11.5 x 166.7MHz)

11.5 x 200MHz = 2300MHz

If your CPU is Pre week '39 of 2003 then you should have the ability to change multipliers. If so you might want to try for 2.4GHz, if youre running 2.3GHz with stock vcore then you should make it pretty easy

A 2.4GHz Athlon XP is still a formidable machine.

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Old 11th January, 2006, 11:39 AM
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Hey Redroar

To get things a bit clear it might be good to post for us a screenie of "cpuz.exe". It's a program that detects your systems FSB, multiplier, etc. That way we can see why your cpu is clocked like this. Normally it should be clocked at FSB 166x11.5 which is indeed 1.9 ghz. What you probably did is set your FSB to 200 mhz which at multiplier x11.5 gives 2.3 ghz. That's already a decent overclock
As you said you probably haven't even touched any voltages so you're a bit lucky it's stable. Which is probably a good sign to get it clocked even higher.

So first things first. The best thing to do is run in synch, which means that your memory runs at the same speeds as your FSB. That's the best way to get good results but it is of course heavier on the memory. To get higher you will have to increase your FSB and thus increasing your memory speeds. To be sure your memory isn't being unstable after increasing the FSB a bit you'll need a program called "memtest86" which is best to be loaded from a bootable cd. That's because your OS can be damaged if you try to boot with unstable memory. Also turn your multiplier down one notch when testing the memory. Running memtest86's test 5 and test 4 a couple of times will give you a good idea of its stability. Memory timings are very important for stability.
When you're sure your memory is okay at given speeds you can set the multiplier back to 11.5 and you can best test it with Prime95's torture test. If it fails that means you're not stable. Depending on what you do with the computer you will need a certain amount of stability. So, when it fails quite quickly (within the first hour) you may need to increase the vcore one notch. Remember that upon increasing the vcore your cpu temperature will rise. Keep a close eye on the cpu temperature.

This is all for if your multiplier is locked. If it is unlocked that's great, you won't need to use the FSB for overclocking

Good luck
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Old 11th January, 2006, 03:51 PM
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Welcome Redroar!
Here is an o/c guide --> it covers many stuff/links save it in your hard disk for further reading.
In the beggining you have to find your CPU limits first (I follow this idea for years) and then you tight your RAM timings.
Check if your CPU is unlocked; if yes it is a great advantage as Wolf2000me said above.
You must check your system running a stability program (or more).
Don't put Vcores > 1.75-1.80 Volts for air and 1.85-1.90 for watercooling.
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Old 11th January, 2006, 05:30 PM
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Thanks for all the help! But, as I said, I have tweaked nothing in my BIOS and it has overclocked the FSB. When I first got the card 1 1/2 years ago it came out of the box at 2.1 ghz. and 6 months ago it inexplicably increased to 2.3 ghz. This coincided with my reformat of my main drive and windows after corruption. However, that shouldn't have affected the BIOS, right?

Are cpuz.exe, etc utilities included on windows, or do I have to download them? And also could you include some links to them if possible?

Honestly, if 2.3 ghz is a good overclock and I have had no issues for 6 months with it...then I may not want to try to push it much farther. Never had temps pass 65 C however. I have been using the program that came with my mobo to monitor temps and voltage (PC Alert 4).

Could the low speeds with RAM be causing this slow behaviour in Far Cry, or is it just that I need to upgrade my power supply so that my 6600 GT is fully powered? I only have a 420w, and 450w is recommended.
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Old 11th January, 2006, 06:40 PM
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Alright. I've got photos of CPU-Z and Motherboard Monitor.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y38/Redroar/cpu-z.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y38...emperature.jpg

Looked in my BIOS, and yes, my FSB is at 200mhz. The performance settings are on [Auto]. Voltages are untouched by me. My multiplier on the CPU can go up to 13x....not sure if I should though. Haven't done any torture tests.

Oh yeah, found something that may have slowed my gaming down. The AGP aperture was at 256mb from my previous card and my memory on the 6600 GT is 128mb. The aperture is the onboard memory, correct?

And also I'm not to clear on how to synch the memory. Is it affected by the FSB? Does the multiplier affect it? In what ways?
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Old 11th January, 2006, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redroar
Thanks for all the help! But, as I said, I have tweaked nothing in my BIOS and it has overclocked the FSB. When I first got the card 1 1/2 years ago it came out of the box at 2.1 ghz. and 6 months ago it inexplicably increased to 2.3 ghz. This coincided with my reformat of my main drive and windows after corruption. However, that shouldn't have affected the BIOS, right?
That's right. However a strange coincidence

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redroar
Honestly, if 2.3 ghz is a good overclock and I have had no issues for 6 months with it...then I may not want to try to push it much farther. Never had temps pass 65 C however. I have been using the program that came with my mobo to monitor temps and voltage (PC Alert 4).
65°C is already a bit on the high side. I wouldn't go much higher in vcore though your motherboard monitor reports below 40°C. Possibly because you just booted up? If not then by all means give it a try

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redroar
Could the low speeds with RAM be causing this slow behaviour in Far Cry, or is it just that I need to upgrade my power supply so that my 6600 GT is fully powered? I only have a 420w, and 450w is recommended.
420W should do just fine and Far Cry is quite a heavy one for the system. Certainly with updates like HDR compatibility. I don't really understand what you mean with low speeds of the RAM. Are you referring to the timings? At any rate, compared with graphics card and overclocked cpu the timings should only affect your performance marginally. Some affect performance more than others but it shouldn't make the difference between good performance vs. bad performance. Several FPS at most. If your PSU would be inadequate you would very likely crash with a BSOD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redroar
Looked in my BIOS, and yes, my FSB is at 200mhz. The performance settings are on [Auto]. Voltages are untouched by me. My multiplier on the CPU can go up to 13x....not sure if I should though. Haven't done any torture tests.
Maybe you should try a torture test, just to know how stable you are at these speeds. Cpu's don't get better on their own after time, i thought only alcoholic based drinks did that

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redroar
Oh yeah, found something that may have slowed my gaming down. The AGP aperture was at 256mb from my previous card and my memory on the 6600 GT is 128mb. The aperture is the onboard memory, correct?
No it isn't, AGP aperture size means the amount of memory that is reserved for in case the graphics cards onboard memory is insufficient. Still even if the aperture size would get insufficient the remaining memory can still be used no problem. It's a rather useless option imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redroar
And also I'm not to clear on how to synch the memory. Is it affected by the FSB? Does the multiplier affect it? In what ways?
In synchronous mode your memory runs at the same speed as the FSB. Which means in your case 200mhz, which is doubled to 400mhz data rate because it's DDR.
Asynchronous means you use a divider which, on nforce2 boards, is less effective. For ex. 200mhz FSB at divider 3:2 would result in 133mhz. You probably are running in synch now.

edit: do check out Seans link for an OC guide. It may be better explaining than I am
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Last edited by Wolf2000me; 11th January, 2006 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 11th January, 2006, 11:10 PM
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Alright. Looks like currently I am in OK shape. Will do some memory tests and torture tests to make sure, and perhaps try to up the multiplier to 12x to get another 100mhz. Thanks everyone for your help, and I learned a great deal. I will read through that overclocking tutorial/manual, but it looks like everything works.

I set a warning beep to go off at 63 C and after some checking of MBM it looks like under load it rarely goes above 50 C. However, it is winter. My room temp is about 15-20 C right now, and during summer in may increase to 25-30 C. I'll just go ahead and reduce some of the settings in Far Cry from max to high.

I'll stay on the boards and I do know some good stuff about nVidia VGA cards.

Once again, thanks for all your help.
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Old 12th January, 2006, 12:43 AM
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I just went through 3Dmark05. 3363 marks, by the way. Right after the CPU tests I checked Motherboard Monitor and it read 42 C on my CPU. I think I may increase the multiplier up to 12x giving me 2.4ghz. Temperature seems fine.

Oh yeah, and in that message where I said that my CPU never went above 65 C, I got confused with my video card. After 3Dmark05 my 6600GT was at about 60 C.
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Old 12th January, 2006, 02:49 AM
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I ran Prime95 and after a little over an hour in the torture test my computer restarted. I think I'll increase the vcore from 1.625v to 1.675v and try again.

edit: The highest CPU temp during the test was 45 C

If that goes for a few hours without problem then I'll try increasing my multiplier to 12x and my vcore to 1.7v

Is that a good idea?
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Old 12th January, 2006, 12:07 PM
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45°C is very much okay. Though keep in mind that the higher in frequency you go the more voltage hungry a cpu, certainly bartons, will get.
The step from 2.3 to 2.4 could be a bit optimistic, but by all means try it and good luck You won't know until you tried
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Old 12th January, 2006, 04:47 PM
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I think I'll stick with 2.3ghz and increase the vcore and retry prime95. It still ran over an hour so it's fairly stable, but I want to get it so I can have it go overnight (10-12 hrs) without a problem.
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Old 12th January, 2006, 04:54 PM
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Looking at the stability you have at 1.625v you'll probably not need much more to get it stable 24/7
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Old 16th January, 2006, 11:17 PM
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Μost people believe that temps for o/ced AMDs should be <= 50C at full load.
But any mainboard shows anything so you cannot trust the monitors.
On the other hand (I think you have read some o/c stuff at OcTech) if you see the exponent n being reduced then you have to stop bumping Vcore.
LOL I burned the IMC of my A64 cos teravolts.
Without some pairs see here my personal AMD database I cannot help you enough but Vcores > 1.75 are not recommended (for aircooling).
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