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Athlon 64 In-depth Overclocking Guide

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the cranking-it-up dept.

Hardware Hacking 193

jmke writes "Everything you ever wanted to know about Athlon 64 overclocking, and then some. If you are confused about HTT, LDT, memory dividers and relationship between these settings, then read on. This in-depth overclocking guide will show you how to get the maximum from your brand new Athlon 64 system"

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OMG. What kind of.... (3, Insightful)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586286)

Idiot would do that to this sort of NEW, EXPENSIVE hardware?

Would you overclock a Z-Series IBM server? Would you overclock a 20 4-way xeons in a cluster?

Give it a while. Its not like the MOST OF US will need that speed...

Hell, I use a 1 GHz machine and develop on a 500 MHz machine. Yeah, 500 MHz because many users are still stuck on 300's and 450's.

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586381)

What kind of person is up in the middle of the night reading Slashdot? ... hmm. Self-defeating argument. I rest my case.

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586428)

No, no, you just came to the same realization all the rest of us have. We aren't people!

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (1, Redundant)

datafr0g (831498) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586529)

Well, given that Slashdot is accessable to anyone in the world, and the world spins around the sun, it may not be the middle of the night just yet.

It's 4:50pm where I am as I type this so your argument is flawed....ha ha ha


Obviously, in order for one to argue such redundant crap as I have, you'll probably expect that I'll still be reading Slashdot at 1am tonight. After all, it's a Friday night.


You'd be right ;-)

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586548)

I didn't know the internet was in Australia.

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (1)

Zonnald (182951) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586603)

Spins around the sun, I think not!

It spins around it's own axis.

It orbits around the sun.

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586791)

Isn't orbiting, just another fancy word for spinnning?

Since you're being pedantic ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586810)

It spins around it's own axis.

"its".

More is never enough. (2, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586547)


LOL.

The kind of person who, 10 years from now, when he gets his amazing new 200,000 GHz 512 bit processor with a terabyte of RAM, will say, "How do I overclock it?"

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586388)

And I have P1's sitting around that I use pretty regularily but hey, if you've got money to burn... why not?

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (5, Insightful)

J_Omega (709711) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586402)

Is $150 for a lower end Athlon 64 really THAT EXPENSIVE?

No, of course most wouldn't try to overclock an IBM server or clustered 20 4-way xeons. Why? Most people DO NOT OWN THOSE. That's corporate equipment. People can afford to play with $150 chips at home, and will.

OMG. What kind of....Money does it take? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586545)

"Is $150 for a lower end Athlon 64 really THAT EXPENSIVE?"

For an Athlon64 (939) yes. Plus about a $100 more* for the matching board. I believe it also takes a more expensive memory as well.

*Compared to say the Athlon64 (754) boards.

Re:OMG. What kind of....Money does it take? (2, Informative)

Westacular (118145) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586882)

You're about two years out-of-date. Socket 939 and 754 processors with the same performance rating are now more or less the same price. (If you ignore the non-64-bit Sempron line)

Motherboards for both come at a range of prices, but tend to be in the standard $80-120 range. 754 ones may tend to be slightly less, but not significantly.

Opteron processors and early Athlon 64 FX processors (which were basically rebranded Opterons) run on Socket 940 and require ECC RAM; this is natural as they're targetted at the server market. No other Athlon 64 processors carry this requirement.

Basically, if you're looking to get a half-way decent AMD computer nowadays, there's no real reason not to get a Socket 939 processor with a PCIe motherboard; it's faster, more future-proof, and doesn't really cost any more.

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (2, Funny)

Segway Ninja (777415) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586403)

Athlon 64 hardware is comparable in price to Pentium 4 hardware.

Based on your argument, what kind of idiot would overclock a Pentium 4? [google.com]

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586996)

The kind of idiots that would buy a pentium 4? :p

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (1)

displaced80 (660282) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586417)

Athlon 64 != Opteron

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (1)

Ed Thomson (704721) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586420)

Time is money. If you develop on a 500mhz machine and have to wait for it to complie things, etc. Then you may be worse off than if you had purchaced a faster machine.

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586425)

Leaked benchmarks showed an 800 MHz Clawhammer outperforming a 1.6 GHz Pentium4 in Quake3, which had traditionally been an Intel dominated benchmark. However as the architecture of the chip was becoming known, discussions ranged on weather the A64 would even be overclockable at all. ... Part of the anxiety was that the A64 would not employ a traditional "front side bus" per say, instead the CPU had a revolutionary design that implemented the memory controller on the CPU itself instead of the Northbridge.

Oh shit! This new proc that supports a supposedly revolutionary new way of doing things? I MUST MAKE IT SLIGHTLY FASTER!

How much are you going to overclock it? Certainly not the 200% boost you'd get from going from a 500 mhz machine to a 1.5GHZ one...

Re: What kind of.... (4, Funny)

zokrath (593920) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586469)

Overclocking is not something that is generally done professionally; it is a hobby, simply to show off and make one feel important. The same is true of 'tricking out' a motor vehicle, or modding a PC case, or the entire industry of do-it-yourself interior decoration.

When rendering, and presumably other activities that might theoretically benefit from increased performance from overclocking such as data analysis and science simulations, your are often leaving the computers working overnight or over the weekend, and the last things that you want are crashes or visual errors due to unstable hardware. Sometimes I even underclock my rendering system, for it is far better for a render to take a few extra hours or days than to have the whole render wasted because somethign went wrong with your elite hacked overclocking with ten percent enhanced performance.

Overclocking also reduces the life of the components, noticeably when they are rendering at full capacity nearly 24/7 for most of the year.

There are certainly professionals that overclock, but they have either carefully weighed the cost benefit ratios and decided on the most logical course of action, or have had a series major setbacks and mistakes and are desperate to finish before the deadline next monday; the boss will not be happy when he finds out that another project is late because of your bumbling incompetency, Jones, so you had better move right in to your cubical for the next week, or you will find yourself moving right out, permanently. You can have that little wife of yours bring you meals; I certainly would not mind having her around the office. Maybe she will finally see reason and bail out on that train wreck of a career that you are conducting, and set her sights up closer to where her standards should be. And if not, she will still be something nice to look at. Tell her to wear something that will cheer you up...Man, this is going to be a Hell of a week. Now get back to work, Jones.

Re: What kind of.... (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586521)

Overclocking also reduces the life of the components, noticeably when they are rendering at full capacity nearly 24/7 for most of the year.

Component life only seriously degrades when part voltage is raised more than a little, and even then, some parts are more forgiving than others.

If you're not doing any of that, it's free performance. If you are competent, why not, even if just a little (for a home user; obviously not on most enterprise equipment)?

Re: What kind of.... (1)

hedleyroos (817147) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586669)

I volunteer to come and kick Jones' boss' ass. Damn apostrophes...

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (1)

RealCow (720170) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586497)

ever heard of a gamer? Those guys need all the juice they can get.

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (4, Insightful)

blackicye (760472) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586516)

The kind of "idiot" as you so delicately put it, that refuses to pay $249.00 - $359.00 for a $169.00 Processor.

$482 Athlon 64 4000+ 90nm Rev
$478 Athlon 64 4000
$359 Athlon 64 3800
$369 Athlon 64 3800 512K 90nm Rev E
$334 Athlon 64 3700+ 90nm Rev
$282 Athlon 64 3700
$249 Athlon 64 3500
$249 Athlon 64 3500 939pin
$250 Athlon 64 3500 90nm 939pin
$272 Athlon 64 3500 512K 90nm Rev E
$174 Athlon 64 3400
$152 Athlon 64 3200
$169 Athlon 64 3200 939pin
$169 Athlon 64 3200 90nm 939pin

(Prices from pricewatch.com)

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586552)

Hehe, he said "OMG."

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586597)

OK let's be honest here.
Your boss is keeping you on that 500Mhz to keep you from watching the newest Keyra (hot amateur ass girl, you know...) Flash video while at work and it's got you fist-clinching frustrated, right? Solution?

Get Googling and find a hacked BIOS and get that 500Mhz vcore crankin!

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (0, Troll)

carninja (792514) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586735)

This post goes against all that slashdot stands for.

A) People are gonna overclock whatever they can get their hands on.
B) Many slashdotters DO use more then that much speed. There's gaming and developer sections for a reason
C) It's all about speed. If it weren't, why would intel and amd even be in business? they could still be cranking out pIIs and whatnots and be doing just fine. Oh, but wait, people want to go FASTER.
D) Do a survey and I think you'll find most slashdotters own or have access to at least one machine with more than 1ghz of power. There are allways exceptionis, (like you) and exceptions are stupid.

Your geek license has been revoked, please turn it in to the men in the black suits. Moron.

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (1)

dr.badass (25287) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586748)

What kind of Idiot would do that to this sort of NEW, EXPENSIVE hardware?

Probably the kind of "idiot" that knows how to avoid frying his new, expensive chip. Overclocking doesn't cause chips to just randomly explode; it's incredibly easy to avoid damaging a processor, if you know what you're doing. And why would you even try if you didn't know what you were doing?

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (1)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586816)

Back in the day I overclocked a Celeron 300A to 450. It is still running, in fact, it is sitting next to me.

I am currently typing this on an AMD 2500+ (barton) overclocked to 3200+.

Why would I do this? Speed. I play games. I want the max FPS I can get out of my machines. As simple as that. Is my stuff brand new expensive hardware? No. Not anymore. But it was when I built both systems. *

* (Ultra top of the line? No, but then I bought the parts specifically because they were know good overclocking parts.)

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (5, Insightful)

boron boy (858013) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586951)

Until you have actually tried overclocking, I don't believe you can criticize overclockers.

The likelyhood of frying parts is not very high. Before that happens you will get restarts, BSODs etc, telling you that you've messed up the settings. If you do it properly, and test your systems stability with Memtest86, Prime95 and the like, then there is no harm.

I have my Athlon 64 3000+ running at 2.2 gHz up from the stock of 1.8. That's the speed of a 3500+ which at the time of purchase cost $170AU more. Do I need that extra speed? No. Is it handy? Yes. Games run smoother. Compilation is quicker. More research for folding@home is acheived.

Give it a go. It's plain old geeky fun.

Re:OMG. What kind of.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12587024)

"Would you overclock a Z-Series IBM server? Would you overclock a 20 4-way xeons in a cluster?"

Drool... Stop teasing, you insensitive clod!

and i'll bet 10 bucks... (2, Funny)

hyperstation (185147) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586383)

yet another liquid cooling story is on the way!

Re:and i'll bet 10 bucks... (1)

Zeebs (577100) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586539)

I don't think it should count if it's just the molten processor cooling down however...

Re:and i'll bet 10 bucks... (1)

netcrusher88 (743318) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586563)

Yes, this time they'll skip dry ice and just use liquid helium II.

and i'll bet 10 bucks...Yellow rain. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586609)

"yet another liquid cooling story is on the way!"

With all the beer geeks drink. I bet the next fluid to be tried will be urine.

Re:and i'll bet 10 bucks...Yellow rain. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586658)

I pee in your general direction!

got cash? (-1, Offtopic)

PrivateDonut (802017) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586408)

anyone want to be buy me one? come on... you know you want to!

Seriously though (4, Insightful)

the_mutha (177709) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586414)

Hardly anyone doing professional work on a machine will overclock it. Generally it just makes your system unstable and prone to crashing and making murphey's law become a reality on your precious data. Overclocking IMHO is more for gamers that want to take out as much juice as possible from their processors, and even so, it won't make that much of a difference. Generally its just for bragging rights.

Re:Seriously though (4, Informative)

Satertek (708058) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586442)

Wrong. If done right, you can have a perfectly stable machine. It does take considerable time to get it just right, and there is always some risk, which is why "professials" do not overclock as commonly.

Re:Seriously though (1)

PenGun (794213) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586480)

Every machine I have owned has taken an overclock and run like a rock, You have to spend some time testing and adjusting bios settings but I have yet to fail to get some more from what I bought.

This box is a dual 550 P3, supposed to be 500 MHz. It is the least overclockable CPU I've ever had. Nice though, even today.

PenGun
Do What Now ??? ... Standards and Practices !

Re:Seriously though (1)

PenGun (794213) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586492)

Uhh ... 'they are the least .....'

Re:Seriously though (2, Informative)

btarval (874919) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586596)

Oh, please, spare me. I can show you a number of so-called "professional" boxes which will break under a load that I can throw at it.

The really funny thing is that people doing "professional work" are doing so with pure blind trust in the manufacturer. Very, very few "professionals" bother with the most basic of QA. They just open the box, plug it in, and run, based on pure blind faith.

I've worked with various computer companies, being involved with the bring-up of a wide variety of hardware, from workstations, servers, storage arrays, and what have you. The practices in this industry are generally quite sloppy. The engineering is typically rushed, the QA is rushed (and usually done by people who really don't know what real QA is). It's all about getting the systems out the door quickly, with as low cost as possible.

Unless you've run memtest86 on your system for a while, you really don't know if the RAM you're using has some bad spots, do you? If it does, well, that means your calculations are now suspect as well.

But no, it's easier to stick your head in the sand, and ignore that possibility.

If you really are depending on the results from your box, you should start with the basics, at the least. Memtest86 ought to be run on every new box you get. And you should go through a burn-in cycle. Plus put a load on your system for a while, just to make certain that the thermal cooling in the case, and the room, are indeed adequate. This is just the basics, IMO. You'd be surprised at how many bad systems I catch with just that; including systems that are in a production environment.

I can guarantee you that I can put together an overclocked system which is more solid than most (if not all) machines put out by OEMs. But that's because I know how to spec the parts, and QA them before I put them into production. Yes, it's extra work. But I've noticed that I have a lot fewer problems with my systems than other people do, and this saves me time over the long run.

So please spare me the snobbery; it's just a mask for ignorance.

Re:Seriously though (1)

dr.badass (25287) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586618)

Generally it just makes your system unstable and prone to crashing and making murphey's law become a reality on your precious data.

Uh, no. When the system starts becoming unstable, you know you've reached the limit. The point of overclocking is to push the chip as far as it is able to without becoming unstable.

The reason it's so popular is that many chips are capable of being pushed very far without any added instability. To the crowd that builds their own machines anyway, it's just another thing to try.

Re:Seriously though (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586641)

Hardly anyone doing professional work on a machine will overclock it.
If you need the speed and you are making money from it you buy more machines.

Re:Seriously though (1)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586663)

I didn't overclock my P4 2.8 to 3.0 for bragging rights. I did it because it's the same chip as a 3.0 and runs rock solid stable that way.

The way I see it, I didn't overclock a 2.8, I underpaid for a 3.0. And yes it does make a difference. That's why they sell both.

Already done it. (5, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586418)

I've already overclocked my 64 to a 96. W00T!

Re:Already done it. (1)

datafr0g (831498) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586672)

96?? 69 is all that's required for optimum pr0n rendering!!!

how about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586421)

what about trying some 64 bits games and software, of course if you use *nix you do not need to worry about that, but windows seems to be trully lacking in that field.

Dumb, but at blazing speed! (1, Insightful)

shanen (462549) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586427)

I wish they would not waste /. front page space on these silly overclocking stories. The kernal of the whole overclocking fantasy is a kind of very American delusion, of how the "rugged individualist" can beat the "corporate drone".

Question: If you frigging overclockers are so frigging smart, why don't you design faster chips?

Answer: It's bleeding hard work.

Of course the real laugher is what the overclockers do with their "extra" cycles. Nothing useful, let me assure you. At least I've never seen a claim of utility. Moore's Law has given us cycles out the wazoo, and the overclockers are just silly fools, like the guy in the cheese shop with no cheese.

You want to improve the world? Write better software. God knows there is VAST room for real improvements there, and no help from Moore's Law.

Re:Dumb, but at blazing speed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586489)

* It's spelled "kernel."

* To play games.

* Please calm down.

Re:Dumb, but at blazing speed! (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586490)

Most of the oveclockers i know are actually carry overs of the car hot rodding genere rather than kids trying to "get the top score". Many of the new "standard" cooling parts (quallity copper coolers, heatpipe coolers, etc) were first employed (beta tested?) by the overclocking community.

Admitedly there are the crazy "i gotta get high numbers" peeps, but they usually have chips whose life span is measured in hours.

As for what to do with extra cycles? i find folding@home is a good use (as does the people over at overclockers.com) and have several OCed amd64s (stable, tested) grinding throught jobs at the moment :)

Re:Dumb, but at blazing speed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586501)

this seems to me to be a bit like the hacking age...
First we had real hackers, coders who could really make unthinkable things happen through software.
Then we got the time where everyone wanted to be one and then the term changed to what it is today, and so the true 'hackers' call the wannabe's script kiddies and such.
Well, the old overclocker is like the true hacker and the wannabe's are what we are seeing now.

There is no real reason to overclock the AMD 64 until an application really makes use of it. The chips today are already fast enough that it is pointless to actually waste time and money on it.

That being said...i need to find my AMD64 and go RTFA so i can try this bad boy out! :)

- nc

Re:Dumb, but at blazing speed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586513)

u r a non-l33t f00l.

Everyone knows that you are not a man unless you can overclock! Geez, I know people who OC their PALM PILOTS! And you wanna know what I do with my extra CPU cycles? I fold proteins faster, that's what I do. That's right, I searching for a cure for diseases, possibly including your foolhardiness (if such is even curable). I bet you do nothing whatsoever worthwhile with your computer; me, I'm trying to save a few lives.

Check out folding.stanford.edu and get started folding. The life you save may be your own.

So keep on posting articles that us REAL MEN can use, things like overclocking your wristwatch, making battery acid out of household cleaners, and building our own in-car computer systems.

Re:Dumb, but at blazing speed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586546)

Firstly its spelt "KernEl".

Secondly, what have overclockers ever done to incur your "wrath?"

Did one of their systems inevitably catch fire and burn down your house? Did they laud their enormous overclocking achievements over you daily in school?

The "rugged individualist" beats the "corporate drone" any day of the week. I believe "corporate behemoth" would have been a more apt comparison.

What are you, and GOD doing to VASTLY improve the world? Why do you care what someone does with their spare cycles? What are you doing with yours? Why does anyone need more than a 1Ghz processor? Why in the world do we need 1GB of RAM when 640k will do? Why does anyone need more than 40GB of Harddrive space? Why would anyone need a car that travels at greater than 60 MPH?

Don't let these questions keep you up at night.

Seriously, you just need to sit down and shut up, it takes all of 5 - 15 minutes to overclock a PC, you don't even need to fiddle with jumper settings any more.

Re:Dumb, but at blazing speed! (2, Funny)

SpinyManiac (542071) | more than 9 years ago | (#12587078)

Why would anyone need a car that travels at greater than 60 MPH?

Because the speed limit is 70 MPH?

Re:Dumb, but at blazing speed! (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586579)

Why the troll about individualism? Where are the moderators? Oh right, this is Slashdot, where I'll be modded down for pointing this out, but 'shanen' gets a +3, In-fucking-sightful.

Re:Dumb, but at blazing speed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586626)

The kernal of the whole overclocking fantasy is a kind of very American delusion, of how the "rugged individualist" can beat the "corporate drone".

There's no delusion here. CPUs are tested at various speeds, and placed in bins based on their maximum reliable speed. But if there aren't enough Athlon 3000s, AMD will simply take better chips (3200/3500/etc.) and label them as 3000. So sometimes people get lucky and find their processor can run faster than its listed speed while remaining stable.

If you frigging overclockers are so frigging smart, why don't you design faster chips?

They have the luxury of working on a fixed hardware platform. It's generally easy to make things (e.g. the PCI bus) go faster; the hard part is making it compatible with 20 different video cards, 50 types of RAM, etc. Manufacturers play it safe by sticking to the standard.

You want to improve the world? Write better software.

What makes you think overclockers will be any good at writing software?

Re:Dumb, but at blazing speed! (1)

phrasebook (740834) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586640)

You want to improve the world?

No, they don't. They just want to overclock. What a rant!

Re:Dumb, but at blazing speed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586653)

You DO know that these people aren't writing the code they are usung, correct? So how can them writing leaner code help them?

Re:Dumb, but at blazing speed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586662)

overclockers are just silly fools, like the guy in the cheese shop with no cheese. Worst...analogy...ever. If I had no cheese I would go to the cheese shop to buy some. Would that make me a fool? NO!

Re:Dumb, but at blazing speed! (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586698)

Of course the real laugher is what the overclockers do with their "extra" cycles. Nothing useful, let me assure you.
It all depends. If you can get 2x300MHz celerons to both be stable at 450MHz it makes a major difference, and you can get a lot more done. At the time 2x300MHz celerons cost less than one 450MHz pentium II, and the dual board didn't cost a great deal more than a similar single CPU board. In that case chips way above spec were being sold as celeron 300MHz chips to meet demand.

Now lets look at the present - how do you know that some CPUs don't exceed the spec by a great deal like they did then? Most home computers on one level could be considered not doing much that contributes to society anyway - or the entire entertainment industry for that matter, and if you are doing anything CPU limited a bit of extra speed helps.

All that said, I live in a hot climate, so my last overclocking effort was the dual celeron thing, which probably couldn't really be considered that anyway since the chips were being run at the spec they were designed for (built for 450 but sold as 300).

Re:Dumb, but at blazing speed! (3, Interesting)

dr.badass (25287) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586709)

Question: If you frigging overclockers are so frigging smart, why don't you design faster chips?
Answer: It's bleeding hard work.


What the hell does this have to do with anything?

Most chips are just higher-clocked versions of earlier bretheren. There are occasionally different cores, but the difference between Chip A @ 2.5GHz and Chip A @ 2.8GHz generally has nothing to do with differences in the design, and everything to do with pricing.

Of course the real laugher is what the overclockers do with their "extra" cycles. Nothing useful, let me assure you.

Are you going to assure me that when, many years ago, I overclocked a 300MHz chip to 450MHz, the >50% improvement in compile times wasn't "useful"? How about the fact that I saved about $300 overclocking a cheap chip instead of buying a faster-labeled one? Did that not actually happen? I remember it so clearly, too.

Re:Dumb, but at blazing speed! (5, Interesting)

mejesster (813444) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586756)

I don't see why this is so fantastically irritating to you. Does it bother you when someone has a ferrari that they just drive to work or an SUV that they just drive to soccer practice? You know, it really bothers me that you have a kitchen and don't bother to cook up gourmet 5 star meals.

Re:Dumb, but at blazing speed! (1)

VonKruel (40638) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586809)

Thank you for taking the time to post your incoherent rant.

1. I have overclocked my home PCs for years. I've never spent a lot of time on it, and I've never sacrificed stability.

2. Do you feel that everthing you do has to improve the world? If so, I wonder how well you are living up to such a high ideal?

3. Wanting more system performance (at zero or low cost) does not imply an obligation to become involved in the design of "faster chips".

4. Some people who overclock actually use their computers for interesting stuff. Still, even if you only want to squeeze an extra few fps out of your favourite game, what's the harm?

5. Lighten up.

Are these guides *really* edited? (1)

phantasma6 (799340) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586430)

discussions ranged on weather the A64 would even be overclockable at all.

Or are they just edited by the /. editors :-)~

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586434)

fp

oh my god (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586440)

please cmdrtaco stop raping me

As the owner of two FX-55's... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586451)

I have to say that those things are not overclockable. They won't even run at the default 204MHz bus speed. I've even tried three different brands of motherboards. They do run fine at 200MHz.

Important lines from /proc/cpuinfo:

vendor_id : AuthenticAMD
cpu family : 15
model : 7
model name : AMD Athlon(tm) 64 FX-55 Processor
stepping : 10
cpu MHz : 2605.988
cache size : 1024 KB

Re:As the owner of two FX-55's... (1)

Buzh (74397) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586701)

Probably because you have improper bios settings, maybe in the memory controller department? RTFA!

You might have to, for example, take the memclock down a notch (say to ddr333 instead of ddr400) and then increase the htt until the ram is running at a decent clock again. Memtest86+ is your friend.

Re:As the owner of two FX-55's... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586766)

Something is wrong there. They should have more tolerence than that. You did lock your AGP/PCI buses, right?

what about opterons? (1)

sakura the mc (795726) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586456)

anyone know how to overclock opteron 240s on a tyan s2875anrf? ive heard stories of people overclocking em, but no real evidence on the net. or maybe im not looking hard enough.

If it ain't broke... (4, Funny)

Francis85 (875901) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586470)

If it ain't broke... overclock it?

hey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586471)

can i overclock my amd k6-2/350 w/ 192mb of ram and a 4.3gb hdd?

seriously, this is my desktop running win2k pro sp4. its ran win2k3 server edition sp1. my linux box is a p2/400 w/ 128mb of ram. can someone overclock that too?

Re:hey (1)

blackicye (760472) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586731)

" can i overclock my amd k6-2/350 w/ 192mb of ram and a 4.3gb hdd?

seriously, this is my desktop running win2k pro sp4. its ran win2k3 server edition sp1. my linux box is a p2/400 w/ 128mb of ram. can someone overclock that too?"


I don't see why either system wouldn't be overclockable if your motherboard's BIOS has the requisite settings and your ram is of decent quality.

But a better solution would be to go plonk down $600 - $700 on a new PC, which will run at more than 10 times the speed, of your present setup.

Then overclock that to make it run 12 - 15 times faster than your current box.

Actually Overclockers... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586473)

keep on because of a rumor that after the 4GHz barrier you can create a tear in the time-space continium... :)

Re:Actually Overclockers... (1)

ceeam (39911) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586782)

You mean after that your CPU would look like it came from the year 1805 ?

Re:Actually Overclockers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586795)

In fact it is at 4,294,967,296 Hz

It's not working for me yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586502)


I've taken down a few clocks off the walls here at home and put them under my system case. How may clocks does it take to see an improvement in system speed? I'm not seeing it. Do I need to put fresh batteries in the clocks to see the improvments???

Increase usable life of your box (3, Interesting)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586507)

Gives you another few months, you start thinking about that shiney new GPU CPU and stuff and salivating, but you know it's going to drop to .3 of the price in 2 months.

So you overclock. If you bought the low end last generation you can keep going WAY LONGER!.

I had a 9000 pro and was able to overclock to survive DOOM 3 and CS source... didn't need a 9600 pro or XT and wasn't tempted until the 600gt showed up... now I'm good for a few more generations unless it's another really awsome one (like the 9700 pro).

Re:Increase usable life of your box (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586528)

Ive updated my graphics every time when a good card is ~$200-300 australian dollars.

I bought my 9600XT a couple of days over a year ago at $285, the price is now $249. I could have bought a 9800XT and paid $600, but there down to $340... you can see that I bought at the better time.

Buying tech is all about bang for buck, I have a good system that does 80% of what the best machines do for 30% of the cost.

In my case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586511)

My A8V, AMD64 3200, oced to 2.4 Ghz, and 2x1G Ram, running Linux 86_64 and Mathematica 64, is TWICE as fast as my 2.8x2 Xeon oced to 2x3.15, 2G running Mathematica on either Windows or Linux. Not bad for $650 toy - MB+CPU+2G.

Benchmarks at: http://smc.vnet.net/timings50.html [vnet.net]

It is also 10% faster than an FX53, 512M Ram, running Linux 86_64.

And yes, I care about stability especially when some calculations take a few days.

Not just for gamers... (5, Insightful)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586524)

As someone who does real-time generative audio/video processing, I have to say that oftentimes what a 2GHz machine cannot run comfortably, a 2.5GHz machine can do satisfactorily. 12FPS may not be good enough, but 15FPS may be passible. People often dismiss overclocking as something just for gamers, but in reality, it can be useful to anyone doing processor-intensive, real-time processing. I feel that some of the anti-overclocking opinions here are a bit unjustified, and more of a knee-jerk response to a loosely correlated l33t culture. The only games I play are Clan Lord and Civilization III... hardly a reason to overclock. However, for video processing, I need all the power I can get despite my modest budget.

Not just for gamers...Assembly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586570)

"However, for video processing, I need all the power I can get despite my modest budget."

The GPU as general processor story must have had you salivating then. Or maybe since you have a modest budget. You can pick up some Microway transputer boards off of eBay and go to town with them.

Re:Not just for gamers...Assembly (1)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586631)

Actually, I'd really like to utilize the GPU for audio processing more than anything.

Re:Not just for gamers... (1)

Foo2rama (755806) | more than 9 years ago | (#12587009)

OMG clanlord is still around... I beta tested it eons ago...

***Google check***

Omg still listed in the manual...

People still do that? (1)

ArbitraryConstant (763964) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586606)

And here I got one of those new Athlon64s because I wanted to be able to underclock it.

It reduces stability, it decreases component life, and it increases power usage and heat. If you want to do it, I'm not going to stop you, but I'm not going to complain if Intel and AMD come up with a way to effectively prevent it, and I'm still going to think it's stupid.

Re:People still do that? (1)

blackicye (760472) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586695)

" And here I got one of those new Athlon64s because I wanted to be able to underclock it.

It reduces stability, it decreases component life, and it increases power usage and heat. If you want to do it, I'm not going to stop you, but I'm not going to complain if Intel and AMD come up with a way to effectively prevent it, and I'm still going to think it's stupid."


Running a CPU at lower than its rated speed is just plain silly.
You gain no stability over running the processor at its rated speed.
Say you want to save that super important 0.025v, then your processor may run less stable.

You don't decrease the life of your processor by overclocking it, you possibly decrease its life shortly when you overclock it to an extent which requires you to raise the CPU core voltage beyond its rated 1.400v.

That said, I still have a Celeron 300A which has been running at 450Mhz, its been running rock solid for almost 6 years now.

If your processor takes a dump on you after 4 - 8 years, you should just call it a great run, and upgrade your PC. Or if you're really cheap, I guess shop around and you'll find your present CPU for sale new or used at less than 20% of the price you paid for it.

Intel and AMD don't care if people overclock their CPUs. Multiplier locks were instituted because criminal syndicates were remarking CPUs and selling them at higher speeds than they were rated for, at a higher price.

So you see, there is no point to what you're doing, and I think its stupid :P

Re:People still do that? (1)

ArbitraryConstant (763964) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586903)

"Running a CPU at lower than its rated speed is just plain silly. ...
So you see, there is no point to what you're doing, and I think its stupid :P
"

Only if the assumptions you made were correct. Given the information you seem to have, your conclusions are reasonable. But you're missing something.

Newer desktop Athlon64s have laptop-like power-saving features. Basically, the chip I have (Athlon64 3000+) can run at 1.0 ghz or 1.8 ghz (changes between 1.1v and 1.4v). This can be changed dynamically at any time. I'm not doing anything at all weird, it's supported in the chipset, the CPU, and the OS without any modifications by me apart from installing appropriate software.

So it's only underclocked when it's idle, and it's handled automatically so I can't tell the differnce except for the benefits.

Re:People still do that? (2, Interesting)

blackicye (760472) | more than 9 years ago | (#12587014)

Well yeah, AMD's new "Cool and Quiet" feature, much like Intel's speedstep will lower your CPU frequency and voltage, thus lowering temperatures, and allow lowering the speed of the CPU heatsink fan.

But the benefits of this technology are not to extend processor life, or primarily to decrease power consumption.

Its to make your PC run quieter, most overclockers running air cooled CPU heatsinks don't really care about the noise though, and the ones that do, splurge on watercooling systems.

I've heard (and owned) many a system which sounded like aircraft taking off when they were running (which was all the time.) Small price to pay for "free speed" :D

One of the first things you're supposed to do when attempting an overclock on an Athlon 64 CPU is to disable "Cool and Quiet" which by default (at least for my Asus A8V Deluxe Rev.2) off.

Mod UP (-1, Offtopic)

xMonkey (154829) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586630)

My Attempt to hack the slashot community modding paradigm.

Mod up if you agree.

I just saw Star Wars EP III.

What a farking failure.

My childhood is dead.

Bah! (1)

Bad to the Ben (871357) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586638)

Kids these days. Back in the old times, you didn't go under or over clock, you went through it!

Overclock AMD on HP (4, Interesting)

apache guevara (776292) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586645)

Overclocking on the Pentium I was fun. CPU speeds were still far far away from the GHz levels and in school, it had amazing brag value. Never matter that the recursion programs we wrote in TurboC (it was way back ... I was a kid) never seemed to compile any faster.

Overclocked my HP Athlon 2.2GHz upto 2.5 Ghz. Noteable difference? Well, super pi http://www.computerbase.de/downloads/software/benc hmarks/super_pi/ [computerbase.de] did calculate PI to 512K decimals in 49 seconds (It was 52 seconds earlier). Didnt make much of a difference to anything else that I use. (Am an MBA now ... what i use is powerpoint and outlook ... I sold out!!)

The fact remains that overclocking is not a performance enhancement ... the results are just incremental, but they do give the kicks. Very zen!

Remember the "Turbo" button on the machines those days?

Re:Overclock AMD on HP (1)

so sue mee (660717) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586872)

Overclocking 486-66 to 100 is when i stopped overclocking. It was 1/3 of processing power. it was noticable in the internet, Word, watching videos. Now... Going from 2.2 to 2.5 is not worth the time expenditure. In fact for 2 years untill a month ago i have p4 1.4 and the only reason to upgrade was because the motherboard blew.

Not Turbo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12586929)

The Turbo button acctually made the CPU operate at slower speed. It was really a "Turbo Off" button:
http://www.pcguide.com/ref/case/switchTurbo-c.html [pcguide.com]

- Peder

Overclocking...pffff (5, Funny)

Spactonic (683577) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586683)

I was just happy that I could plonk a NEC V20 in my IBM XT - going from a 4.77 MHz 8088 to a whopping 8 MHz!

watch out for data corruption when OC'ing (1)

VonKruel (40638) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586762)

I've always like to overclock my PCs - and I've never sacrificed stability. It's true that the hardware will fail earlier in theory as a result of overclocking, but unless you are running crazy timings with way too much voltage or whatever, the hardware is still likely to last until it's practically worthless. If you can overclock with just a modecum of skill, you literally get more performance than you paid for. I ask you: how can it be wrong, when it feels so right?

I think that overclockers tend to overlook the danger of data corruption when they experiment with overclocking. If you boot into Windows (or any other OS) with flaky CPU/memory, you risk corruption of any filesystems/data that the system works with while it is operating in an "unstable" condition. If the system would just freeze or reboot when the hardware fails, there'd be no problems with corruption (or evaluating stability), but... Just make a Ghost image of the filesystem before you experiment with timings, and restore that image after you are done with your overclocking adventures. Way less headaches this way.

overclocking..... (1)

goober1473 (714415) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586890)

I am amazed by the number of people against overclocking. If you get a new CPU and overclock, well I would guess you are in the world where you are happy to play with hardware just to see what it can do. If it breaks it's your own fault and presumably if you are happy to try you don't mind loosing the money - if the cpu life is shortened do you care, probably not as you are going to be a early adopter of the next quickest speeds!

How do you make a AMD64 cpu go like hell? (2, Interesting)

SPY_jmr1 (768281) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586938)

Turn the power supply on.

Honestly, every one i've seen is so insanly overpowered, it isn't even funny...

On top of that, people will try to overclock a cpu when the problem lies elsewhere... RAM, drives, etc.

An 4Ghz 64-bit cpu is nearly worthless if you mate it with 64 megs of ram and a 3600 RPM laptop drive...

shame on Abit... (1)

c-reus (852386) | more than 9 years ago | (#12586984)

..for not supporting Linux on K8T800Pro chipset!
I've got Abit AV8 with amd64 3200+. Now, I'd sure like to see how far the CPU can go, but the damn motherboard does not show any temperatures. Gkrellm does not support that chipset, nor does lm_sensors.

Only a madman would try overclocking without seeing how hot the CPU is. Overclocking and hoping that my cooler can remove the excess heat is not very reliable way to do it, I'd say.

If you know a way to see the temperatures on AV8, let me know. I haven't found any information on that (except the pages that say it cannot be done).

maximum out of your amd64 (1)

MarsDude (74832) | more than 9 years ago | (#12587037)

"This in-depth overclocking guide will show you how to get the maximum from your brand new Athlon 64 system"

With a minimum of warrantee... to be exact NONE.

I'd like my processor to last for a while, so I don't take stupid risks for a little extra speed.

Overclocking (1)

JollyFinn (267972) | more than 9 years ago | (#12587053)

WOOHOO 20% higher clockspeed !
It gives 10% more realworld performance.
And 10000% higher failure/error rate!
Well having 100x higher error rate might go undetected most of time since errors in cpu are not that common without overclocking.
Anyway. I'm thinking that what the overclocking gives is minimal increase not worth the potential problems. Not everyone get problems, and not everyone who got problems realize them.
How you tell if the X server crashed by change of a bit at some place or by software failure if the error happens rarely enough? Or some other bit crashing.
It simply goes that they burn em and test them to fit at certain point. Few people get lucky because they need to mark some chips at lower speed than they are truly capable and they keep certain margins on the chip timings to ensure it works. But getting rid of those margins just gives a potential like.
If certain datapath gets used commonly enough, it gets hot, and it slows it down. The different bit patterns may show what kind of changes makes it hottest. Now those problems can be at ANY circuit location. It can be parts of alu, FPU, instruction decoder, cache. ANYTHING that just cannot keep with certain changing bit patterns when it becomes hot. And don't say that your cooling helps this a lot. Well the problem is INDIVIDUAL TRANSISTORS temperature not average chip temperature. And those transistors are becoming so small for dissipation.Plus it might be that the cycle time is not enough even at normal temperatures to keep up with worstcase changing bit patterns. Billions of different things CAN go wrong, with overclocked chip, and we don't know what it takes to burn certain paths. Then there is electromigration which worsens with voltage increases and so on. Basicly you are trading the lifetime and reliability of results for getting 10% more results.
I've though thats not worth it for me, I'm more happy with my A64 chip, staying at 1Ghz when I don't need its performance and powering up to 2Ghz when load goes up. And having PC thats more quiet than other sound sources around here, like flow of water trough the pipes for heater, is more important me than the bragging rights of 10% higher performance ;)
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