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Overclocking Troubles.

  1. May 31, 2007 #1
    I am fairly new to the whole overclocking deal. I just recently built a new computer but encountered a few errors when changing the clock multiplier. After saving the CMOS advanced settings the system would not boot. Once I moved the multiplier past 115 I started to have errors. Also when I try to change the clock settings for the PCI-E slot it has bad errors around 105 from 100 (normal).

    AMD X2 4600+
    GeForce 7600 GS
    Gigabyte GA-M55SLI-S4 Socket AM2
    Stock Fan

    I have a hunch that my problem is the Stock fan.

    Note once the clock multiplier is at 115 (Cpu) i get around 2.52GHz from the standard 2.4Ghz.

    Thanks for looking guys!

  2. jcsd
  3. May 31, 2007 #2


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    I suggest you not overclock it; I doubt you really need (or will even notice) that 5% improvement.

    You do realize that all speed grades are actually the same chips, right? The "slower" chips are just those which failed to pass the manufacturer's tests at higher speeds. This means that there's essentially no way for an overclocked chip to run reliably. You might never hit the one situation where it fails in daily use, but it's a bad idea from the start.

    Also, a 5% increase in clock speed will create only a very slightly larger power consumption and heat dissipation. Overclocking by 5% will consume 10% more power, assuming your chip is running at 100% utilization, all the time. Your stock fan is almost certainly capable of dealing with 10% more heat disspation. Have you looked at the die temperature with different multipliers? If the die temperature doesn't change much, then your cooling has nothing to do it.

    - Warren
  4. May 31, 2007 #3
    Thanks for the reply. To answer your question, I have looked at the temperature via LCD screen on the front of my computer. I know this isn't an accurate reading but there was only a 1 degree C increase in temperature. I then checked out the temperature using Speed Fan and it was slightly larger at a 2 degree C increase. I was unaware of the whole deal with all chips being the same speed. If they are all the same speed then why would there be a difference in price? Marketing scheme?

  5. May 31, 2007 #4


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    Since the temperature is not changing significantly, cooling is not going to help.

    All chips of all different speed grades are all made the same way, side by side, at the same time. After manufacture, the chips are all tested independently. If a chip works at the highest speed, then it is sold as the highest speed grade (at the highest price).

    Due to the nature of integrated circuit manufacturing, all chips have some defects. If the defects in a given chip prevent it from running at the highest speed, they test it again at a lower speed. If it works at the lower speed, then it is sold as a lower-speed device (with a lower price). If it doesn't work at all, it is discarded.

    The reason "fast" chips cost more is because there are fewer of them. Most chips don't pass the fastest test, and are thus sold as lower-speed chips.

    - Warren
  6. May 31, 2007 #5
    I agree with Warren on this one. Overclocking voids most warranties on your computer. Which could be extremely expensive to replace. I've gone through 2 motherboards without making any modifications to the system and can say I would never take the risk in overclocking unless you have an excess in money or are doing it for educational purposes, but then I would only do it with expendable parts.

    A quick question for Warren though. Are you saying that manufactures cant pick a design speed that the chips will run at? So the speed of each chip that runs off the assembly line is basically random?
    Last edited: May 31, 2007
  7. May 31, 2007 #6


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    You can design for a specific target speed, but not all of the chips you manufacture will actually be able to reach that speed. You design chips as if they will have no defects, but all chips, in reality, have defects.

    The actual speed capability of any given chip is, indeed, random. Some designs have a very tight distribution, where the chips are mostly almost the same, while other designs have very wide distributions, where the speed of each individual chip can be all over the map. Generally, the more aggressive the design, the wider the distribution.

    - Warren
  8. Jun 1, 2007 #7
    If you do still want to go ahead with overclocking, then you will need to know how overclocking affects the speed at which your RAM runs at. You will also need to know how to change the voltages at which your CPU and RAM runs at. You will then have to set up a spread sheet to calculate all your options, pick the ones you want to try. Then.. try them. Sometimes you can overclock a CPU 20%, but not 10%. Sometimes you might be able to get a substantial overclock of the CPU, but in order to do so, you have to set your RAM to a much lower speed.. Which is might be undesirable.

    Before doing all of this though, I suggest you do some research on your CPU to see how well it overclocks. Also, look at your motherboard to see how well that works for overclocking. The new Intel conroes and even the dual core Pentium D chips overclock very well (at the cost of a lot of heat and lots of electrical usage, but the Pentium D's are very inexpensive now). The dual core AMD's overclock well too, but not as well a Intel's conroes. A recent price drop has put lower end AMD dual cores on par with the prices of the Pentium D's though. At one time, the dual core AMD opteron 165 was the overclocking king (it didn't require registered RAM, had a high level of L2 cache, was cheap in comparison to everything else and could be nearly doubled in clock speed for most people without even changing the stock fan, so it worked exceedingly well for home gaming rigs). A lot of Asus boards are great for overclocking, but a cheap MSI board probably won't even let you. After you find out how well your CPU and motherboard overclocks, then it's up to you if you want to void your warranty for the gain in speed and also at the cost of trying a lot of different combinations. Also keep in mind that if you overclock, you will shorten the life of the chip as well.

    Edit: Oh, one more thing. When overclocking, you could get lucky and get a CPU that overclocks extremely well, or you might get unlucky and get a chip that refuses to overclock at all. It's pretty random, but chances are with a conroe chip or an opteron 165, you will be able to perform a substancial overclock.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2007
  9. Jun 1, 2007 #8
    I always overclock, and never had any problems whatsoever. But I keep it sane, typically between 5 - 10% and using a decent speed memory and a good cooler.
    I am sure it shortens the lifespan of the CPU, but so what? After a few years it is pretty much obsolete anyway.

    In case you disagree, I still have some good working Pentium 3 800's laying around, work great, never been overclocked, make an offer. :biggrin:
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2007
  10. Jun 1, 2007 #9
    I think a more moderate approach is best. I don't overclock till my computer starts slowing down due to the latest and greatest bloatware. Maybe a half a year or a year before I plan on upgrading, which is near the end of the warranty.

    I really don't see why anybody needs to stay on the edge of technological breakthroughs. Computers are more than fast enough already for what most people use them for. Also, if someone doesn't have the money to replace their computer or at least have a backup if it breaks, they should not overclock.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2007
  11. Jun 1, 2007 #10
    I have 3 computers, going on 4, so the issue of having a problem is not huge. I am also aware of the need to change RAM timing and voltage settings. I have heard that RAM timing can be a complete pain, thus I will not attempt to change them untill I have read sufficiently about changing the RAM settings. I'm big into Counter Strike Source and map making therefore, a quick hdd read is helpful. My question is why wouldn't you want to be on the cutting edge? The price of the newest parts drops fairly quickly and I noticed a huge jump when I switched to an AMD X2.
  12. Jun 1, 2007 #11
    Possibly the price? Think of how many hours you're logging at your job to afford to have a computer that is a little less frustrating and just a little more capable than the last. Also, if you were to get a brand new computer that was exactly the same as your old computer, you'd notice a big speed difference, because windows is like a virus that slows your computer to a crawl after a while. lol

    Oh, I have 3 computers myself and am considering building another one, but I don't really see why it'd be worth it. I'll probably end up getting a new laptop, because this one is annoyingly slow, which is not acceptable for school.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2007
  13. Jun 1, 2007 #12
    I see your point with the expense. But after work all the hours its kind of nice to see some kind of a reward. I haven't had any problems with Windows slowing down my operations on the computer. Ive tried a bunch of Linux OS's and IMO there is not a huge advantage (speed wise). I did see the Linux runs faster and smoother and faster but it wasnt like moving from 500MHz to 3.0GHz dual core.
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