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Finally ready to overclock socket A. Please read.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ahh, After me breaking some stuff I've finally paid back my rents all the stuff I loaned money for. *Cpu, Ram, Harddrive, Almost everything not made of solid metal* Finally, I'm ready to overclock. Basically, I know enough after reading your forums to jump right ahead into it. Just need to run some stuff by you.


-Idle 42-37 pending fan speed
-Load 43-46 pending fan speed
-Current Vcore 1.71 In speedfan
-166FSB, 12.5 Multiplier
-Barton core
-166Mhz X 2 sticks of 512, Ones pc3200, Other 2700
-Aiming for 2.2+ Ghz.


That's about it. Basically how do I know when enoughs, enough? What if my FSB is too high and windows won't boot? Will it revert back to default settings? If it does crash will my OS be damaged/corrupt? Could corrupting it damage my harddrive? Also, What Vcore do you reccomend on my current cooling? What will fry it? I basically need my computer to last another 2-3 years max. New comp within 1-1.5 years. What kind of positive/Negative effects will o/cing have. Well, Thanks. That's it I guess, Ty for your time to read my friggen essay. Oh ya, My mobo automatically locks my pci/Agp at the correct frequency, I think..
    
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post #2 of 9
Hi R3tard,

Well the first thing to point out is that if you need a cast-iron guarantee that your system will still be running in 1,2 or even 3 years then don't overclock... overclocking will always stress components and shorten their life.

That said, my experience with socket A is that they're pretty robust - I've been running my Barton (Sempron) at a 20% overclock for eight months solid now and I've had no problems whatsoever.

Now that you're ready to start overclocking, basically re-read and then follow the advice in these forums, which in summary would be...

1. Overclock by upping your fsb (safer than unlocking your multiplier).

2. Overclock in *small steps*

3. Test stability at each step - a tool like Prime95 is ideal for this.

4. Watch your temps! The advice I've stuck with is that 55C under load (while running Prime95, for instance) is the maximum temperature you should tolerate.

5. When you reach a fsb at which you become unstable don't be terrified of upping your vcore to reach the next fsb, but don't be cavalier with the vcore either. Through experimentation my personal comfort level for vcore is 1.78 (which on my system represents an 11% increase on vcore). Different people have different comfort levels on this - I'm probably a bit chicken ;-)

6. Watch your temps! (worth repeating).

If you find at any point that your system won't boot then you'll need to reset the CMOS on your motherboard. For details on this RTFM, but for most systems the procedure, more or less, is...

1. Power off at the mains.

2. Remove the jumpers that your mobo manual specify as being for resetting the CMOS.

3. Wait a good minute or so.

4. Replace the jumpers.

5. Power back on.

6. Go through the rigmarole of reconfiguring your BIOS as you like it (naturally you'll have jotted these settings down somewhere).

In answer to your questions about corrupting your OS, hard-disk, etc. the answer to all of these questions is "conceivably, yes, but very unlikely if you proceed with caution". That's why we make backups :-)

Regarding side-effects... a stable overclock makes things run faster but hotter. I can't say much more than that really.

In your specific case I'd consider replacing your PC2700 with another stick of PC3200. Remember, when you up your fsb you're overclocking your RAM too. Unless the PC2700 is a good overclocker, it has a lot less overhead than the PC3200. Also, generally, it's a good idea to have matching RAM when you're overclocking, as it's one less point of instability.

Oh, and for your rig I'd guess that you'll reach 2.2Ghz comfortably (depending on your PC2700, which is potentially your main bottleneck right now).

In short - take small steps, check your stability and temps at every step and, most importantly, HAVE FUN!
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post #3 of 9
Oh, just noticed... We've got the same motherboard, the Asus A7v880. Great minds obviously think alike :-)

The A7V880 is pretty good at recovering from an unbootable overclock.

If you can't boot after changing some settings then just power the PC down (at the mains as well) wait a minute or so and then restart.

The board should detect that it's had a boot failure and revert to your last good configuration. In theory at least. Sometimes you'll find that your BIOS has set itself back to default, so it's always worth checking that all the settings are as you want them to be.

In short, no messing about with CMOS jumpers and batteries with this board :-)

Have a read of the manual and you'll see what I mean http://dlsvr03.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/...791_a7v880.pdf
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post #4 of 9
Oh, one last point, but it's important...

Our board overvolts the vcore by about 0.6-0.8 volts over spec.

So, to achieve 1.78v actual, I've set my vcore to 1.70 in BIOS.

I think you knew that anyway, but it's worth repeating.
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks! I love this place .. Btw, If i need to I'll steal the pc 3200 from my sis' computer *evvvvvvvvvil!*
    
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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
WHOOT! YES! Well I upped FSB to 174 using the automatic overclock option. 5% OC, I'm going to try 10. hehe.
    
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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Currently running 180 X 12.5 = 2250 mhz at 1.76 Vcore. So far prime stable, Am I going a bit overkill on the vcore? With my volcano 12 at full blast I got 42 load.

What vcores are you guys using for your Socket A? Is 1.76 up from 1.71 Safe? Thanks In advance guys, I love this place
    
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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
After fidgeting with my mobo I've found that only having 2.2 ish ghz on 1.76 vcore is complete overkill. Since the lowest vcore achievable below 1.76 is 1.71 i've decided to stick with 1.76, and up my fsb to 184. 2.3 Ghz amd speed, Now priming. And to think, Just last week i almost spent $110 on a 3200. Lol, Btw, My multi is completely unlocked! Is this normal? Don't care if it is but it's friggen awesome I'll tell you that!
    
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post #9 of 9
Excellent news! Welcome to the addictive world of trying to achieve the perfect overclock

Regarding your vcore. I assume that's 1.76v real (i.e. 1.70v in BIOS).

Personally I'd be comfortable with that setting.

As you're running an Athlon Barton, with a default vcore of 1.65 ,that represents a 7% overvolt.

However, my best guess is no substitute for actual testing, so let your system bed in for a few days and keep an eye on your temps!

Another thing to note with the A7V880.

The AGP lock doesn't lock the other buses all that well (especially for SATA), so if you keep pushing your overclock you may well find you hit a wall at 188fsb, which is the point at which your other buses are being pushed too hard. The next nominal, stable frequency after 188 is 200, which is almost certainly asking too much of your CPU.

A final suggestion. The A7V880 doesn't support the HLT command, but CpuIdle works a charm at helping keep your temps down - http://www.cpuidle.de/

If you do start using CpuIdle, don't have it running while you're Prime95'ing because it keeps Prime95 from fully stressing your system.

Happy Clocking!
My System
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My System
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