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Community Overclocking Guide


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#1 Psywar

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 09:09 AM

A few weeks ago it came to my attention we did not have an "Overclocking Guide" on the forums. So I was chit-chatting with some other members on the forums and we came up with an Idea of a "Community Overclocking Guide/Reference"

So what I am proposing we do is allow the whole community to get involved to keep this as up-to-date as possible plus add in tips and tricks that have been useful in our Overclocking Experiences.

I will start off by throwing down some basic and general Overclocking Info and then you all can either fix my mistakes or add on to it.

What myself or another Mod will end up doing is copying your post and adding it in to the main post(s) using a [quote] showing who had done it.
Then that posters post is going to be deleted.

I would like to keep the thread as clean as possible, so lets try and leave the comments to a minimal unless your adding something to the OP.

My Goal:

To get some Pictures of the BIOS screen. I have even considered making a Video on how to change the settings in the BIOS. How to get into the BIOS, etc.. Some of the testing tools and how to use them.
It will be a slow go though. I am swamped with work and college right now.

Anyways:
Here we go!

Mods feel free to re-arrange the posts to look better if you want.


 sigimage.php?un=Psywar&t=12772
ASUS M5A97 R2.0 Motherboard
AMD FX 8350 (4.0GHz 16MB Cache 8-Core)
XFX R7970 Black Edition Video Card
Mushkin Enhanched 16GB RAM
PC Power and Cooling 610w PSU


#2 Psywar

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 09:10 AM

Overclocking your Computer

Disclaimer: Overclockersclub.com is not responsible if you damage your system in any way. Overclocking your hardware can have bad consequences if done incorrectly.
This guide is meant for Personal Desktop Computers (aka. not Mac's).

What is Overclocking?: This is the process of forcing your computer hardware to run at a faster/higher speed then what was designed for by the manufacturer.

Not all computers can be Overclocked. Some examples include:
Most all OEM computers such as:
  • Dell
  • E-Machines
  • HP/Compaq
Also pretty much all Laptop's are not going to be overclockable (unless you built it yourself).
While on the Subject of Laptop's; some Laptops can have it's components (such as a video card) Overclocked, but due to space restrictions and lack of air-flow I would highly recommend against doing this.

To find a system that is going to be able to be Overclocked you are going to have to have a Custom System built or one made by yourself.
Keep in mind though not all Motherboards will allow you to Overclock them. So do some research if this is what you want to do with your system.



What can you normally Overclock?

  • CPU (Central Processing Unit)
  • Memory (RAM)
  • Video Cards (Graphic's Card)
(Note: When Overclocking it is a good idea to pick just one piece of hardware to work on at a time. When it is stable then you should move on to the next piece of hardware.) (So don't attempt to Overclock your CPU/RAM at the same time.)



CPU Overclocking:

So you want to Overclock your CPU? Let's assume all the above parameters are correct and you have the necessary hardware to Overclock your computer.
First thing you are going to want to do is make sure you have a way to remove the extra heat Overclocking your CPU is going to generate.

You need to do research for your computer and find a larger heatsink/fan combo to dissipate the heat.
  • Water-Cooling
  • Larger Heatsink/Fan Combo

Thermal Paste's
  • Arctic Silver
  • IC7 Diamond, etc.
Each computer will vary in temperature, but the idea is to keep it as cold as possible. I have been out of the Overclocking game for a while now. When overclocking my PC at Full Load (Stress Testing) I would like to keep my CPU running no hotter than 55c (Celsius) (about 131 Fahrenheit). I am not sure what CPU's are running at currently but I would assume this is still a good figure for Full Load.
While Overclocking you want to keep an eye on the temps and make sure they do not go much above 55c.


Now you have your heatsink, thermal paste and you have applied it to your CPU. Assuming you checked your temps and your good to go, lets boot into the BIOS.
You can normally get into the BIOS by pressing ESC, F1, F2 or Delete right as the PC boots up. (I usually press all 3 at the same time over and over if I don't know which key it is.)

Most all of your Overclocking will be done in the BIOS. While in the BIOS you will be able to change a variety of settings to help you in your quest to make your computer faster. In here you will have the ability to change the FSB (Front Side Bus), CPU Multiplier aka. CPU Clock Ratio (Sometimes.), Voltage, and Memory Timings.


First thing you want to do is find out if your CPU is Locked or Unlocked:
All this means is: Do You have the ability to change the CPU Multiplier? Chances are the Answer is "No".
As I said above, I have been out of the OCing game a while, but as far as I know most all CPU's do not come Unlocked anymore.

To test to see if your CPU is Unlocked: Tab to the CPU Multiplier area in the BIOS and lower the Multiplier by 1.
So if your Multiplier is 12, set it to 11.5.
Save and Exit the BIOS
The PC will reboot. Your PC should show you the new CPU Speed. IF your CPU Speed Changed then your Multiplier is Unlocked. IF it did NOT then your multiplier is Locked and you can only Overclock using the FSB.


Unlocked Multiplier Overclocking:

If you were lucky enough to have an unlocked multiplier this is a rough idea on how your going to go about trying to Overclock your CPU.

First Lower your CPU Multiplier a few Steps. If your Multiplier is set at 12 drop it down to 10 or 9. Next you will start to SLOWLY increase your FSB. If the FSB is set at 200MHz kick it up to 205Mhz.
Save and Exit the BIOS.

Now comes the "fun" part.

Let Windows Load: Now you want to do some Stress Testing on the CPU to make sure the Overclock is going to be stable.
You will want to get a hold of a few programs like Prime95, Sisoft Sandra, 3D Mark or Future Mark. Even Folding@Home (CPU Version) will all be a great stress testers.

Let any of these programs run for 30mins to an hour. Keep an eye on your Temperature using CPU-Z. If the computer Crashes/Freezes during the tests then your Overclock is not Stable and you need to lower the FSB.

If you get through your round of testing, reboot go back into the BIOS and keep bumping up the FSB and testing until the PC becomes unstable. Once you find your MAX Stable FSB setting. Go back into the BIOS and set the FSB back to Stock (ours was 200MHz).

Now you will do the same thing all over again but this time we will increase the CPU Multiplier. Since stock was 12, start at 12.5 or 13 (if you don't have .5 increments).
Then you do the same testing until you find your MAX CPU Multiplier.
Now that you got your two butter zone numbers. You can play with the two numbers at the same time until you find something Stable.


(Note: Having a higher FSB rather than a higher Multiplier will gain you far better results in performance).
(Note:Note: Your ability to OC your FSB is going to be based on how good of memory (RAM) you have installed in your machine).


So Your Overclocking and your computer wont POST (Boot-up):

Dang.. this happens to everyone. During the OCing process you will hit a wall more than once. Your going to need to clear your CMOS in order to get the PC to reboot again.
Normally your PC is going to know when you had a faulty overclock and if you just let the PC sit shut down for a few mins, It will fix itself.

One 2008 Award BIOS is able to reset the settings to default in the event of a PC crash, but on other crashes the PC will just run in a loop of restart...error...beep. The latter example is a time where the BIOS will need to be reset.


Other times you may need to pull the plug from the outlet. Pull the CMOS Battery then press the power button on your computer to discharge the capacitors.
Replace the CMOS Battery, plug the PC back in and it should boot up.
(If this does not work, consult your Motherboard Manual on how to clear the CMOS)

Another method to reset the bios is with the clear CMOS pins, and this MOD can help in that situation.



Locked CPU Overclocking:

So you are one of the million people who does not have an Unlocked CPU Multiplier?
Your job is still the same except you only have the FSB to work with.

In the BIOS you will increase your FSB SLOWLY from 200MHz to 205Mhz and then Save and Exit the BIOS.
Let the PC boot into Windows and then let the testing begin! (Refer to Unlocked Multiplier Overclocking)


Voltages:

You may or may not have the ability to change the voltage running to your CPU and Memory.
Increasing the Voltage can help you get a Stable Overclock. Increasing the Voltage also has a few downsides. When you increase the Voltage you will increase the heat generated by the Hardware. You also can lower the life of the hardware.

Memory Timings:

This is how fast data moves in and out of your RAM.
The Lower the Memory Timing the less Latency you will have, meaning the quicker your data can travel in and out of the RAM.
When Overclocking your FSB you can sometimes get an Overclock Stable by increasing the Latency on your RAM/Memory Timings Table.

(UPDATED 11-11-11)

 sigimage.php?un=Psywar&t=12772
ASUS M5A97 R2.0 Motherboard
AMD FX 8350 (4.0GHz 16MB Cache 8-Core)
XFX R7970 Black Edition Video Card
Mushkin Enhanched 16GB RAM
PC Power and Cooling 610w PSU


#3 Psywar

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 09:10 AM


Video Card Overclocking:
So you want to pull a few more frames per second out your video card? Well here is how to start. First your going to want to find out what type of video card you have, ATI or Nividia. You can find this out by opening up your PC and looking at the side of your card or my going into the device manager and finding it there. Also you can type in run "sysconfig"

How to Start
Overclocking your video card is a little different then overclocking your CPU. After you know what type of card you have you are going to want to use the correct software. For Nvidia cards you can use ATITool or N-tune (could post links, unsure thou) and for ATI cards you can use ATITool or Catalyst Control Center or CCC for short.


Adjusting Clock Speeds in your Video Card:
Depending on which program you use you will be able to adjust the core and memory speeds of your video card. By adjusting these speeds you can increase the speed at which your cards runs. Remember your card will run hotter, so you want to make sure your case has decent cooling as well as your video card. And just like a CPU you want to only do one at a time and raise the speed in small increments. Also some programs allow to to adjust your fan speed. Most of the time it is best to keep it on auto.

How to Test if your Overclock is Stable:
Just like overclocking a CPU you can run stress tests to see if you overclock is stable. You can use 3D Mark or Future Mark or just play a game. If it is unstable just lower the clocks and try again. And that's about it!


 sigimage.php?un=Psywar&t=12772
ASUS M5A97 R2.0 Motherboard
AMD FX 8350 (4.0GHz 16MB Cache 8-Core)
XFX R7970 Black Edition Video Card
Mushkin Enhanched 16GB RAM
PC Power and Cooling 610w PSU


#4 RiftRunner

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 02:11 AM

A nice guide so far, i did get a slight improvement in my overclock by using it, But a quick question. I have been using Passmark's BurninTest v7.0 pro and PerformanceTest 7.0, are those two test as reliable as the others ? , and wich is better to use OCCT or Prime95 ?

#5 Psywar

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 11:06 AM

A nice guide so far, i did get a slight improvement in my overclock by using it, But a quick question. I have been using Passmark's BurninTest v7.0 pro and PerformanceTest 7.0, are those two test as reliable as the others ? , and wich is better to use OCCT or Prime95 ?


I think any of the programs should be fine.
I personally use Prime95 and Memtest for DOS. I have found those to be two of the better stress testers for my personal tastes.

 sigimage.php?un=Psywar&t=12772
ASUS M5A97 R2.0 Motherboard
AMD FX 8350 (4.0GHz 16MB Cache 8-Core)
XFX R7970 Black Edition Video Card
Mushkin Enhanched 16GB RAM
PC Power and Cooling 610w PSU


#6 medbor

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 12:16 PM

to my knowledge atitool has not been updated since 2006...

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GPU - MSI Radeon HD4830 512MB @ 295-700MHz |#| GPU2 - GeForce 7500LE 128MB
Cooler - Hyper 212+ (push/pull) |#| SSD - Vertex 2 60GB |#| MoBo - Gigabyte GA-965P-DS4
SATA HDDs - HD154UI 1.5TB, 15EARS 1.5TB, 20EARS 2.0TB, HD501LJ 0.5TB, WD 160GB
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Screens - Samsung 226BW (Main), HP w19b (Right), Acer V233H (Portrait), SwedX 40" (TV)


#7 Black64

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 12:43 PM

to my knowledge atitool has not been updated since 2006...


Yes, but it still works great.

Current System

[CPU]Intel Xeon W3670 (i7-970) @3.20Ghz---[CPU Cooling]Thermalright Silver Arrow---[MOBO]ASUS Rampage Gene III---[RAM]G-Skill Rip Jaws (24GB)(6x4GB)---[GPU]ASUS GTX 780 OC---[PSU]KingWin Lazar LZ-1000---[CASE]Bitfenix Colossus Venom Edition---[HDDs]WD Dives(6.5TB total storage) and Samsung 250GB SSD(boot)---[Monitors] 1X NEC 24" LCD2490WUXi ISP Panel and 1X Seiki 39" 4K monitor

 

PC 2.0 Audio System (Speakers) Triad InRoom Mini's --- (DAC) Schiit Modi --- (AMP) Topping Class T TP40 

 

5.0 Room Theater System (Speakers) Monitor Audio Silver 2's --- (Center) Monitor Audio RX Center --- (Sub) N/A --- (Receiver) Anthem 510 --- (Power Conditioning) UltraPower PGX-500

 


#8 boinker

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 11:33 AM

Can you add Msi afterburn, evga precision and gpu-z to the list of video card and monitoring software and add a section for gpu stability testers. Occt gpu core and memory test furmark and msi kombustor. If you need I can post links. And I'm not sure if you want to post up some benchmarks that can be used as testers but if needed ill make a list and links. Also can you really use atitool to adjust nvidia cards??

Also to the gpu section can we get an explaination for testing gpu overclocks. Something to the regard of when overclocking a gpu the best way to test the cards overclock is watching the stability test, playing the game, or watching for an increase or decrease in performance. What you want to look for is artifacting and blocking while test or if the oclverclock has deceased the cards performance. If you have artifacting then it could be due to unstable settings, card overheat or lack of voltage to the gpu core.

"It works Because I threatened it. :lol:" - " did you show it the sledgehammer" - "No, A flight of stairs"
"I don't want to be much of a forum Nazi but this situation calls for a hail Bosco and blitzkrieg someone".

If that does not work I hop in a Madcat and Blast it to microscopic Particles.


#9 Psywar

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 05:18 AM

Sorry Boinker. I have been busy lol! Go ahead an add it in. You should be able to edit the post :P

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ASUS M5A97 R2.0 Motherboard
AMD FX 8350 (4.0GHz 16MB Cache 8-Core)
XFX R7970 Black Edition Video Card
Mushkin Enhanched 16GB RAM
PC Power and Cooling 610w PSU


#10 Nivram

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 02:50 PM

i have a GA-MA770-UD3 motherboard and rather than my spending a lot of time doing different overclocking steps, is there anyplace I can find a tested set of BIOS settings.

#11 Black64

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 05:47 PM

i have a GA-MA770-UD3 motherboard and rather than my spending a lot of time doing different overclocking steps, is there anyplace I can find a tested set of BIOS settings.


Probably not, so many factors to consider it would take forever. You have to consider factors like ram, mobo, cpu type, cooling and air temps.

Current System

[CPU]Intel Xeon W3670 (i7-970) @3.20Ghz---[CPU Cooling]Thermalright Silver Arrow---[MOBO]ASUS Rampage Gene III---[RAM]G-Skill Rip Jaws (24GB)(6x4GB)---[GPU]ASUS GTX 780 OC---[PSU]KingWin Lazar LZ-1000---[CASE]Bitfenix Colossus Venom Edition---[HDDs]WD Dives(6.5TB total storage) and Samsung 250GB SSD(boot)---[Monitors] 1X NEC 24" LCD2490WUXi ISP Panel and 1X Seiki 39" 4K monitor

 

PC 2.0 Audio System (Speakers) Triad InRoom Mini's --- (DAC) Schiit Modi --- (AMP) Topping Class T TP40 

 

5.0 Room Theater System (Speakers) Monitor Audio Silver 2's --- (Center) Monitor Audio RX Center --- (Sub) N/A --- (Receiver) Anthem 510 --- (Power Conditioning) UltraPower PGX-500

 


#12 SpikeSoprano

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 07:30 PM

i have a GA-MA770-UD3 motherboard and rather than my spending a lot of time doing different overclocking steps, is there anyplace I can find a tested set of BIOS settings.



Yes ,unfortunately the only way to get a the best oc on a particular system is trial and error. It would be hard to find someone with your same mb, cpu, and ram that happened to post the best settings for an oc. And even the exact same hardware would oc different then your's would due to different cpu binning.

CPU>I7 2600K  -MB>GIGABYTE  Z68X-UD3H-B3-MEM>KINGSTON 1600 MHZ-HYPER 212 EVO

VIDEO>ZOTAC GTX 660 2 GB-SSD>VERTEX 3 120 GB-HD>WD 500+WD 250 GB-G500 MOUSE

CASE>ROSEWILL CHALLENGER W/4 120MM FANS-PSU> 650 WATT-MONITOR>24 INCH BENQ