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Looking for advice to overclock AMD 3200+ on K8N Neo4-F board


Calio
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Hey all,

 

I am totally new to overclocking or working with the inside of a computer in everyway. I watched my friend put this computer together for me (he recommended what parts I buy, etc.) about 2 years ago. The only thing I did was to pop in the RAM

 

Ok so 3 basic questions I have then I will list my specs:

 

1) Is it worth it for me to overclock? I am super tight on cash and just want to buy some new RAM and get this thing faster for about 12-18 months till I can afford a new computer.

 

2) I am considering buying 2 gb of Kingston ValueRAM 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) System Memory Model KVR400X64C3AK2/2G - Retail for $65 bucks (thats my budget unfortunately). So is it a good idea?

 

3) Any advice on some basics of how I can begin to overclock on this board?

 

Specs follow:

 

Name: AMD Athlon 64 3200+

Code Name: Venice

Brand ID: 4

Package: Socket 939

Technology: 90nm

Core Voltage: @1.4 V

Family, Model, Ext. Family: F

Ext. Model: 2F

Stepping: 2

Revision: DH-E6

Instructions: MMX(+), 3DNow! (+), SSE, SSE2, SSE3, x86-64

Core Speed 2010.4 MHz

Multiplier: x10.0

Bus Speed: 201.0 MHz

HT Link: 1005.1 MHz

L1 Data 64 KBytes 2-way

L1 Inst. 64 KBytes 2-way

Level 2: 512 KBytes 16-way

 

Caches

Size: 64 KBytes

Descriptor: 2-way set associative, 64-byte line size

L1 Cache Size: 64 KBytes

L1 Cash Descriptor: 2-way set associative, 64-byte line size

L2 Cache Size: 512 KBytes

L2 Cash Descriptor: 16 way set associative, 64-byte line size

 

Motherboard

Manufacturer: MICRO-STAR INTERNATIONAL CO., LTD

Model: MS-7125 version 3.0

Chipset: NVIDIA nForce4 Rev: A3

Southbridge: NVIDIA nForce4 MCP

LPCIO: W83627EHF

Brand: Phoenix Technologies, LTD

Version 6.00 PG

 

Graphic Interface

Version: PCI-Express

Link Width: x16

Max Supported: x16

(my card)

NVIDIA GeForce 9400 GT with 65nm technology

Core: 550 MHz

Size: 10254 MBytes

Shaders 1350 MHz

Memory: 400 MHz

Type: DDR2

Bus Width 128 bits

 

Memory (2x512 MBytes Kingmax Semiconductor slices or w/e you call em)

Type: DDR

Channels: Single

Size: 1024 MBytes

DRAM Frequency: 167.5 MHz

FSB DRAM is CPU/12

CAS#: 2.5 clocks

RAS# to CAS# Delay (tRCD): 3 clocks

RAS# Precharge (tRP) 3 clocks

Cycle Time (tRAS): 7 clocks

Bank Cycle Time (tRC): 10 clocks

Command Rate (CR): 2T

DRAM Idle Timer: 16 clocks

Max Bandwidth: PC3200 (200 MHz)

 

My current RAM timing tables:

Frequency of JEDEC 1: 133MHz

CAS# Latency of JEDEC 1: 2.0

RAS# to CAS# of JEDEC 1: 3

RAS# Precharge of JEDEC 1: 3

tRAS of JEDEC 1: 6

Voltage for JEDEC 1: 2.5V

Frequency of JEDEC 2: 200 MHz

CAS# Latency of JEDEC 2: 2.5

RAS# to CAS# of JEDEC 2: 4

RAS# Precharge of JEDEC 2: 4

tRAS of JEDEC 2: 8

Voltage of JEDEC 2: 2.5V

 

I hope that is all the information necessary. It took me a long time to type it all out. Too bad this CPUZ program doesn't have an easy copy/paste text file.

 

Please let me know if there is anything else I need to provide that can help out.

 

Thank you so much to anyone out there willing to take time to help me out.

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Welcome to overclockersclub.com

 

1: Only thing I would caution you about is that you can and eventually, but probly not for a while, will break or push a component too hard. to prevent that. make sure you read the guide. Also you can read on the net about your motherboard and

 

2: It might make a bit of a difference. but that is dependant on what operating system you are running, taking xp for example yes that is a good amount. Also I would check you manufactures website and see how much and what type of ram it supports. normaly I get the max MAH (i.e. 1066 over 800mhz memory) and the tightest timings I can find on the sticks (i.e. the 2-2-2-10 ect). or you can get a stick of the same you have and add one if your board has another slot. it will all depend on how much money you want to spend.

 

3: Well to start I would say that you probly can overclock it. Check out Varrens guide to overclocking For a good crash course in overclocking. :D other then that I would g oon the manufactures web site and see what the bios settings are and what they do. Varrens guide will clear up most if not all your questions about what the settings do and how to overclock in general.

Edited by boinker

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First and foremost, read this thread. Most of your questions will be answered. It's geared toward DFI motherboards, however, it contains all of the same concepts on any A64 system (except that you might not be able to play with subtimings / drive strengths, etc)

 

Wow, those are really loose timings...but, I doubt Kingston value memory will be any better. Just plan on dropping the memory divider. 2GB will help. If I had my second set of DIMMs RMAd again...I could cut you a deal (sorry...the ones that came back from the original RMA didn't pass memtest :glare: )

 

Mine are 2-3-2-5 @ DDR 400 + 2.7V

 

Core voltage is a little high for stock. Is that the default?

 

 

Basically...

 

  1. Watch your CPU temps (coretemp), especially under load.
  2. Decrease your HTT:FSB ratio (this is usually called LDT)
  3. Drop your memory divider
  4. Up your FSB (5 MHz at a time, etc)
  5. Run OCCT for 30 minutes - 1 hr
  6. If stable, up your FSB, if not, nudge your CPU voltage up (I'd stop around 1.5V, but opt for less, if I could.)
  7. Rinse, repeat.

 

Some people have had success at dropping the CPU multiplier and running up the FSB (HTT), however, your processor is already pretty low. It probably won't help...

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just be careful with that board....if I remember (because I had that board) it gets weird around 240 HT if it doesnt like the ram...the BIOS post page will be distorted...if it does clear the CMOS and live with somethinga little less...

 

its a good setup to learn on...but for a single core you really wont gain much..it wont make the internet load faster or anything...lol

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Thank you boinker, Crazy_Nate, and dr_bowtie (btw I understand this won't make my internet any faster but thanks for the laugh).

 

I've been reading up on some articles and trying to give myself some base knowledge before I attempt this.

 

boinker: Yea I'm running XP Home Edition. Right now I have 2x512 MBytes Kingmax Semiconductor. I was thinking of purchasing the RAM I mentioned above which will amount to a total of 4 slices of RAM. That is exactly how many slots my motherboard has. But I may try this overclocking stuff first and see whether or not I feel like purchasing anything.

 

Crazy_Nate: Not sure what you mean by "loose timings" but I do remember my friend hurridly throwing the pieces together for me. I remember the day we set this rig up (about 2 years ago) that we were both in a major rush.

Secondly, I'm not sure why my core voltage is a little high. I think the extra fan that I purchased for this thing the day I set it up stopped working....actually now that I think about it, I can't remember if this thing every spun before.

 

Btw, I don't know if fans have anything to do with the voltage readings....did I at least get that one right?

 

Thanks, again.

 

More suggestions please!

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The core voltage won't be affected by fans or temperatures, however, the temperatures will be affected by fans and voltages (confused yet?) :P

 

The loose timings basically means that per every fixed number of clock cycles, the memory does 'less stuff' than memory with tighter timings at that same speed. What 'stuff' it is depends on the specific timing. You'll often hear of things like CAS latency or tRCD, etc. It may be a little difficult to relate directly to computer performance, but it can give you a better handle of what chips are in the DIMMs, or of their general quality.

 

Running 4 mismatched DIMMs (size, timings, voltages) can make your overclocking a royal pain. However, you may have a minor amount of luck if you find timings and voltages that are compatible for both sets. This usually means looser timings, unfortunately.

 

So, yeah, try to keep that HT link under 1000MHz (dropping the LDT from 5 to 4 should be enough to go up to 250MHz - but, as dr_bowtie has mentioned, you might not get that far)

 

Are you using the stock heatsink? What kind of case / airflow situation do you have?

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boinker: Yea I'm running XP Home Edition. Right now I have 2x512 MBytes Kingmax Semiconductor. I was thinking of purchasing the RAM I mentioned above which will amount to a total of 4 slices of RAM. That is exactly how many slots my motherboard has. But I may try this overclocking stuff first and see whether or not I feel like purchasing anything.

 

Calio: As Crazy_nate stated earlier That a bad idea to go for mixed memory. Plus XP Home 32 bit (thats what I assume you have) will only support 3Gigabytes. so you may want to get just three sticks of one or Like I said I would run 2 gigs of memory. 1 gig per stick. I went looking for the memory I would use and the only problem with that is none of the memory I found on newegg was cheap at all or i'd use if I were to upgrade a 2 year old rig. :(

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Calio: As Crazy_nate stated earlier That a bad idea to go for mixed memory. Plus XP Home 32 bit (thats what I assume you have) will only support 3Gigabytes. so you may want to get just three sticks of one or Like I said I would run 2 gigs of memory. 1 gig per stick. I went looking for the memory I would use and the only problem with that is none of the memory I found on newegg was cheap at all or i'd use if I were to upgrade a 2 year old rig. :(

 

Darn! Judging from your response and Crazy_nate's, and someone else who is helping me from another board....it seems as though I might be in a bad situation? Apparently, no real "overclock" worthy RAM is available and cheap for me. Additionally, it seems that the consensus is I may only get around a 300MHz addition at the point I am now.

 

Oh well, I will continue to do some research and I will keep your suggestions in mind, Crazy_nate and boinker.

 

Thank you both.

 

Edit: I think I will go ahead with this anyways...just for fun :)

Edited by Calio

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The core voltage won't be affected by fans or temperatures, however, the temperatures will be affected by fans and voltages (confused yet?) :P

 

The loose timings basically means that per every fixed number of clock cycles, the memory does 'less stuff' than memory with tighter timings at that same speed. What 'stuff' it is depends on the specific timing. You'll often hear of things like CAS latency or tRCD, etc. It may be a little difficult to relate directly to computer performance, but it can give you a better handle of what chips are in the DIMMs, or of their general quality.

 

Running 4 mismatched DIMMs (size, timings, voltages) can make your overclocking a royal pain. However, you may have a minor amount of luck if you find timings and voltages that are compatible for both sets. This usually means looser timings, unfortunately.

 

So, yeah, try to keep that HT link under 1000MHz (dropping the LDT from 5 to 4 should be enough to go up to 250MHz - but, as dr_bowtie has mentioned, you might not get that far)

 

Are you using the stock heatsink? What kind of case / airflow situation do you have?

 

1)I am using the stock heatsink.

2) I searched for almost an hour for my case online. I can't seem to find anything on the case that identifies it besides the serial number (this does me no good). Anyways, here is a link to a case that is "similar". The left side, which is the side of the case in this picture, is basically exactly what mine looks like http://www.newegg.com/Product/ImageGallery...0Power%20Supply

 

The difference is that the squared vents in the picture are actually circular on my case. There are no other vented areas on my case besides the back directly below the power supply's fan. There is a large circular vented area here (maybe I can take advantage of this?) Now, the top left vent is located directly across from my Processor where the stock heatsink pushes air from. Additionally, the circular vent below it has a second fan that I purchased (it does work). The fan is UV Translucent, named "ULTRA", DC 12V, Ball Bearing, light blue.

 

3) Here is a description of the power supply inside my case:

VPower

Model No: LC-8400BTX

400W Switching Power Supply

V2.2 +12V For Pentium4 (that made me laugh a little).

Edited by Calio

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For your memory you may want to look at using 2x1048 running in dual channel, if you use 3 sticks your memory will have to run in single channel which will reduce performance of your memory, I would suggest looking seriously at Mushkin's DDR 500 redline if your going to upgrade your memory and get a dual channel kit, it's good to go to 250 mhz on your FSB with a 1:2 memory multiplier before you even begin to OC your memory, and will make OC'ing a much easier situation. It's a little overkill for your stock system, but if your going to spend the money to upgrade your mem, and DDR being outdated, you might as well go for gusto.

Here's a few hints I found from OC'ing my old K8N Neo2 Platinum:

Don't use Sata channels 1&2, the frequency locks on them are flakey, or don't work at all, when you increase your fsb. move any SATA devices to ch. 3 & 4.

You'll get a better OC by using just two sticks of memory rather than 4, (use 2x1048 or 2x2048 rather than 4x512 or 4x1048).

Make sure your power supply is up to the job, It's not the total wattage, but the amps on your 12v. rail(s) that's important. You may want to read over these threads:

 

Recommended PowerSupply List

 

Power Supply FAQ's

 

Be sure to disable Cool n Quiet & Spread Spectrum.

Enable the Frequency locks for your PCI bus by setting it to 101mhz.

This along with the advice given by Crazy_Nate & Boinker, should get you well started.

 

My old system still goin' strong:

K8N Neo2 Platinum Bios ver. 1.3 |Athlon 4000 (San Diego) 2750 mhz (250 x 11)

Xigmatek HDT S1283 | 2x1024 Mushkin Redline DDR 500 | (3-3-2-8, 1T, dual ch.)

Saphire Radeon 3650 512mb on AGP | WD Raptor 74 gig Sata on ch. 3

OCZ Power Stream 470 (+3.3-28a, +5-34a, +12-33a) | Win 7 RC (32 bit)

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Thank you, Scottike. I will read over those links and make some careful considerations.

 

I really appreciate the input from everybody who posted. You all have greatly helped me along the way in learning and preparing for my first Overclocking experience.

 

I think I will begin to delve into this sometime next week.

 

Any more suggestions/comments/advice is welcome and appreciated.

 

:thumbs-up:

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bad Idea as well using 4 sticks...stick to 2 sticks and use the slots closest to teh CPU...or whatever slots it recommends for dual channel...

 

run the bus speed up until it either wont post or the psot screen is scrambled...then test it with OCCT...if it passes then move on to Orthos...

 

once it fails either add more vcore to see if that helps or drop the ram on a divider...then go somemore...thats overclocking that board in a nutshell...

 

best thing to do is see how far the ram will go with Memtest...hten substract 10 mhz on the bus speed and then you know when you get close to the bus speed you'll need to drop the ram on a divider...

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