Well, I finally got Alex's new machine up and running. Thought I'd give overclocking a serious try to see how things are. Boy there are certainly some risks in it, but it is interesting to see how flexible folks have made these things.
Here's the machine today. The main gotcha is that it was incredibly unstable when I had the memory set at 200MHz and the bus at 166MHz. Once I set memory and bus to by synchronous, the problems appear to have gone away. Boy, I've never been blown to a hard reset so many times before figuring this out. There are numerous "posts":http://www.resellerratings.com/forum/t94438.html about this. Also about how it really does need high quality ram and a good fan to overclock.
* AMD Athlon 2500+. This chip costs $90 or so. Runs at 1.8GHz, 11x multiplier against a 166MHz external frequency at 1.68 volts. Got this to overclock to 2.16GHz against 196MHz at 1.68 volts so far. It is quite stable so far. I'm just itching to go to 200MHz. That would make it a true Athlon 3200+ (11x200MHz). * ASUS A7N8X-X board. This is a single channel board, so its memory bandwidth benchmarks aren't too great. OTOH, in most real world cases, this doesn't seem to matter much. Main issues are that you need to run the RAM synchronously. Also, the machine hangs if I try to set the CPU multiplier below 11x. * Kingston Valueram 1GB Kit. This is pretty slow ram. The SPD default is 3-3-3-8 at 200MHz, I'm going to try to drive it higher and see if I can't get 2.5-2-2-7, but first I'll push the clock up a little faster. * eVGA geForce 5900 SE 128MB DDR. Haven't benchmarked this guy, but it is a good value leader. I left most of the rest of the system in tact, so it really does need faster disks. Right now it has: * as the system disk an old Western Digital WD6000BB (this is a 5400 rpm 60GB, 2MB cache disk) * Plus it gots a pair of WD12000BB (7200 rpm, 2MB cache) for main storage. * These two run on a Promise FastTrak TX2 Raid card. I actually don't run them in raid mode because on my old ASUS P3V4X, I had incredible problems with bad disk writes in RAID-0. ResellerRatings - nForce2 good or bad? I've got two a7n8x deluxe motherboards, both are great. One is an ultra 400 and the other is the ultra 333. However one of the main problems i've seen is memory incompatability, it seems the motherboard is finicky when you don't have compatible ram and it so happens that there is a lot of incompatible ram. I've got two sets of ram, the kingston hyper X PC3200, running just fine and another set. I forget the brand name, but they would only work stable at 266mhz rather than 400mhz, however since it's 1gb running on dual channel, it makes up for the bandwidth. However that board has an athlon xp 1800 in the other machine, the 4200 bandwidth does pretty good. ## One Reply to “Connie's Overclocked Machine Stats” 1. Kyle says: Hah, I ran across this through a google search completely unrelated to the topic. Some advice for you: Next chip you buy, invest the few extra bucks in a Mobile chip. These come with the multiplier unlocked. If you look at the 2500+, there should be a 4 digit number like 0348 in the middle of the left side of the bottom row of numbers. This is the date code. If the last two digits (the week) are lower than 40, odds are you can change the multiplier on your processor, not just FSB. That RAM WILL most likely cut you off at about 203 MHz. Valueram just doesn’t O/C. I recommend Corsair XMS for higher-end systems, and Corsair Value Select for lower-end computers. These should overclock decently. Right now I’m running some Corsair XMS PC2700 (333MHz DDR) at 182MHZ (that’s 364MHz DDR) I’d switch the WD6000JB with one of the 7200 RPM drives, you really want your system to reside on a 7200 RPM disk. I can almost guarantee you that you will see performance gains with this. And if you’re not RAIDing them, it shouldn’t matter th not have a matched pair as storage. As far as boards go, the NF7-S by Abit is far and away the leader in the$100 range, meaning any Athlon XP board.
Feel free to IM me at yoda634 (AIM) if you have any questions, and I hope some of this helped you.