Why Athlon 64 Doesn't Overclock Well…but Wait, here comes the nForce Pro 250
AnandTech: PCI Speed and Overclocking: A Closer Look at A64 and P4 Chipsets . Connie's Dad got an Athlon 64. It didn't overclock very much. Just from 2.0GHz to 2.1GHz. This article explains why.
The nVidia nForce-3 150 chipset is supposed to keep the PCI bus stable at 66MHz, but this apparently doesn't work. The main reason you can't overclock is because all those peripherals on the PCI bus don't tolerate higher bus speeds well.
"nVidia nForce3-250":http://www.anandtech.com/chipsets/showdoc.html?i=2004 comes to the rescue. This is the next chipset out and it appears to fix this and lots of other problems.
Confusingly, there will be four variants of this chipset:
1. nForce3-250 - basic value chipset for 754 socket (the current generation of Athlon 64s), 800 HyperTransport bus, does not include on-chip Gigabit LAN or on-chip Firewall.
2. nForce3-250Gb - includes Gigabit LAN and on-chip Firewall.
With the coming introduction of Socket 939, there will also be two additional versions of the chipset introduced:
3. nForce3-250Gb Ultra - 1000 Mbps HyperTransport, Gigabit LAN, Firewall, Dual-Channel unbuffered, for Athlon 64/Athlon 64 FX.
4. nForce3-250Gb Ultra PRO - for Opteron server chips
All of these include 8 SATA ports, 4-channel SATA RAID plus 4-Channel IDE RAID, and software 6-channel audio. Basically, its an awesome chipset. We should see the first boards for the current Athlon 64 in the next few weeks.
In the next few months, the updated Athlon 64s should ship and this looks like the chipset to use with it!