Overclocking Annoyances

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Top Ten Lists — Joe

Very tough to pick winners for this one! Lots of great entries and thanks to all who sent in an entry. Two winners from each category will receive a Thermalright SLK600 or AX478. Opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not Overclockers.com. The winners are:

AMD Top Ten Overclocking Annoyances

G Reeves

10. Ninety five decibels permeating the air as two Delta 38’s whirl away while side by side affixed to an aluminum heatsink. The psychological effects of such an endurance is much akin to Chinese water torture.

9. 12 ounces of eraser rubbings collected on the table where a well worn graphite eversharp has been over the L1 traces time and time again. “Damnit, I can draw that line better than that!”

8. The feeling of complete lack of control while the tip of the screw driver slips off of the heatsink clip and nose dives into the motherboard. Sheer and utter fright floods the mind as the metal bounces across the PCB narrowly dodging micro-resistors along the way.

7. When the output wattage of heat in an overclocked 1 Ghz AXIA running at 1.5 Ghz is more than what is released by an Easy Bake Oven. Batter up?

6. Excess Arctic Silver grease somehow migrates to pants leg, motherboard manual, socks, underwear, etc. (Not necessarily in that order)

5. A CPU that runs only 5% over default speed. Evidently chips come with special educational needs and are not over achievers.

4. Motherboard manuals that are stated as rev 3.1 while the motherboard is an actual rev 4.5 and an installation CD for rev 2.1. Various loose addenda are stuck between page 1 and page 2 to make sense of it all. See appendix XXIII for details.

3. Accidentally slipping the tip of a finger into a fast rotating fan while “feeling the heat” around an installed and operational heatsink/fan. It’s almost like becoming intimately aware of your CPU’s heat output when the slamming of flesh brings you back to your senses.

2. Entering BIOS ‘Hardware Monitor’ and noticing that the CPU Temperature is reporting 95 C, whereby the lack of a spinning sound reminds you that there is no mass of metal atop the CPU slug. How fast can you shutdown your machine or more than likely how fast can a grown man cry?

1. Explaining to a lay person the thrills and triumphs of overclocking while you could just as well be discussing the nutritional constituents of Yak milk to them with the same end result.

Bonus: Entertaining this question from friends and family, “Ya, I bought one of those $700.00 name brand computers from Wal-Mart a few months ago – can you make it run faster?”

Phil Marasco

10. Explaining to the kids that the silver dollars that their grandpa
gave them would look much prettier on the bottom of your heatsink.

9. Getting arrested and trying to explain to the authorities that the
water bong is really for your computer.

8. Mortgaging the house to buy the $20,000 dollar metal shop equipment because you “know that you could make a better heatsink than that expensive $30 alpha”.

7. Making up excuses in order to buy that cool infrared temperature
sensor “But dear, I can check your temperature from across the room!
What do you mean that I don’t love you?”

6. Forgetting that the fan guards on 10,000 rpm fans aren’t just for
show.

5. Finding alternative transportation to work after you realize that the radiator on your Honda Accord is much more efficient than the one that
came with your water cooling kit.

4. Finding that you really can solder your fingers together when a
voltage mod goes awry.

3. Paying for the laser eye surgery because you believe that you can do
the “pencil trick” much more easily if you could actually see the L1
bridges.

2. Being ostracized by your significant other because you can’t hear
their requests to come to dinner over the Cessna turbo prop heatsink fan
“experiment” in the basement.

1. Having to explain that the pet fish “really are better as an entree”
after the aquarium water cooling incident.

Unfortunately 3 out of 10 are true…..

P4 Top Ten Overclocking Annoyances

Dan Pardue

10. RAM – looking for stability @ high speed memory

9. PCI dividers

8. Locked multiplier

7. You need a high quality/priced mobo to O/C properly 🙂

6. Crashes – crashes always occur, but if you O/C you always wonder if that’s what causes it 🙁

5. Constantly monitoring the temp sensor, fearing the heat (summer is coming)

4. Low quality PSU

3. Heatsink mounting system (yes, I broke a plastic holder on one mobo, never broke any socket 370/A)

2. RDRAM

1. NOISEEEEEE NOISEEEE NOISEEEE All the damn noise

Peter Pillmore

10. Reinstalling Windoze for the umpteenth time cause the latest attempt to hit the big number hosed the OS!

9. Not really using your computer for what it was made for cause you’re all the time modifying it.

8. Spending more to get the best RAM possible so you can get that last Mhz of overclock, only to read on some site that Joe Blzyfyk got to 200 Mhz with cheap noname stuff.

7. Finding a place for all those Fedex boxes till recycling day!

6. Explaining to the neighbors that you don’t have a PC manufacturing business just because the Fedex man knows you by your first name!

5. Always lusting for the latest gizmo that promises more than it delivers.

4. Tracking down the cause of #3.

3. Those random lockups/crashes that always happen just when you think you have it set up right!

2. Waiting for the manufacturer to release the BIOS that the freakin’ motherboard should have had to begin with!!!

1. Noise – both from the fans and those High Performance hard drives!

Honorable Mentions

Element-Xero

10. The fact that my room averages about 10 degrees hotter than the surface of the sun when my comp is on.

09. A 5 Volt rail that couldn’t power an LED.

08. The sharp smell of ozone and the billowing smoke when I push that FSB a LITTLE too far.

07. My bad vision caused by squinting at those L1s!

06. The fact that I have so many fans that I lost 4 fingers in two days.

05. “AMD Recommended” PSUs? That’s like Ferrari suggesting a Yugo motor for their newest model.

04. The loss of a good two weeks of socializing when that new chip comes in.

03. Must…not…raise….VCore…temps…too…high…!

02. I’m sorry, is that microscopic square the core or is this just some kind of sick joke?

01. PR Ratings? What are you thinking AMD? That’s a bit too Apple for my tastes.

Herschel Redd

10. Rebooting and rebooting

9. Breaking the heat sink lugs

8. Learning the ugly lessons about power supplies that come with the case

7. Hot solder dripping on foot when soldering home made water sink (tied
with skinned knuckles)

6. Sig other complaining about the noise even though the door is closed!

5. Banging head on the underside of desk as you reach for the phone

4. Dealing with the people at the auto parts store who can’t find a heater
core without knowing make and model

3. Dealing with people who just don’t understand that you really HAVE to do this

2. The KK266’s sensitivity to memory and the Nvidia low voltage on boot issue

1. Giving up and buying a new a new KK266plus and XP for less than all of
the overclocking toys you bought already

0. When the sig other realizes the amount you have spent and wants a
compensation gift

Über~PhLuBB

10: Restarting many times to find the best balance between speed and stability.

9: Trying to decide whether to buy online, or pay a lot more but get your parts TODAY.

8: Frying a CPU by inching the core voltage up just barely too high.

7: Trying to decide between two 256MB DIMM’s or a single 512MB DIMM.

6: Trying to find a way around the lack of a 1/5 divisor.

5: Getting fired from your job because you absolutely had to reach 200 FSB
before you go to bed.

4: Using a Delta 68 CFM, then dumbing it down to the equivalent of a $2 noname fan with a rheo because of noise.

3: Doing the research required to find the perfect motherboard for your
application.

2: Getting sick of memory-related BSOD’s in Win98, so you upgrade to Win XP and now your favorite game isn’t compatible.

And the # 1 reason:

Buying a stick of OCZ PC3200 because of the people who have had luck with
them, then finding out OCZ is a scam!

Jon Mercado

10 – I mortgaged my house to get that Corsair XMS2700 and my KG7R won’t boot above 138 FSB, time to bridge those L1’s.

9 – Strange looks you get at the neighborhood pharmacy when buying clear nail polish and acetone because your wife won’t let you near any of her stuff.

8 – Head scratching from the guy at your local AutoZone when you tell him what you need that rear window defogger repair kit for.

7 – Now where did I put that electron tunneling microscope?

6 – Somebody should’ve told me you need the hands of a surgeon and ice water in your veins to do these bridges.

5 – How come I can’t get those damn .5 multipliers to work?!?

4 – CRUNCH!!! Now somebody warned me those cores were fragile, didn’t they?

3 – What’s that noise? Mobo temp alarm? What do you mean SK6, I’ve been using this Golden ORB forever!

2 – You have been banished to the fold-out bed in the basement because the wife can hear that Delta over your snoring.

1 – Hmmmm, 251 more in 3DMark2001, I wonder if I got me a watercooling rig…?

AxE

10 – Cold sweat when booting for first time after installation of a new heatsink.

9 – Closing the computer when you leave the house cause your afraid of your makeshift wiring.

8 – Configuring MBM5 to work with shutdown-now! Only to be surprised it doesn’t work after 2 weeks!!

7 – Pushing down on the heatsink with a screwdriver. BYE BYE BOARD!!

6 – Finding 50% of your pets hair lying inside your case…

5 – The fear that one day you’re going to watercool, mess up and wish you never got caught in this never ending circle!!!

4 – Having to vacuum your case every month to remove dust.

3 – The Delta!!!

2 – Everyone turns to you for computer help, often wishing you just kept your mouth shut.

1 – The fear that one day you wake up to realize none of this actually matters…

Rob Cork

10) The smell of a burning Tbird.

9) KT133 boards.

8) Heatsink clips.

7) Chipping all the corners off your Duron by repeatedly removing and replacing the heatsink to redo the pencil trick.

6) Not being able to get as high MHz as the Intel-heads – try telling the girls ‘yeah, his may be twice as fast, but mine does more work per clock cycle’.

5) Finding that the antifreeze you added to the water to stop things growing in it actually attacks epoxy, and only realizing this when your reservoir falls apart

4) Not being able to find the SMD component you’ve just desoldered from your mobo as it’s the same colour as your carpet.

3) Forgetting to turn your pump on and all the water in your waterblock boiling away as a result – then seeing your LCD readout for the CPU temp give up after 99C and display “– -“.

2) Realizing you forgot to back up said data.

1) Raising the FSB from 138 to 139 and losing all the data on your two RAIDed 40 Gig hard drives due to a stripe error.

All of these come from personal experience.

Ryan Norton

10. Memory Heat spreaders – Oh. My. God. Can you say ‘Worthless’? How about “Hey everybody, I’m a fancy boy!!”

9. [Guess Who] Penis/homosexual jokes + arrogance + elitist trashtalking = the most popular overclocking site? WTF!!!!

8. Exotic liquefied gas cooling. Wow, you got 5 Ghz with liquid nitrogen? I don’t freakin care. See #5.

7. OCZ. Are you listening out there, OverclockerzStore? EAT ME.

6. Chipsets without an A¹ on the end of their name. Hey, at least it’s got SOME of the features you were promised!

5. Kids who would rather cut off their own hands than do stability testing. Folks, 10 seconds of POST does NOT mean your 300A runs at 700 Mhz- if it ain’t long-term stable, it ain’t worth anything.

4. Heatsinks that cost more than the CPU it cools. Yup, fifty dollar wad of copper on a thirty dollar Duron to overclock to the speed of a eighty dollar Athlon. Hey, wait a minute…. If you spent more $$ overclocking your CPU A to CPU B levels than it takes to just buy CPU B in the first place, hit self in head with brick. God knows I have. Repeatedly.

3. Folks who insist overclocking in any form is a 100% guarantee your system will explode without warning and burn down your house. They most likely claimed they are an ‘expert’, XYZ certified, 57 years experience fixing PCs, etc. Once confronted, they switch tactics to “Prove to me it’s actually faster, then. BTW, I don’t know what MIPS or FPS means.” Everybody’s met this guy at least once. The Idiot Expert.

2. The kid with the bleeding-edge system Mommy bought for him. He’s
overclocked it by 10 mhz: j00 will ph34r his l33t 0verclocking ski11z.

1. Spontaneous Reboots. Gotta love a system that is 99% stable, than decides to assert that 1% right before you save your midterm/beat Diablo/win bidding war for autographed PowerPuff girls poster.

Paul Alexandroff

10.Wife/Girlfriend says -“No, I can’t sleep…. the earplugs were sucked
from my ears and flew into your computer”

9. Wife/Girlfriend says -“Ooh, what a lovely blue screen you’ve got, which game is that??”

8. Wife/Girlfriend says -“Turn it off!! I can’t hear the Ricky Lake
Show!!”

7. Wife/Girlfriend says -“Do you mind if I borrow your computer to dry my
hair??”

6. Wife/Girlfriend says -“Do I smell something burning?”

5. Wife/Girlfriend says -“When are you coming to bed dear??”

4. Wife/Girlfriend says -“I cannot understand, why do you bother for a few percent??”

3. Wife/Girlfriend says -“Why don’t you spend all that time with me
instead??”

2. Wife/Girlfriend says -“Why did you make another AMD CPU keychain, don’t you have enough of them?”

1. Wife/Girlfriend says -“Why don’t you spend that kind of money on me???”

Leyton

10) Power supplies that blow air in (FOR F**K SAKE I WANT HEAT OUT)

9) Catching fingers in a fan (and bleeding on my GForce2)

8) When I spring a coolant leak (and leaking on my GForce2)

7) Misses moans you love the computer more than her (Well I do 🙂

6) Cases that don’t have removable mobo carriers

5) Cutting fingers on sharp edges (and bleeding on my GForce2)

4) Cheap ass cases that fall apart when blow-holes are cut

3) Crushed cores

2) Fan noise AKA my Delta screams louder than my misses

1) HEAT, HEAT, HEAT, HEAT, HEAT, HEAT, HEAT, HEAT, HEAT

In Humor there is Truth

As I read through the entries, it dawned on me that I was seeing a LOT of the same concerns across the board. HEAT by far is the most common issue mentioned regardless of platform. This will only get worse as CPU speeds start hitting 3 and 4 GHz.

The unfortunate corollary to HEAT is NOISE – only a hair away from HEAT in mentions. For air cooling, by far the dominant technology, the physics of cooling thumbnail size CPUs radiating 100 watts will not change. Overclockers, always on the leading edge, see it today. What happens when Joe six-pack and Joe suit need Delta 38s? I’d guess that we’re in for some major changes to CPU cooling.

Following these concerns were (not in order):

  • Power Supplies: Cheapo supplies just don’t cut it; this will only get worse as CPU power requirements increase with speed.
  • Motherboards: The lack of key features (eg. /5 /6 PCI dividers) and “immature” BIOS releases were frequent mentions.
  • Crashes: Tweaking does have its downside.
  • Heatsink Clips: More than a few mentions of screwdrivers, broken lugs and motherboard gouging.
  • Significant Others: Will they EVER really understand what this all means to us???
  • Cases: Cheap cases = cuts and frustration.

  • Marketing Hype: Buying stuff on promises that are a far stretch from reality.

Bottom Line: You’re not alone!

Congratulations to the winners and thanks again to all who sent entries in – entertaining and enlightening!

Email Joe

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