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Critique my recent overclocking efforts

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New Member
Jul 11, 2004
Ann Arbor, Mi
The key parts of my system:
Soyo KT400 dragon ultra platinum
AMD Athlon XP 3000+ (aka barton) with fsb 300MHz
512 DDR400 RAM by Mushkin
Radeon 9700 Pro by ATI

By the way, I now realize that it would have been better to get the 400 fsb version of the processor. I realize this because I can't come even close to a multiplier/fsb combo where the fsb is at 200 (and thus i can't get up to 2*200=400 on the fsb). I started out by playing around with multiplier and fsb for combos that yielded the fastest CPU times. The highest fsb frequencies I got that actually let me boot into windows was at 181-183 MHz range (this is with any and all multipliers). I took those and had to back off to 175MHz with a multiplier of 13 to get a stable system (as determined by the Prime95 torture test). I suspect that if this board let me use a PCI divider of "/6" I might have been able to get more (max is "/5").

After acheiving stability with the cpu overclock, I moved onto the memory. I read the nice FAQ/howto thing on the memory forum. I set my memory to 2-2-2-6.

Next, I moved onto tweaking the video card. I downloaded PowerStrip and overclocked the video card a bit so that it was stably running games without artifacts. I also set some AGP things in the bios like "fast write" and "fast read".

Forgot to mention that I started off with everything stock. No overclocking and stock heatsink. I had to replace the stock heatsink because even without overclocking the processor would overheat to about 55 celsius. Replaced it with a thermaltake 900A and one of those monsterous tornado fans. Got the coolermaster fan controller to quiet the beast; very cool-looking by the way.

So anyway, here are some benchmark scores using PCMark04 (trial only, too cheap to buy):
Stock everything: 3243
After overclocking CPU (175MHz*13): 3344
After tweaking memory: 3540
After tweaking video card: 3516

Don't know why the score went down after tweaking the video card. Probably nothing to worry about though. I was very interested at the high gains I got after tweaking memory. All-in-all that's about a 9% overall system increase in performance.

Do you think maybe I could do better than 2-2-2-6 with the memory? Also, after tweaking the memory, is it possible to go back and overclock the CPU more? Does making the memory faster allow you to overclock the CPU better or worse? I read that tweaking memory makes it harder to overclock the CPU but I'm not sure...

I've had this system for a year now, and I just got around to overclocking; it was my first time. In hindsight, I would have either gotten a 400MHz processor or DDR333 RAM... maybe also have gone with a better board; I really have a hunch that it's the PCI divider that was holding me back.

Anyway, feel free to comment, give advice, or anything. I can also post pictures of my bios if anyone wants. Peace.


Jun 30, 2004
Gulf Breeze
Pretty good system, you could oc it alot more if you purchased a DFI ultra infinity or a nf7-s, of course that is depending on the cooling