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First time overclocker getting prepared - AthlonXP 2800+ w/A7N8X mobo

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bradleyland

Registered
Joined
May 20, 2004
Hey guys. I'm just about ready to dive in. My memory should be here today, and my Aero7 CPU fan some time early next week. I've read the basic guides on this site, and have done some searching for the Athlon 2800, but it doesn't appear to be a very popular CPU for overclocking :(

First, I want to get opinions on how good this setup is for overclocking and what I can expect.

A7N8X deluxe motherboard
Corsair XMS PC3200 CL2, 512 MB x2 totally 1GB
AthlonXP 2800+ purchased a few days ago (not sure if it's locked)
Aero7 fan

Can anyone give me a recommendation for a starting point? Right now the system is running with the AMD OEM fan at the standard 166 MHz FSB and standard voltage. Temps stay pretty cool. I'm using Asus probe to keep an eye on temperature. I ran BurnK7 and the processor never went over 54 C IIRC. Do you think I can push this processor all the way to a 200 MHz FSB?

I'm a total n00b, so I plan on taking things slowly, but I'm pretty excited about the overclocking possibilites. Thanks for any help, I'm going to do some reference benchmarks tonight so I can see what kind of improvements I get :) Let me also say that I know results vary greatly. There's certainly a luck factor form what I've read, so I'm going into this with the that understanding.

PS - the fan hasn't shipped yet, so I can still cancel it if there's something bad/wrong with that fan.
 

Docta_Z

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2002
Location
Canada
Yeah 200 fsb should be possible... don't expect to pull too much further past 200 though with an asus board.

Put it up to about 180 - and then test it prime95 and then slowly move it up in 5mhz increments from there - put some loose ram timings on that ram - although it is fast... try something like 3-3-3-11 and slowly raise memory voltage if you get memory errors (get memtest86 to test memory at higher speeds)...

It'll take a little time but it should be possible.

I don't have any experience with that fan. I do although have experience with some of the Thermalright products like the SLK-900 and have found them to be absolutely awsome.
 
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bradleyland

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May 20, 2004
Thanks Docta. The RAM is PC3200, so it should be able to handle the 200 MHz FSB at the default settings, no? I just noticed you have the same RAM I ordered :)

Thanks for the recommendations on the utilities.

Also, should I lower the clock multiplier as I move the FSB speed up, or does it have to stay put?
 
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bradleyland

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May 20, 2004
I'm upgrading my girlfriend's computer with the parts I replaced from my computer. I have the old 1900+ CPU, 512 MB of Corsair XMS memory, and a GeForce MX 440 video card. I'm using her old HD and CD-R.

Now, in order to use this stuff, I'm going to have to order her a motherboard... do you think I should spend the $65-$70 on an Abit NF7-S for my computer and just give her my A7N8X?
 

wuzzapiman

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2002
Give her your A7N8X and get yourself an NF7-S rev2. Do not loosen your memory timings, you should be fine at 2-2-2-11 @ 200 FSB.
 

Docta_Z

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2002
Location
Canada
Yeah I used to use the A7N8x-Deluxe -> switched over to the Nf7-S and I've been able to get much higher results out of a similar system (I have to update my sig soon).

I like this ram. I'm able to get some pretty tight timings out of it. Yes this ram as well as most PC3200 should have zero problems at 200 mhz fsb and above.

Also if your goal is to simply hit 200 mhz fsb - do not move your cpu clock multi. But if you are getting adventurous and want to see how high you can get your fsb (shooting past ~210) you'll want to lower your cpu multi to something like 9, and then find the max fsb and THEN re-raise your cpu multi to the cpu's limit.
 
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bradleyland

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May 20, 2004
Using BurnK7, what's the maximum temperature my CPU should operate at on a steady basis? I'm hitting 47 C after about 10 minutes of BurnK7 run time with the case open and a small floor fan blowing into the case to circulate air. Without the fan, it hits 51 C. I'm hoping the new cooler will resolve this. This is at 180 MHz FSB and 12.5 multiplier.

Any advise on whether I should push harder?
 
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bradleyland

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May 20, 2004
Well, I did some more digging and I'd like to keep the CPU under 50 C during burn in. The question becomes whether or not my ASUS board is accurately reporting the CPU temperature. I read elswhere that the A7V reports up to 10 C too high!!! Is the same true for the A7N8X? I'm using ASUS Probe to check my CPU temp right now. I plan on downloading MBM5 tonight to see if the results are different.

By repositioning the fan last night I was able to get 190 MHz out of the FSB without dropping the multiplier and staying with the default core voltage. When I push it to 200 MHz, the system won't boot at all. Should I try bumping the core voltage? Also, what kind of temperature increases result for higher core voltage? More or less than bumping the FSB?
 

The Coolest

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
You should remember that your chip is locked at x12.5 and that means that to get upto 200MHz FSB your cpu will have to be able to run at 2.5GHz, which is pretty unlikely thing to happen, maybe with a lot of voltage. I too think that the NF7 is a better board but unless you need the extra vcore it can provide, the ASUS will be more than enough to squeze everything your CPU can give you.
 

Docta_Z

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2002
Location
Canada
General rule:

I wouldn't exceed 50 degrees cel at load, but some people prefer 55 degrees at load.

Either way, that's a pretty good indication of temps you want.

Summer is always harder because of hotter ambient temps.
 

The Coolest

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
well he's reading the diode temps which are usually about 10C higher than the socket temps, so 60c diode roughly equals 50c socket. That's why I said 64c was still somehow acceptable, while 70C was pretty hot.
 
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bradleyland

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May 20, 2004
The Coolest said:
You should remember that your chip is locked at x12.5 and that means that to get upto 200MHz FSB your cpu will have to be able to run at 2.5GHz, which is pretty unlikely thing to happen, maybe with a lot of voltage. I too think that the NF7 is a better board but unless you need the extra vcore it can provide, the ASUS will be more than enough to squeze everything your CPU can give you.
I think the A7N8X has the ability to override the clock multiplier (like the wire mod), because I've run at a number of different multipliers and CPU-Z always reported the correct core speed. Either that or I got an older unlocked Barton... did they make tham unlocked at any point?

I got 190 MHz out of the FSB at 12.5 last night with 1.650v core voltage, which is the default. I'm hoping I'll be lucky and get 2.5 GHz out of this chip. I figure what the hell, it's only $75 to replace it if it dies in a month or two, I'll run it at 1.8v if I have to. Just gotta get some better cooling going on. IN any case, I'll be happy to have 190 @ 12.5.

I reordered the Aero 7 copper today. I had cancelled the last one because I thought I ordered the aluminum one by mistake. That would have sucked.
 

The Coolest

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
so you're saying that when you changed the multiplier say to 10 you would boot at 1660Mhz? if so, then you probably lucked out and got an older chip that is still unlocked, which is a rarety lately.
You should always run prime95 for 24hours to determine a stable overclock. To test only the CPU use small FFTs in the torture test settings.
I'm having hard time believing, although its possible, that it was stable at 2.38ghz at stock vcore.
Run Prime95 and see if its stable or not. Good luck
 

DaWiper

Image Compare Man
Joined
Nov 15, 2003
Location
Norway
I hate to be a party pooper but the Aero 7+ is not a good "oc-cooler". Don't get me wrong, it's a good cooler(have it myself) but when the voltage raises you get past 50 dgr. in no time. I'm currently at stock speed and have 46 degr semi-idle(playing mp3's) at 25 degr ambient temp. If your mobo can take it go for a bigger cooler.
 
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bradleyland

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May 20, 2004
Can you give me a recommendation on a good OC cooler. I can use the Aero in my girlfriend's computer if it's no good for mine.

I've got it booting at 2.5 GHz with just 1.7v. That's only 0.05v up from stock voltage... is that rare? I'm sure once I start running the prime test, it will go to hell :)
 

Timmybighands

Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2003
I've got it booting at 2.5 GHz with just 1.7v. That's only 0.05v up from stock voltage... is that rare?
Ummmm, yes. As you began in your first post, the 2800 is not a "popular" overclocker... but it'll hold it's own just fine. I have not seen a processor outside of the 2500 that will just bump up to 200fsb with no voltage increase, nor have I seen one that - even with only multiplier bumps - will run @ 2.5ghz STABILY with little or no voltage increases. I am willing to bet that you are right on when you say that running prime will send it "to hell" right now.

As has already been suggested, prime it after every adjustment to you OC to be sure that it is indeed stabile. If it fails, bump the voltage up and prime again, repeating the process until it becomes stabile (and yet still staying under the 55c load max). Without being exactly right, I am willing to say that your processor will probly run out AROUND 200fsb, but not with a multiplier of 12.5. I think it would be more reasonable to expect 200*11, and that would be a fine OC for that processor you have, or for that matter, ANY AMD processor.

Once you get it running nice around that 200*11, try bumping the fsb again mhz by mhz until your equipment just gives out, then back it down a bit... let us know what happens. MOST IMPORTANTLY, use SOME KIND of program - beit prime95 or 3dmark looped several times - to make sure that your overclock is stabile. If you dont, then your OC is nothing more than "hey, it'll idle at 210*12.5!" and who really cares about that?
 
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bradleyland

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May 20, 2004
Awesome. This board is great :)

I'm downloading prime right now and I'll post my results.
 
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bradleyland

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May 20, 2004
Ran for just over an hour stable at 47 C! I've got an appoinment 45 minutes away, so I don't want to leave it running alone just yet, but it's looking promising... I think :)
 
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bradleyland

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May 20, 2004
Got my cooler in this morning, and added two [more] case fans (total of six not including PSU fans). Running Prime95 since 10ish this morning with zero errors at 200 FSB, 12.5 multi, 1.70v... 49 C. SiSoft arithmetic test before starting prime resulted in over 10k MIPS :)

I've got to go out for a bit, we'll see if everything is in one piece when i get back...