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Help Overclocking a 2.4 GHz P4 800MHz FSB Using Abit AI7 Mobo!

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B.S.O.D

Registered
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Location
Connecticut
Hello,

New to overclocking, so I am looking for a fellow Abit AI7 owner to help. Here is the system info.

P4 2.4 GHZ
800 MHz FSB
512MB Dual Channel 400 MHz DDR
128MB DDR ATI Radeon
120GB WD SATA HD
Brand X Case w/ 400W PSU
All stock cooling

Not sure where to begin. Cany aynone out there in mod-land advise as to where to start. I understand that cooling is important, so is it best to upgrade cooling methods before attempting to OC? Can I OC with stock cooking at minimal settings? Links, tips and criticism is welcome. It has been a while since I built the machine, is there an easy way to identify the processor specs. It appears that code names are important, but I can't say that I am up to speed.

B.S.O.D.
 

mtb856

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
Location
Helping young Meatballs grow...
Welcome to the forums :)

For verifying what cpu you have, use CPU-Z

Look at the revision, it should be something like B0, C1, D0, or E0.... that will help in guessing how far you'll probably be able to overclock.

First things first:

- You can overclock on stock cooling depending on how high your temps are with the stock cooler.... if you have decent temps at stock speeds, then you should be able to overclock quite a bit if you leave the vcore at stock, the moment you raise your vcore your temps will start to climb rapidly.

- With the 2.4C's, having fast memory is a big bonus....... Most good 2.4C's will top out around a 300FSB, so if you want to run 1:1 or even 5:4, you need some fairly fast memory at those speeds. My memory runs at 220 something (5:4 ratio) when I'm at a 285FSB, so DDR400 wouldn't cut it even at a 5:4 ratio so you might have to run a 3:2 ratio to get your memory to work at those speeds (this is assuming your memory doesn't overclock at all). What memory do you have? (full name please)

- If you have a generic PSU, then you may find that you need to buy a better PSU in order to overclock past a certain point...... poor PSU's are a risk to the entire computer, so I'd recommend buying an aftermarket PSU from a major brand as soon as possible (I'd place it at the top of the list of things to buy). Fortron, OCZ, Antec, Zippy, and PC Power and Cooling are all good brands.... OCZ's or Fortron are the best for your money (consider getting around a 500W PSU).

Here's some good PSU's from these companies:

Fortron Blue Storm (dual +12V rails)
OCZ 420W Powerstream (don't think it's worse b/c it's 420W, it's one of the nicest PSU's out there for the price.)
Antec True Control 550W (there's two 550's that Antec makes, you would want this one b/c it produces almost double the power to the +12V rail)

That's about all I can think of right now, so feel free to ask some more questions...... and again welcome to the forum :)
 

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
The 2.4C is a classic overclocker. Download a free program called CPU-Z to find out more info about your CPU. It will probably be a D1 stepping revision. As long as your load CPU temp is below 50 degrees, you should be able to achieve a modest O/C even with stock cooling. If you have adequate case ventilation, then 3 gig (250 FSB) should be easily within reach, hopefully with default vcore or at most one bump in voltage. You will probably have to use the 5:4 memory ratio. The better your cooling, the more you can O/C. Here is a link to an Abit BIOS guide that should help.

http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=258345
 
OP
B

B.S.O.D

Registered
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Location
Connecticut
Great info! Thanks for the help, much appreciated.

My case is pretty crappy, so I might be in the market for a new case. If so, are there any cases that you know of that bundle a recommended PSU, or is it best to go case without PSU and buy the PSU separate.

As for my existing PSU, I will check the label and report back.

As for the RAM, it has been quite some time, but I believe it was house-brand from mwave.com (low budget when I built this thing). Is there a util that I can run to source the manufacturer and specs to provide better info?

As for temps, I have been reading that different apps sare more accurate for temp reading than others. Is there an app or util that you recommend that I can pulse temps to provide more accurate info? Currently running the Abit provided uGuru utility, but havent been payin much attention to temps as I have never had to worry.

I will also report the CPU label and applicable info once I get a chance to check. Beatin the kebyoard on my laptop for now until I can get back in front of my desktop!!!
 

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
Personally, I think the Abit EQ is as good as any of the other monitoring programs. Look at the second link in my signature to see how I modded a cheap case for better air flow. Your PSU is ok for a modest O/C like I mentioned in my earlier post. MTB's post is more for advanced overclocking. Let's learn to walk first before we try running. If you get addicted like the rest of us, you'll be looking at new RAM and new power supply and huge honkin' heatsinks... but for now, O/C what ya got to get a little experience under your belt.
 

mtb856

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
Location
Helping young Meatballs grow...
Yeah, like batboy said...... my recommendations are more if you're planning on doing serious overclocking. If you want to just get your feet wet, then you should be able to get a modest overclock on all stock components, including the PSU. I had my 1.8A up to 3 gigs on all stock components and a really bad 320W PSU, so you'd be surprised at what you can pull off with the stuff you've got.

The Abit Eq works for me, I personally use Motherboard Monitor 5 b/c it displays the temps in the quick launch bar so you don't have to click the EQ symbol to see the temps, but that's just a personal preference.

Good luck :)
 
OP
B

B.S.O.D

Registered
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Mar 4, 2005
Location
Connecticut
Ok....

Here is what I dug up. The CPU is a 2.4GHz Northwood with Family F, Model 2, Stepping 9. The multiplier is 12 and the FSB is 204MHZ. The RAM is single channel 400, 1:1, with clocks of 2.5, 3, 3, 8. I downloaded and installed motherboard monitor and my CPU temp is at 39 (C). Where do I start....???
 
Last edited:
OP
B

B.S.O.D

Registered
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Mar 4, 2005
Location
Connecticut
Hello Again,

I read the Abit bios post and changed the RAM ratio to 5:4. The Abit EQ software provides an OC Guru UI which allows you to OC on the fly. I adjusted from 204MHZ to 224MHZ for a modest boost. Temp is up to about 40-41 without load and when I ran SiSoftware's Sandra software to burn test the CPU I saw the temp climb as high as 56. Is this acceptable, or am I pushing the envelope? What is a high temp that I should be concerned with? Batboy mentioned that 250 FSB should be within reach, but anything over 234 renders the system unstable. Should I bump the vcore up, or are there any other tweaks to stabalize the system at a higher FSB? What causes the system instability and how do you neutralize this?

B.S.O.D
 

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
Load temp is a little high. More vcore might help, but you need better cooling before you should raise voltage. Make sure the last two game accelerator settings are disabled.
 
OP
B

B.S.O.D

Registered
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Location
Connecticut
Well...I loaded the fail safe defaults in the BIOS. The system was stable and running fine last night when I went to bed. Woke up and she was shutdown. :temper:

I powered it up and got that lovely abulence sound. could not for the life of me get rid of it. Checked the bios temps and everything seemed OK, however if I check the LED readout on the board, I see the temp (at least that is what I think it is) climbing all the way up to 91....what's going on.

Ram is back to 1:1, back down to stock speed and I still couldnt get rid of it. Finally I shut it down, pulled the CMOS battery and AC power and let it sit for a while. Now my no-load temp is up to 47....why? CPU fan RPMs are around 2800 or so and NB fan is at 5600-5800 or so. All seems well, but why is my temp 8 degrees hotter now ...seems very odd. Where to start, is the secret in a better CPU fan and heat sink as well as a couple more case fans? Am I missing something?
 

{PMS}fishy

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2001
I think you would be best off with somehting like an XP-90.

Im running the same MB and CPU as you. Running the stock cooler off a 3.0C as its a tad better than the one that comes with the 2.4C. My water cooling is down at the moment.

I just finished modding my AI7 for more VDimm, and Im actaully just getting it back up and running tonight.

First thing I did, was fire it up, and set the BIOS up the way I like. I disable everything that I know Im not going to use, like sound, firewire, serial, and parrell ports. I like to keep it as baisc as possible. I then set the RAM timmings, NB strap, divider, and voltage. Cranked her up to 250 FSB, as I know it can do 300, and fired her up.

Keep an eye on the temps, keep it under 50c load, keep an eye on your voltages as well. Both for the RAM, CPU, and 12/5/3.3v rails. I like to run my computer though about an hour of test 5 in memtest86 before I even do anything else. Once I know that the RAM/MB?NB can pass the selected speeds and timmings, Ill typically fire up Prime95 for about 3-6h and see how that goes. If all is well, I take it up say 5mhz at a time, you can probally jump quite a bit more with a 2.4C when you get going. I have yet to see one run box stock bellow 3.0ghz. From there, just keep increasing the speed and retesting. There is nothing worse than an unstable machine that crashes in the middle of somehting imporatant.

Two shameless plugs.

1. Click the WW4 Folding link in my sig.

2. There is a LAN at my house at the end of this month. Last weekend. Starts mid day Sat, untill we are sick of playing on Sunday. PM/AIM/MSN me for details, its open to any and all OCforums memebers. Just looking to get a good amount of people, so its more fun. We are up to 8 deffinatly at this point, and possibly 12+
 
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B

B.S.O.D

Registered
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Mar 4, 2005
Location
Connecticut
Fishy,

Thanks for the tips...I guess the hardest part for me right now is understanding the numbers and knowing what is going to work and where. Would the numbers you use also work for me if I was to upgrade to the suggested cooler, or my numbers dependent on my RAM being different make, model, speed? If I was to provide RAM specifics, would you be able to steer me in the right direction for my setup with respect to NB strap, divider, and voltage?

It looks like for me heat is an issue! If I upgrade to a better cooler, should I be able to set RAM ratio to 5:4 and push to 250 and then test? If the 2.4C is such a prime OC candidate and is easily OC-able to 3, why am I so unstable at anything above 220? Does this go back to heat and my slow RAM? I apologize for my newbie lack of knoweldge, but I guess we all start somewhere.
 

Mr.Guvernment

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
I just finished modding my AI7 for more VDimm, and Im actaully just getting it back up and running tonight.

more vdimm! this board does 3.2..lol u must have some hungry ram - wonder what i can put my OCZ pc4000 rev 2 gold at :) - i got my 3.2 pressy to post @ 4ghz with a 1:1 on the ram but it froze about 1 min into [email protected] :(
 

{PMS}fishy

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2001
B.S.O.D said:
Fishy,

Thanks for the tips...I guess the hardest part for me right now is understanding the numbers and knowing what is going to work and where. Would the numbers you use also work for me if I was to upgrade to the suggested cooler, or my numbers dependent on my RAM being different make, model, speed? If I was to provide RAM specifics, would you be able to steer me in the right direction for my setup with respect to NB strap, divider, and voltage?

It looks like for me heat is an issue! If I upgrade to a better cooler, should I be able to set RAM ratio to 5:4 and push to 250 and then test? If the 2.4C is such a prime OC candidate and is easily OC-able to 3, why am I so unstable at anything above 220? Does this go back to heat and my slow RAM? I apologize for my newbie lack of knoweldge, but I guess we all start somewhere.

I run NB strap 800, 1:1, 250 FSB. 46c Load on stock 3.0c cooling.

You should be able to run 400 NB strap (if you ram stinks), auto, 250. That will give you 3ghz, and keep your RAM at 200mhz. Id push it up slowly and see how it goes. Im running TCCD, so my RAM with loose timmings is good up to 280ish. Not sure what you have or how high it can go.
 

{PMS}fishy

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2001
Mr.Guvernment said:
more vdimm! this board does 3.2..lol u must have some hungry ram - wonder what i can put my OCZ pc4000 rev 2 gold at :) - i got my 3.2 pressy to post @ 4ghz with a 1:1 on the ram but it froze about 1 min into [email protected] :(

3.2v is childs play. Im modded to give well over 3.7v

If you are intreasted, find R153 just bellow the first DIMM slot. Solder a wire to the side of the resistor closest to the NB, and then either a 10ohm if you want 3.3v=vDIMM or a 100ohm if you want +.3v on your vDIMM to ground.

I opted for the 10ohm, but used a fan header so I can disable the mod for my TCCD.

UTT is on the way, and so is 280 1:1 Ill see how close I can get to 300. Thats the goal. Ill take 280 2-2-2-5 though. Sure beats 3-4-4-8
 

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
Get a Zalman 7000 series CPU cooler or Thermalright XP-90 with a nice 92mm fan. If you want to see what I did to improve case ventilation in a cheap case, look at the second link in my signature.