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Thread: Before I begin...




  1. #1

    Default Before I begin...

    I'm trying to digest some of the faq's and intros I've seen out there. If I get an Athlon XP 2400+ Mobile chip and aim to get (In small, re-tested and re-evaluated cautious chunks, of course) the "3200+" performance (2.2 Ghz @ 400 FSB if I'm reading that right) on a board rated to 400Mhz FSB with DDR 3200 RAM, have I more or less limited myself to CPU overclocking on my first outing? The budget aspect is a strong draw, but not wanting to spend money for a fried mess, I'm hoping that springing for a Mobo and RAM built for my target will limit my risk.
    Speaking of risk, how much of the "stress" on the components (especially the CPU) one gets warned about comes from amping up the voltage, and how much can I avoid with proper cooling? How much risk do I put the internal HD at under what scenarios? (IDE, if it matters)
    Speaking of cooling, if a quality fan (Thermaltake, et al) is rated to Athlon 3400+ and I've got a chip OC'ed to 3200+ characteristics does that tell me I'm in the ballpark, or should I disregard that number entirely? Even with a good thermal grease?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Before I begin...

    There are so many choices and factors in overclocking that it is really impossible to give an indication as to how successful you will be in your own endeavor. But as far as risk is concerned, simply monitor your processor temperatures and keep them as far south of 45-50C as possible and your risk will be very minimal. A decent case and a good CPU cooler will generally do this easily.

    As far as equipment goes, make sure to get yourself a good nForce2 based motherboard. These are by far the best in terms of Athlon XP overclocking and the dual channel memory gives you even more an edge. You will make your own choices, but I have a mobile 2500+ sitting in a DFI LANParty motherboard and it runs constantly at 200MHz FSB with no problems at all. It will go higher, but since this is a second machine I really don't have a lot of use for anything more than the 200MHz speed so I leave it there.

    As for HSF products, I have done a lot of reviews here at TweakTown on AMD coolers, so find something that suits your needs and go from there. Thermaltake does make a good cooler, but don't consider yourself limited to this brand if you like something else.

    Good luck, and feel free to ask questions during your overclocking if you think we can help out.
    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Before I begin...

    The Thermaltake Tornado 12 would be an example of a good heat sink.

    For a motherboard, the Abit NF7-S rev. 2 is pretty much the best OCer out there (with the aid of a simple, safe mod in the case of Mobile Athlon XPs 2600 and below), but any good nForce 2 board such as the one Darth has should do pretty well. The NF7-S also has some really great features, the nVidia Soundstorm being a particularly nice one.

    For RAM, any PC3200 will do for 200MHz FSB, but some nice PC3500 would be better if you want to actually get past the 200MHz FSB, which you'll be able to.

    I wouldn't worry about the heat of much besides the CPU itself. At extremely high levels (that I doubt you'll reach), you can destroy the processor. Generally the other components (HDD, for example) shouldn't be damaged, unless you have them very, very close to CPU (which would have to done intentionally, even in a microATX case).

  4. #4

    Default Re: Before I begin...

    Something that's really got me scratching my head is why that CPU is only marketed at one FSB speed. If I use an OC-friendly board (and I don't think I can ignore the prevailing opinions on the NF7-V2) just what options are available to me in the BIOS when I buy a chip that's "supposed" to run at 133Mhz? If I can just trade a higher FSB for a lower multiplier and viola! I've got a chip at the "same speed" why would they even put that limit on the chip in the first place? And as for what options you do and don't have through the BIOS when you're using a Mobile, I can't seem to find a straight answer. Is it really all that "unlocked" (in the fun, upwards directions) or should it be considered a "locked-in" "post-Duron" chip?
    Last edited by 8bitgeekling; 12-21-2004 at 11:46 AM. Reason: typo

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Before I begin...

    Quote Originally Posted by 8bitgeekling
    I've got a chip at the "same speed" why would they even put that limit on the chip in the first place?
    To sell the more expensive models. Besides, these things aren't meant for desktops. They're meant to produce very little heat for laptop use. On top of that, they will still require voltage increases that will greatly reduce the CPU life (it'll last longer than you'd want it, though, so don't worry). And never mind the cooling problems people would have if they sent out overclocked processors...

    Quote Originally Posted by 8bitgeekling
    And as for what options you do and don't have through the BIOS when you're using a Mobile, I can't seem to find a straight answer. Is it really all that "unlocked" (in the fun, upwards directions) or should it be considered a "locked-in" "post-Duron" chip?
    All Mobile Athlon XPs are fully unlocked. Athlon 64s and newer Pentium 4s (and some of their server equivelents) are the only processors that restrict multiplier changes to reduction.

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