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Further overclocking an AMD Athlon X2 4200 (already mildly overclocked)

By Gothmog3vz
Jan 14, 2011
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  1. Hi guys, somewhat new to the site :)

    I'm looking to overclock my system a bit further (so I can hold off on upgrading for a while).

    Current setup
    AMD Athlon X2 4200 (2.65 ghz)
    Abit K8N mobo (Came with a Athlon 64 3400+ single-core)
    1 Gig corsair ram and 1 gig of some other ram (got this from my dad)
    have specs from CPU-Z
    All the modules are PC3200 (200 mhz)
    Graphics card is an ATi HD5670, overclocked to 845 Cor/1040 memory (According to Catalyst Control's Overdrive - this was the maximum stable setting for the card, but still a big step up from my old X1650 Ice-Q)

    At my current Overclock settings,

    The CPU is currently
    Multiplier X11
    Bus = 241.0
    HT = 1205.1
    Core voltage is 1.45

    As far as cooling goes, can't remember what the brand was (I built this computer back in 2006 or 07), but It's basically got a gigantic copper heatsink/fan, which should be pretty decent for cooling.

    Now, my goal is (if possible) to push this system up to 3.0 ghz (Like I said, if possible). I'm currently looking through a few threads/posts, and am going to try it on my own, but if anyone has any advice to offer, or has a similar system they OC'd, it'd help a bunch!
    Thanks in advance!
  2. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,895   +88

    You have you CPU right where most of the 4200's OC'ed too before needing considerable bump in voltage to go higher. again this is was the common characteristic for most of that silicon. Here is a guide to OC'ing the 4200 if you want to give it a shot at going higher.
    http://www.anandtech.com/print/1718
  3. Gothmog3vz

    Gothmog3vz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the page!

    I managed to bump it up to 2.7 (actually, I clocked up to 2.86, but it was running hot and somewhat unstable, so that was a no-no) for the timebeing, based on that page, I don't think I can go any further without swapping to liquid cooling (which is now my next purchase).
  4. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,265   +41

    I don't see the point of going for liquid chong if you don't update your system. A lot of head ache for little gain

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
  5. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,105   +18

    I'm with supershashbrada on this one, getting even a basic liquid cooling setup for CPU only will cost you about a hundred bucks. If you have a decent after market cooler, they will usually approach the performance of a cooler like the H50 or H70.

    You're reaching the end of the useful life of that generation of chips. I would suggest investing in a new AM3 motherboard, one that has options that will last you a while, new RAM, and then get one of the lower end AMD chips. Hopefully one that you'll be able to get a few cores unlocked with the right motherboard.

    Then in a bit of time, you'll be able to pick up one of the higher end quad or six core AMD chips when the prices drop and at that point you'll have a very decent system.
  6. Gothmog3vz

    Gothmog3vz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Heh, I kind of know my processor is long in the tooth (I was actually running a single-core until November when I picked up the dual-core from a box of computer parts my dad bought on CL, but I knew that the Athlon X2's aren't exactly top-line stuff anymore)

    I actually do plan to buy a new system, but I'm trying to hold off until the the AMD Bulldozers come out later this year. Might just start buying the other parts now though (New MB, cooling, power-supply). College kinda limits the budget (lol!)
  7. DokkRokken

    DokkRokken TS Rookie Posts: 275

    If you are looking long-term at a Bulldozer system, you might want to double check with Corsair or CoolIt (whoever you buy your system from) about whether they'll provide brackets for Socket AM3+.

    By the looks of MSI's Big Bang Conqueror, an AM3+ board will support AM2+/AM3 brackets, but it's always good to play it safe.
  8. Wild9

    Wild9 TS Rookie

    Hi guys :)

    I'm with the other members, in recommending a replacement rather than higher overclock or additional cooling.

    Despite their age, both your CPU and memory continue to fetch a good price on certain auction sites. Hence the profits could go towards a more cost-effective AM3 (DDR3) motherboard. AM3 CPU's fit also fit older AM2+ boards.

    A refined version of the Athlon 64 architecture, Athlon II CPU's perform better and run cooler (45nm vs your 90nm). This route also offers decent overclocking headroom (even on stock cooling), together with the chance of core and L3 cache unlocking.

    With regards to your current overclock. A further increase between 2.6 - 3.0GHz may be feasible regardless of E4/E6 stepping. The latter requires slightly less voltage. However, it is imperative you are familiar with your system components and their potential limitations in order to minimize the risk of instability, or even permanent damage..

    . Silicon limitations
    . Insufficient core voltage
    . Incorrect memory timings
    . HT Bus (CPU<>NB) instability beyond 1.2GHz (aim for around 1.1GHz)
    . Insufficient power supply capacity
    . Cooling


    My Recommended Procedure for 2.8GHz Overlock

    The following is based on the assumption you're using 2x 1GB PC 3200 RAM & a decent PSU.

    Motherboard BIOS: use latest version
    Base frequency: 254MHz x11.0 = 2.8GHz
    RAM Speed Timing: DDR333 (PC2700)*
    HT Bus (CPU<>NB): x4.0 = 1.0GHz
    vCore: 1.475v to 1.52v (E4); 1.45v to 1.50v (E6) **
    Cool n Quiet: Disabled in BIOS (if applicable) and under Windows.

    * At 2.8GHz overlock your RAM speed will have automatically increased back to PC3200 speeds: 2800/14 = 200MHz = DDR400 (PC3200).

    ** Use as little as possible. The moment she becomes unstable, increase the vCore by one increment and re-test.

    CPU-Z, ClockGen and CrystalCPUID are useful Windpows-based overlocking tools. They should work well with nVidia nForce 4 chipsets. CPU-Z will tell you what core revision you have, as well as what memory timings. Clockgen can alter base frequency. CrystalCPUID can alter CPU multipler (yours can only go downwards) as well as vCore.

    If you manage 2.8GHz, test her under load. Just note that as mentioned, you're already close to the limit without requiring more core voltage, which will in turn create more heat. You'll also need to make sure your PSU is upto the task.

    Hope this helps.


    Links (to come..I have to get 5 posts before I'm allowed to submit them)


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