Overclocking an Athlon 64 3200+ Venice 2.0GHz

By i_am_a_newbie ยท 24 replies
Aug 10, 2006
  1. I've just started playing F.E.A.R, and my oh my is it amazing.

    Anywho, I have to have CPU settings to very low or the game will be very choppy for me(I have gpu settings on the highest and it works just fine until I try to boost the CPU setting).

    Anywho, I'd like to overclock this CPU a little just so I can run it at least a step higher without experiencing the choppy play.

    I have a Zalman HS/F and my CPU runs around 30-33C at idle, and 41 is the highest I've seen it go under load.

    Motherboard is ASUS A8N32-SLI Premium.

    I'm pretty new at this overclocking thing, and I would like some advice before I proceed to fry my parts:knock:

    PS Replacing the CPU with a better one won't be a problem if the worst happens and I mess up, however, I have to learn some time don't I? I understand the risks involved, and am seeking advice to minimize said risk.

    Thank you.

    *title edited*
  2. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    If you don't increase your voltage, you won't end up with anything blowing up. Might lose all data on your HDD in the worst case. (CPU only, unlocking graphic card pipelines are a different story)

    Remember to lock PCI/AGP/SRC.

    Also, you didn't mention anything about your RAM, more RAM may help, assuming you didn't have enough to start with. when overclocking CPU, you'd most probably overclock the RAM as well, but as mentioned, no permanent hardware damage unless voltage is increased. RAM usually can take a higher voltage tho, so might want to increase 0.1V if its not stable.

    I'd suggest holding off any voltage changes for now, until you get a better idea of what you're doing.
  3. i_am_a_newbie

    i_am_a_newbie TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 170

    I'd prefer not to overclock my RAM actually. As the timings and stuff seems a lot more complicated than bus speeds etc.

    Anywyas, back to my questions.

    First of all, what should be the first thing I try to 'modify', the multiplier? the bus speed? I've seen some tutorials but they're overwhelmingly vague and hard to follow.

    Thanks again.
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    I don't ever recommend OCing. You'd be far better off upgrading the CPU.
  5. i_am_a_newbie

    i_am_a_newbie TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 170

    If it isn't necessary I'd of course like to avoid it. If I were to upgrade my CPU, this old one would be completely useless to me, so I'd like to see what I can get out of it before upgrading.

    The resale value isn't much either, as 939 processors are being phased out, as well as the AMD price cuts on higher-end processors.
  6. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Well, unless you change your CPU:RAM ratio, chances are you'll be overclocking your RAM together with your CPU. Overclocking RAM does not mean changing timings, although knowing that helps. Overclocking RAM can mean just increasing the frequency its working with (200mhz is the base for PC3200 RAM). Don't really need to change the timings unless your RAM gets unstable, and even then it just means you should increase timings, adn thats where it can get complicated.
  7. blue_dragon

    blue_dragon TS Rookie Posts: 190

    heres my 2 cents

    you get your cpu speed by multiplying the front side bus times the multiplier
    in your case
    200mhtz X 10=2.0ghtz

    well most people overclock by increasing the front side bus which is synchronious to the ram

    if the ram becomes unstable you will be forced to either increase voltage (risky and not recommended)
    set a ratio such as your cpu running at 220mhtz and your ram @ 200mhtz which is a 11:10 ratio
    or simply by relaxing the timings
    i wouldnt overclok more than 30 %
  8. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    SELL the old one and make a little. Yeah, you might not get much, but OCing and wrecking all your components is worse.
  9. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Like I said, if you don't touch voltages, you should be fine 99% of the time. Heck, I've stupidly OCed my 2.4 Northwood at the start from 200mhz fsb to the max the m/b will allow me.

    Didn't boot up at all of course, but didn't blow anything up neither. All it needed was a CMOS reset. Gave me a fright.

    Like blue-dragon said, just up that fsb.
  10. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    Tedster, not to be rude but do you have overclockphobia? Because I have never damaged anything including the old Pentium 2 450 mhz i had running at 980mhz for 3 years. AND i also did the stupid thing of OC'ing my 2.26 P4 from 133 to 250 and it didnt fry...
  11. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    I've seen my fair share of complaints from people who destroy their PCs from overclocking, and just about all of them:
    a: didn't have a clue what they were doing, or the risks of it. Or;
    b: didn't take care of the extra heat produced from overclocking. Or;
    c: upped the voltage till "something went wrong". Or;
    d: all of the above.

    Most of the time its a combination of (a) and (c). But (b) is closely linked to (c) since temp goes up alot faster (and higher) if voltages go up (because of extra power).

    Besides, any electrical engineer will be able to tell you that increasing voltages is not good for any electronic equipment. Parts which are supposed to run at 1.5V finding themselves running at 1.6V will burn out pretty fast. How voltmodders get away with that is quite complex, but the basic principle is that chips are usually rated lower than they have been produced for (example, high end DDR1 RAM, lower clock Prescotts and Northwood, not sure about the newer processors).

    At the end, make sure you don't fall into category (a) if you're gonna do something stupid. Skydiving is stupid, but people don't do it without knowing how to first.
  12. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 478

    Set the HTT to 240, HTT multiplier to 4x, Vcore to 1.45(or 1.5 if necessary), and RAM speed to 166MHz/DDR-333. This will give 3800+ speed and the RAM will still be at DDR-400. I know 1.45 is a "safe" voltage for Winchester or Venice, 1.6 is pushing it a little.

    If your RAM is good you may be able to push the HTT to 250. Then you may also lower the RAM speed with to 133/DDR-266 and go higher. Try finding the fastest it will run with the amount of voltage you feel secure with using. Watch the temps running prime95, if they stay under 50c you are in great shape but a little over is not a big problem.

    You will find better help at a site that does not frown on people squeezing performance out of their rigs,
    Nobody like tedster there.:grinthumb
  13. i_am_a_newbie

    i_am_a_newbie TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 170

    Yeah, I read up a little and I did that pretty m uch exactly(someone guided me through it too). However, it runs stable without me touching the voltage(which I'm probably not going to touch).


    On second glance; I actually upped the FSB frequency... for some reason I can't find any settings for an HTT multiplier nor an HTT frequency(ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe mainboard)
  14. i_am_a_newbie

    i_am_a_newbie TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 170

    Okay update:

    FSB(HTT I guess) 240MHz
    Multiplier 10.0x
    Voltage 1.456(set to 1.44 but it won't stay)
    HTT Multiplier (turns out it was something called K8 to NB frequency) 4X
    HTT Frequency 960MHz

    Runs stable, idle/load temps haven't changed.

    Thanks for the help Mirob, CMH. And thanks for the warnings Tedster.


    So at these settings it runs like a 3800+?
  15. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    nope, no phobia, I've overclocked myself.... but I have also ruined components as well.... (and I am a VERY experienced computer user going all the way back to the 1970s.)

    I just don't recommend it period unless you can afford to replace components and most people here are newbies or don't have the techical experience or financial means.
  16. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 478

    Glad to see you have done so well! 1.45 volts is really safe, I prefer 1.55. A general guide line is 10% more is acceptable (about 1.55 with a Venice) but some cores can use higher with out damage. As I understand usually a Venice core will slowly become unstable when "dieing" and just reverting to slower settings will keep it going. The same with Northwoods. Others like Prescotts will keep going or die. Killing CPUs is not a often occurrence .

    Here is a screenie of my 3200+ on my ASRock DualSATAII with a 1.55v,

    It was only pi stable. It takes 1.6 to run my 3200+ at 2.8 stable. My Biostar TForce6100-939 can give that much voltage but I had to mod my ASRock to just get 1.55.

    I have found overclocking adictive.:hotbounce
  17. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 766

    Highly agreed with mirob. When you do it once you woun't stop :)
  18. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    I did it, and I kinda "stopped".

    You'd have to define stopped. I OCed my comp to a safe level, and I stopped there. And kept using it at that level. Still running as far as I'm concerned, and its a pretty significant clock too.
  19. King Cotic

    King Cotic TS Rookie

    thanx all the members of techspot for their advice and contribution towards my network problems.i appreciate them alot.but any one a friend of mine who have just completed university with his masters in computer science have help me out.the problem was that my wan lan card was sending packets but not receiving.the solutions was that he help me to delete all the internet settings;blue tooth.now am receiving and sending and can now browse on my laptop with my bluetooth phone internet.thanx and i appreciate you people alot.great been a member also.God bless you all.
  20. i_am_a_newbie

    i_am_a_newbie TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 170

    Another question, hopefully someone else has had experience with this board.

    There doesn't seem to be a PCI Bus lock anywhere in theBIOS.

    I know not locking that bus can potentitally corrupt HDD data, so I'm trying to figure out what's going on.

    board is ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe

    thanks in advance
  21. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    hi newbie,

    I have never used that mobo, but it uses an nForce4-SLI chipset so i would find it very hard to believe that it doesn't have a PCI lock. it is probably not labeled "PCI locK"...

    the setting may already be locked by default (with an option to manually type in a different value if desired) or it may be termed something like "sync/async" in the FSB/HTT setting.

    hope that helps :)
  22. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    Oh... I thought you might have had a comp blow up on you of something :p lol jk. Well i know what you mean. Just the other day, my friend's Dad tried to overclock his P4 2.4 to 3.2... he increased the voltage too much and... well I think he's not gonna wanna try something like that again for awhile.
  23. i_am_a_newbie

    i_am_a_newbie TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 170

    Ahh didn't help. There's nothing like that!

    Only things I can see that might relate are "PCI-E Frequency" which is set to 100 by default(and I left it there) and "PCI Latency" which I left at default of 64.

    http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=468038 Has pictures of all the settings in the BIOS (discluding PCI/PnP Setup). Mind taking a look and seeing if anything migh be what I need? Thanks in advance.
  24. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    the PCI-E frequency setting should set the speed for the PCI/PCI-E bus. so it is locked by default, just leave it at 100MHz and your CPU/FSB overclocks shouldn't affect the PCI bus.

  25. i_am_a_newbie

    i_am_a_newbie TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 170

    Ahh. Thank you very much.

    Now I can re-do my OC's.

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