never overclocked...

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I don't want to fry my system, but I just threw together some older
parts and would like to try overclocking, a little. I have

Abit kd7 raid
amd athlon 2600+ 2.13Ghz
Windows XP
300w psu
768 Ram pc2100
Nvidia FX 5200 128mgb

I would just like to play BF2, HL2, Far Cry, with a little better
performance, can't really get into any newer hardware right now. I
know this mobo has the soft menu feature, but I am not sure what to
adjust and to what level would be stable/safer.

Any suggestions?

Re: never overclocked...

takoma wrote:
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Even if you're lucky, I'd bet the most you'll get is 2.5GHz out of this
setup.  Thats a boost of less than 400MHz.  Combined with your 133MHz
memory and a less-than-stellar agp card, you won't see any difference in
those games.  If you can't afford an upgrade, I would say you better
learn to live with what you've got.

Of course, overclocking will help you sqeeze every last drop of life
from an older system, so its still worth a shot.  Just don't be
disappointed if the performance boost isn't what you expected.

-Dylan C

Re: never overclocked...

no@spam.invalid (takoma) wrote:

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Forget overclocking, because it's not going to help you. Buy a new video
card instead. Even when it was new the FX5200 was a slow card for gaming.

I recently bought an AGP 6600GT to liven up an older machine (2GHz AMD)
and it performs pretty well even in recent games. Not at high
resolutions, obviously, or at maximum detail, but it was quite cheap.
Stick with 1024x768 and x2 fsaa and it's a bargain at the moment (if you
can still find one among the rash of more recent card releases).

Andrew McP

Re: never overclocked...

Honestly, I am aware that I am working with outdated junk here. Hence
an increased willingness to experiment on it. Someday, I will have
better hardware, and should before that time have developed some
overclocking knowledge not earned by frying nice gear with a beginner

The setup as it is right now plays Far Cry at 1024 with no jerk or
hang ups, and HL2 runs real good at lower res. I just wanted to start
toying with AMD overclocking if anyone could help.

Re: never overclocked...

takoma wrote:
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Outdated, sure, but not junk (see my final remarks).  Here are the
basics of what you need to know.  The specifics may vary slightly from
setup to setup, but the basics are nearly universal.

*If at any time the PC fails to boot, you'll need to reset the CMOS and
reboot with CPU defaults.

First, set a reasonable goal.  This CPU should run at 133*16 stock.  I
saw a review at that shows 150*16 (2400 MHz), so lets
shoot for that.  Probably won't get there though, as that clock speed
was attained with water cooling.

For a basic CPU overclock, you need to make sure that your memory clock
is locked at a fixed value or set as a fraction of your CPU FSB.  Since
your memory is PC2100, it could cripple your overclock potential.  For
now, set it at its slowest possible setting.

Second, you'll need to enter the CPU softmenu in your BIOS and set the
CPU parameters to 'User Define'.  The multiplier is probably locked for
your processor, so your only option is increasing your FSB.  Increase
this value from default of 133 to, say, 140.
*Note:  If your CPU multiplier is unlocked, you have alot more/better
options for overclocking, but I doubt yours is capable of this.

For this small increase, you may not need to adjust your AGP and PCI
ratios, but at some point, the increased AGP/PCI speeds will cause your
devices to behave strangely.  Therefore, you should use these ratios to
keep your AGP (66MHz) and PCI (33MHz) clocks close to or below stock values.

Now, you should be ready to reboot and test your meager 5MHz overclock.
  Download and run a program called CPU-Z.  This will give you a
detailed rundown of your various frequency speeds.  Your CPU FSB should
read 140MHz and resulting clock speed should be 2240MHz.  Also be sure
to observe your memory speed.  If its above 133MHz (or the value you
locked it at) you may have trouble.

After speeds have been verified, download and run prime95 available from  It has a special benchmarking mode that works great for
testing stability of overclocked systems.  Let it run for 15 minutes or
so, and if it reports no errors, you can go to the next step.

Go back into the BIOS and increase CPU FSB another 5MHz.  Boot into
windows and verify settings with CPU-Z and test with Prime95.  Repeat
this process until Prime95 gives errors or the computer locks up.

At this point you've got two options.  If your cooling setup allows, you
can increase the CPU voltage one step at a time.  This increase in
voltage gives your CPU a little more power do deal with your increased
clock demands.  Unfortunately, it also causes your CPU to run hotter, so
watch your temperatures very closely, especially while running Prime95.
  I would say anything over 70C is too hot.  Increasing voltages is
where overclocking starts to become "dangerous" and its always possible
that "fragile" hardware could fail at any time.  That said, the risk is
usually low if you keep your temps down.

If you opt to increase your voltage, keep increasing it until the system
stabilizes or the temps get too high.  If you get stable with acceptable
temperatures, go back and increase your FSB again.

The other option is to leave your voltage alone back your overclock off
to your last stable value.  This is what I have done with my Athlon 64
X2 3800+.  My cooling won't allow me to increase my voltage and still
keep temps low.

In either case, you will eventually want to run Prime95 overnight.  Most
people will run it for ~24 hours before they are satisfied with their
results.  Also, if your memory speeds will not stay locked, you may want
to run a DOS program called Memtest86.  THis will specifically test the
stability of your memory at increased speeds.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.  Remember, don't
expect miracles.  Even an above average overclock on this rig will
probably be unnoticeable, except in specific benchmarking applications.

As an alternative (or when you upgrade), this system is a perfect
candidate for a DIY DVR.  Slap a decent tuner in it, a cheap remote, and
you've got your own Tivo for under $70.  I use a setup very similar to
yours and it works flawlessly.  For more info, head to

-Dylan C

P.S.  Sorry if the post is a bit long, but I wanted to be thorough.

Re: never overclocked...

takoma wrote:
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Since this is an overclocking group, sure. Just don't blame me if you
smell acrid smoke.

You might be able to overclock memory, from stock 133MHz (266DDR), to
140MHz (280DDR). Without knowing the quality or brand name of the RAM,
don't push it too hard.

If your processor is unlocked, you might want to try raising the Front
Side Bus (FSB) and/or the multiplier. Changing the multiplier will only
work if the CPU is unlocked.

Lock the AGP/PCI busses to 66.6/33.3 MHz. Increase Vcore, aka CPU
voltage in .05V steps, for stability at higher than stock speeds.

Even if you can go to 2.34GHz, your video card is a bottleneck.

Re: never overclocked...

Dylan, thanks for the info. The HTPC things sounds great, and I may
just convert this system over to that, and then build a dedicated
gaming system.

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