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Overclocking Basics and Temperature Guide

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Joined: 03 Apr 2006
Posts: 6
Location: Bend - Oregon

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:54 pm    Post subject: Overclocking Basics and Temperature Guide Reply with quote

Basic guide to overclocking

To overclock you must have adequate cooling.

Getting higher performance, also very free performance, out of your current CPU can be done by overclocking - overclocking is dangerous and should only be attempted in small incremental steps/stages.

Overclocking voids hardware warranty, can damage hardware or can make a system unstable.

First you look at your temperature, for most modern CPU's if your temperature is around 30 - 40 degrees when idle it will increase to 37 - 46 under a heavier load. I personally wouldn't overclock if my CPU doesn't fit within these boundaries, my XP2500+ has a temperature that is too high and thus I don't overclock.

Overclocking will reduce the lifespan of your hardware, but seeing as though hardware lifespan is something as rediculous as 1,000,000 hours, whats the harm in taking a few thousand from that? Laughing


Down to it.

Overclocking can be done in 2 main ways.
Firstly raising the FSB speed by a few MHz and letting the multiplier do its job.

Example, say you have a AMD Athlon XP3200+ (2.2GHz) with a FSB speed of originally 200MHz (in BIOS) and a multiplier at 11, giving a total GHz of 2.2, 11 x 200MHz = 2200MHz (2.2GHz) .

Increasing this FSB speed to 205MHz BIOS will give you:

205MHz x multiplier of 11 = 2255MHz (2.26GHz)

Simple see! A problem you might encounter is that your system becomes unstable, to make the CPU stable again you should give it more power, i.e. increase the voltage, from 1.65V (default for the XP3200+) to 1.675V or maybe 1.7V.

Increasing the voltage substantially increases the temperature depending on what cooling solution you have.

Repeat these steps until you have a satisfactory speed and temperature, and hopefully a stable system.


It is simple to correct the problem when Windows won't boot because you have overclocked too far; you can obviously step the MHz down a little bit until it does boot. The reason I say 5MHz is because some people have multipliers of 9 and others 13, i.e. giving a total overclock of 5MHz x 9 or 13= 45MHz or 65MHz - there is a substantial difference see

The bigger problem, and one I came across recently, is when BIOS won't even boot - you get the black screen of death.

It is simple to reset BIOS, so keep a note of how far you have overclocked because you might have to reset BIOS to default.

Clearing BIOS

This may vary from system to system, please refer to manual.
This is based on the Asus A7N8X-E-Deluxe motherboard

This jumper clears the Real Time Clock (RTC) RAM of date, time and system setup parameters in CMOS. The RAM data in CMOS is powered by the onboard button cell battery.

To erase the RTC RAM:
1. Turn OFF the computer and unplug the power cord.
2. Remove the battery.
3. Move the jumper caps from pins 1-2 (default) to pins 2-3, keep the cap on pins 2-3 for about 5-10 seconds, then move the cap back to pins 1-2.
4. Install battery.
5. Plug in the power cord and turn ON the computer.
6. Hold down the <Del> key during boot to enter BIOS and re-enter data, i.e. the Date and Time.

This isn't dangerous, I have done it several times and it has worked every time - very simple!.

The pins referred to in these steps is found right next to the battery, but this will probably vary from motherboard to motherboard.

Intel or AMD?


I have heard lots of responses to the question "which runs hotter, Intel or AMD?", but the truth is, it depends on the model of your CPU, the quality of cooling, or the ambient room temperature.

Intel have a lower temperature threshold so that would suggest that their CPU's run at a lower temperature, they are hardly going to have operation temperature and maximum temperature too close together, because that is just waiting for disaster.

Intel run cooler but their maximum temperature is lower, AMD run at higher temperatures but their maximum temperature is higher.


AMD fans will be devastated to hear that it is Intel which have the highest overclockability, their pipelines and architecture is a lot larger and is able to handle insane frequencies - but AMD are better for Doom 3


If you are wondering "What does this guy know about overclocking? None of his hardware is overclocked.", but it is true that I do overclock occasionally. My hardware remains in the state I bought it because the temperature varies so much in my 2 rooms that I would have to be monitoring the temperature constantly to ensure I don't damage my CPU/GPU/Memory.
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