Chipset Settings and Sample Overclock

Let’s move on to some Chipset settings…

Pedal to the Metal: Overclocking the Athlon - Processors  36
Advanced > Chipset Page (Courtesy ASUS)

I would recommend leaving all the settings on this page at their default values, however, I just want to remind you of one important setting:

Pedal to the Metal: Overclocking the Athlon - Processors  37

We’re almost done covering all the relevant settings, but before we leave, let’s take a look at the Power page…

 Pedal to the Metal: Overclocking the Athlon - Processors  38
Power Page (Courtesy ASUS)

Once you’ve committed any changes to your BIOS, you should jump to the Power page and open up the Hardware Monitor…

 Pedal to the Metal: Overclocking the Athlon - Processors  39
Power > Hardware Monitor (Courtesy ASUS)

The Hardware Monitor allows you to perform some quick diagnostics on your system. Here’s a list of things to look for:

  • VCore Voltage nearly identical to the value you set for CPU Voltage
  • 3.3V Voltage is within 3% of the expected 3.3V (between 3.2V and 3.4V)
  • 5V Voltage is within 3% of the expected 5V (between 4.85V and 5.15V)
  • 12V Voltage is within 3% of the expected 12V (between 11.65V and 12.35V)
  • CPU Temperature should not exceed 63ºC for 90nm CPUs, 72ºC for 65nm CPUs, or 78ºC for the BE-2350. If CPU Temperature is reported to be within 1ºC – 3ºC of these maximum values, power down your system and make sure you’ve properly installed your cooling device. If you are using an aircooler, make sure that the fan is powered (either plugged into the motherboard’s CPU fan header or a fan controller).
  • If your CPU cooling fan is not directly plugged into the motherboard’s CPU fan header (i.e. fan is plugged into a fan controller, directly to the power supply, or you are watercooling) then make sure to Disable the CPU Fan Speed warning

Now that we’ve had a chance to take a look at the settings available in the BIOS for CPU overclocking, let me share the details of a sample overclock to help you see how to take advantage of all the settings discussed.

Pedal to the Metal: Overclocking the Athlon - Processors  40

In this sample overclock, I’ve taken the Athlon 64 X2 4600+ to 2.7GHz by lowering the multiplier and increasing the CPU Frequency. Note that the HyperTransport bus is ~1GHz (900MHz) and the selected RAM divider (2700MHz / 5) allows the RAM to run close to its suggested 1066MHz speed (Actual RAM speed is 1080MHz).

PC WON’T POST !?

  • If you have pushed your PC too far when overclocking (i.e. it will not POST) try the following: first, power down the system. While holding down the “Insert” key on your keyboard, turn the system on. This should allow the system to POST with Fail-Safe values. Enter the BIOS and change the setting that caused the instability to a (known) working setting.
     
  • If your PC is unable to POST despite doing the “Insert” key trick, try the following: first power down your system. Look for the CMOS Reset jumper on your motherboard. Briefly remove the jumper (i.e. for 10 seconds) and then push the power button on your case (this will discharge the current running through the motherboard). Once you’ve done this, put the CMOS Reset jumper back in the same position from where you removed it on the motherboard. Your CMOS should now be clear (all BIOS settings should be back to their defaults). Power your system on, enter the BIOS and re-enter your preferred settings.
     
  • If your PC still doesn’t POST, you may need to go one step further than resetting the CMOS Reset jumper. Power down your system. Look for the CMOS battery on your motherboard (it should look like an oversized watch battery) and remove it (there should be a release lever for the CMOS battery that allows for easy removal). Leave the CMOS battery out of the system for a short while (half an hour should do the trick) and thereafter put it back into the motherboard. The CMOS should be completely cleared at this point (all BIOS settings back to their defaults). Power your system on, enter the BIOS and re-enter your preferred settings.
« PreviousNext »