Yesterday we were able to overclock our AMD Athlon 64 4200+ AM2 processor to 3.0GHz with air cooling, but we wanted more. After going back to the test system and mounting the Corsair Nautilus 500 water cooler (Review Here) up we aimed at pumping more volts to the processor with the hopes of getting a faster clock frequency on the Windsor core. If you missed out on yesterday’s air overclocking article I suggest going back and taking a look at it here.
Yesterday we topped out at 3002MHz when we air cooled our processor using the Zalman CNPS 9500 AM2 cooling solution. Not wanting to be limited by air cooling we went up to the next level and made the move to water cooling. Since water cooling will cool the processor better than our air cooling attempts we are looking forward to getting even better overclocking results.
After taking off the Zalman CNPS 9500 AM2 heatsink and applying a new coat of Arctic Silver thermal compound to the processor we applied the water block and bolted it down. On air cooling running the Hyper Transport at 274MHz would result in a massive blue screen of death (BSOD) while windows was trying to load and was found to be the stopping point for or air cooled system. With the aid of water cooling we were able to load windows just fine at 274MHz and beyond!
When the dust finally settled we ended up with our test system topping out at 280MHz in the BIOS, which resulted in our test system running at 3071MHz. With the additional cooling help from the Nautilus 500 we were able to increase the voltage to 1.6V on the core and increase the overall frequency of our processor by 70MHz!
Here is the CPU-Z shot of our processor and the Super Pi 1M test results that we got for this frequency. Looking at that screen shot I’m not too impressed, so let’s look at some before and after numbers.
The AMD A64 X2 4200+ AM2 processor took 38.781 seconds to complete the 1 Million place test. After overclocking we managed to shave 10.906 seconds off the time! This represents a 28% performance gain thanks to overclocking our processor. At 3071MHz our processor is overclocked an amazing 40%, but as you can see that doesn’t mean performance will go up 40% across the board. While we are talking about performance let’s run some more benchmarks!