When overclocking, the best advice is really some old advice, isolate, then consolidate. what this means is we will find the max overclock for the CPU, board, and memory individually, then consoldate them to find the best balance between each component in our system. To cut directly to the chase, here is an excellent overclocking article for an AMD 64 system, written by ThunDA at DFI Street, with each step clearly explained. Since we are using a fully water cooled system, our overclock should end up being close to the max for this processor.
First, we are simply going to overclock the 3800+ to 4800+ frequencies (2.4GHz). Using a minimum voltage increase (1.4V), setting the HTT to x4, and keeping the memory timings as tight as possible (1:1 @ 2-3-3-6), we’ll judge the 3800+ in our benchmarks against the $1100 4800+.
Then, we’re going to do the simplest overclock possible, by simply raising the FSB/HTT frequency as high as possible with a 1:1 divider and memory timings of 2.5-3-3-7. 252FSB/HTT frequency was as high as I could stabily go, though that may have been limited by my memory. HTT was left at x4.
I was able to boot up and run benchmarks at a higher frequency, but without having to loosen up the timings so much that it was counterproductive. My idle temps at 2.52GHz were 31C idle and 38C load.
Now, we’re going to leave the multiplier at its default setting (x10), set the HTT to x3, drop the memory divider to DDR333 (5:6), and raise the v-core to a point where stability is balanced with heat and performance. To me this is usually a point where overclocking stops being productive as small jumps in performance call for a large jump in core voltage, this also is usually accompanied by a spike in both idle temperature and load temperature.
At 270 FSB my CPUs temperature idled at 34C, and reached a maximum temperature of 41C under load. As to memory performance, with the memory divider set to 5:6, I had no problem running my memory at some pretty tight timings of 2-3-2-5 at its default voltage, this gave me an overall memory frequency of 225.1MHz.
After making sure that each setting was stable, it was time to move on to some benchmarking. Let’s take a look at the results from our AMD64 X2 3800+.