Overclocking..To The Death!!!

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Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:48 pm

Ok, so I've got a system that has been around the block and has been serving as my htpc for a little over a year now. I'm looking to upgrade my main PC in April/May (a long way off, I know. I'm excited) at which time I will likely move my main system into my htpc box. So this current system has served honorably for MANY years and is of no real use to me or anyone after I upgrade, so I thought it only fitting to send it out in a firey blaze of glory!

I consider myself very knowledgeable in computer hardware and know enough about overclocking, but my overclocking experience has always been limited to stability. I've obviously never pushed so hard as to potentially harm a computer with overclocking. I would like to know a few things:

1) I would like to retain the PSU after this massacre is over, will the PSU be able to survive and be reliable? (I've got a Infrared reciever spliced into it for remote startup using my TV remote, and a power switch glued to the back of the PSU that will likely break if I try to remove it, the system is in a custom open sided case that I built from scratch)
2) I know these old AMD chips have no form of thermal throttling (hence why you can find many youtube videos of them smoking with no heatsinks). But I would like to leave the heatsink on and try to get the maximum overclock possible before it dies. What do I do after the point where Prime95 stress test fails and/or the system is only stable enough to boot to windows? How do I push it further and load the system enough to burn something up? Do I just shoot for a max overclock, then unplug the CPU fan and let 'er burn?

Here is a list of the system specs:
CPU = AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice C2 Stepping
RAM = 1.5 GB DDR-PC3200, 1GB PQI Corp, 500MB Micron. 400Mhz, 3-4-4-8 timings for both
PSU = Dell 170W NPS-250KB D Rev. 10. 5V = 22A, 5VSB = 2A, +12V = 16A, -12V = 1A, 3.3V = 18A
Motherboard = ECS nForce3-A
Adjustables:
Bus Speed = 200 - 250 MHz (200MHz current)
HT Freq. = 1x - 5x (4x current)
Vcore = +1.7% - +5.1% (1.4V current)
CPU Idle Temp = 34C
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Re: Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:46 pm

How do I push it further and load the system enough to burn something up?


You don't?

There comes a time when the comp won't post, no matter how much voltage you feed it and that's it.
Sure you can try to crank up the voltage further but what purpose would that serve?
If the settings are to fast you'll still just get a black screen and a hot heatsink.

Honestly: I doubt that it'll be "fiery and smokey" as long as you leave that heatsink on.
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Re: Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:07 pm

DPete27 wrote:I would like to retain the PSU after this massacre is over, will the PSU be able to survive and be reliable?

If it is a quality PSU it should shut itself down before internal damage occurs.
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Re: Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:48 pm

just brew it! wrote:If it is a quality PSU it should shut itself down before internal damage occurs.

It's a Dell, so it will be "to the pain".
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Re: Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:56 pm

I believe that cpu is thermally protected. Not 100% on that though. Lines kind of fuzzy with AMD

The Dell PSU? Thats a hold over from an even older machine, no? Those work but aren't known to be of the best quality or efficiency. It should survive but you might want to consider replacing it on general principles.

You're best bet for a firery end for the old machine would be thermite, gun powder, or flammable liquid of choice. Maybe add a little liquid oxygen for we effect :wink:
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Re: Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:17 pm

I haven't ever heard of CPU damage by overclocking modern processors. It will just fail to POST if you get overzealous with overclocking.

If you removed the heatsink from a s462 CPU, it would burn up, but s754 and s939 CPUs - like yours - would just cut power.
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Re: Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:42 pm

If you can disable thermal shutdown in BIOS, running it without a HSF might do the trick without even needing to overclock. Make sure you video whatever you attempt.
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Re: Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:04 pm

May I add a suggestion. Make sure when you fire up the system with it overclocked, have the Bon Jovi song "Blaze of Glory" playing in the background on your stereo. Or, even better, Hammerfall "Any Means Necessary"!
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Re: Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:13 pm

Hrmm... How are the caps on that machine doing? Anything you could do to help the degradation process along?


Otherwise: Take off and nuke the machine from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
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Re: Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:22 pm

moresmarterthanspock wrote:Or, even better, Hammerfall "Any Means Necessary"!

Hey, thanks for reminding me, I keep meaning to check them out. Anders Johansson is an absolutely phenomenal drummer...
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Re: Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:53 pm

As others have stated, you'll need to find someway to bypass the thermal protection circuit. I'm not sure you can do that completely on an A64 as I thought it had thermal protection built into the chip itself. Who knows, if you up the voltage enough and push it hard enough (while aiming a heat gun or blow dryer at the cpu socket), you might just get lucky.

moresmarterthanspock wrote:May I add a suggestion. Make sure when you fire up the system with it overclocked, have the Bon Jovi song "Blaze of Glory" playing in the background on your stereo. Or, even better, Hammerfall "Any Means Necessary"!


Sad to say I don't know the Hammerfall tune. My choice would be Fire Water Burn by the Bloodhound Gang. Who's with me?
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Re: Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:24 pm

You won't be able to burn it up the way you're thinking. I tried with a similar chip (a dual core 3800+ X2) a few years ago. I pulled the heatsink off while gaming and all it did was slow down, crash, then sit there VERY hot. After cooling down it booted like nothing had happened. :lol:
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Re: Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:46 pm

If it doesn't burn up by itself. Give it some help. You can get a trigger-light hand-torch at probably any hardware store. Then you just screw it on the top of a small propane tank, like a coleman lantern tank. Turn on the computer, turn the propane valve on, click the trigger to light it, and hold the flame up to the processor. Should be interesting. :D And don't forget the heavy-metal music for added dramatic effect. Somehow I can't help but thinking this whole idea belongs in an episode of Home Improvement. Muh Muh Muh Muh Muh Muh Muh!!!!!!
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Re: Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:56 pm

chuckula wrote:Hrmm... How are the caps on that machine doing? Anything you could do to help the degradation process along?


Oh, there's one cap thats popped open on the mobo. Forgot to mention that. Also, I don't see any BIOS options about turning off thermal controls. My parade is looking a little rainy at the moment. It looks like this little "experiment" is going to come to an anti-climactic end :-? (Damn safeguards)

In regards to the PSU, yes, I got it for free from work. This system was handed down to me by an old college roomate. He had been using it for his NAS/htpc for quite a while, and it was his main computer before that even. After spending a few months as a surrogate computer for my brother, he gave it back to me and its been my htpc since then. I was just looking for any PSU to make it run at the time. In the end, the only money I spent on the system was for a new hard drive and the materials for the case. I suppose getting a new PSU for the next incarnation wouldn't be a bad idea. (no PSU suggestions needed though)
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Re: Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:06 pm

chuckula wrote:Hrmm... How are the caps on that machine doing? Anything you could do to help the degradation process along?


DPete27 wrote:Oh, there's one cap thats popped open on the mobo.


An open capacitor and the system still works? Outstanding!
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Re: Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:34 pm

BIF wrote:An open capacitor and the system still works? Outstanding!

My grandpa's old Athlon 64 (single core) system has literally every capacitor on the motherboard bulging and/or leaking. It won't post unless it's warm - but once it does it's rock solid for weeks on end. It's a miracle. :lol:
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Re: Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:23 pm

Not to dig this up from the grave, but I have some closing statements. I finally ended up trying to kill this machine 2 weeks ago.

1) I had the Athlon 3200+ (2GHz Stock) up to 2.6GHz by adding an extra .18V (max my board would allow). With the heatsink and fan on, thermals were good (~50C IIRC), Prime95 ran for ~30min before I stopped it.
2) Removed the fan from the heatsink. Had to back down to 2.5GHz to run Prime95 and got up to 84C, froze after ~10min.
3) Removed the heatsink and TIM, set the heatsink back on top of the CPU without strapping it down (no TIM either) and was amazed that it worked fairly decent. I had to lower frequency a bit, but I still had a (somewhat) stable OC going at that point and thermals were still in that same 85-90C mark. I might have been able to damage something if I left the system run for an extended period of time in this setup, but it was getting late.
4) Lowered the frequency a bit more (closer to 2.2-2.3GHz at this point), booted into windows, started up Prime95, removed the heatsink entirely, temps shot up to 103 and Windows froze.
5) Any efforts to achieve higher temps past that required constant attention (crack one side of the heatsink intermittently, but set it back down before temps get too high) to keep the system from locking up. Never did see throttling of any kind. At that point I figured it was a lost cause trying to keep Windows from freezing during my stress tests and tossed it all in a box destined for the recycle center.

Neither of the two popped capacitors on the mobo sparked or smoked, PSU didn't die, CPU survived.......lackluster.....
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Re: Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:32 pm

To the death?? That's not even to the pain.
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Re: Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:08 pm

Captain Ned wrote:to the pain.

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Re: Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:06 pm

Well at least it didn't go up like the athlon would have. Although I did have a P3 1ghz that a tab on the socket broke off while it was running and the heatsink bounced off the video card on its way on a tumble out of the open side of the case. Amazingly after looking in shock after that happened, and it took about a min to hit the power button to crash the system...the processor is still completely fine. I did have to get a tualatin upgrade socket so I could still use the board, but that quick fix made it so I could strap a heatsink on it, and it still runs fine to this day
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Re: Overclocking..To The Death!!!

Postposted on Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:08 pm

DPete27 wrote:I know these old AMD chips have no form of thermal throttling (hence why you can find many youtube videos of them smoking with no heatsinks). But I would like to leave the heatsink on and try to get the maximum overclock possible before it dies.


What you describe applies to the old socket 462 chips and prior, and even the 462s had working thermal diode protection at the end. Athlon64 and later will not smoke and burn.

Edit: Ah, I see you found that out yourself. The hard lock right after 100C sounds like the thermal protection doing it's job.

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